Citibank really, really, really sucks!!!

Stereodude

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Well, Citibank is officially on my crap list. I'm so very, very, very close to cancelling my Costco Visa that is through these clowns.

They are apparently incapable of providing me a statement for my card. I called them over 2 weeks ago in an attempt to find out where my statement was. Apparently they took it upon themselves to change my address to something else without any input from me and my statement disappeared into the ether. They told me they would sent out a duplicate statement to the correct address. I called yesterday to follow up where it was. They told me duplicate statements take 10-14 days. Well, yesterday was the 14th day and I still didn't get it. This is the first statement for the account and without it I can't set up online bill pay.

So I setup online access to get my statement, which of course requires you to set up the three incredibly insecure security questions. Supposedly you can download a PDF of your online statement. It shows the option, but there aren't any PDFs to download. I've tried it on multiple computers with multiple browsers with even with adblocking disabled and scripting fully allowed and there are no PDF's available for download. I can download QFX, QIF, CSV, OFX, and custom delimited. Of course none of which have the information I need.

The bill is due in 4 days and I have no way to set them up in my online bill pay and I will not allow money to be automatically withdrawn from my bank account. I will push money from the account, but not allow it to be pulled.

I called Citibank to complain about the lack of the PDFs in their online account section, and was disconnected as the guy was explaining why the PDF wasn't available. He was starting to explain that they're dynamically made and because my account was only made today statements...

I'd cancel the card today in a second if it wasn't going to lose my near $250 in rewards I've already earned.
 

ddrueding

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Someone else changing the address is the first step in many hack/fraud schemes. Even if you feel fraud is unlikely, I imagine their fraud department is more responsive.
 

Stereodude

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Someone else changing the address is the first step in many hack/fraud schemes. Even if you feel fraud is unlikely, I imagine their fraud department is more responsive.
Except it's not in this case. They apparently are tied into the Postal Service's mail forwarding database somehow. So when my ex-wife had her mail forwarded it updated the address on the account because Citi thought I had moved. Of course I can't substantiate this, it's just speculation on my part. Citibank can't explain to me why the address changed. They say they have no record of the change.

My ex-wife has gotten 3 copies of my statement including one yesterday though. I can't get one. Duplicate statements apparently keep getting mailed to her because they just reprint them and my correction of the address was after the statement close date. She's been shredding them so I can't get it from her.
 
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Stereodude

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So I wasted more time on the phone with Citi today. The PDF statement isn't available in my online account because I didn't have an online account when the statement was generated. There's a way to request it, which I did, but it may take 24-48 hours before it becomes available.
 

jtr1962

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She's been shredding them so I can't get it from her.
Why? That strikes me as pretty vindictive. My sister wasn't exactly on great terms when she split (i.e. she was seriously considering my offer to put her ex in a dumpster), but she still forwarded him his mail.
 

Stereodude

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Why? That strikes me as pretty vindictive. My sister wasn't exactly on great terms when she split (i.e. she was seriously considering my offer to put her ex in a dumpster), but she still forwarded him his mail.
Well, she's the one who moved out and I kept the house. I'm guessing she doesn't want me to know where she's really living and since the statements have her actual address on them, not the address she told me, she's shredding them. Of course I already have that address, but whatever...
 

jtr1962

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Hey, I'm seeing a pattern here. My sister's ex moved out too, and she kept the house.

Your predicament makes me glad I have no business with Citibank, not that Chase is anything to write home about, either.
 

mubs

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For the last 10 odd years, whenever I open a bank account or cc, I explicitly make sure that they don;t send any paper to my physical address. I won't deal with anyone that will not send me statements etc. by email. I'm very good with sorting soft copies and storing them appropriately and backing them up, but suck donkey's balls when it comes to paper. besides address change issues are now more for the record rather than to get paper statements. This is also true for investments we've made.

It's 2016, and it's incredible that jokers like Citibank not only exist, but are flourishing. Trust me, Citi is not the exception to the rule.
 

ddrueding

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Bank of America allows everything to be electronic, and their mobile app is decent. I'm not 100% happy, but it seems to be a better alternative.

Fidelity, not so much. But I am happy with the trading fees.
 

Stereodude

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It's a Christmas in August Miracle. I was finally able to obtain a PDF of my statement today. It turns out I didn't actually need it to setup online bill pay since the payment address wasn't needed, but whatever... They'll get their payment tomorrow before the bill is due.
 

Stereodude

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Why don't you get your ex to submit an address change....to your address.
She's off the account. The address on the account is my address. Apparently it wasn't for some amount of time, and no one can tell me how that happened.
 

snowhiker

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Well, Citibank is officially on my crap list. I'm so very, very, very close to cancelling my Costco Visa that is through these clowns.

