It’s becoming a credit card world, for better or worse. While plastic is convenient, and certainly safer than cash, there are some drawbacks.
One being the likelihood that you’ll be overcharged or charged twice for something and never actually notice.
I always advise people to comb through their credit card statements each month (and periodically during the month) to ensure there aren’t any fraudulent or fishy charges.
But it does take a bit of legwork and commitment to watch over your bills all the time. For those who like to set it and forget it, there’s a good chance bogus charges can slip through the cracks.
Even if you are diligent, charges that are automatically billed to a credit card may go unnoticed, even if the amounts fluctuate from month to month.
My Time Warner Cable bill comes to mind – it never seems to be the same amount each month, and every few months after it magically rises $20 or $30, I’m forced to call their customer retention department to see what “went wrong.”
Long story short, it’s hard to keep track of all purchases, especially when you’re not even around when the company charges you!
Capital One Second Look to the Rescue
If you’re a Capital One customer, you won’t have to worry about this issue as much going forward.
They recently launched a new free service called “Second Look,” which as the name implies, takes a hard look at certain transactions to ensure you don’t miss anything.
It focuses on a few different types of transactions, including:
– Duplicate charges
– Recurring charges
– Auto-renewing subscriptions and memberships
So if you happen to get charged twice by mistake, Capital One will notify you of the possible duplicate charge. Initially, they say only higher-than-normal bills may be identified, so small charges may still have to be self-managed.
Assuming you are double-charged, or Capital One thinks you are, they’ll send you an alert so you can review the charge. If the payment amount isn’t correct, you can let them know and move on with your life.
The same goes for recurring charges like utility bills most of us overlook each month. If there is an unexpected or unwanted increase, you’ll be notified and you can take action immediately.
Capital One noted that more than 25% of customers notified via the pilot have contacted their providers to inquire about the increase. So it’s clearly a useful tool.
As far as auto-renewing subscriptions and memberships go, Capital One’s Second Look tool comes into play when “free-to-pay” services begin charging a fee.
Think of free trials that are great while they’re free, but not so great once they charge you some astronomical fee. This tool is a great way to remind you of any services that may be exiting trial mode.
You will be sent an alert when your memberships and subscriptions automatically renew annually. Not sure if they’ll let you get alerts for monthly subscriptions, but stay tuned.
Anyway, if you have a Capital One credit card, this could be a great service to take advantage of. It is currently available to select card customers.
The Second Look pilot test data currently shows that customers are three times more likely to question a charge after receiving an alert. I’m sure the companies behind these charges are none too happy.
Read more: The Capital One Quicksilver review.