When Capital One purchased ING Direct and ultimately rebranded the bank as “Capital One 360,” long-time customers of the online bank asked the same questions. Would Capital One continue ING Direct’s tradition of competitive rates and excellent customer service?
Not everyone’s experience with ING Direct has been perfect, but overall, the bank was as beloved as any financial institution could be. The interest rates weren’t the highest among the competition, but the reputation remained positive. For three years in a row, expert financial bloggers voted ING Direct as Best Overall Bank in the Plutus Awards and awarded the bank almost all other banking awards.
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Along with savings accounts and online checking, Capital One also took over ING Direct’s mortgages. One customer’s experience with Capital One involving his mortgage did not turn out how he expected.
I have been a client of ING, with $30,000 to $50,000 between ING Direct and ShareBuilder accounts, since 2003. This is a majority of my cash, with some more in my primary checking account at Chase. I also opened up a Capital One bank and credit card when their rates became more attractive, before Capital One purchased ING Direct.
In 2006 I bought a condo and financed the purchase with a mortgage through ING. With ING, I never had customer service issues, and the company was great. They were proactive even to the point of offering me a rate adjustment on my mortgage without the hassle of a complete refinance. When Capital One acquired ING I was a little concerned, but I didn’t want to be a jaded consumer. I wanted to give the company a chance.
I am now contemplating switching away from Capital One 360 because of a customer service issue.
After waiting a long time for the market to recover, I recently refinanced my mortgage. Chase now owns my loan. In order to complete the refinance, I had to call Capital One 360 for a payoff statement. When I spoke with the representative, he assured me that my automatic payments each month would be canceled immediately.
After my refinance was complete, I was unable to access my mortgage through my Capital One online profile because, rightly so, they didn’t own my loan anymore and shouldn’t be servicing it — or so I thought.
The day of my loan funding I noticed a regular mortgage ACH debit pending in my Chase checking account, a transfer from Chase to Capital One. This payment, for a mortgage that was no longer with Capital One, should not have been made. It was still pending as of Sunday, July 7 when I noticed the transaction. I called Capital One and the representative told me that no one was available from the mortgage department and that I should call back on Monday morning, the next day.
I called on Monday and after a ridiculous hold time I was connected with a customer service representative who said that there was nothing they could do to stop the pending transaction even though it was initiated on their end. I explained to her that I don’t have access to the old mortgage either because it was paid off and taken off my Capital One profile.
She kept saying that they cannot control an auto pay that was done through Chase. It was impossible to get her to understand that my automatic payments were initiated on the ING/Capital One side since 2006 and Chase had nothing to do with it. She said that they require ten days notice to stop automatic transfers from their end: a contradictory statement since she initially said Chase was responsible. (Apparently, my payoff request 9 business days ago, along with the confirmation from the rep I spoke with was not notice enough.
The best solution she could offer me was for me to provide her with proof that the money was taken out of my account, and they would send me a check after a mandatory ten-day waiting period. The fact that the transaction was still pending meant I’d have to wait for the transaction to actually hit my Chase account, and I would then need a monthly statement or a letter from Chase.
Here’s my problem. I have enough funds to cover a mortgage payment. On principle, a bank that operates online should not be sending me a check for a problem they caused. They should stop the transaction and refund or credit my account immediately. I was completely polite and reasonable throughout my phone call and saw no reason for the stonewalling.
Many banks seem to respond better on Twitter, so I tried contacting Capital One 360’s Twitter account for a better resolution. The bank on Twitter offered a generic response, something to the effect of, “Customer service is our number one priority.” When I replied saying that I had spoken to a representative and hit a roadblock, there was no response.
I am happy to report that Chase managed to fix the issue within twelve hours and credited my account. I do not have to wait for a check in the mail for money that is rightfully mine.
I will definitely consider moving all my funds to Chase or another bank instead of Capital One. I am very sad that the old ING is no longer. I was a huge fan and miss them dearly.
Kudos to Chase for resolving this customer’s issue without a fuss. It’s hard to know exactly how this situation would have played out had ING still been the company behind the mortgage prior to the Chase refinance. Is this customer’s experience an example of other customers’ experiences with Capital One and Capital One 360? Today, Capital One offers mortgages through both the “Capital One” brand and “Capital One 360” brand, the latter being the continuation of ING mortgages. Perhaps there is some difference between customer service between the two departments.
The core of the issue is this: Once the mortgage was paid off, Capital One should have suspended all automatic payments — automatically. Even if the next payment was scheduled within the ten-day window, the bank had enough time to mark the account as closed. The problems with customer service just escalated the issue to a potentially damaging situation for the customer’s finances.
What I would like to know is if this example is representative of more people’s customer service. If you’ve had any experiences with Capital One’s mortgage customer service, positive or negative, please share by contributing to the conversation on Consumerism Commentary. Feel free to also share any experiences you’ve had with Capital One’s banking products, like online checking or savings.
Updated June 23, 2016 and originally published August 12, 2013.