CONNECTICUT -- Opened 3 accounts. Real nice branch manager, he took the $.03 to open the 3 accounts and told me to set up online banking to fund the required minimum deposits. That's where the fun begins- Citizens daily transaction limit, across all accounts, is only 2500$ for online banking.
So I call the 800-number, get a great CSR, and ask her if she can do my transfers. Nope. Ask her if she can close the accounts because they'll incur fees if there's no transfer initiated by Monday. Well, she could, except the $.03 has to come out of each account. So I tell her, 'hang on' and go to transfer the money out. Nope. Citizens' minimum transaction amount is 10$.
I tell her I don't care about the $.03 (I'm laughing at this point, so is she). She just about busted a gut when I told her the $.03 came out of the branch manager's pocket. I'll see you in the morning, Citizens. Closing accounts before we ever got started together. Thank goodness after seeing some of the awful press n' reviews. It's too bad. I really wanted a local bank, but I don't have many options. Guess I'll stick to USAA for now.
MASSACHUSETTS -- Recently went to a teller at the bank and attempted to cash a check that was drawn on their bank (my paycheck). I had my I.D. in hand and was ready to provide. I was told that I had to be fingerprinted and pay $7.00. I was taken aback by this request and declined the transaction. Let me get this straight, the check was drawn on their bank, they are getting paid by the account holder to provide this service, I have to be fingerprinted as if I am being assumed as anything but legitimate? And pay $7 for it? My driver's license was not adequate?
FLINT, MICHIGAN -- Payments were always on time, the home equity note came due and the house value was below that of the mortgage amount. Citizens Bank decided to "fix the rate and term out the loan" raising the 3.25% rate to 8%. This increased my payments from $408/mo. to $1100/mo.
The amazing thing was my income was down about 70% (business closed down & I started a new job) and the bank "approved" my loan (terming the balloon note out). Citizens told me to apply for a "modification" but the bank who approved my loan restructure denied my modification!
** at Citizens told me if I wasn't happy with his decision I could take my business elsewhere, knowing fully you can't refinance a home equity underwater... The note is past due now and they take money out of my accounts to pay late fees and bring the account current, been a nightmare for me.
MASSACHUSETTS -- Big banks are notorious for charging hapless customers with their fees and charges. The second biggest bank in Massachusetts should be number one in this regard. The typical savings account with this bank with a deposit of $1000 takes more than 10 years to accrue 10 dollars in interest.
A typical ATM transaction in a non-Citizens Bank ATM for $100 has $4 foreign transaction fee + $3 balance inquiry fees + $3 withdrawal fees. So, customers get less than 0.5% in savings returns over 10 years and the bank gets 10% out of one single transaction. What kind of services these banks provide?
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I am a completely naive investor. I had many IRA CDs at Citizens. The investment officers called me up to talk about consolidating them. I thought this was a good idea, since it is hard to keep track of so many. I went in and they sat down with me and recommended an investment product of the bank's which sounded good to me. I had had a previous dealing with one of the men, so I trusted him. He had me sign several sheets, which I did without reading them. STUPID OF ME!!! But he knew I knew very little about investment matters. Then he slipped in a few more sheets into the stack and we were done.
A week later, when I got my first statement for that account, I found I had been charged over $2700 in fees! He never mentioned fees to me. Being a novice, I did not know to ask. I went right to the bundle of papers he sent me home with, and indeed on one of the sheets I did not have to sign, the fees were detailed. But since I trusted him, I was now out of $2700+. Of course I should have read everything before signing, but if you trust someone, you don't expect to be duped like that.
NEWTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- Citizens Bank is without a doubt the worst bank I have ever worked with. They have been charging me $7.95/month to allow my Intuit Quicken software to synchronize with it. I've never heard of that and neither have any of my friends. Further, they never warned me that there would be such a fee. And to top it off, it doesn't even work – Quicken always gets an error when it tries to synchronize so I actually disabled it.
After paying the false fee for ~5 months, I finally gave them a call. The person on the phone said they would escalate it to a manager to see if they could give a rebate. I didn't hear back from them for 2 weeks so I called back. This time, the person on the phone said the account doesn't show a records of the previous conversation so he put in a formal note into the system and again said they would escalate it. Still no word for 2 weeks so I called them a final time. This time the person said he sees a record of the previous record but the issue is still open... he promised either he or the manager would call me within 1 week. It's been 2 weeks and I never heard back from them.
