FORT LAUDERDALE, FLORIDA -- I am currently living outside of the US for a short period of time, so naturally I kept my Citi card, which is a US issued card. It's great because I don't have to pay foreign transaction fees. What's inherently BAD is that any and every time I have an issue, it absolutely, positively is almost impossible to resolve overseas.
Recently my card was flagged for fraud and I had to have a new card sent to me. It took nearly 2 months to receive my card, all because it was virtually impossible to complete the verification process. Tell me how, as someone abroad, I am supposed to:
a) Receive a text message to my US cell which is disconnected - I'm living abroad.
b) Receive a phone call on my landline (in the US) when I am NOT there!
c) Have a relative receive a phone call on my behalf and then give me the instructions, when EVERY phone number I gave them, was rendered "not valid for Citi".
When I moved, I changed my address so Citi is fully aware of where I am based so I am completely puzzled as to why they can't find some other way to verify me. I have to wait nearly 3 weeks to receive a letter which contains a reference number that will complete the verification process.
ALSO. I finally received my card after nearly one month, and several 30 minute calls to Citi. They FedEx'd it to me, however I was not home to receive it, so they sent it back!!! To further add to my frustration, I had to go through their cumbersome verification process yet again, and another month later I received my card in hand.
It has been flagged YET again for fraud, and now for the third time in 3 months, I am going through this ordeal. They have blocked me from my online log-in so I can't even see why there is a block. Why do I not have access to managing my own online account?! Why can they not find additional ways to verify a customer, when they are abroad??? I am so done with this company. It's the worst.
S HACKENSACK, NEW JERSEY -- The company has failed to correct billing errors. This is the second problem in a series of problems with the Citi Cards company. I made a payment to my Citi Cards account ** via personal check in the amount of $5697.07. The account info was written correctly, and the check was in my name. I also called to follow-up & confirm that a check would be coming in the mail, and to deposit it to the correct account. The check was mailed on 9/28.
On 10/2, the check cleared from my bank account and my bank account balance reflected the deduction of $5697.07 from the check that I had written. However, there was no payment reflected on **. Additionally, I continued to accrue interest in the amount of $58.63 for that month. I called the bank on 10/17 and they informed me that they misplaced the check. They asked I mail them the copy of the cleared check. I did so on 10/17. I followed-up on 10/22 and the representative had no clue of any check that was supposed to be deposited, had no clue of any pending payments, and no idea that any of this had transpired so far. I had to start from scratch.
I spoke to an account supervisor that investigated and found that not only was the check misplaced, but so was the letter I sent them on 10/17. They said they found it in a stack of "lost items" - again everything was correctly labeled and clearly handwritten - Citi just simply lost it. The representative called me the following day asking me to fax them the copy of the check a third time, as they had lost it AGAIN. I faxed it and within the next 5 days, after daily phone calls, the credit was finally applied.
On a separate account **. A credit balance of $344.66 was present from 09/2012-12/2012. I requested a credit to my bank account on 11/21. No confirmation number was offered. By 12/5 the credit was not applied and I called Citi to check in and again they said the communication was "lost" and the transaction was "accidentally closed."
Change the Store Policy. I saw failures on multiple levels during the first credit card issue with Citi Bank on account **. It was resolved only after daily aggressive phone calls. In both cases, Citi representatives admitted the error was on their end. Thousands of dollars were out of my possession for over 1 month and this would have been indefinite had I not called AGAIN AND AGAIN. The public must be made aware that the current business practice of the Citi Card corporation requires customers to call multiple times to ensure that requests are completed. This is inexcusable.
The credit from ** is still pending. I still have no confirmation number. The complaint should remain open until I get the credit I submitted on 11/21. Somehow the public needs to be made aware of this business practice. Also, Citi should provide confirmation numbers to customers after ANY telephone transaction. Notations on customer accounts must also have confirmation numbers so they can be looked up quickly and not lost.
