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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...

Imposing Excessive Overdraft Fees
By -

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- It's beyond me how they continually get away with these practices of re-shuffling balances and postings to justify charging more fees. Just recently they have done again. On June 1st, my balance was a positive actual and a positive available. I then proceed to make an ATM withdrawal, and even after my balances were still reflected as positive.

The next day, after 3 transactions, and mind you they were all posted and still reflected positive balances... They charge me $117, for what they are saying is (3) negative transactions, because my card had been run through for authorization, which in turn caused the last three transactions to be negative available balances. Then 24 hours later, the post the transaction from the previous days authorization and charge me another $39.

When I called to talk to customer service, they gave me an explanation that still has my head spinning. They said that on June 1st when the card was run through for authorization, the pull that amount of money out and hold it for that pending transaction, which in turn, cause those other (3) transactions to be negative, therefore assessing me $117 for the fees. But yet, 24 hours later, they post the transaction that they said they pulled the money for previously, and charged another $39. But if they pulled the money previously and it was available at that time, why am I being charged?

They contradicted themselves when I called to inquire and they won't refund me any fees, they say it's bank policy and I am the one that should keep better track of my account. It's a rip-off and then they structure the transactions to justify it.
Steer clear of this bank... They will rip you off every chance they get, and even when you think you've got it figured in, they will manipulate the transactions and justify they're ripping you off.

Kroger Is Worse Than Juniper
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SEATTLE, WASHINGTON -- I just opened a Juniper account and now find all the complaints here...scary. But "RBS Credit Card Services" dba Kroger Personal Finances, Kroger Master Card, Fred Meyer Master Card, (and probably more) burned me worse than any of the reports I see here about Juniper. In particular their brochure and application invited "Free Transfer From Other Credit Cards" and "No Interest for Nine Months." But it was/is all a crock.

Not only did they levy multiple "transfer fees" against me as-of the very first DAY, they reneged on the "no interest" for the transferred balances AND on PURCHASES in THEIR OWN stores (Fred Meyer) PLUS have increased the RATE of interest every single month since I transferred from the "Higher" (12% card) to their "promised" "0% for 9 months." I got stuck for transfer fees plus have had interest raised every single month since day one (September 2006). Interest of last statement was about 65%: "minimum finance charge".

I tried to report them to local Consumer Protection (State of Washington) but got nowhere. I did report them repeatedly to the BBB in the states they're registered (CT, RI), and yesterday suddenly MY Credit Report shows about a dozen alleged "delinquencies" (according to HSBC Master Card) -- But I get brushed-off by Experian etc every time I try to get a copy of that alleged "Credit Report" - In violation of several state and federal laws.

I paid "Kroger Personal Finances" off COMPLETELY in December 2006 but am still (February 2007) being "accessed interest on interest" (on the "0% advances") -- Although I was never late for a single payment since I got the card. And Kroger Personal Finance is still sending me blank checks imprinted "0% interest" in the same envelopes as the +60% "interest on interest" billing statements.

Citizens Bank Are Just Paid Thieves
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

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.

Stay away from Financing/Refinancing with Citizens Bank Nighmare/Fiasco
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- My husband and I are middle aged citizens and we're trying to refinance our home with my husband working full time and me as a part time worker were offered by Citizens bank a refinancing option to our current home. Since we maintained accounts with Citizens bank, we trusted their offer and began the loan processing in July, 2012. I've to let the world know that it was nothing but a nightmare process and now after six months still they didn't close the loan and we lost the deposit $450.00. Citizens Bank's loan dept literally taken us for a ride.

We've submitted all the long list of documents within two weeks of the initial processing. Then started following up... 2, 4, 6, 8, 12 weeks passed by... After 4 months they started asking the same documents we've submitted earlier... We're helpless and the worst part about this was, there was no explanation from the Citizens Bank side, why it took so long for responding and queries, and what they were doing with our files. For them, the customer satisfaction has no value in it.

We did not understand how such a huge mistake could have happened. Almost six months later they started requesting the same documents and other list of verification again... We kept on requesting them really humbly to stop this processing fiasco and refund our hard earned $450.00. The Citizens Bank simply replied NO...

We lost our deposit money as well as 4+ months of reduced monthly mortgage payment. The Citizens Bank dragged us to this nightmare went with no remorse or apology. It's hard to imagine such bank can do to the long standing customers. If you are considering Refinancing/Financing loan with Citizen Mortgage, our humble request to run away from them and don't ended up a prey like us. Please stay away from them for loan purposes.