All bank, phone, and cable companies suck. Some suck slightly more/less than others but they all suck. Sorry to hear of your troubles.

The bill is due in 4 days and I have no way to set them up in my online bill pay and I will not allow money to be automatically withdrawn from my bank account. I will push money from the account, but not allow it to be pulled.

This. 1000 times this. I agree 1000% DO NOT EVER setup automatic withdrawals from a checking/debit account.

She's been shredding them so I can't get it from her.

Why? That strikes me as pretty vindictive.

Shredding mail isn't the nicest thing to do, but not the worse either. I'd rather have an ex shred documents than post them to the internet.

For the last 10 odd years, whenever I open a bank account or cc, I explicitly make sure that they don;t send any paper to my physical address.

I'm the opposite. I never, ever "go paperless." I'm more worried about bank shenanigans than I'm worried about identify theft. I want a paper record.

It's a Christmas in August Miracle. I was finally able to obtain a PDF of my statement today. It turns out I didn't actually need it to setup online bill pay since the payment address wasn't needed, but whatever... They'll get their payment tomorrow before the bill is due.

Glad you finally got what you needed. It's these minor "pain-in-the-ass" moments that lower our quality of life. Thanks again big bank for you "customer service."
 

jtr1962

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This. 1000 times this. I agree 1000% DO NOT EVER setup automatic withdrawals from a checking/debit account.
Yep. It's bad enough if you do this with a credit card or maybe a utility bill but I knew someone who did this with a student loan of all things. Student loans are managed by companies who apparently feel it's OK to sell the loan off to someone else, but when they do this they add a collection fee so they can profit off it. Moreover, it seems it's legal to do this as many times as they want. This is how someone who defaults on a $25K loan when they graduate ends up owing $75K a few years later. Anyway, the poor person ended up having their entire $30K savings account emptied because of shenanigans like this. They thought they owed only $12K and were making $200 monthly payments when they set up automatic payments from their checking account. Unfortunately, one time they forgot to transfer money to the checking account. It turns out the loan went into default due to the one missed payment, ended up getting sold to another lender with 25% added to the balance owed (they call this a rehabilitation loan). Because the checking account didn't have enough to cover the payments on the new loan, it was sold again, with yet another 25% added to the balance. This went on a few times before some nasty letters made them aware of what was going on. To prevent it from happening again, they set up overdraft protection from their savings account. Big mistake. By then the balance was well over $35K and because the loan was technically in default, the creditor was entitled to seize payment in full. There went their $30K life savings. To add insult to injury, the person ended up getting their wages garnished for the remaining $5K or so. They actually ended up paying something like $8K total to finally wipe out that debt. So thanks to a predatory student loan system and automatic payments, a $12K debt ended up costing north of $38K. Even worse is that this person easily was making the monthly payments. It wasn't as if hardship forced them into default.

My understanding is something similar could happen if you link an account to cover a debit card. If there isn't enough in the primary account the debit card is set up with, then you'll get dinged with overdraft fees even if the other account has enough to cover the transaction.

Moral of the story-avoid automatic withdrawals and debit cards altogether.
 

Stereodude

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This. 1000 times this. I agree 1000% DO NOT EVER setup automatic withdrawals from a checking/debit account.
I had a former coworker who had all sorts of problems with companies borrowing significant amounts of money from his account for short periods of time causing other payments to bounce due to insufficient funds. He couldn't get satisfactory answers from them as to what they were doing. After seeing his problems I swore I'd never allow anyone automatic withdrawal privileges from my accounts.

Like they would withdraw $1k in the morning and put it back in the evening.
 

mubs

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I've never, ever, trusted automatic payments. I'd rather pay manually. Too many moral-less sharks out there.
 

ddrueding

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BofA lets me set up auto pay with limits, I have mine set to not pay and alert me if:

1. More than one is attempted per month
2. The bill is more than 20% over the average for that bill.
3. The bill is over a hard limit I've set.

Never had the issues ya'll talk about.
 

Clocker

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The only automatic payments I have are for my cable, and utilities, and cell phone but those are charged to my cash back credit card, not a checking account. Been doing it for about 20 years now without a single issue.

I pay the credit cards online but I manually have to go to the CC site, review the charges and then initiate the debit from my checking account.
 

snowhiker

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The only automatic payments I have are for my cable, and utilities, and cell phone but those are charged to my cash back credit card, not a checking account. Been doing it for about 20 years now without a single issue.

I pay the credit cards online but I manually have to go to the CC site, review the charges and then initiate the debit from my checking account.

