On September 11, 2008 I checked my bank account on-line and discovered that I was currently in overdraft. I am currently un-employed and am having a very hard time. I had only $4.58 in my account and someone tried to push an electronic check for $26.00 through.
I immediately called my bank and discovered that it was Capital One Credit Services. I told my bank that I never authorized this withdrawal and was told I would have to take it up with Capital One.
I called Capital One and after the preliminary info gathering explained that they had tried to withdraw funds from my bank account without my permission which resulted in a $38.00 overdraft fee.
At first, the operator tried to suggest that I had set up automated payments through them. I made it very clear that I had not. The operator retreated from that position and put me through to a supervisor. I explained everything over again and this time the supervisor suggested that I authorized the payment in late August by way of phone.
I did in fact call Capital One in late August to inform them that I was un-employed and could not make a payment and that I was trying to work something out so that they would not continue to attach late fees and such. The operator at that time was not helpful in any way and it resulted in a shouting match. At no time did I ever authorize a payment from my bank account.
When I explained this to the supervisor on September 11, she put me on hold and then hung up on me.
This is what really happened.
Long ago, maybe a year or more, I was in a situation where mailing a money order in to cover my Capital One bill would have been late. At that time I called and authorized a phone payment from my checking account to avoid a late fee. I have done this on occasion with several credit card and utility companies. Capital One then held on to all of my bank information from that one-time payment authorization. When I called in August and had the shouting match with the Capital One operator, he "illegaly" authorized an electronic check in my name and applied my bank info that Capital One had been saving and set it to come out on the 9th of September.
All of these calls, if Capital One is to be believed; are recorded. That means if I had the means to secure the recording of the August phone call I could prove attempted theft.
If anyone has any suggestions they would be greatly appreciated. Also, if you should ever authorize a one-time payment to Capital One (and probably other credit agencies) go in and have your bank account, and routing numbers changed because these companies hold on to this information and will go into your account at their leasure.