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View Full Version : need legal opinion/help, non legal also welcome



romi_o
29-09-2003, 11:03 PM
just this week, i received 2 letters from citibank.
the 1st one is about closing/cancelling my mastercard account. i don't mind about that because i wasn't even using it since the stupid bank charged me rm90 for a card that is not so useful.... i paid for the annual fee (though not so happy, cos' i didn't even ask to renew it)... few months later, my supplement card expired, and again, those blood suckers don't even take a second thought, and again bugged me to renew (not a choice, cos' they think they r so much powerful than astro, they don't even bother to give notice like astro to opt for a choice):mad:
i've ignored that bill and sent a message to that bank's customer service telling them i didn't want to renew it. and well, guess what, they asked me to sent in a fax/mail and later their customer service ppl will contact me. since i was going outstation, well, i forgot to do so. and this goes from month to month, untill today. what the heck.... for less than rm90, u think they'll take legal action??? wasting their time only!!!
the 2nd one, well, was telling me that my visa card account was also cancelled, and the note said that i have 10 days to clear my debt and cut my card and send back to them. my bill due date was 23/9, and i've sent my cheque on 20/9. and u know what, the mail was dated 20/9, and i only received it today 29/9. hmmm..... and they knew i didn't clear my debt on that day i pay them.......:confused: anyway, for all citibank card holder out there, pls..... think about this:
previously astro has to take back the "if no answer, assume u will subscribe to the new package" message, and placed "if u want, only reply". who is this citibank?? i've not only once talked about this, but if their employee is watching/reading this, or better still, the MD is reading this, here's what i wanna say : "u SUCKS!!!"

help: can someone give me a legal/non legal advise on whether to wait for their legal action, or can i counter this?? i wish the astro matter will reenact!!

jericho
30-09-2003, 08:36 AM
I'm a satisfied customer of Citibank though :)

Excellent service even just a normal silver cards holder :D

patrick
30-09-2003, 08:28 PM
Where Citibank is concerned, it's a mixed feeling. There were times I was really mad with them, and there were times I was quite pleased.

But the thing is, even when they are bad, they are still nowhere near my Maybank card. Makes you really sick. Write to them, no respond, no nothing!! Absolutely nothing !! I have decided to cancel their cards.

So...there you are. Between the devil and the deep blue sea. But UOB Card was great in terms of service. But their meddling with the redemption programme made me gave up their card.

Rgds.

shali
30-09-2003, 10:08 PM
Dea Romi_o (and to whom it may concern)

First, get hold of the duplicate copy of the citibank form you ACTUALLY SIGNED AND SENT to citibank, when you first applied for the card(s).

Second, if you didn't make a copy of it, write to them, requesting for a photocopy to be supplied to you. Unlike Telekom, who wil NEVER give you a copy of your telephone agreement, you can try Citibank, and see if Citibank too uses the same 'trick'.

Third, after receiving the copy, check the terms in detail, but if you don't get any reply, worry not. Get hold of a copy of the 'take-one' application form from any citibank branch, and read the terms. Note -- the court will throw out Citibank's case if they simply tender in evidence a "standard form" without your signature.

Fourth, if you feel you have been wronged, report to the Consumer claims court.

Fifth, report to Consumer Association of Penang

Sixth, report to the Association of Banks & financial Institutions

Seventh, report to BNM, supervisory division.

Eighth, pay the RM90 or whatever UNDER PROTEST and without prejudice to all rights that you are entitled to under the law. Please don't screw this up.

9th, if you are unsure about 1 - 8, feel free to contact me:D

romi_o
30-09-2003, 11:21 PM
well, no, i don't think this is acceptable, just like astro.... it's only right if they call u up n ask u whether u want to renew ur card, not forcefully, no matter written or not...
so, i'll wait for them to take action lor....
btw, they cashed out my cheque today, hehe, and i'm planning to let them called me so i can p*** on their face, *sigh*. and they said i don't pay! prediction?? or fortune teller?? (knew that i'm not paying even before my payment due date! if they r so cocky, why don't they just reject my cheque?? in that case, i'm not paying, and they can sue me lah!:mad: "najis" (english, pls):D
counting down the days b4 i get sued:D

clfoo
01-10-2003, 01:59 AM
sigh, this experience passed on from one to another, I did have similar experience months ago, let me share the fairy tale ...

What happened was one fine day this customer service called up and informed my citibank credit card was hacked, then they wanted to replace with a new one, since I need to go through the process of informing all the auto-debit vendors about the new card, I told them might as well cancel my card, because thinking of consolidated all the bills into another credit card. But the customer service said she got no power to do it asking me to call another number.

