In its first enforcement action, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau has ordered Capital One Bank to refund $140 million to about two million customers. On top of that, the bank must pay a $25 million civil penalty.
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The CFPB says it found that Capital One’s call center vendors pressured or misled consumers into paying for such services as payment protection and credit monitoring when they activated their cards. Consumers weren’t told these add-ons were optional, the CFPB says. And, the agency says, sometimes consumers were automatically enrolled in these programs without their approval and then had trouble canceling the services after being billed for them.
“We are putting companies on notice that these deceptive practices are against the law and will not be tolerated,” says CFPB Director Richard Cordray in a prepared statements.
Capital One surely got the notice
The bank must pay about $140 million to the consumers who were enrolled in these services on or after Aug. 1, 2010, or who tried to cancel these products at that time but were talked into keeping them by the call center. Plus, the card company will have to provide a refund for any interest, finance charges and over the limit fees that these products might have triggered.
If these duped consumers are still a customer of Capital One, they are supposed to see their refund applied as a credit to their account. If they’re not, they will get a check in the mail, the CFPB says.
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