Between the charging fees like thieves and handling customer complaints so poorly, I'll obviously cancel the account. But if you are reading this, I highly recommend that you don't bank with Citizens. I'm telling my friends the same. It's no wonder that these big banks are in such trouble and need us to bail them out (through the government and the fees!) Really amazing.
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA -- Tired of being robbed by a bank, if you use Citizens you're being robbed. They are making a fortune off of hard working people. If they charge $35 overdraft fee on 1000 people in a day that's $35000.00 they made in one day and we all know there are hundreds and thousands of people every day what a scam. Just this week alone they got me for $146.00 because of a dollar they got me for $34. By the time I checked my account I got two more overdraft because of the first one I've had it! I'm switching to TD bank. I hear good things about them!
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- Let me start by saying, I live in Florida and my parents live(d) in Vermont. My mother and father had a mortgage with Citizens Bank. My dad died 10/23/10 and my mother was in the hospital. I was in Vermont helping with things at that time. Citizens Bank called about payment, I explained the situation (and that my mother would be getting to her financial business when she got out of the hospital). I wrote the check out and had my mother sign it. All was right with the world again.
I returned to Florida in late November, but booked a flight back to Vermont, as my mother was still in the hospital when I left and I felt I needed to get Power of Attorney and take over her bills until she was better. Sadly, after having flown my mother down to Florida (with her money) so I could care for her in my home, my mother passed away 1/23/11. I had to return north to arrange for her funeral and start the paperwork to become executor to her estate.
I contacted the people that needed to be contacted and explained the situation. Everyone was understanding and sympathetic. However, the day after I contacted Citizens Bank a very rude woman called asking for, first my dad, and then my mom. It was Citizens Bank. I could not believe these people! Even after I told her the situation, she was coarse and rude. She told me to fax the death certificates and executor paperwork as soon as I was named.
After returning home, my sister, who lives down the road from my parents' house and stops in frequently, called to tell me on 2/25/2011 that Citizens Bank called and I needed to call them. I did and spoke at great length with **, who told me to fax both death certificates, my driver's license, my contact information, and a note asking what I can do to keep the account in good standing until the paperwork gets through the courts (how customer friendly is that!?!). I did all of that on 2/25/11.
Thankfully, I had received a check from my mother's insurance and was able to pay all the bills due (I am still waiting for the court to name me executor). I paid Citizens Bank's February payment (due the 10th) and March's payment on 3/4/2011.
Yesterday, 3/7/2011, I receive two letters from Citizens Bank, one addressed just to my dad and one addressed to both my parents demanding they contact them within 10 days of the date of letter (dated 2/28/11, mailed 3/1/11) or they would turn the account over to a collection agency! My mother and father never paid these people late and have $8000 in one of their local branches. It wasn't like this was a problem account...not to mention the fact that I had spoken to numerous people there explaining the situation AND faxed everything their employee asked me to fax!
Needless to say, I called them in a rage. I did not call the number on the threatening letter, as it is their Consumer Counseling Dept. and I did not need help with paying my bills...although I will probably need counseling after dealing with these inept buffoons. After dialing and connecting to their automated service, I had to put in my father's social security number so they could "better serve me," and waited for “the next available representative,” ** was finally available.
I told her I wanted to speak with a supervisor. She needed the account number I was calling about...thanks for serving me better. I gave it to her and she stated she would take a look at the account. I told her no, that I wanted to speak to a supervisor for the reasons listed above.
After some back and forth, she said she needed to connect me to the 'correct' department and asked what kind of loan it was dealing with (did she not just get the account number?!?)...I told her it was a mortgage. She transferred me to **...in the Customer Counseling Dept!
** requested the account number, which I gave her. I told her I didn't need to speak to someone about anything other than the fact that I had notified them numerous times over the phone of the situation and had even faxed over all the things listed above and now I just wanted to speak to someone about the threatening letters and ineptitude of their bank. We had a few more back and forth.
** then told me that they had received the faxed death certificates...to which I responded that “I knew that. That wasn't the point,” and that I wanted to speak to a supervisor about the things listed above. She then interrupted me to tell me they had received payment (which I had already told her I had paid with the insurance money); I again went over why I was calling and when she interrupted me the 3rd time, I finally screamed at her...asking her what part of, I know they received the death certificates and payments and that I just wanted to speak to a supervisor, did she not understand?!?