That's a sensible way to pay those bills Clocker. Plus the cash back is a bonus. Not all utilities allow CCs for payments because the CC companies take a cut and/or charge fees.
 

jtr1962

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Divorce rates and generally unhappy marriages are why I'm tempted to send a sympathy card when people I know are getting married.
 

snowhiker

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It seems like Divorce really, really, really sucks!!! :(

Although, in my parents case, NOT getting a divorce can suck even more. Should have gotten divorced 20 years before they did. Would have been better for everyone involved, especially me and sister.
 

Mercutio

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I have a Chase Amazon Rewards Visa. They lowered the reward levels today. I used to get 5% back on Amazon purchases, which is fantastic since I buy a lot of stuff that gets reimbursed or is billable somehow. Now it's just 3%. Goddammitsomuch.
 

Clocker

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Amazon actually has an incentive to keep us on their credit card (they don't have to pay the fees to the other CC companies) so maybe the 5% will last longer than you think. If they take it away I will just switch to my Citi Double Cash (2% cash back) and they'll end up losing on the deal.

I really do hate the Citi website though. When I go into the website to initiate withdrawl from my checking account,it just doesn't work with Chrome. I have to use IE (have not tried Firefox) to be able to pay the bill.
 

sechs

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Except it's not in this case. They apparently are tied into the Postal Service's mail forwarding database somehow. So when my ex-wife had her mail forwarded it updated the address on the account because Citi thought I had moved. Of course I can't substantiate this, it's just speculation on my part. Citibank can't explain to me why the address changed. They say they have no record of the change.

My ex-wife has gotten 3 copies of my statement including one yesterday though. I can't get one. Duplicate statements apparently keep getting mailed to her because they just reprint them and my correction of the address was after the statement close date. She's been shredding them so I can't get it from her.
If Citi requested address correction, the USPS will give them a new address.

Were the statements addressed to you or her? If they're addressed to you, it may be mail fraud to destroy them rather than returning them to sender.
 

Stereodude

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So I got to go through this again. Citi automatically updated the address on my Costco Visa to my ex-wife's address for the 2nd time. This time I got a bit further in finding out the why than I did the first time. Unfortunately, I ended in the 8th circle of hell. Citi blames USPS for incorrect information in the National Change of Address database, and the USPS swears up and down it's not their fault, that the information in the database is correct applying only to my ex-wife marked as an individual change, and that Citi is to blame for incorrectly applying it to my account. They're both pointing the finger at each other, and neither could offer me a solution. Citi couldn't lock my account to override the automated address changes or do anything to stop it. USPS said everything was correct in the system and they can't do anything.

So, I made my own solution and no longer have a Costco Visa. I lost ~$333 in rewards, but I just don't care. The other Citi credit card I have will be cancelled shortly as well.

I'm going to give Costco a piece of my mind about their piss poor choice of credit card partner next time I'm there too.

FWIW, I tend to believe USPS not Citi since none of my other mail is affected and only one of my Citi backed cards was affected. Citi couldn't explain why one only one of my credit card accounts was affected and not others, but insisted it was the Post Office's fault. :smack:

If Citi requested address correction, the USPS will give them a new address.
It seems Citi runs their customer's addresses through the NCOA database once a month and updates customer accounts automatically if the system flags a customer's address as out of date.
 

LunarMist

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Yeah, it's better to cancel and then apply for a new card.
 

LunarMist

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There are plenty of cards. I didn't necessarily mean the same one. :)
 

Stereodude

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Citi sent me an e-mail survey asking how they did. Needless to say they didn't get above the lowest possible score.
 

Tannin

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A number of comments come to mind, not all of them very helpful.

(1) If a bank - a bloody bank for the love of Mike! - changed my address without my explicit instructions to do so, I'd go ballistic!

(2) If in doubt, go into an actual branch and hand the problem over to the first human you see. Be polite, smile, stay there until they sort it out for you. They will. This method has never failed me. (Mind you, none of them was Citibank.)

(3) This is an obvious case to take straight to the Banking Industry Ombudsman. That would get it sorted out in no time at all, Err ... except that in the USA you probably don't have one. Get a better government.

(4) I must be mistaken. Last time I glanced at a calendar I thought the date had moved on into the 21st Century already. Paper statements are so 1982. (I have ... oh I don't know, maybe half a dozen bank accounts spread across three different banks, and I could look at (or if I wish, print out) a statement for any of those accounts, from any location, using any platform (PC, Mac, Android tablet, iPhone, whatever) in less than 30 seconds. (Well, a bit longer for a smart phone, given that I'd have to go down the street and buy one first, but you get what I mean.) And I'm the one that is notorious around this forum for being a terrible stick-in-mud luddite!

