Credit Card Users Surprised By New Fine Print Of Contracts

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UPDATED: Tuesday February 18, 2014 7:04 PM

Greg Steinke didn't ask for a Capital One credit card.  

"It wasn't really by choice. It just happened because I had a Fifth Third card and they sold all the accounts,” explained Steinke.

It was only today that he learned what's in the fine print. On page 6 of the 8 page contract, it says that Capital One may contact customers by mail, telephone, email, fax, recorded message, text message, or a even a personal visit. That visit can be at your home or your place of employment.

"I guess my first reaction is it's a little weird.  It's strange to think that a creditor is going to come to my home or where I work,” added Steinke.

In fact, Capital One says those rules are the same for customers who default on bank loans that may require a repossession and the company "does not visit our cardholders, nor do we send debt collectors to their homes or work."

Greg says he has a second reaction to all this:

"Holding that card I signed a contract, essentially.  And if I signed the contract then whatever that stipulates they are allowed to do, right?  I mean that's how it works.  That's the agreement.  If I don't like that contract then I need to stop being a cardholder.”

That’s true. The contract also says the company may "modify or suppress caller ID and similar services and identify ourselves on these services in any manner we choose."

Greg says the message to cardholders should be clear - know what you're agreeing to before you agree to it.

"But I think companies need to also be a little more up front with how they write these contracts and not have them be so burdensome for the average consumer to read.”

The bank says it may write two agreements: one for credit cards and one for for consumer loans, so they're clearer.

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