SIOUX FALLS, SOUTH DAKOTA -- I applied for the Citibank Advantage MasterCard which has a $450.00 annual fee and they provide you 100K advantage miles as long as you spend $10,000 on the card within 90 days. They also provide you a $200.00 statement credit. I applied for the card and have a credit alert on my credit report which states that any creditor must call my cell # before issuing credit.
I called Citibank to inquire on the status of my application on 5 different cards and they claimed I was denied due to them not verifying my phone #. I faxed them a copy of my cell phone statement indicating it was me, my driver's license #, a brokerage statement showing a $1M dollar account balance, and a pay stub. This was still not acceptable to Citibank credit card processing and I truly felt the people including supervisors were incompetent and some were rude. I told them where they could shove their credit card and will retain my Platinum American Express Card.
RALEIGH, NORTH CAROLINA -- In North Carolina there are over 700 open and active investigations at the Consumer Affairs Protection Division of the NC Attorney General Office. They cut credit lines on people even though their credit report and debt load has not changed and customers have never miss a payment.
Avoid this company - when I ask for a written explanation, I got a false form letter. They are just as bad as the Discover Card. I was able to pay off one account the day I got the email. My second account had a zero balance. I was sent over to Customer Retention where they offered to raise the limit on the zero balance card and reinstate the former line of credit. So how did I go to 'not worth' to 'more than worthy'? I closed both accounts, I hope this company gets investigated by the Federal Government.
Recently I attempted to purchase a new washer/dryer from my local Home Depot because they had 0% financing for card holders. I tried my card but was told the account had been CLOSED. No problem. I applied for credit again and was refused and was told I would be receiving a letter explaining why I was refused. Easy enough. Right Wrong.
The reason for refusal was sent to me with a bill showing a balance of $250.54 in addition to a letter from a collection agency. Upon a closer look I saw that the Late Fees & Interest for the Year totaled $250.14. I NEVER RECEIVED A STATEMENT or used the card this year. Now lets do the math. The difference between the fees/interest and the current balance is $0.40. Yes 40 cents. Citibank decided to accrue late fees and interest on 40 cents from the beginning of the year totaling over $250. The folks at Citibank are a BUNCH OF CROOKS. BEWARE!!!!!!! And check your statements carefully.
The latest trend in the credit card industry is to offer cards with no late fees. Credit card companies have done surveys and learned that people despise late fees. More credit card companies are sending out solicitations that scream, "No Late Fees". The latest and most prevalent offer of this type that we see heavily marketed in both print and TV media is the Citibank "Simplicity" Visa card which promotes "No Late fees as long as you make a purchase each month with the card".
What people do not realize is that instead of charging you late fees, the companies are hitting you with punitive interest rates if your payment is late by 1 minute or more. Therefore, you will immediately see your interest rate jump from 13 or 14 percent to about 30 or even 40 percent in some cases. You are automatically reported to the credit bureaus if you miss a payment so other creditors can now implement the Universal Default Rate. If you receive one of these offers in the mail, toss it immediately, as the offer is too good to be true.
Beware of Citibank's strategy behind this "No Late Fees" Visa. Here is what Citibank is trying to do to consumers to rope them in and hold them hostage since they are losing revenue and market share to home equity loans as consumers use their homes to get loans and dump their high interest rate credit cards.
Citibank's ad slogan goes something like "No late fees! Hey, look we know you're only human. No one is perfect. So why should you get stuck with late fees just because you're a few days late? Go ahead, pay late. No problem. We'll waive the $39 late fee." What does offering no late fees say to you? To me it says that paying on time is not critical and it's an invitation with permission to pay late.
In the fine print of this Simplicity MasterCard application, CitiBank makes it clear that to get your late fee waived you have to make at least one purchase or cash advance each billing period. Next "and this is huge" - even though late fees are waived for regular chargers, cardholders are subject to Citibank's punitive interest rate of 30.74 percent APR if they fail to make a payment to Citibank when due.
