• Report: #649713

Complaint Review: Citifinancial

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  • Submitted: Mon, October 11, 2010
  • Updated: Wed, October 13, 2010

  • Reported By: cheated — New York New York United States of America
Citifinancial
Internet United States of America

Citifinancial Scammed me to the tune of $750, Internet

*Consumer Comment: I am still a little torn...

*Consumer Comment: accrued interest

*Author of original report: citifinancial scammed me

*Author of original report: Citifinancial scammed me

*Consumer Comment: A Perfect Case...

*Consumer Comment: Having a little trouble understanding..

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Citifinancial engages in an (apparently) legal financial scam that, in my case, worked like this:

As I bought about $2,000 of appliances, the salesman practically got down on his knees begging me to take out a Citifinancial card, and charge it there. I didn't need to, but shrugged, accepting his pleas to take "one-year of interest free finance."

Every month Citi sent a "zero payment due" statement.

The month the bill was due, the bank intentionally skipped sending that statement.

It instead sent a statement the subsequent month, demanding a year of back interest at  25 percent retroactive interest fee, amounting to about $700.

I protested to Citi, and, naturally, my protests were rebuffed -- as this was not an accident, but plainly a act of intentional and systematic theft.

I sent a letter of protest to our attorney general -- now New York gubernatorial candidate Andrew Cuomo -- and received no answer.

Left with no alternative, I paid the $700, and sent an angry letter of protest to the Citicorp board. I again received no answer.

I have lifelong pristine credit, carry no debt other than my mortgage, and have a master's degree in economics. This incident, and my inability to get redress for such an injustice, has infuriated me to no end.

As a result, I have ended all my financial relationships with Citicorp -- for life. I've also warned several thousand friends and relatives to steer clear. I hope I've singlehandedly cost Citi $10 or $15 million.

Very happy to see that it's collapsing at last -- it couldn't happen soon enough.

If an attorney would like to take this up as a class action suit, or use me as a test case in this or other instances of scam financiers, I'd be more than happy to assist. 

--Cheated



This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 10/11/2010 02:32 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Citifinancial/internet/Citifinancial-Scammed-me-to-the-tune-of-750-Internet-649713. 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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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
2Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Comment

I am still a little torn...

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

..I would actually not be too surprised that a financial institution would pull something like this in hopes the customer makes a late payment. I mean everyone should be aware that a no interest deal is great....that is until you miss a payment and you get slammed with all the interest.

But at the same time I am surprised someone with a Masters degree in economics..or even a high school degree would think it is okay to purchase a product..and not investigate why month after month statements are arriving that have a zero payment due. I mean how long did you expect this to go on before you would have to start paying?..regardless of the zero interest? One does have to take that into consideration.

I have noticed sometimes when I open a new CC account, that the first statement will sometimes have zero due. But I always call them anyhow and ask when will the first payment be due. Why do I do this? Because I am not going to trust them, the mail, or the billing system to care about my credit rating, interest rates, or late fees. An old saying goes "I may have been born at night, but not last night". Would I be pissed off of this happened to me? Heck yeah..so I don't let it happen.

You can try to fight or dispute this..I am not sure of the laws regarding billing errors or loss in mail..which you know is what Citi will claim..but personally I don't think it looks too good.
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#2 Consumer Comment

accrued interest

AUTHOR: coast - (USA)

Read the original financial agreement. Does it state that interest will be accrued from the date of the agreement if the principal is not paid off within one year?
Yes.

Did the Citi rep tell you that when you protested?
Yes.

Did you fail to mention that in your review?
Yes.

Should someone with a master's degree in economics know about accrued interest instead of calling it "back interest"?
Yes.

Is this a scam?
No.
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#3 Author of original report

citifinancial scammed me

AUTHOR: cheated - (USA)

If I recall, I filed a complaint with the FTC as well. It was acknowledged, but I was informed of no further action.

What's needed is a law preventing this type of financial abuse. 
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#4 Author of original report

Citifinancial scammed me

AUTHOR: cheated - (United States of America)

No, that was per the terms of "a year of no-interest payments." I presumed the "zero balance due" statements were being sent simply to show that there was no payment due yet. Credit card companies typically operate this way.


For example, in April, I bought the appliances, and Citi began sending such statements in May. I received similar statements in June, July, August, etc. I awaited the bill with the amount due and the correct payoff date -- I carry no credit card balances, and this was my first (and fortunately last) experience with such a business -- but that month was skipped. They are counting on you not figuring out exactly when to pay the amount due.



It's a scam, not a mystery or an accident.



I also, by the way, stopped doing business with that appliance shop, and warned several hundred friends and associates away from it, costing them potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars in sales.



In subsequent years, buying furniture or other big-ticket items elsewhere, and receiving similar urgent pitches for Citifinancial signup at the register, I would tell this story, and the salesmen would laugh guiltily. They all know about the scam; the shops apparently get kickbacks. 



This is a terrific potential class action suit.



I'm delighted that Citifinancial is disintegrating -- what goes around comes around - but Citicorp should be forced to refund consumers for it's many years of deception and theft. 



With penalty, of course. I would suggest 25%, retroactively.
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#5 Consumer Comment

A Perfect Case...

AUTHOR: Bman - (United States of America)

Please this is a perfect case to consider writing a complaint and sending to this agency:



http://www.ftc.gov/reports/index.htm





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#6 Consumer Comment

Having a little trouble understanding..

AUTHOR: Ronny g - (USA)

Granted I do not have a masters in economics, but I certainly know the difference between "interest free" and "payment free".

Weren't you curious why you were receiving statements with zero payment due?

I do agree if this was an error or intent on the banks part to screw you it should be investigated..but I would have been on the phone to them right away..not waiting months for this disaster to happen. I would have asked them simply "why are my statements informing me zero payment is due when the appliance is not free?"
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