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Citizen's Bank-Customer Service-Overdraft fee scam
By -

NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I have also had problems with Citizens Bank. On October 2, 2009 I received my Social Security Direct Deposit. Also on that date there was a check from 7 months ago that was cashed by the bank. This check was to an old landlord that I used to have, and way back he told me that he never received this check, so I stopped payment on the check and got a bank check for the money and sent that on to him.

Now after 7 months he managed to cash the check. The bank never called me to tell me that a “stale Check” was being cashed, and I didn't know that “stop payments” were only good for 6 months, so the bank paid out this “old check”. Now because this happened and I didn't know about it, it overdrew my account and I bounced a bunch of other checks. It was only after calling customer service that I found out that “stop payments” were only good for six months and that the bank shouldn't have cashed this “stale check”, but I was told that it was up to the bans discretion.

Now the fees that came in due to this amounted to more than $900. I was frantic. I got hit with fees on top of fees. My wife's direct deposit ended up going into our account before we could stop it, and it paid all of their fees off and left us very little money for food to feed our family of 5.

Also during this time I was running out of Insulin (I am a type 1 diabetic) and I also have Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis. Well I needed Insulin for my pump and the bank refused to free up any of the charges that they had on our account. I ended up having an MS flair twice and ended up in the ER. I also received 2 prescriptions that needed to be filled in order to get over this flair.

I called the bank and a very nice customer service representative named ** helped me out and freed up $78 so that I could get the prescriptions filled, and then when I went to the bank I was told that I could not take the money out because citizens had put a hold on my account and the one person who could take the hold off was not in that day. I was then escorted out of the bank and was told that Corporate Security was going to be I would not get back any of the fees that I have paid if she had anything to do with it.

I then contacted customer service and lodged a complaint with them. Next thing I know the claims department is sending me another affidavit in the mail, and this time they want me to try to locate my old landlord so that he can sign it saying that he did in fact take money from our account. Can you believe that? I'm sure he'll sign that, right?

I was told by Citizens Bank that I can not close my account at this point because it is now back to being negative again, and when I tried to open another account with a different bank I was notified that because of Citizens Bank I would have to wait for that account to be settled before I can open another account anywhere else.

So now my wife is stopping her direct deposit and I have to call Social Security in order for them to stop their direct deposit. I'm thinking about not having a bank account at all, I'm thinking about getting a safe, and then just getting money orders for all of my bills. Thank you CITIZEN'S BANK for encouraging me to not trust banks!

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Citizens Bank Shifting Debit And Charge Dates To Their Advantage
By -

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- I have had so many problems with over draft fees the past 2 years. Out of the about 20 I received probably only 2 of them were my fault. Here are some of the examples. On Friday 3 small purchases went through and the money was in my account and then on Monday a charge purchase came through. On Tuesday I saw that my account had 4 over draft fees!!! After sitting and talking with the Branch Manager for over 45 minutes still what she told me made no sense.

Apparently even though the charge did not go through until Monday Citizens Bank told me your money is put on hold. So on Friday even though my statement online told me the money was there they said it wasn't. So not only did I get 3 over draft fees for Friday but then on Monday for the same charge again they charged my account another overdraft fee because now there wasn't enough money to cover it!!!

That's $156 in over draft fees. Oh by the way as a courtesy they did give me back 1 fee $39. Here is another example. I ordered Chinese food from a restaurant. The clerk put my card through twice while I was standing there. She took it off my card and handed me the receipt.

Thinking this would cause a problem with the bank I personally went into the Bank and talked with the Assistant Manager. I saw that the Chinese Food charge had not gone through but also Chinese food refund had not gone through either. I wanted to make sure that I would not be over drafted so the Assistant told me to make a deposit in X amount of dollars and I would be fine.

Yeah right!!! The next day I checked my bank and bang!!! 2 more over draft fees. I was so angry I went back down to the bank to talk to the Assistant again who was very rude!!! He told me it was not the bank's fault even though he told me everything would be alright.

I finally asked to talk to the Branch Manager who I could tell wanted nothing to do with it. He went into her office and she slammed the door. I could hear them yelling at each other. Finally he comes out and tells me she'd see me in a minute. 20 minutes later she called me into her office and said that I would have to fill out an affidavit to the Chinese restaurant even though the refund was given because I had the receipt.