Finally, and very condescendingly, she agreed to get one; asking several times if I would mind being put on hold...each time I told her that would be fine as long as I would be speaking with a supervisor. After about 5 minutes, ** comes on the line and informs me that I have contacted the wrong department...to which I tell her, "No, one of your employees transferred me here!" She then tells me that this is the auto loan department (but, ** told me it was the Customer Counseling Dept?!?) and she would need to transfer me to the mortgage department and to please bear with her and she would supply me that number as well, in case I needed to call back.
She was stumbling over herself because she was lying through her teeth...and, after more hemming and hawing, starts to give me an 800 number, which I finished for her because it was the number I had called initially...she then ignored what I had said and asked to put me on hold to get the number.
When she came back to the phone, she gave me an 877 number (877-754-7366) and was mumbling something about everyone still thinks this department deals with all loans...an email had been sent out, but she guessed not everyone had read their email...to which I responded that that was why I was calling...information given to that bank seems to fall into a black hole. She then tells me she will transfer me to the correct department.
I'm on hold again waiting for, "The next available representative". Finally ** answers. She asks for the account number. I calmly give her the account number, my name, and that I'm calling about my deceased parent's account. I also inform her that I have already spoken to ** as well as numerous other employees on different occasions and I am just trying to talk to a supervisor.
She asks if I can verify who I am by giving her my home address, phone number, and last 4 of my social security. I tell her I have faxed all that information to them and she should be able to see my parent's death certificates and all the other things I faxed and to put a supervisor on the phone. She then says she would just like to get a few bits of... I finally just told her that I would contact my lawyer and hung up.
I have not dealt with one employee there that gave me the confidence I was dealing with a professional business. They are a waste of space and as soon as the executor paperwork comes through, we are paying off the mortgage and pulling all my parent's money out of their bank. I can only hope my parents insured the mortgage against their death...which might explain why they are so eager to put a loan that has been in outstanding status into a delinquent status for a payment 15 days late.
NASHUA, NEW HAMPSHIRE -- Summary of Experience: Branch customer service is good - but corporate office eventually ruins it. Placing your money with Citizens Bank is not a safe bet; e. g., my fiancée and I made a deposit worth thousands of dollars: this deposit was returned by no fault of ours. When the deposit was returned we were assessed a $10 fee, which we paid. We had also spoken extensively with our branch and phone banking service and made sure to correct the problem in less than 24 hours by depositing the returned amount in cash.
Despite this, the bank's "fraud" department closed our account - even after all the evidence of our acting in good faith to correct a problem we never caused. Our ChexSystems record is now soiled with an "account abuse" item based on an event which we addressed immediately and was not our fault - the branch gave up on helping us and succumbed to the corporate decision, which was based on partial information. Citizens Bank is as problematic as Bank of America. DO NOT OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH CITIZENS BANK.
Branch service is initially good - but eventually the corporate office will ruin it - quite unjustifiably too. The branch will make the effort to work with you and most other branches have friendly personnel too, but they struggle as mediators between customers they are trying to keep and a bank corporation eager to assess fees unfairly whenever it can. After many months of working well with us - and in some cases going out of their way to help us as customers - our account was closed by way of a unilateral decision on their part.
My fiancée and I deposited a check for thousands of dollars. This check was returned by no fault of ours. When it was returned we were assessed a $10 fee, which we paid despite not being responsible for the returned deposit check. Over the course of the next 24 hours my fiancée and I spoke repeatedly and consistently with branch employees as well as phone banking employees making sure to understand the repercussions of this returned deposit (to find out, for example, how payments coming out of our account would be affected, etc.).
We also spoke at length of how we could correct this issue immediately. Within 24 hours we re-deposited the money in CASH. We left the bank relieved that this problem was taken care of only to find out a couple of days later that Citizens Bank had frozen our funds - we could not withdraw a penny - and that the account was scheduled to be CLOSED. Shocked by this, we called the branch, the phone bank service, etc. and received conflicting feedback: everyone but the branch employees ascertained that the branch could correct the problem.
