Nov
30
2009

  Smoke & Mirrors At Citibank

So here's what the jokers at citibank have done for me lately:

First they tell me I'll make 1.2% interest if I transfer over more money to an existing account of mine. Great, I say, transfer over $x.

Weeks later, I am shocked to see the balance in my original account was unchanged, so I called to find out was the problem. It turns out the transfered 1/10th of the $x I requested, which was a small enough balance I didn't notice it. Good grief.

While I was on the phone with them tracing down THAT error, a woman asked if there was anything else she could do for me. I said not unless she could get me a better savings rate. She checked, then came back and said I could earn 1.3% if I opened a new account. Great, I say, transfer over $x. The helpful phone clerk also set me up with some fancy account for people with high minimum balances. Fine, I say, whatever.

This time, the idiots over there couldn't even transfer ANY amount, so two weeks later (today) I get a call that they need the other bank's information again. I ask what the rate is NOW, knowing they change rates all the time.

Not only is the rate not 1.3%, it's .5%. Wow. Glad I asked. I lit into today's clerk about how their inability to transfer funds cheated me out of half a month's good interest. I was transferred round and round.

The first guy I talked to couldn't handle the problem and immediately transferred me to a personal banker. This lady said she did see that certain accounts could earn 1.3% interest, but only in certain states, not in VA where my accounts are located. The rate she showed for that account is 1.0%. I said in that case, I was misled into transferring money to your bank, stop the transfer since I don't want to open the account.

So I was transferred to a second woman, who said she'd stop the transfer. Then I got transferred back to personal banking, where I got a third woman. I asked to get rid of the fancy account designation since I wasn't going to keep a high balance in citibank after all, and requested to go back to the type of checking account I had before the ill-fated phone call two weeks ago. She decided to check into my situation first, didn't see anything that had 1.3% interest so said the original woman I talked to was wrong when she told me the two-weeks-ago phone woman made a mistake about the states. Whatever, I say, I don't believe any of you at this point, just downgrade my account back to the way it was. But this woman could not do that, she had to transfer me to a supervisor.

So now I'm on the phone with the supervisor, about an hour after I got on the phone with them this morning. I ask to be downgraded, "why?" she asks. I tell her because a representative of her bank convinced me to transfer money to citibank under false pretenses, but due to the incompetence of other bank employees, the money never got transferred so all is well. Except that the account upgrade that requires a high minimum balance DID go through, and I no longer intend to keep a high balance. So I want her to put my account back to the way it used to be.

Then she tells me she can't. They no longer provide the kind of checking account I had, I was grandfathered in. And there is no comparable account offered. So, although I was misled into switching account types under false pretenses, they can't fix my account to the way it used to be before the deceptive clerk messed it up.

Great.

The silver lining is that I am now motivated to do some cash management, and I'll start with managing my cash right out of citibank to a bank with better rates. Since who knows WHAT rates citibank is offering now, each person on the phone offered me a different "best" rate. None of them very good.