When I started to tell her about what the Assistant and I discussed she wanted no part of it and said it wasn't a bank error so they were not going to refund my money. So again I was out $78. I also would like to mention that the dates on debits and charges change all the time so the bank got you so screwed up and that's what they want so they can take your money.

How is it fair that Citizens Bank practice this way? How can my online banking page to my account be different from theirs? It's robbery if you ask me. I have finally had it and am switching banks. I hope something can be done about this so people don't keep getting robbed.

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Fraudulent Activity on Account and the Bank Is Passing the Buck...
By -

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I was made aware of fraudulent activity on a joint checking account in 2007. As soon as I found out what was happening I personally went to a local branch to discuss. I worked with the branch manager and filled out several affidavits. As a result of the fraud, the account had gone well into the overdraft line of credit that was linked to the account. The branch manager attempted to fax the affidavits but informed me that it was not going through, she said I could come back or call the next day. I made several attempts to reach her over the next few days but was told she was out. The other employees had no information about my case or account.

A short time later I heard that the branch manager was "let go" and shortly after that, the local branch was closed. There were no records of the affidavits to be found, I never got copies and no one had any clue as to anything odd going on with my account.

I have been reaching out to various employees in the fraud department, phone bank department and executive office. However, each time I do I am given different kinds of bogus information and basically led down paths that lead to dead ends.

Although I have made monthly payments to the OD account, it seems that some of my payments had gone missing. At one point I was told that since the account was frozen and/or closed I couldn't make on-line bill payments. That does not make sense since some of my on-line bill payments have indeed been credited to the account. No one is able to pull up any account information. I have been transferred and hung up on by the colleagues in the phone bank and basically called a liar in a letter received from DDA Counseling.

Over a year ago I emailed several screen shots to a colleague in the fraud department which clearly showed my payments being made to the correct address, with the correct account number. Yesterday I was told that this email was never received. The worst part is now the burden of looking for all of my old records and providing proof of payment again is put on me even though I had already done this.

Example: My September payment had gone missing and no one could find it. Then suddenly the payment was found but it wasn't credited until the beginning of October. If you look at October you will see there is a credit on 10/3 which was the September payment. There is another credit at the end of October which is the correct October payment. How many times has this happened? How many times have payments gone missing that I never even noticed! Meanwhile, even when payments are received and credited properly they keep sending 30 day lates to the credit agencies.

Last - if no one can find any of the affidavits and if some of my payments had gone missing... Where is my personal information? They refuse to do an investigation, won't even mention the word "archives". Everything that has gone wrong with this account is a direct result of the fraud.

Another example: I paid off the OD account in full on 8/3/08. The payment was not credited until 9/3/08. Does it really take a full month to receive the payment or are they trying to accrue more finance charges and late fees?Personally, I think the branch manager who was let go at the branch that was closed down was pulling an inside job. Furthermore, I think the employees at Citizens Bank know this to be true and are trying to cover it up.

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Excessive Fees
By -

BUFFALO, NEW YORK -- I was a customer of Charter One Bank for many years and never had a problem. In fact, Charter One was a GREAT bank...until it was acquired by Citizens Bank a few years ago. Since the acquisition, I have had more problems than I can enumerate. The main issue is that Citizens Bank is always coming up with innovative ways to charge excessively high fees.

For example, I went on a trip and overdrew my account by approximately $15. Because I was on vacation, I admittedly wasn't keeping a close watch on my account. However, because Citizens charges a fee for being overdrawn and then additional fees each day the account remains overdrawn, by the time I returned home a week later, my account was $800 to the negative. I was shocked that that amount of fees would be charged for a mere $15 overdraft.

On another occasion, I checked my account online and discovered that I had been charged overdraft fees even though my account was not overdrawn. I had made a deposit, and 4 or 5 days later made some purchases. The account still had a positive balance, but I had been charged $142 in overdraft fees. When I called customer service, I was given some runaround about being charged the fees in anticipation that the purchases would clear before the deposit. It took insisting to speak to a manager and having to yell and scream at these people to get them to reverse (only some) of the fees.

