I hate Citi Cards
GRRRRRRRRR. When are credit card companies going to truly be held accountable for the kind of shady practices they do?
I just got off the phone with Citi cards because late last night I noticed a charge for this stupid “credit protector” program that I thought I’d canceled. I never wanted to sign up for it in the first place, but when I had first activated my card, some customer service rep forced it on me. So I canceled (or so I thought) the program either the same day I got the plan materials which Citi insisted get snail-mailed to me, or the next day. And whomever I talked to led me to believe that I had successfully canceled out of the plan, after he/she (don’t remember) spouted a whole bunch of retention BS to get me to reconsider. Before I did a balance transfer onto the card, I called customer service (this was a month or so ago) to verify that I WAS NOT enrolled in the program because the fees are $.85 per $100 of balance. That customer rep claimed that I was not enrolled in the program, but tried to send me crap in the mail about it again! I emphatically told her a few times I did not want the materials mailed to me, nor do I want to be enrolled in the plan. She finally relented. Later, I made the balance transfer. (I know all of this balance transfer stuff is bad news, but whatever.)
Fast forward to last night when I saw the fee assessed. Well, I was about to bite someone’s head off, but since it was so late, I waited to call until this morning. It started out innocently. The customer rep who answered said she couldn’t process the cancelation, but gave me a number for the credit protector jockeys before she transferred my call, just in case she accidentally messed up the transfer, nice of her to do. The second rep I talked to, because I called the program “payment protector” instead of “credit protector”, decided to transfer me back to a normal customer rep since there were questions about which programs I was enrolled in. Well, customer rep #3 was a bit bewildered by what I relayed about what #2 said, because #2 told me there actually was a “payment protector” plan and it was different from the “credit protector” plan. #3 told me there was NO “payment protector” plan and proceeded to give me the schpiel about what the “credit protector” plan was (as if I hadn’t already heard this crap 10 million times before!). So after he realized that I’m trying to cancel the “credit protector” plan and get a refund for the stupid fee they charged, he transferred me back to a credit protector rep (but at least was apologetic about that).
Rep #4 asked, after having me confirm my name, address, and phone number for the 4th time, what I didn’t like about the credit protector plan. I said that I never wanted it to begin with and canceled it the day I got the plan materials in the mail. He said that he saw no record of me contacting anyone to cancel the credit protector plan. I told him that while I have no way of proving it since I never got any kind of confirmation number, I called to cancel the plan the day I got the materials in the mail. He claimed (which I think now is complete BS) that perhaps the cancelation was not processed because I called within the first 7 days of being enrolled, and Citi could not process any cancelations within the first 7 days. I countered that the rep I talked to months ago led me to believe that I had successfully canceled the plan enrollment. So who’s lying here, #4 or the other customer rep who claimed he/she had canceled the plan for me?
Anyway, I pushed and said that I don’t want the plan, please cancel it, and I’d appreciate it if I could get a refund for the fee that was assessed. He then launched into a schpiel about how Citi would “owe me money” if anyone in my household had some certain “life events”. I said nothing like that had happened. Then he pushed this other protector plan that has lower rates. I listened to all of his scripts — delivered in an unpolished, jerky manner, BTW — because I figured he’s just doing his job, and he might be more inclined to process my refund. Who knows if this will turn out to work in my favor?
What really pissed me off (even more), was that when he pushed this other protector plan, his script lines claimed that I can get a 30-day free trial where I receive the materials in the mail, and if any time during the 30 days I am not satisfied, I can call and get my money back for any fees that are charged. Does this sound familiar at all? Oh, really, I can call AT ANY TIME DURING THE 30 DAYS to cancel? Even within the first 7 days after receiving the plan materials, which #4 claimed was some kind of blackout period during which I couldn’t cancel the plan? Well, I basically said that this was what happened with the first protector plan, and what did it get me (not in so many words)? A lot of grief trying to cancel something I thought was already canceled, that’s what! After my mini-rant, which was still pretty civil I might add, he FINALLY mumbled through his line to say that he would be processing my cancelation, and I should have a nice day. I interrupted him before he was about to hang up to ask if I was going to get a refund at all, or if the money was lost to me. He blathered something about how I’ll either get the fee credited to my account in 10 business days, or get a letter in the mail in 30 days (to tell me they’re not refunding the fee?). At that point I just coldly said, “Okay, thanks,” and hung up. We’ll see if any of this takes, or if I’m going to have to friggin’ call Citi again.
I know I’m not supposed to have a balance on my credit card(s), and yadda, yadda, yadda, but geeze, isn’t it enough that credit card companies already have outrageous finance charges and interest rates, especially if you happen to pay late (which apparently they “help” you do sometimes, by shifting your due date around without you knowing), even by one day? I can’t imagine that creditors are doing so badly that they have to push these stupid “protector plans” on you and sneak in other charges like this, causing people to have to waste time calling, sitting through the seemingly endless barrage of “but wait, here’s an alternative plan for you” scripts, until the rep finally processes the cancelation. This is just greedy, malicious, and fraudulent to claim that a cancelation was processed when it wasn’t. I had heard bad things about Citi, but only now do I fully believe the “rumors”. And the sad thing is, aside from smaller credit unions, and niche creditors, like those for military families, NONE of the major creditors are really good. They all push this same crap. So really, I basically hate all major credit card companies, not just Citi. I just wanted to call Citi out specifically for this stupendously awful crap I just had to deal with. >:P