Next, my statement arrived with new renewal fee and I called up the customer service telling them I wish to cancel my card, but to my dismay the customer service in a threatening tone telling me I got to pay in full irregardless (to be frank all this while their officials never been this rude), i got furious and asked him which rule allowed them to charge me the subscription fee that I no longer interested to continue, since they were charging the fee to my card without my consent at first place now they should be able to remove it when I disagree and wish to discontinue. he then asked me to fax to another number to cancel my card, which I did it immediately.

Subsequently, the statement came again, with the renewal fee + penalty. I wrote to them to stop sending the statement since I've already canceled my card, and request them to show me which clause grant them to charge me membership fee that I no longer interested to subscribe to, failing so in one month I assume they agree with me (learnt from Astro :p ).

No response from them and following month the statement arrived again. This time i wrote a warning letter, telling them since they are not responding to my earlier letter I assumed they already agree with my reasoning that I didn't need to pay for something I don't want to subscribe to. If they continue to send me the statement again, I will take legal action (I was seriously want to take them to tribunal court that time, just waiting for the next statement to arrive). A week later, one representative from customer retention department called and offered me a so call win-win solution, they willing to waive everything if I agree to continue holding their card. I told them I already got bad taste and no point to stay loyal with them after given such treatment especially when there is better alternative out there (I happen to be their gold card holder for as long as i can remember since in US, beside I found that in spite of the higher membership fee, the bluecard holder enjoy even more discount benefit than gold @# $~!@# )

He agreed with me that they have no right to asked for full subscribtion fee when I don't want to continue, worst case scenario they can only pro-rate the fee for duration from the date the card expired till received notification of cancelation. To make his life less miserable and for him to be seemed doing his job, I agree to hold on with them for a little longer.

Thanks for this thread, now remind me I should cancel my card again now :cool: , ever since I had switched my faith to another credit card institution which willing to offer me more priority. :D Till they screw up again, I will switch to another, let us exercise a bit of our comsumer right .. akujanji :rolleyes:

~~ The End ~~

mmouse
01-10-2003, 08:36 AM
i fully agree with clfoo that it is time we exercise our consumer rights. Let me share my own experience too. Few months back I asked a bank to waive my annual fee for 2 years as they offered that to new customers and, to my knowledge, to some existing customers as well. But they said they can't and asked me to write in for their considerations. So I wrote in, twice. Yet they rejected, so I cancelled my credit cards.

The next morning, somebody rang me up and pretended to be innocent by asking me the reason why I cancelled my cards. After raising my voice, they offered me 1 year fee waival but with condition I sign up auto-debit for my utilities bills. I refused and insisted I want 2-year waival and will not sign up any auto-debit. Well, they said they couldn't give me 2-year waival because government had changed the ruling and they (foreign bank) are not allowed to waive annual fee for more than 1 year. Fine, so I told the guy I prefer to cancel my credit cards.

Guese what? one month after I cancelled my cards, I saw this bank offering 3-year fee waival to new members in Ads, and some of my friends who are existing card holders confirmed they are automatically given 2 year fee waival from that particular bank, without write-in request.

So what are the learning points?
1) if you think of signing auto-debit using credit card, think twice because that is one of the tactics to tie you down as it is such a hassle to revert this back to manual mode. (you have to write in to bank & all the payee companies, then delay, then late payment penalty blah blah blah). If you lost your credit cards, same hassle you have to go through, I would prefer using maybank2u to pay my bills.
2) if you are still paying annual fee for credit card, you may want to ask your card issuing bank to waive it coz I know they are extending fee waival not just to new members, but many existing members as well. Otherwise just cancel the cards and apply for new cards as some banks offer up to 5 years fee waival, or lifetime if I am not mistaken. After all, aren't credit cards in overseas free of annual fee?
3) Lastly, beware of lies & dirty tactics.

romi_o
01-10-2003, 11:04 PM
well, if only i've learnt all this earlier... hehe, and they said "customer is always right", my @**:D
i did found that the ppl who phoned u think they r the boss, i was just back from oversea, after 1 month commissioning (and of cos', my bill due...) and i was just waiting for weekend to hand in my cheque... and guess what, an arrogant young guy called me from citi n with a rude voice "when u wanna pay??", my @**, i was going to scold that fella, but well, i was thinking, he's also working, why screw him? politely i said i was going to pay that weekend, and off i go....:)
what r these ppl thinking? if i don't wanna pay, or i scolded (with @#$&^ everything i knew) them, what's the benefit they will get? profit sharing?? hehe, in that case, they better beg i don't cabut/changed bank.....

think about this!!! like chinese saying "good ppl want fortune/prosperity, take it with good manner/reason", and i mean u ppl!!!

chookyan
02-10-2003, 09:14 AM
mmouse, if would be excellent if you could share with us the name of the bank in question at least we can write in for the annual fee to be free if anyone of us are credit cards member of the particular bank.

