Personal Finance

CapitalOne Bought Me a Keyboard So I Could Pay My Bill

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CapitalOne customer service representatives took a different approach to dealing with someone who couldn’t pay a bill — it sent a gift.

The customer had gone online to pay a credit card bill but hit a snag when entering the account number into the form. Due to “an orange juice incident,” the number 2 key on the keyboard didn’t work, and the web form didn’t allow copy and pasting one in. The customer sent feedback to CapitalOne explaining the issue, and soon enough, a keyboard arrived in the mail from CapitalOne.

In the picture Reddit user MaskedKoala posted, it appears they sent a nice, wireless Mac keyboard, which tends to cost upwards of $60, depending on where you buy it. Naysayers pounced on the post (many Redditors criticized the poster’s failure to use an on-screen keyboard, which most computers offer), but a spokeswoman from CapitalOne confirmed the exchange.

“Yep, it’s legit!” Pam Girardo wrote in an email to Credit.com. “We encourage our agents to look for and act on opportunities to practice random acts of kindness for our customers. The program enables our agents to follow up on customer conversations in unexpected, personalized and creative ways.”

She didn’t elaborate, but her response sparks curiosity — what other creative customer service surprises have agents carried out?

For those wondering why a credit card issuer would reward someone who didn’t pay a bill, you should know that doesn’t seem to be what happened. After sending the orange juice story, the customer logged onto CapitalOne with his iPhone and paid the bill, MaskedKoala said in a follow-up post to Reddit.

It’s a fun story, but it’s not a good strategy for putting off bill payments. Missing a credit card or loan payment could cost you by way of late fees and interest, not to mention how it could damage your credit, if it goes unpaid long enough. Your credit score is crucial to accessing other forms of credit and affordable interest rates, so if you want to know how late payments can affect your credit scores, check yours for free on Credit.com.

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Image: MarkRubens

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