RIVERSIDE, RHODE ISLAND -- I have an ongoing problem with Citizens Bank gift cards. The bottom line is this: they cancelled my two active gift card before their expiration date, but they continued to charge me a monthly 'service charge' for these cards, cards which were no longer in service. When I complained, they refused to reimburse me for service charges on the out of service cards. Doesn't a service charge mean that you are paying for a service? If Citizens cancelled the service (i.e. use of the gift cards), how can the service fee continue to be charged?
I am just as angry about the very poor way I have been treated. Citizens could have made it easy to find out that the cards had been deactivated, but they did not. I used the card and it didn't go through at one business. Odd I thought, so I tried a second time, different place, a few weeks later. Still no luck. I went to the citizensbankgiftcard.com website, typed in my card info, and all looked fine (i.e. there was money on the cards).
Figuring my website verification might have activated something on my cards, a few weeks later I tried a purchase again, and still no luck. I tried the 800#. There was no option to talk to an operator, and pressing 0 did nothing, but I keyed in my card info, and the system said there was money on the cards. I shopped again. No luck again. Back to the 800# to do the optional card registration, figuring this might solve my problem. I was surprised that this option leads to a human operator, who told me that citizens had cancelled the cards.
I was sent checks for the card balance LESS card service charges. The 800# person gave me a Massachusetts Citizens bank address to write to for service charge reimbursement. I wrote. Citizens ignored my letter. They didn't even respond! Am I not worthy of a response? I emailed Citizens customer service. They said they couldn't help me, but gave me an address, this time in Atlanta, to send yet another letter to. I did so. Once again, I never got a response! I am pretty shocked at this. Is this the practice now, to just ignore letters from customers? I wrote to the places Citizens told me to write to, and they just ignored me.
I didn't give up though. I wrote to the head of Citizens at their Providence HQ and I actually, finally, got a response. It was a short letter saying that Citizens was just following service charge policy as outlined in the gift card rules they had attached to the letter. They presented no justification for charging a service charge for cards that they had taken out of service, nor did their gift card rules address this situation.
What I felt even more disappointed about was that Citizens HQ did not offer one word of apology for ignoring both of my previous letters, when I had sent those letters to the very people Citizens told me to contact in order to resolve this issue. Ignoring a customer letter once is bad enough, but twice is pretty rotten, and then failing to apologize when I told them about this says to me that the people at Citizens HQ care very little about their customers.
I know I share blame, as service charges don't start until the "13th month after issuance". I got the two $300 giftcards from my siblings. It was their way of thanking me for taking care of our 92 year-old mother as she needed 24/7 care, and my job had been outsourced to India, so I had time to do so. To be honest I felt guilty taking money from my siblings to take care of our mother so I just had a hard time using the gift cards. Weird, I know, but it didn't sit right with me. I did use one of the cards once, but after that I just put them aside.
I lost $45 in service charges ($2.50/mo for 9 months, on two cards). The 800# person told me that Citizens cancelled the cards on 6/3/2009, and I got my check, less service fees, in December 2009. Of the nine months of service fees, 3 months were while the card was active, and 6 months (June through December) are service charges on cards that had been put out of service. Those service fees bought me nothing but bad service!
They made it so difficult even to find out why my cards were suddenly not working, and they expect me to pay them service fees for all this aggravation. It is beyond belief to me that Citizens would, when I have repeatedly presented them with these facts, all the way up to the very top of the corporation, would not make things right. I am really very surprised how little they care about doing the right thing for their customers, and it is obvious that this poor attitude is prevalent at the very top of the corporate ladder. I am left to again ponder the question in Citizens online ads: “Is this how you define a good bank?”
I wish I had read these reviews before I gave them 15 years worth of Mortgage Interest. Let me start by stating that I was 18 when I opened my first checking account with Baybank (now Citizens Bank) and have had some issues in the past but not enough to make me leave. I married and my husband and I have had a joint checking account and savings with them for our entire 18 year marriage. We have direct deposit of our income and I use the online banking almost daily. We took out a home equity loan and then last year paid off this loan with a full mortgage refinancing through them.
Having the Home Equity load qualified me for gold checking with free checking and overdraft. Little did I know that CCO Mortgage (Citizens Bank) was 'not the same company' even though I went to their branch office and did all the paperwork off their letterhead. This means I was no longer a gold member but no one informed me of this. About 5 months ago, out of the blue, they started charging me $17.50 a month service fees. When I asked why, they stated the above and that I was no longer in "fee free" status.
Having used the Automatic payments on line to set up every bill I pay (to get the Green Fee Rewards), I requested my mortgage be withdrawn from my account on the 12th of the month, knowing that my paychecks would be in that day. They paid CCO Mortgage with a hard check mailing it out on the 10th and cashing said check on the 11th, a day early causing a $37 fee overdraft of my account.
They then proceeded to charge two additional fees of $37 for a total of $111 for a $5.95 debit and a $17 Debit because "They can clear all the day's charges in whatever order they wish." REALLY??? Bunch of rip off artists. When I called and told them that the check was requested to be withdrawn on the 12th I was told that they clear checks when requested and that the date on my check and/or the date of my automatic payment request mean nothing.
They do not take this into consideration and since this was not Fraud or a bank error, they would not consider reimbursing me any fees. I then asked about the $17.50 checking fee to see what they would say. I was told that I only needed to ask that my mortgage be tied into my checking and then I would be eligible once again for the free checking and the Gold Member (which has overdraft protection). So I asked why I was not given this automatically as a service without having to ask for it and was told that they do not offer it, only give it when requested but that she would reimburse me up to two months worth of fees or $35. BIG WHOOP.
