Radio announcer Paul Arcand of Montreal’s 98.5 FM, reported that Capital One Canada mailed credit card offers to minors in Quebec. In addition, it was reported that Capital One also pre-approved minors for offers of credit. Asking his listeners if any of them had received similar offers, the station received a flurry of calls confirming Capital One’s gaff.
In all likelihood Capital One Canada, the country’s leading credit card direct mailer, certainly did not make offers of credit to minors intentionally. The mistake likely occurred due to some missed steps in scrubbing their mailing list for under-aged prospects.
Andrew Clarke, spokesperson for Capital One Canada, states that “Capital One takes credit card solicitation very seriously, and we do not target minors. This situation was clearly an error on our part, and we at Capital One sincerely apologize to the family.
Capital One is one of many companies which rely heavily on mailings to make consumers aware of product offerings. As such, we purchase lists from a number of well-established sources that are privacy compliant. Because these sources are privacy compliant, many of the lists do not include information pertaining to age. We make every effort to comb through the information to be certain that our solicitations are being presented to the right person — someone who meets the age requirement to benefit from our offers.
It is important to note that, once we receive a completed application, we do a number of additional checks that are designed to confirm that the information provided by the applicant is accurate. This includes confirming that applicants meet the legal age limit. Only legally-approved applicants will be formally approved for a card.”
Unfortunately for Capital One Canada, Quebec is one of the most stringent and penalizing provinces when it comes to consumer protection. We’ll have to wait to see what Quebec’s reaction will be.