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Ding Dong: Capital One Is at the Door About Your Credit Card

By John Morgan   |   Wednesday, 19 Feb 2014 01:07 PM

Is credit card issuer Capital One getting a little too chummy with its customers?

The company sent a contract update to cardholders that specifies "we may contact you in any manner we choose" and that such contacts can include calls, emails, texts, faxes -- or even a personal visit at home or at work, the Los Angeles Times reported.

According to the Times, the Capital One language is "menacing and creepy."

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Rick Rofman, 71, of Van Nuys, Calif., told the paper he was spooked to receive the Capital One contract update in the mail.

"Even the Internal Revenue Service cannot visit you at home without an arrest warrant," Rofman noted.

Daniel Kann, a Santa Clarita, Calif., lawyer who specializes in illegal-search cases, said the Capital One language might not violate the Fourth Amendment of the Constitution, which protects against unreasonable searches and seizures by law enforcement.

But he explained there are laws against harassment and stalking.

Capital One is "revisiting" its policy after getting vocal reactions from consumer advocates and others who have criticized its tactics, USA Today reported.

A spokesperson for the issuer told USA Today the terms have been in its credit card contracts for years, and the bank does not show up at cardholders' homes unless it is attempting to repossess a vehicle.

But the Capital One language also asserts the card company may take steps to circumvent caller ID when it calls customers.

Norma Garcia, senior attorney and manager of the financial services program of Consumers Union, a branch of ConsumerReports, heaped criticism on the card language.

Garcia said the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an independent federal agency, should investigate Capital One's "trickery."

"It's important that consumers understand the terms and conditions of their credit cards. This is one that would raise the red flag for me," Garcia told USA Today.

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