Most recently, I went into the bank to make a payment via check on a small loan that I have. I have been making payments on this loan in this manner for 7 months without issue. However, on this most recent attempt to my bill, I was told that it is the bank's policy not to accept payment on the loan while my checking account has a $0 balance. I explained to the teller that I am trying to close the checking account [because I hate their bank and all the fees they charge!] but was told I could not close the checking account until the loan was paid off. I don't want to put money in the checking account; I want to pay on my loan!

The teller told me that she would have to deposit my check into the checking account and wait for it to clear before the bank would accept a payment on my loan. Today is Thursday, July 3rd. Because tomorrow is a holiday, and then it will be the weekend, my check will not clear until Monday, July 7th. The due date on the loan payment is Sunday, July 6th, so they are basically forcing me to make the payment late so they can CHARGE MORE FEES.

Stay away from Citizens Bank! I understand a financial institution's need to protect itself; however, Citizens' "policies" are only designed to get you trapped in holding accounts with them so they can continuously rape you with fees. They're probably one of the biggest racketeering operations going.

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Irresponsible unreliable procedures
By -

SYRACUSE, NEW YORK -- I was at a grocery store last night and went to check out and I always use my Master/debit card because I almost never carry cash. I generally use the Master/debit and hit credit so I don't have to pay any fees. Well, the cashier tells me my purchase is denied because I have a lost or stolen card.

So I call Citizens Savings Bank of Central NY this afternoon and it seems that another supermarket that I used to shop at about 5 years ago in a different town had their computer system compromised in February or March so they contacted the financial institutions of the credit card customers they had on file and the fraud department of Citizens Savings Bank of Central NY decided that they needed to send out all new cards to the compromised accounts card holders in mid March.

Well I told the customer service associate that I spoke to at 800-922-9999 that I never received a new card, nor any notification or even a simple phone call or email (funny but they never seem to have a problem sending emails to advertise their financial wares) so why on earth would they think that it was OK to just close my card yesterday with absolutely no notification? Well she danced around and tried all that mumbo jumbo gibberish that those types of associates are supposed to do and as a customer service associate myself, I recognized kept calling her on all her tactics. She kept insisting that they sent out a new card and notified me.

I informed the associate that “communication” is when they send out a notice and I respond or reply to them acknowledging that I received notification. If I don't receive notification nor do I respond then nothing has been communicated. (Period!) I told her if I had received such a notification in a timely manner I probably would not have had any problems with it but this is totally irresponsible and absolutely unacceptable for a financial institution to behave in this manner with absolutely no record of communication of any notification or acceptance of this procedure. To just randomly turn someone's card off???

I went on to tell her that I was at work and not getting out till after 7 pm. They have my money and I have no way to get to it, in my book that's pretty much the same thing as stealing or robbing from me regardless of what they think and quite frankly as a customer it is not my concern to care about what they think or not.

She says to me well we can overnight you a new card if you just give me the account number. So I say to her how am I supposed to give you an account number? I have a Master/Debit card that you closed? I don't carry checks with an account number on them because I didn't think I needed them. Indeed I haven't needed them for over 5 years! So she says to me well you can call us tonight when you get home with the account number. I say to her yes but if you overnight a card tonight then what? It'll get here Friday while I'm at work?

Or better yet maybe by Monday the next day that I have off? Guess I really don't need to eat or buy gas for the next four or five days huh? That's simply NOT acceptable! You see you have my money and I have no access to it. All I have is a card that you closed without out communicating that action to me and somewhere in Syracuse is a card which you claim you sent out that can access my account. Call me stupid but it sounds to me like someone has some explaining to do and it isn't me!

I want this card turned back on and I want it turned on NOW! If this supermarket computer system was compromised over a month ago and no one has hit my stupid sad little account by now I doubt they are going to. Well she did some more humming and hawing and I finally said to her look give me your name and transfer me to your supervisor we're finished. You're not hearing me and this is not acceptable.

So next I speak to ** who is supposedly some yada yada supervisor or someone with a title but who cares, someone else's title does not get me what I need now. And she says basically the same thing. So I tell her listen, you have my money and I don't and what's more with no branch accessible to me right now I have no access to it so that is basically tantamount to you stealing my money and I am more than prepared to go as public and as LOUDLY as I can with this regardless of whether it is resolved quickly or not.