(5) Citi can't give you a PDF for some dumber-than-dumb reason not known to anyone (and unless I miss my guess) especially not them, but among other things they are offering you a CSV. Why not use it? CSV is falling-off-a-log easy to read, and a statement is a statement, yes? Just so long as you can see the numbers, the format surely doesn't matter. Simply open the CSV with a spreadsheet (any spreadsheet made since about 1980 should be able to open a CSV, Open Office, Excel, anything at all) or if you can't be bothered installing a spreadsheet, you can just open it with Notepad and, with a little mental effort, read it from there.

(6) Even Citi should be able to show you a list of transactions in the normal way, so anything you need to know you can find out from that.

(7) A friend opened an account with a giant American bank recently, which will remain nameless because I forget which one it was. Almost certainly it was Citi 'coz I can't think of any other giant American banks which do business over here. We thought it was a good idea because they offered fairly decent interest rates and, being from America - the country which practically invented great customer service as a way of doing business (say what you like about the USA, American companies are very, very good at customer service) - the web site would obviously be well-designed, easy to use, and very practical. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. It was appalling! Not just the worst, most difficult bank site I have ever seen, it was one of the worst web sites of any sort I had ever seen. For starters, you couldn't use anything except Internet Explorer. Firefox, Opera, Chrome ... forget it. IE or walk to your nearest branch. (Seeing that they don't actually have any branches in Australia, only a head office to administer the on-line operation, you'd have to walk to Sydney and swim the rest of the way. If you miss Hawaii, you could always just swim a bit further and probably find California or at least Mexico.) Even using IE, it was unbearably bad to operate and downright failed at several simple, common tasks. (Can't remember which ones, but we weren't trying to do rocket science, just normal banking stuff.) Plus it took about 5 minutes of sustained concentration to log in, using assorted stupidities such as the name of your grandmother's cat. After about three months and numerous phone calls to support just to do basic stuff, my friend decided that it was just too hard and closed the account. (Her money, and we are not talking small change here, now lives in a Dutch bank which works like any other bank I ever heard of, which is to say normally and without the slightest fuss.) Does this dreadful service sound like Citibank to you?
 

snowhiker

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Banks are like a long row of port-a-shitters at a monster truck rally. You may get lucky and find a good one to use, this time, but eventually that same shitter will be filled with projectile shit everywhere and will be a nightmare to deal with. There are no good banks, cable companies, phone companies, etc. If shitting on you makes them money, well guess what....you are going to be shat on.
 

Tannin

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Actually, there are good banks, at least in Australia, and provided you accept two limitations on the term "good".

(1) You will pay quite a lot in fees and get lousy interest.
(2) You are doing ordinary banking - savings and transaction accounts, credit cards, merchant accounts to take EFTPOS cards, stuff like that. Do not, repeat not, trust any Australian bank with your super, or take investment advice or products from it. You will get creamed. not "might", will. Just stick with orthodox banking products and don't let them get their grubby hands on your super or your life savings. Invest those elsewhere.

The Commonwealth Bank (CBA) which I mostly bank with is outstanding. Yes, they charge me too bloody much, but they virtually never make mistakes, they always tell me exactly what my rights and obligations are, their on-line platform is excellent in all respects, their staff are unfailingly polite, helpful and clued-up, they answer the telephone when I ring (I hardly ever have to), and do whatever it is I need promptly and cheerfully. Out of 10, I'd give them 9 and a half - and I'm a very hard marker. The other three main banks, well I always reckon Westpac is a bit hit and miss, NAB is very good, can't say much about ANZ.

The price you pay for this, all things considered, very good service, is .... well, it's the price. The bleed you with fees. The big four Oz banks make fantastic profits year in and year out. You pay for it. They are the biggest companies on the Australian share market - between them they are about half the entire value of the ASX 100 - and their huge dividends are what everyone relies on to pay their superannuation.

Other banks trying to get a toehold in the market have to think of ways to specialise in some niche or other. You can't just take on the Big Four head-on. No hope. Not even for giants like HSBC, Citibank or Deutsche Bank, none of which has managed to establish a meaningful presence here in banking. Rabo (the big Dutch one) specialises in agricultural lending and pays much better interest on term deposits without having any actual branches, for example. The regional banks (mostly former building societies and co-ops) do quite well and have actual branches but only make half the return on equity the big 4 manage. Some of the multinational giants do OK with their stockbroking arms, but not in retail banking.

It's all a bit weird, actually. Costs us a fortune. But in the end, I can ring up the bank tomorrow and ask for anything within reason and they will only too pleased to do it for me. promptly, efficiently, cheerfully - and of course profitably.
 
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