So let me reiterate: Citibank lures you in with promises of no late fees and implied permission to just go ahead and pay late but when you exercise your new feature that attracted you to this card in the first place, they bump you to 30.74% interest, report you to the credit bureaus and your credit score falls to depths unknown. They lure you in with a promise of no late fees and then when you take them up on the feature, they slap you down with an obscene interest rate. This is a complete bait-and-switch tactic and constitutes misrepresentation and potential fraud. I am going to have this investigate and will let everyone know what I find.
The ads promote the card with the slogan "Pay no late fees as long as you make a purchase each month with the card". The ad markets the card with the implied message "As long as I make one purchase a month with the card I can be late with my payment and not be penalized". Nowhere in the ads does Citibank disclose the punitive interest rate punishment if you pay late one time and how they will report you to the credit bureau.
Citibank wants the consumer to have this perception and not read the cardholder terms, as most people don't, because once you do pay late one time, then Citibank has ruined you and now has a customer who has no other options except to pay what they charge you.
You have now made a late payment based on the perception of the ad you saw and you did not read the cardholder terms before accepting and using the card. Citibank has placed you in default and your interest rate now jumps to 31% because the default rate is 24.99% plus prime if you make one late payment.
Citibank is also going to report you immediately to the credit bureau as late. Your FICO score now drops to a sub-prime level and you cannot get approved for another card so you can dump Citibank and transfer the balance because you have a late payment on your credit report. Citibank has won and they now have you where they want you so they can exploit you.
The moral to this is to not fall prey to Citibank's advertising and do not apply for this card because Citibank will ruin you if you do and it may be intentional, like posting your payment one day late so they can place you in default. Citibank's strategy is well thought out and most people will not see the hidden agenda that Citibank has planted with this card.
PENNSYLVANIA -- I've been a "Sears Best Customer" as they refer it for over 20 years due to the large amount of items purchased and the money I've spent there. I purchased a top-of-the-line Sears Elite side-by-side refrigerator with the additional warranty protection a little over 5 years ago. To try to make a long story shorter, this refrigerator was a lemon breaking down constantly, (with problems starting within the 1st year) especially parts that affect the refrigerators cooling abilities. Well, that's pretty important for a refrigerator. Over the years we have had to throw away enormous amounts of food.
My husband and I are both severely disabled and as I repeatedly told Sears, we can't chance eating dangerously warm foods with our conditions and weakened immune systems nor could we keep going through the whole stress and hassle of cleaning and re-stocking the refrigerator along with the expense. Besides this, it was evident that this expensive refrigerator was a lemon and we wanted it replaced.
For the past 4 1/2 years they refused a replacement stating that we didn't meet their qualifications for a replacement and insisted on continuing to repair it. This could go 2-3 weeks waiting for repair to come and investigate, their ordering the broken part, and another scheduled call to actually repair it. Imagine this happening
again and again.
Each time we requested a replacement (as we had a purchased extra protection agreement and Sears has their own satisfaction promises along with their own Lemon Law for customers), we were told we didn't meet the replacement requirements. Each time they told us the requirements, it changed (so to make sure we didn't meet their requirements)!
This last time it broke down (2 bad parts at once this time...including the same part that broke 3-4 other times effecting the cooling abilities), I had enough of this and again demanded a replacement as our added protection agreement would soon be over and we had a definite lemon on our hands. Again I was told we didn't qualify.
I got a call from a person wanting to sell me another protection agreement since our initial one would be ending soon. I found out from this person the actual requirements of Sears' Lemon Law. I was repeatedly lied to and had qualified years ago when I initially requested! Of course I got on the phone right away but was given their typical run around.
I had stopped payment as I felt I had no other way to get them to address this. When you pay for an expensive item (plus a pricey extra protection warranty service for it to boot) and you get junk, and not the service promised that you are entitled to, do you keep paying on it when they don't make it right and just ignore your complaint? No, you stop payment right? This is what those information TV specials tell you to do when you don't get what you are paying for.