Processing Transactions on a Closed Account
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

HALIFAX, MASSACHUSETTS -- I opened 2 checking accounts and an IRA with Citizens Bank in Halifax, MA. Over the past few years, the mistakes had gotten to the point where I had to check my personal account as well as my business account to find the errors made, call the bank, and have them corrected. Long story short, I ended up closing my accounts, and going with another bank.

I received a call a few days ago from Citizen's Bank regarding some charges that were processed (against my CLOSED account) and was told I would have to visit the local branch, which I did today. I explained the situation to the robot behind the counter, who simply kept repeating, "when you have a pre authorized debit set up, we honor it." Apparently, the changes to my new bank information from PayPal did not 'go through' and they went to Citizen's for payment.

I had a credit submitted for a returned product on the same day I closed my checking account, so, without telling me, Citizens re-opened my account and started processing transactions against my overdraft protection. When I explained that I had closed the account, I got the same answer repeatedly about the "pre-authorized" debits. As I explained to the teller, I wouldn't "authorize" a transaction on a CLOSED account because that would be FRAUD.

I have to contact the "manager" tomorrow to see what he says, but this has been an exercise in frustration, to say the least. To have a bank re-open a closed account, instead of sending notification to the companies looking for payment that the account was CLOSED, is ludicrous, and almost seems illegal. If anyone can advise just WHO oversees banks, and their operations, I would be very appreciative to know that information. In the meantime, STAY AS FAR AWAY FROM CITIZENS BANK AS YOU CAN. Go with a local Credit Union, or anywhere else!!!

They Billed Me for .07 Cents!
StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarBy -
Rating: 1/51

PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- I had made a payment of $8000 towards my Citizens Bank credit card. Shortly after that payment I mailed what I thought would be my last payment - $265.00 using First Class USPS mail. The $265 payment was $1.43 more than the balance I owed on my statement. My payment was mailed in plenty of time before the due date!

I waited two weeks then checked online and noticed the bank still hadn't processed my payment. So I called and was told they hadn't received my check! The representative I spoke with blamed the post office then advised me to wait another week. I did. In fact more than a week went by then I finally noticed my payment had been processed!

Two weeks later I received a statement in the mail from Citizens Bank regarding my credit card account. The statement said the account had been closed. It listed the previous balance ($263.57), the payment I had made ($265.00), no interest fee, but an unexplained fee of $1.50.

Since I had paid $265.00 on the previous payment and the balance at that time was $263.57 the difference was 07 cents owed after the unexplained $1.50 fee! The statement also stated "If we do not receive your minimum payment by the date listed above, you may have to pay a late fee of up to $39.00 and your APRs may be increased up to the Penalty APR of 29.99%."

I mailed a check to them the next day using Return Receipt this time to have proof of mailing! If Citizens Bank takes another three weeks to process and post 7 cents to my account I will contact the proper authorities to file a complaint! I've grown tired of Citizens Bank fees, their ways of delaying payments, and them diming me to death!

Deceptive Business Practices
By -

CRANSTON, RHODE ISLAND -- Citizens bank convinced me to use their Platinum credit card. My complaint requires some basic understanding of how credit reporting and credit worthiness works. I had the card along with others for almost 3 years and used it often with a $30,000 credit limit. I never missed a payment and had nearly an 800 credit score.

My issue started when I had charged $16,000. I paid off $12,000 in 6 months, leaving a balance of just under $4,000. One payment was paid late due to an admitted error with Citizens Bank Checking. An admitted error! After paying off $12,000 of $16,000 in 6 months, the late payment which was 1 day late caused Citizens Bank to "re-evaluate" my credit worthiness.

Why was it one day late you may ask? I pay everything two months in advance to avoid missing anything. After years of this policy, I had this one slip through though - it was an admitted mistake by the bank. The Citizens Credit Department took my available credit and adjusted it from 30,000 to less than the balanced owed. This effectively did three things...lowered my available credit, increased my debt to credit ratio and reported a major account as being overdrafted. This in effect triggered a cascade effect with all other creditors who effectively did the same.

