Citibank - No Good deed goes unpunished
I informed the Bank that I would be traveling to Spain this past summer (2015) (though I bought the airline tickets using my card so they should have known that already) and triple checked they had the dates right.I paid off the balance on the card in full after confirming that there were no transaction fees or adjustments made to the exchange rate in using the card abroad.
They asked me in advance what I intended on purchasing while in Spain (why, I have no idea) - I told them a rental car and two hotels which I couldn't pre-pay as for anything else I had no idea. When I arrived to Spain I tried to get my rental car and my card has declined. It took me four hours to settle this by calling the bank using my cell phone - collect calls can only be made from a pay phone and there are none in Spain. By the time I received why car I missed the opportunity (the only one during my trip) to meet a friend in Tarragona for a dinner theater I had bought tickets for using cash.
The tickets cost me $300 as it was a benefit and Citibank offered me a $25 credit (multiply that by 100 and it wouldn't be enough). The next day I went shopping at the Cortes Ingles in Barcelona and was preparing for my road trip across Spain. My credit card was lost and I surmised it had slipped out of my pocket when I paid for lunch or medicine at a pharmacy. I called the company to inform them as soon as I got to my hotel (the hotel rates for phone calls were no better than cellular phones).
The representative harassed me about my identity and said there was no password on the account - which I told her was a lie; in fact she was the first company rep not to ask for it at the beginning of the call. She said I had to fax a copy of my passport and a letter of explanation to the US. It was Saturday evening and was raining I ran around Barcelona looking for a place that would fax to the US and finally found one after an hour and a half. It cost me ten euros just to fax the information.
When I returned to my hotel I called again to make sure the documents were received - the new rep asked what my password was (what the f*** I thought) and was able to confirm the account was closed and there had been no fraudulent activity. I asked about an emergency card since I had planned on using it to pay for hotels in San Sebastian and Santander - she didn't know if it was possible. I got transferred to another department and the rep said a card would be mailed express to either my hotel in Pamplona or San Sebastian (depending on when it went out). For five days I called each and every day and was was told the same thing over and over, the card will be there tomorrow.
On the fifth day I was told they didn't send replacement cards abroad and that the card had been mailed to my address in NJ.
I had limited cash, limited funds in my checking account due to paying off my balance before the trip. The fact that they led me to believe they could send me a card and then said they couldn't, alone would be enough for anyone to be really pissed off at this Bank. It gets worse. I had to cash out my recently deceased Father's inherited IRA to barely squeak by.
I missed going to many museums and having nice dinners because Citibank left me high and dry. They turned a three week dream vacation into a nightmare and continued to harass me when I returned to the States. I had a $100 credit on the account by this time (a slap in the face - one hundred times that figure may have appeased me), and when I called the bank to inquire about my lost card they said they could deposit the money into my checking account - they never did and it caused me to bounce two checks. They didn't even call me to tell me the reason they weren't depositing the money - the rental car agency in Spain had been able to charge my card ($200 higher at least) when they wouldn't let there own customer put the charge on the account at the rental agency where I could see the bill.
I contested the amount and got a disturbing letter in the mail which caused me to cancel my account and refuse to pay any part of the balance on it. The owe me a vacation they robbed me of my dignity and three weeks of my life. I am still dealing with Citibank calling me about my balance. I do not want my credit score affected.
I filed a complaint with the CFPB against Citibank and their response was that the $100 credit was sufficient to reimburse me for my troubles. In their response they said they were awaiting payment. This bank cannot be allowed to continue its practices and the Company needs to go. As taxpayers, we bailed out this bank once (don't we deserve better) its so large it has its foot everywhere and its impossible for me to publicize this because they put their money everywhere.
I urge the public to stop doing business with Citibank and cut up your cards. I hope this nightmare never happens to someone else.
Its pretty sad to say that had I known how much stress and heartache my vacation would cause me I would have never went on vacation in the first place.
Reason of review: the loss of a vacation is priceless they ruined my trip and continue to harass me.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
I didn't like: Unhelpfullness, Customer sercive, Disdain for middle class.