I paid $17.50 for 6 months and was charged $111 and the supervisor acted as though she were doing me a favor by giving me the $35 back. What a joke this bank is not to mention the hours on the phone I spent talking reps and supervisors, all who gave me the same generic answer. One pimple faced kid "supervisor" even told me he knows how I feel. This was not the right thing to say to the recently unemployed mother of two who was just screwed out of several hundred dollars.
Boy did he get an earful for saying that! Sorry ** but perhaps you will not say that to another customer unless you truly do get it! I will be taking my business elsewhere to one of several smaller banks in my area who come highly recommended. No wonder why big banks are in trouble! Maybe everyone on this feed should consider filing a 93A Action against them to see who they feel getting charged triple damages like most of us have!
BENNINGTON, VERMONT -- On October 2, 2009 My Social Security Disability direct deposit hit my checking account. On this same day a check that was reported to be lost from my old landlord in March (which I replaced with a bank check) was cashed. I only found this out when I needed to get more insulin (I'm a type 1 diabetic and I have Secondary Progressive Multiple Sclerosis). Well I couldn't get my insulin because I my account was overdrawn. I called the automated system and found out that my old landlord had cashed this stale check.
I called claims and told them about it, and dealt with my local branch of citizens and the claim department. I was charged $681 dollars for bouncing the checks that I had out there, and for being over drawn. They would not even refund me the money for my insulin. Now this all happened 5 weeks ago, and I got smart today and called the Bennington VT Citizens and asked them there policy on cashing a stale dated check, I was told that they wouldn't cash a stale dated check at all, if it was over 6 months old it would not be cashed. This customer service representative even checked with other tellers and was told the same thing.
So now I called the claims department figuring that I was actually helping them out. I was told that someone else was now handling my claim. When I spoke to him he told me that he couldn't tell me anything because he had just received a letter from the OCC today that I had filed weeks ago, and I would have to wait until the middle of next week for his letter to get to me. I was so mad. Now all of this stress has caused me to go into an acute flair with my MS and then I had a reaction to the Solu-medrol and was hospitalized for three days (just got out today).
Well I decided to call back the Bennington VT Citizens for some more clarification. I spoke with the branch manager and he actually told me that he knew the person who cashed the check (MY old landlord that I have not rented from in 3 months I might add). So I asked him if he cashed the check himself and he said no he didn't. I told him what his teller told me about not excepting a stale check, and he told me she was new at her job, so she wouldn't know all of the rules, well apparently all of their tellers are new, because she verified her information with the other tellers and they all said that they would not honor a stale check especially a stale check that was a starter check.
Funny how the Branch manager can contradict what his own personnel say and do. SOMETHING FUNNY GOING ON HERE! Well needless to say this check has caused me a lot of trouble. I have had 2 trips to the ER, 4 new medications, and then I had 3 days of Intense Solu-Medrul infusions, including having a bad reaction to the first round.
I'm not even out of the flair yet, so more is probably on the way the beginning of next week, not to mention the infusions wreak havoc on the diabetes and kidneys. So far this fiasco has caused me over $8900 in hospital fees in addition to the money that the bank has charged me. But I still can't get over how the Bank Manager in Bennington VT knows my old landlord, and knew to tell him that he could cash the check, and he would look the other way.
I wouldn't do business with this bank. Their commercials show them going out of their way for there customers, but I find that they go out of their way to make money everywhere they can, even if it means taking advantage of the disabled, and basically stealing their Social Security Disability funds that are supposed to be used for housing and feeding their families. DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH CITIZENS BANK. THEY WILL ONLY STEAL YOUR MONEY ANYWAY THEY CAN. PLEASE THINK TWICE!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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?
the bank came to as acceptible a resolution as they could offer.
NEW BEDFORD, MASSACHUSETTS -- I have a checking account with you (**) and in 1 year alone you've charged me over 1500.00 in overdraft charges and sustained overdraft fees. I demand you refund all my fees within 72 hours, not 2 months like last time. As you know Citizens Bank has a class action suit against you for exorbitant fee charges. Please respond immediately. I can be reached at **.
You chose to do nothing and leave me to be responsible for the charges which is UNACCEPTABLE. I opted out of overdraft coverage MANY TIMES, the most recent being JULY 2013 and ** said he would monitor my account to make sure I didn't opt into overdraft coverage which I NEVER did and ** did not monitor the account as he said he would. Since July 2012, Citizens has charged me over 1500.00 in overdraft fees, what's the point in opting out if you're going to charge me anyway.
One time, recently, Citizens charged me over 100.00 (overdraft and sustained overdraft) for a 1.29 charge to iTunes which put my account in the red be less than. 75 cents. After my last letter of 2/1/13 I finally got a callback 2/7/13 and was told the only solution is put limits on my account. Why should I be penalized for your mistakes?
I'm on disability so one overdraft charge of 37.00 is like 137.00 to me. Just because I'm disabled physically doesn't mean I'm disabled mentally. I'm smarter than most people give me credit for. In fact when I graduated college it was in nursing with High Honors. Not only am I smart but I'm very persistent, particularly when I'm being messed with, like now.
I have tried to deal with just Citizens but now I'm going to send this to the media, and put it in my blog. I'm also going to seek a lawyer regarding this. Just because you are a big company with a lot of money doesn't mean you can screw the little guy without ramifications, as the recent class action suit against you proved. Of which you settled to pay 137.5 millions small potatoes when you stole billions from customers.
If you think "stole" is too strong of a word think of it like this, if someone came in your bank demanding money, wielding guns and wearing a ski mask, that would be considered stealing, your bank is essentially doing the same thing minus the guns and ski mask. If you're looking for a bank, avoid them like the plague and if you already have an acct. w/ them RUN.