Residents of London would’ve surely noticed the recent spate of ads by CapitalOne in local newspapers, bus shelters and on the Internet promising a one minute response to your application for a credit card.
Going by my experience, this is an everlasting one minute!
Feeling the need for a UK credit card owing to a sudden bout of travel, I applied online for a CapitalOne credit card. All that happened in one minute was a message on their website saying that they need to examine some documentation to verify my identity and address. Their letter listing out what kind of documentation they needed from me came after a few days. In spite of knowing my email address, they chose to send this letter by snail-mail.
In this letter, they had asked for two documents to be sent in original. These included standard ones like bank statements, utility bills, council tax bills, and so on. They wanted each document to show my first name and last name as well as my address. Now, many bank statements in the UK only show the last name e.g. K SWAMINATHAN in my case. This ruled out roughly half the documents that I could’ve used. Luckily, I noticed a provision in CapitalOne’s letter that, in case I wasn’t able to send a second document showing my address, they were willing to accept one showing my date of birth.
With a bit of effort, after rummaging through correspondence from the last 6-9 months, I was able to send them the two documents they’d asked for: one, a bank statement showing my first name, last name and my address, and, two, a government issued statement (a type of government document which was not listed in CapitalOne’s letter as being unacceptable) displaying my date of birth.
After a few days, I was surprised to receive a letter (by snail-mail) from CapitalOne saying they had to reject the second document since it did not contain my address!
I wrote back to them saying their initial letter had indeed allowed me to send a second document containing my date of birth (even if it did not contain my address), so they should not have rejected my second document.
To which, after a few more days, I received an obliquely-worded letter (again by snail-mail) from which I could infer that they would only accept government-issued documents like passport for proof of date of birth. In their initial letter, they’d never said this. Had they done so, I could’ve saved a couple of weeks. Anyway, given that they expect me to mail them my passport in original for verification, I’m considering giving up on my application altogether because I don’t feel comfortable being without my passport for however short a duration it will take for CapitalOne to do their verification and return it to me.
This procedure has already lasted three weeks and still remains inconclusive. I have almost given up with CapitalOne and have applied for another credit card in the meantime.
So much for a response in one minute!