The branch insisted that they could not do anything and seemed eager to close the account and stop speaking to us - there was no intent to resolve an obvious misunderstanding. The corporate Citizens Bank office, specifically a "fraud" office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, had flagged our account as fraudulent simply because a deposit that we made was returned by the bank it came from. There was never any recognition of the effort we made immediately to resolve the matter nor did employees at the local branch acknowledge this effort.
At the corporate level no one ever accounted for our effort, in good faith, to fix the problem by depositing the cash amount the account was now missing due to the returned deposit. Citizens Bank has now soiled our ChexSystems record with an "account abuse" label - something that is most definitely not merited in this case. We had NEVER had a check deposit returned and we took care of the problem by replacing the returned deposit with an equal amount in cash within 24 hours.
When we spoke with the branch it was like speaking to completely different people - there was no human element whatsoever in their effort or conversation and we left baffled that the bank had made this decision, treated us like delinquents, and moved swiftly to clear us out of their system - all while damaging our ChexSystems record with an inaccurate picture of what happened and a partial account of the story.
DO NOT OPEN AN ACCOUNT WITH CITIZENS BANK - they are as problematic as Bank of America and by the admission of at least one employee we spoke to in the course of this event they are getting worse. The online banking system is also very deceiving - you will never really know what your accurate balance is because they take days and days to post items against your account: many of these items are hidden fees and this is most likely by design and meant to catapult you into a nightmare of fees.
For your sake and the sake of your hard-earned money, please don't feed this monster of a corporation. I am a pro-business, pro free-market conservative Republican and I can admit that this company has gotten out of hand in abuse – I cannot stand by their business practices. We should not have "account abuse" and fraud all over our ChexSystems: Citizens Bank should have that all over their customer reviews and ratings.
PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND -- On Monday evening May 18, 2009, while out of town, I knew I had to get to a computer to add funds to my account as I had several small debits coming in. I knew I had enough to cover 12 out of the 13 incoming debits. I unfortunately never got to a computer to transfer funds. BUT, what I did NOT realize until Tuesday morning is that Citizen's “practice” of debiting accounts is NOT, as I thought the smaller debits all paid first, or even as they are posted, BUT “intentionally” from LARGEST debit to smallest.
Now, when I called Citizens I was given the canned response that Citizens does this to “help the customer pay for their most important payments first”. WOW! Thanks Citizens for knowing so much about ME and what is important to ME! What a nice company, looking out for their customers… And, YOU'RE WELCOME for the SEVEN overdrafts which you just profited over $270 on.
And get this, on May 19, 2009 my last 8 debits were all under 10$ but of course didn't clear because Citizens overdraft system was sure to deplete the funds with all the higher debits FIRST. Resulting in SEVEN $39 overdrafts for debits under $10
Now, such a comment from Citizens is of course nonsense and we all know WHY Citizens has “designed” their overdraft system to post HIGH to LOW. At least while inquiring at Bank of America about the overdraft policy they were honest enough to admit the “real agenda” of banks employing this sleazy tactics was to increase their bottom line with overdraft profits.
And, I am sure it has added a nice revenues increase to your bottom line. But, I must say it is quite shameful that this “hidden tactic” is being employed against Citizens customers. I can assure you if most people were asked about this they would have no idea HOW the overdrafts policy works AGAINST Citizens customers. Unless, they get to read about such a scandalous experience it is pretty much a hidden policy. I am sure it must be buried in the checking account terms and condition in the 3pt font, somewhere on page 5.
And, to top it off before I knew what happened I charged $6.80 for Chinese food, but with Citizens $273 overdraft charges I was as a result $208 negative (because they charged my account and THEY made my account negative), they charged me ANOTHER $39 overdraft fee which would have cleared had they not charged my account $273. The scary issue here is probably 90% of Citizen Bank customers (and other Bank's customers) are unaware of the details of these seedy overdraft tactics.
I may have to bite the bullet and lose over $300, while I take time to move all my personal business accounts to a more reputable, respectable bank. But as Congress is just now debating the unethical fees being charged by credit card companies, I will do my part to make sure they are aware of, and hopefully also address these unethical “overdraft” practices. Is it illegal? Surprisingly no. Is it disgraceful, immoral, and shameful? Unquestionably! The days of personal relationships with your banker are OVER. It's just a computer program ready and waiting to suck your account dry with the slightest opportunity.