Citibank Gets My Help

Will Citi compensate me for helping?


FAX to Kendall Stork, Head of Citibank Customer Care (June 7):

You have my sympathy. Citibank’s top management in New York exiled Citi Customer Care and you to the Dakotas. Do they ever visit in the winter? Or keep you up to date on their changes to credit cards? This time they left that job to me:

Yesterday I tried to use the voice system to check my checking balance. I did what I always do: Dial the toll-free number, which recognizes my phone number and asks for the last four digits of my card. It saves Citi the cost of live operator assistance. But when I gave the numerals, the system said it did not recognize me.

I kept trying, it kept not recognizing. I asked for a service person who said I was using the correct numerals. Together we worked on the problem, which took us over 30 minutes to unravel: Without telling me or Customer Care, Citi has mailed or will mail–no one at Customer Care is sure–a new card with one numeral change. If you don’t have the change, you are unrecognizable.

Why didn’t Citibank NYC tell Customer Care? Or me? Is it a distance thing, you in South Dakota, me in New Jersey? 

How will Citi compensate me for helping Customer Care care for me? My time is as valuable as yours and probably more than those execs in NYC: I would have told you before I sent all those cards out.

Consumerist Takeaway: Consumer complaints about corporate failures to promptly provide promised service should include the time needed to obtain the service. Corporations construct roadblocks to customer service, a subject treated at length in my The Consumerist Manifesto Handbook. It is available as

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