Your company messed up. You never communicated this process to me because you never confirmed any such notification. What I want to hear right now is that you are going to turn this card back on and that's that, not really anything else I want to hear from you at this time.

Then she used the “policy” word and some crap about having x number of account members yada yada, so I calmly said to her. OK lesson #1 in any customer service transaction never and I mean NEVER use a phrase like “our policy” unless you want your butt handed back to you because no customer gives two hoots about your policy or if you have one. And secondly, I don't care if you have all 46 billion of America as your customers it maters nothing to me all that matters to me is “ME.”€

Finally I tell this woman, I need to speak to her supervisor. She tells me there isn't one and I tell her that I find it hard to believe that someone who is as ineffectual as she seems to be is the final authority on anything. Then she tells me that her supervisor is only a personnel supervisor and deals with only personnel issues. I came dangerously close to telling her well she obviously has a personnel issue on her hands that she doesn't know about because you are fairly terrible at your job.

Then this ** person gives me some crap about the only supervisor over her that I can speak to about my problem is a regional supervisor or a branch manager??? Huh??? I find it nearly impossible to believe that a branch manager in god knows where can solve my problem. However, when I question her for access numbers and names for these people she fails to give me the information.

I'm sorry but these accounts will be closed as soon as I can manage the transfer. Or better yet I might just leave them open with a couple dollars on deposit so the bank will continue to waste their resources to manage that couple of dollars. Now aside from searching for major complaining spots online to blast Citizens Savings Bank of Central NY and writing to the newspaper editorials what other recourse is there? Do I need to contact NYSBD? The NY state Attorney General?

Resolution Update 04/25/2008:

the bank came to as acceptible a resolution as they could offer.

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Deceptive Banking Practices
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

NEW STANTON, PENNSYLVANIA -- They lie, cheat, and steal - THE WORST BANK IN THE WORLD! Everything is provisional and construed to confuse the average customer. Their website is loaded with malicious advertising, sprouting 'worms' and 'trackers'.

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They Have a Lien on My Car I Paid Off Two Years Ago and Want Me to Pay for Their Error
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

NEW JERSEY -- About 2 years ago I paid off my 2003 Chevy Venture (early) After paying it off my wife called and said we never got the title in the mail they informed us that it takes some time and I was not concerned as it was paid off and I was planning on keeping it for some time. Last week I go to trade it in my car and told that I need the title. Instead of waiting for the bank I go to NJ MVC to get a duplicate one at a cost of sixty dollars to speed up the process.

MVC tells me that Citizen bank still holds a lien against me from two years ago. I find this very disturbing and go to the local branch in Haddon Hts NJ and they tell me it's paid off; but that they have had similar complaints from customers in the past. They put me on the phone with a subcontractor who handles the auto finance who says yes your car is paid off but you need to pay MVC/dmv their fee but only after you provide us with a credit card so we can charge you another fee for giving you a letter saying you paid off your loan WTF. I say no way. Eventually customer service at the local bank helps and says I will have a faxed letter showing the lien is paid off within two day.

Two days goes by and they tell me it was entered wrong and give them a few more days a few more days go by and they tell me they can't help and I have to call this third party company they use and speak with **, who then tells me it's my fault they never dropped the lien because I never answered a questionnaire they say they sent out two years ago and she will need a credit card to bill me for her services before she can help me- and then tells me she'll call me later. Help someone. They mess up and want to charge me and I would actually pay the fee at this point but they tell me after I pay this fee to get a copy of a letter- that they will mail it out in 7-10 days. What awful service.

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Worst Bank Ever!!!
By -

I wish I could give a zero as a review. Unfortunately that is not the case so this bank is getting a one by default. This institution is a blood sucking, un-flexible bank that thrives off its customers by all means necessary. They charge outrageous fees and customer service supports these fees with the statement "we are supported by the federal government." With such economic hardships visible right in front of our eyes, this bank takes advantage of its customers and refuses to return any money to its customers.

I recently received bank fees in the amount of $258 for 7 charges of 1.99. I was told by the customer service representative that this was a fair practice... LOL In all my years of banking... TD, Wachovia and Bank of America would all return the fee considering it was under 2 dollars. At least one time. And under the circumstances (that my mother just died). These leeches actually became ruder and ruder as I spoke to representative after rep... And I have never requested the bank return any fees to me until this point (I am not a habitual offender) LOL not that they care or it makes any difference to them...