Well stopping payment did get Sears to at least refer me to their "One Source" dept. which after going through the entire story again, including that I now do know their actual requirements for a replacement, I was told that indeed I had qualified a long time back for a replacement. I thought finally I was getting somewhere. They told me that I could pick a replacement but all the features had to match (this top of the line had sooo many different features).
After trying for hours online to search Sears' hundreds of refrigerators to match the same features, I gave up in bad pain from my condition and very frustrated. I called back and was told a specialist would call me back to assist with this. I never got the call. I called back and was told there was no record of this. I asked to speak to a manager and was told that the manager would call me back that day. No call back. This continued. I am now getting calls from Citibank who said that they own Sears credit and I owe them the money but they could not do anything about my complaint.
My complaint now was just not about the refrigerator as they charged extra fees and interest and I wanted this taken off. I was told that all my complaints had to go to Sears and not Citibank. When I would call Sears, they would say that they could not do anything and that I had to deal with Citibank. They played this game back and forth and I became very ill and stressed out with my condition worsened.
I was told at one point by a Citibank rep that I needed to write a dispute letter. I did this...3 times with the same run around! At this point they now have ruined my credit and I was told by a bank that I was turned down for their low interest offer to replace my higher mortgage loan due to my Sears credit card costing me thousands of dollars!
The other night while still in dispute, as I never received any verbal nor written info of the status of the dispute or any findings of investigation into (they never did investigate but only continued the run around), I got a call from a man representing himself as an attorney for my Sears bill. Into this call I questioned this from his behavior to me and he then said he was NCS, but would recommend to them that they take it to Legal.
I replied that I could do the same and then he tried to be insulting and with raising his voice and in a bully tone, trying to intimidate me, persisted in saying to me that I can't afford an attorney! How would he know?! He also called me a liar by persisting to say in an abusive manner that I had no purchase warranty agreement. He was arguing with anything that I said just to upset me which was even after I told him that I live in severe pain with my disabilities and that this whole thing has caused worsening of my condition.
I found some info that stated that the company is required by law to send you a written notice after an investigation of a dispute and that you had 10 days to reply before they could send you to a collection agency and before they could report you to the credit reporting agencies. Sears nor Citibank told me nor sent me any such notice. I couldn't even get them to address my dispute and the 3 dispute letters except that they
acknowledged getting them.
(I don't believe after everything that Citibank credit ever intended to address the issue and just wait until 6 months had past so they could say that their policy is that they automatically sell the account out no matter what after it has been in credit for 6 mo., and that they no longer will talk with me since it is owned now by some other company...which is what a Citibank supervisor told me today.)
Sears National Relations told me last night that, again, they could do nothing about my complaint and dispute since Sears doesn't deal with credit and that Citibank owns it. This still amazes me since I purchased it through Sears and before Sears sold my credit account to Citibank, I entered into a purchase agreement through Sears. But now that I have a complaint/dispute and refuse to continue to pay for until it is made right, they can just say it's not their problem since Citi bought my credit?!
But it doesn't stop there. Today Citibank Credit tells me that they sold my account to Sherman, a collection recovery co.! I asked how they were able to do that when this was in dispute with them and they have not sent me any notice or any info whatsoever on my dispute. I was told by this supervisor that dispute was not her dept. and that there was no one higher than her, adding "that will take your call" that you can talk to about it.
I asked what she meant by "that will take my call" and she would just repeat herself. I was told that nobody ever from Citibank would be talking to me about my dispute of this matter. How can they just decide to ignore a dispute and just sell it to a collection recovery company?! This is insane! I asked if this call was being recorded as I could hear an echo of my words. She replied that it could be. I told her that I wanted a copy. She told me that I could not have a copy nor could I have anyone legally get a copy for me since it was for quality control purposes.
Oh, I don't want to forget this...Just so you know, if you are suspicious that Citibank Credit is not answering your call because they don't want to deal with your call and making you unknowingly hold for nobody to answer, you are probably right. Today after giving my account number to the automated message request, I held for 34 minutes before I hung up. During this long hold, a message would state that the calls were being routed on a "priority basis" to the next available representative.