Over the course of 10 days my score went from near perfect to really bad. To be fair to this forum and process, I had made a purchase of a home two years prior but my credit score had rebounded by the time this incident took place. Citizens Bank response when I informed them that it was illegal to lower a credit limit to below an amount owed was to keep charging me late and overdraft fees until the balance was lower.

The kicker is if you close the account...your score drops even more. The really funny part is when you call the bank, they completely remove themselves from any affiliation with the Credit Card division and forgo any responsibility whatsoever. I took my money out and put it in a local credit union. Not only did they give me a better rate on a car, they are just so pleasant to deal with. Final thought... that commercial where they open a door for a customer is B.S.! It has happened several times where I show up 5 minutes early and the guy states "I cannot open, it's a security issue!" Go figure.

Good Riddance
By -

I am in the process of leaving Citizens Bank. I was a customer at a local bank 20 or so years ago. It was acquired by another bank, which was in turn acquired by Citizens Bank. So I don't know exactly how long I've been a Citizen's Bank customer, but it's been years. When I opened my account, I arranged for an overdraft line of credit. When you go below 0, it automatically credits you the money, and you pay it back, just like a credit card. I only use it at Christmas time and vacation time and it's always paid back in a month or two. Yes, I could use a credit card instead but to me this is easier.

Citizens Bank is now charging $10 each day that there's a transaction to use the line of credit. This service used to cost nothing. It costs the bank absolutely nothing to provide – it's an automated transaction. In fact, they get to charge a high interest rate to people using it.

When I went in to talk to a Citizens Bank employee about this, she had a condescending attitude, which is pretty much the attitude I've received any time I've had a problem with them. She acted like the bank did me a huge favor to loan me the money. WRONG. It's no different than a credit card, and I have excellent credit, with credit offers in the mail every day. I'm paying them quite the interest rate as I borrow the money.

Right after my experience at Citizens Bank, I headed to my local credit union and opened a checking account with overdraft line of credit. I asked them about their service fee for using the overdraft line of credit – and of course, it's ZERO -- all you pay is the interest. By the end of the month, once checks have cleared and automatic payments have been redirected, I'll be out of Citizens Bank completely. Good riddance.

Citizen's Bank... Should be Closed Down!
By -

After all these years with them they do this!? Paid incredibly ridiculous overdraft fees, even when it wasn't my fault. I signed up for a "FREE" checking account. They charged me a dollar for reviewing my account at an ATM which put me about 60 cents overdrawn on the next check that went through.

Recently after complaining about the "NEW" fees that were going to be charged to my "FREE" checking account, my account was closed, without my permission and that was even after telling them I "still had a check out..." and automatic withdrawals for the gym and my insurance not knowing my account was closed all hell broke loose and now cost me $500.00 off my limit on a credit card for being late with a payment because I had no bank account to make my usual payment with. Then I had to wait for the money to be returned to me via the USPS.

ALSO in the West Springfield branch I was running late and the, I believe, the bank manager was there, was getting Spanish lessons from another teller leaving me standing there with a look of disgust on my face. They saw my impatients and my frustration and continued their little word game.

Asked how my day was when I finally got to the teller. I replied, "LATE!" and was then greeted with a "TSK" and rolled eyes, from a snotty teller and was informed I could have used the ATM. I explained. I need to put the money in so I could avoid bouncing a check and paying ridiculous overdraft fees. The mouth (I believe, manager) replied, "That's TOO BAD" so sarcastically. I left before I said another word.

I have NOT been back to that branch and have stopped shopping at that Stop & Shop since that altercation. He should be fired! I owned a business for almost 10 years and have been in retail ALL my adult life. Had a loan through them which I paid off early and when I complained, I was at the bank in a Stop & Shop (in Holyoke). I never swore, raised my voice or anything, all I said was, "This is how you treat people after 10 years of loyal service?"

I NEVER treated a customer like this, NEVER!!! I will be looking into filing a lawsuit and joining the class action suit against them. If Stop & Shop was smart they'd start proceeds to get rid of this bank. I like Stop & Shop but will no longer do any business with them unless it's out of the comfort of saving gas and/or being avoidable... except W. Spfld. I will never shop there again!

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Citizens Bank Rating:
Star Empty star Empty star Empty star Empty star
1.0 out of 5, based on 15 ratings and
93 reviews & complaints.
Contact Information:
Citizens Bank
1 Citizens Plaza
Providence, RI 02903
401-456-7000 (ph)
401-456-7819 (fax)
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