Not to mention that this bank reorganizes charges in order to bounce items. I have been with this bank for about one year. I check my account every Tuesday at midnight before payday. Somehow most items manage to bounce in an order that forces you to have the most overdraft fees possible.

For example: If you had a balance of 50 dollars and you had debts for 2.00, 7.00, 15.00, 1.99, 10.00 and 40.00, instead of the bank charging all the little charges, it will process the large charge first. So that you account overdrafts for an excessive amount instead of once or twice. When I questioned them about this I couldn't get a clear answer. The representative just laughed. My recommendation Go with Wachovia or any other bank for that matter. Just stay as far away from these guys as possible!!!

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Stealing money!
By -

DERBY, NEW YORK -- I have been a banker with Citizens Bank for over 5 years. Today I have been robbed of over $300 from this pathetic excuse of an institution! I balance my checkbook daily and have done so in order of when purchases and charges and checks are made. Today I went to check on my account online and found that I was over drawn over $150. I had a balance of $4.35 this past Monday. I had also made 2 deposits on that day in the amount of $350 total. I check my account daily and have done so all week waiting for the deposits to clear.

Today when I saw the over draft charges I called them to see what had happened. I was informed that a check was cashed that day at the end of business for $50. I was aware of this payment and knew I would have an overdraft fee. They took that payment and put it ahead of every other thing that had already gone through that day causing me 4 over draft charges! And that made my account completely off from what it should have been.

The checks I deposited cleared and I covered the charges but the new charges on my account caused my account to overdraft again. I am divorced mother of 3 and have very limited resources and they have stolen my money! I will be writing reviews on every available website and newspaper until everyone knows not to bank with them...

They informed me that it is their policy and they are not willing to work with me even though I have been a customer for over 5 years... I have direct deposit so I will be losing my pay for this week and will then empty the account and open a new one at another bank or credit union because after my research today I have found that credit unions are the least likely to steal money from you.

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Citizens Bank PA - illegal practices and customer ripoff scams
By -

I worked for Citizens in PA for almost 2 years. **, the Bucks County Regional Manager, pushes OD fees EXACTLY as described in many posts. We were forced to open checking accounts that had excessive overdraft fees and monthly charges in order to ripoff the customers. Here's how: We had to open accounts, lying to the customers that the account has "no fees", and put specifically designed waivers on the accounts so that the customer doesn't realize the scam (the maximum waiver you could use was for 1 year)...

Then, when the waiver expires months later, the customers have their guard down and they don't obsess with every line on their statements, they get hit by monthly fees that will overdraw the account (as most people keep in their checking account only enough money to cover their checks - that's why it's called a CHECKING account). The overdraft fees will overdraw the account again and again and so will the checks you write believing that your account is still good.

I routinely had customers with hundreds of dollars in fees by the time they received their statement - we were specifically instructed to hit high school kids, college students and senior citizens. Another trick we had to use is open a "Gold" checking account to senior citizens who would come in and ask for a savings account by using a high interest rate as a carrot and not disclosing the fees (using the waivers as noted above). Problem is, that "Gold" checking account had a high-balance requirement and the poor people would be hit by unnecessary monthly fees a few months later...

And to add insult to injury we even had telemarketing days and evenings when we were forced to make telemarketing calls (disguised as "service calls" so that the bank circumvents the do-not-call registry laws). Not only these were clearly marketing calls (as suggested by the program feeding us the leads!!!) but also we had to open a number of checking accounts over the phone (the daily and weekly targets were set by Fran again, the Regional Manager).

If only homeland security knew how many checking accounts Citizens Bank routinely opens over the phone without proper identification or signatures... all the auditors have to do is go to any Bucks County branch towards the end of the day and ask for the signature cards of the checking accounts opened the SAME day to uncover the illegal practice (this way there is no time to mail the signature card and obtain backdated signatures)... Stay away from Citizens Bank in PA! I quit several years ago and I am still haunted about the things we had to do...

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Citizens Bank Rating:
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1.0 out of 5, based on 14 ratings and
92 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Citizens Bank
1 Citizens Plaza
Providence, RI 02903
401-456-7000 (ph)
401-456-7819 (fax)
www.citizensbank.com
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