When I called back and did not put in my account number a message came on and said one moment please and someone came right on! This rep asked for my account number and after I gave it said he must've put it in wrong as no such number exists. When I gave it to him the 2nd time, he said that he'd have to transfer me to another dept. that was handling it and again I was put on ignore/hold and hung up after 5 min this time. So I again called the number and didn't give my account number again and sure enough I got right through to someone. This should not be allowed either!
I can't believe all that I've been forced to go through and how these nationally-known companies get away with their practices and ignoring of laws put in place for consumer protection! I found at these same info sites that penalties can be just $50.00 to a company for not complying. However it also stated that a "group" of people can result in a $500,000 penalty. I'm worried that I may have a difficult time finding an attorney for a relatively small disputed amount (except now for the added damage they have caused us) and a slap on the wrist penalty fee, but would be easier to find a good one if there are several others.
I appreciate anyone's sincere responses to my post and any help I can get from others knowledge or experience. I have no idea at this point how long this post ended up being or my spelling errors so please excuse. Thank you for being patient in reading it.
WEST VIRGINIA -- I moved from Sierra Madre, CA in May 2004 and filed a change of address with the Postal Service. My internet provider at the time was CompuServe. I notified CompuServe by letter, phone and email that I was closing my account and they had no further authorization to bill my credit card. In early December 2004 I received a call from Citibank collections stating that I owed Citibank $192.71 in late fees and for monthly charges on my internet account with CompuServe since June of 2004.
This was the first notification I had that CompuServe had continued to bill me since I had closed the account in May of 2004. The credit card had been cut up, as the only thing I used it for was to pay the online service. I informed Citi Bank that the charges were fraudulent. They stated they would send me an affidavit to be filled out and that it would be handled by their fraud department and billing disputes.
Since then I have received daily calls from their collection department demanding payment which is now at $222.31. I have informed their collection personnel that the matter has been turned over to their fraud department and to stop calling me. They continue to harass me on a daily basis with four calls alone today. One of their employees ** stated she didn't care if it was turned over to their fraud department, that they would continue to call me daily until the bill was paid.
When I received the first call from them in early December, I called CompuServe and informed them that they had no authority to charge my credit card as I had closed my account in May 2004. They advised that they would take care of it, which they have not done or I still wouldn't be having the problem with Citibank. In mid-December 2004 I completed their affidavit of fraud to all of the charges by CompuServe and prepared a letter of explanation that accompanied the affidavit that I mailed to them.
I have emailed them at universalcard.com on January 9, 2004 again explaining the situation and advising them to discontinue their harassment. They sent me a message back to call this number and I again end up with ** in collections. I am a senior citizen, disabled and any type of stress significantly aggravates my medical condition and Citibank and their employees are insuring that I get my daily dose of it.
I called the fraud department today to try to talk to a supervisor to complain about the harassment. I was told by ** after being on hold for some time that they were all on the line and someone would have to call me later. The charges are in dispute and I have complained that they were fraudulently charged against my account yet Citibank employees are continuing to use strong-arm tactics to get me to pay monies I don't owe. The $222.31 is chump change however, I have no intentions of paying for fraud committed against my account and Citibank and their employees have crossed over the line in their attempts at collection.
In addition, to add insult to injury, they raised my interest rate on all of my other accounts to the max because of late payments on an account I no longer use. When asked for this to be corrected, the customer service rep said they couldn't until the other matter was resolved. I'm very lucky that I don't carry any balance on my credit cards because they would certainly be making one heck of a profit. This is how they treat a loyal customer that has been with them for forty years or more and pays their bills on time.
SIOUX FALLS, ILLINOIS -- I just had an online conversation to get my extremely high interest rate of 22.99% reduced. Stay away from Citibank as far as you can. If you carry a balance on your card even when you pay as required and more they are not willing to reduce your interest rate from this unethical 22.99% (with a credit score in the 700s).