To All Concerned:
We are requesting help from both inside and outside Citibank from the CEO of the company to the Citibank ethics department, our state and federal congressmen and senators, state and federal consumer protection bureau, the better business bureau, Citibank shareholders, the Harvard Business Association, the mayor of Cambridge and the Cambridge City Council and both local and national news outlets to help bring attention to this issue.
Earlier this year, I was paying a visit to my local Citibank branch in Harvard square. In a conversation with the branch manager, we were discussing bank fees and he happened to point out to me that I was paying an extra 20.00 per month fee on my personal account. He informed me that since I also carried a business account at Citibank, I was eligible for free personal checking from when I established this account back in June of 2010 and would not be liable for this charge as long as I maintained a business account. To this point, the manager offered to reimburse me a 3 month refund of this 20.00 fee. I asked him if I was eligible for the entire 30 months of this 20.00 fee to be reimbursed and he said he did not have the authority to go back that far, but I could call the number on the card to discuss this.
A few months later, while reviewing my bank statements for the year while preparing my taxes, I noticed numerous fraudulent charges on my account. While my husband and I had thought his wallet was misplaced somewhere in the house, we discovered in fact that someone else had it and was changing to it fraudulently. When I called the number on the back of my card to bring this to their attention they were cooperative and helpful in giving me a provisional credit for these changes. Additionally, they (without my asking) offered to also credit back all overdraft charges between the period of September 16th and December 24th.
In addition to these charges, I had also noticed earlier in the month charges on my account that had been made over the internet from vendors I had previously done business with but were no longer using and they in turn were changing me for services that were not given or authorized. Again, the service professionals from the card phone number were expedient and helpful in resolving these issues.
Based on all of these problems, my husband and I took it upon ourselves to very diligently go over all of our statements for the last two years to make sure that additional activity was not missed as it seemed much unknown or unrecognized fraud was being done on our account. So far, all fraudulent activity has been addressed by Citibank except for a charge from ancestry.com on 11/23/11 which they are claiming is too old to rectify.
Lastly, based on my conversation with the bank manger mentioned at the beginning of this email, I was told by the customer service representative via phone that I was in fact entitled to a refund for each of the 20.00 charges incurred on my personal account over the 30 months since my personal account was established along with my business account. Due to the fact that we were unable to make phone contact with the local bank manager after several attempts over a week and a half, my husband was finally able to make contact with him.
During my call earlier in the evening with the office of the CEO customer relations, I was told that there was now resolution to my complaint and that there was 'good new and bad news.'
He told me the good news was that they would be able to refund us the +/- the 600.00 owed for the error in charges to our personal account but the bad news was that we were no longer welcome as Citibank customers. When I pressed him for a specific reason, he just said that the relationship was no longer amicable.
Later, Rich spoke with the local bank manager at Harvard Square in Cambridge MA (where we had originally set up our account) and the bank manager had a different story. He stated that they had no intention of refunding us the 600.00 and that he also mentioned that the office of the CEO was involved in the decision to no longer keep us as a customer, contrary to we had been told in our prior conversation with them. When I pressed them about who actually made the decision, their response was 'no comment.'
We would like to resolve this matter and as promised have the personal fees credited back to our account along with the fraudulent charge from ancestry.com on 11/23/11.
It is obvious that the institution of Citibank is penalizing us by withholding money owed to us due to their own errors and covering this up by blaming us and accusing us of conducting a non-amicable relationship with the bank when in fact, we have politely and respectfully sought only to resolve this matter with anyone who would listen and hear our issues on the phone.
Therefore, we are using this opportunity to share our story and reach out to others who are interested in hearing it and who had similar experiences to prevent this from happening to others in the future.
Although I cannot state this with certainty, but my opinion is that as our bank account balance has lessened over the last three years due to financial hardship, the bank is no longer interested in keeping us as a customer as we have no funds for them to float and make invest outside the bank.