Who in the World Is Pat W. Johnston?

I am officially issuing an All Points Bulletin for Pat W. Johnston, allegedly employed by Capital One Visa. Would he–or she–please stand up? Your identity is being questioned.

Prior to two months ago, I had never heard of Pat W. Johnston. Now I can’t stop the flow of letters from him (her?) to me. This alleged entity supposedly represents Capital One Visa, but in exactly what capacity changes with the letter. When I’ve called any of Capital One’s many 800 numbers, no one I’ve spoken with so far can identify Mr. or Ms Johnston, leading me to wonder if I’m being stalked by an imposter.

At least Pat always has my best interests at heart. He/she always has a great deal to offer on a Visa card. When I accepted the first offer and got the first ‘good deal,’ I couldn’t have been more surprised when after less than two months of having this card, Pat invited me to apply for another–even better–deal.

Being no dummy, I could instantly see that this second offer was definitely superior to what I’d already signed up for, so I did what any thinking person would do, and I called Capital One…and the first question I asked was, “Have you ever heard of Pat W. Johnston?”

Fact is, Pat seemed to have gone from ‘Director of New Accounts’ to ‘Director of Customer Services’ since sending out that first order. Was this a promotion?

The first customer service rep pretended that she knew ‘her.’ I could tell she didn’t…first clue being that the rep couldn’t give me the alleged Ms Johnston’s title–or which of the many Capital One ‘main offices’ ‘she’ worked in.

So I called another Capital One number and asked the same question. This rep didn’t know–or hadn’t even heard of ‘him.’ The plot thickened. The same thing happened four more times…one rep ventured that ‘he’ must be in the Utah office. But then I pointed out that on one of the letters I’ve received from Mystery Person Johnston, Richmond, VA was listed as the return address—and presumably the letter was set from wherever he/she hangs out.

Before I got obsessed with the existence, or not, of Pat W. Johnston, what I really wanted to know was, why in the world was Capital One Visa soliciting yet another account application from someone who had so recently signed up with them? When I posed that question to a rep in Pennsylvania, he quite candidly said, “marketing must have screwed up.” I’ll say.

In addition to talking to the Pennsylvania rep, I spoke to reps in Missouri, California, four in Canada in two locations, and two in the Philippines, and not a single one could properly identify–or had even heard of–Pat W. Johnston.

In addition to not being able to identify or recognize Mr./Ms Johnston’s name, none of the reps–or their supervisors–could offer any explanation about why I got the second offer after already signing up for the first.

When I said I wanted to switch my current platinum card to the new platinum card being offered, I was told by someone who seemed to be experiencing her first day on the job, that I would have to apply all over again for the second card, and then cancel the first–no transferring allowed. Now that seems pretty inefficient and downright dumb, but wait a minute, I forgot. The Sales Department at Capital One is apparently being run by someone that no one in the company has ever heard of, so what can I expect?

Four more calls later, and I find that my application for ‘The Better Deal’ has been denied–because I had applied, and been accepted, for the lesser deal within the past 90 days. Company rules, of course.

Then why on earth is Capital One aggravating its customers with sending solicitation letters that offer deals that can’t be had, that are needlessly using up a gazillion trees with the paper they are printed on, that are filing up my house in particular with more unwanted paper clutter, and that have caused me to spend the better part of the day calling around the world looking for someone in Capital One who has heard of Pat W. Johnston? This is bad PR in the extreme.

Pat W. Johnston, stand up now and surrender. This identity folly has got to stop. The bad karma that you have accumulated in just this one day is enough to set you back several hundred lifetimes. May I humbly suggest that you either make good on your offers or stop making them. The Cosmic Police and the Office of Karmic Consequences have been notified, and they don’t take these things lightly. Consider yourself warned.

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