Friday, March 28, 2008

Citibank Cards = Poor Customer Service

In today's mail, I received an incredibly unprofessional letter from my friends at Citibank. According to the notorious customer service representative "S. Larsen," they "would like to assist me; however, your request is not clear. Please send a signed letter detailing how we may help you." With the exception of my account number, the letter contained no other information. It doesn't say what prompted their letter or what or even how I requested their assistance.

With no information to go on and having little idea what the letter was about, I was forced to contact customer service (Thankfully, I had my card with me because S. Larsen didn't think providing a contact number was a good idea).

When I finally reached a CSR, I was informed the letter was generated after my request to transfer available credit limits from my American Airlines Card (which I rarely use) to my Driver's Edge Card (which I often use) had been rejected. When I asked how my request was "not clear," she admitted my request was quite clear and the letter was not an appropriate response to my request.

When I asked why my request was rejected, she informed me that the Driver's Edge account had an available 0% balance transfer on it and "company policy" precluded making my requested change. Of course, I responded by saying I did not request, need or plan to use the balance transfer and asked that it be removed. After she gave me an idiotic story about how it was impossible to remove the balance transfer offer and do what I asked, I got a supervisor on the line and got the request completed.

Bottom Line:

  1. Citibank sent a letter to a customer (and shareholder) that conveyed little or no useful information. What little information it did convey was incorrect.
  2. Citibank failed to comply with a request from a customer (and shareholder) to do something that had little or no cost to Citibank, but would have met the customers' needs.
  3. They had a CSR answer the phone with no clue about actual company policy or how to assist a customer.
  4. They wasted at least 30 minutes of CSR and manager time (and my time) dealing with a request for no particular reason. Including overhead, it probably cost Citibank $10-15 to handle my call.

Wonder why my stock price has gone down?

BTW = professional correspondence from a top-notch company is often mailed in an envelope addressed by hand and with the return addressed affixed by a stick on label created on a dot matrix printer. My plow guy sends correspondence on more professionally prepared envelopes.

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