ED Magedson – Founder
Citi CitibankPO BOX 653054 DALLAS, Texas United States of America
My Familys $52 Credit Rating Nightmare with Childrens Place and Citibank
Beware of Childrens Place and Citibank.
One Saturday afternoon, in early February 2010, my wife visited the Childrens Place to buy a dress for our 3-year daughter. We were attending a Bat mitzvah and the theme was New York City so we needed dress and our 3 year old only had hammy downs. She found the perfect dress and purchased it with her Childrens Place Citibank Credit Card. She had the card for a few years and never carried a balance. So she didnt fear and risk of using the card issued by Citibank through Childrens place.
Citibank did not have our correct address. She made a point of changing our address a few years earlier when we moved so she had no reason for concern. In May my wifes mother, who lives with us, was diagnosed with cancer and for the following 3 months, our family focused on the daily chemotherapy and radiation treatments.
On August 20, 2010 we finally received a bill for the $75 dress. There was an additional $146.37 in late fees added to the original balance. My wife called customer service to learn more about what had happened and what, if anything, she could do about it. The following series of conversations occurred August 20, the day we received our first bill.
My wife called the customer care and spoke with <customer service person A>. <Customer service person A> informed my wife was responsible for the full amount of the bill. My wife explained this was the first bill we received. <Customer service person A> told my wife all-previous bills were delivered on time and they to the correct address and suggested my wife was simply negligent. She went on to explain she could reduce the overall bill to $95 however that would go against her credit score. My wife was frantic. We have excellent credit so she was terrified. <Customer service person A> went on to offer settling the bill for $128.91 if she was worried about her credit. Frantic my wife agreed and provided our checking account routing number over the phone.
In tears, my wife called me to explain what happened. I called customer care to learn more. I spoke with a <Customer service person B>. I explained the situation and <Customer service person B> noted the account showed return to sender on all the previous statements. At this point she suggested call back with my checking account information and we could close the account for the original amount of $75.49.
I called back and spoke with <Customer service person C> who indicated there was no record of my call with <Customer service person B>. No problem, I explained the situation and he told me there was nothing he could do because the account had been settled for $128. He did confirm Citibank knew they had the wrong address but continued to send statements to the wrong address though July 17 when the account was automatically forwarded to collections, the address was checked and they updated their records. With the updated address they sent out the statement we ultimately received August 20., 2010. I asked to speak to his manager and he forwarded me to an escalation specialist.
I was now speaking with <Customer service person D>. <Customer service person D> confirmed notes regarding the timeline and the billing but went one step further declaring my wife personally called a month earlier and provided our correct address and therefore she know about the charges all along. Remember <Customer service person B>? Thats right, <Customer service person B> knew and confirmed the account automatically went into collections and that is when they finally checked the address. <Customer service person D> proceeded to hang up on me so I had to call back.
They were knowingly deceiving me and unwilling to help and unwilling to listen.
I called back and spoke with an escalation specialist. <Customer service person E> confirmed previous conversations but added, Citibank had been calling and leaving messages the whole time and we were negligent because we did not return their calls. That was interesting, because the number they had on file was disconnected when we moved. When you call it, there is a message suggesting you check the number and dial again. There is no way to leave a message. I told <Customer service person E>? I wanted to pay the balance and be done with it. At which point she notified me, by agreeing to pay the $128, I was confirming a settlement and it would count against my wife's credit. Remember <Customer service person A> who offered $95 then $128 if my wife was worried about her credit score?
Wow. I asked to speak with a manager. She asked me to hold for a second while she connected me and I was promptly hung up on again.
Of course Citibank and their affiliates, like Childrens Place, will never be a part of our lives again. I was assured the matter was settled. Well absorb the mark against our credit and the account is will be closed. I have little confidence that is over and I am genuinely concerned they will do this, or something worse, again.
Shame on you Citibank, Childrens Place, and your customer support staff.
I will be researching the impact this will have on our credit rating, our rights and our consumer protections if any. I am very interested in similar cases involving Citibank, Childrens Place and their customer support staff. Feel free to contact me with your own stories and by all means, DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH CITIBANK OR CHILDREN"S PLACE. They may knowingly damage your credit score for as little as $52.
Rick - Lansdale, PA
Rick - Lansdale, PA
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 08/20/2010 09:31 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Citi-Citibank/DALLAS-Texas-75265/Citi-Citibank-Did-not-provide-billing-statement-sent-account-in-collection-collected-char-633670. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.
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