Cheers!

jericho
02-10-2003, 09:13 PM
My experience with Citibank is exactly the opposite of Romi's.

Recently I decided to cancelled my supplementary card and faxed in the cancellation letter with a copy of the supp card cut into half. A few days later someone from Citibank called me up and asked me why I wanna cancel the supp card. And she also informed me that I will need to pay a penalty for the cancellation since the supp card came with a free gift and the supp card is less than 1 year old.

She suggest that I hold on the supp card for another year and the annual fee will be waived and to only cancel the card later next year. And the new supp card will be sent to me FOC.

All this is done very professionally and nicely.

mmouse
03-10-2003, 07:58 AM
chookyan

Earlier I chose not to name the bank for ethics reason - unlike the bank :).

Anyway, most banks are offering 1-5 yrs fee waival for new credit card members, it just doesn't make sense that existing card members who have been quietly supporting their card business do not get to enjoy the benefits.

If I own a grocery shop, do I offer to Auntie May 10% discounts on all items for 6 months because she is a new customer to me, and charge Auntie Ann, who has been my regular customer, the normal selling price without the discount?

If there's the case, might as well all existing members cancel their cards and reapply again as new members, or apply to other banks as new members.

Do banks want this to happen? This marketing strategy is flawed, pls do not discrimate customers.

chookyan
03-10-2003, 08:42 AM
mmouse - Thanks it is understandable on the ethics . I fully support your suggestion annual fees waived should be applicable for both existing and new card members. Let's hope some bankers read our web forum.

Bravo.

clfoo
03-10-2003, 05:30 PM
If you have ever had to deal with a major corporation's customer service then you will really appreciate this.

My Aunt died this past January. Citi Bank billed her for February and March for their monthly service charge on her credit card, and then added late fees and interest on the monthly charge...the balance had been $0.00... now was somewhere around $60.00)

I placed the following phone call to CitiBank:

Me: "I am calling to tell you that she died in January."

CitiBank: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."

Me: "Maybe, you should turn it over to collections..."

CitiBank: "Since it is 2 months past due, it already has been."

Me: "So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?"

CitiBank: "Either report her account to the frauds division, or report her to the credit bureau...maybe both!"

Me: "Do you think God will be mad at her?"

CitiBank:"...excuse me ......?"

Me: "Did you just get what I was telling you.... the part about her being dead?"

CitiBank: "Sir, you'll have to speak to my supervisor!"

(Supervisor gets on the phone)

Me: ''I'm calling to tell you, she died in January."

CitiBank: "The account was never closed and the late fees and charges still apply."

Me: "You mean you want to collect from her estate?"

CitiBank: ".....(stammer)" .... "Are you her lawyer?"

Me: "No, I'm her great nephew." (Lawyer info given... )

CitiBank: "Could you fax us a certificate of death?"

Me: "Sure." (Fax number is given)

(After they get the fax.)

CitiBank: "Our system just isn't setup for death..."

Me: "Oh..."

CitiBank: "I don't know what more I can do to help..."
Me: "Well... if you figure it out, great! If not, you could just keep billing her...I suppose...don't really think she will care...."

CitiBank: "Well...the late fees and charges do still apply."

Me: "'Would you like her new billing address?"

CitiBank: "That might help."

Me: "(Odessa Memorial Cemetery #### Hwy 129 and plot number given.)

CitiBank: "Sir, that's a cemetery!"

Me: "What do you do with dead people on your planet?!!!

romi_o
04-10-2003, 11:13 PM
clfoo: well, that's why graduates nowadays hard to get a job :D (sorry for the insult, but just take this as a joke, ok?)
they only know how to follow SOP (standard operating procedure), if one step is not in, and there goes the nonsense... sh**, and u say those ppl are professionals? they don't even think out of the book.... and now u r all wondering why that bank always look for new ppl to join them? cos' by following the books, all the employees won't stay long, b'cos they've all gone haywire due to too much unexpected answers from the customers:D (eg. clfoo's example)

anyway, jericho, i do know if u cancellled ur card, they will call u up and bug u to continue using their card, with 2-3yrs fee waiver... all of my colleagues still cancelled their cards, y? hehe, u try and see for urself! y don't they just give fee waivers to all of their loyal customers?? save all the time for bugging the customers, and also give a good impression what... aiyah, when u pay promptly n more (i always pay more than my bill), did they reward u?? no sireeeeeeeeeeeeee.

so, ppl, any good recommendation for my next card? and i meant the service....

patrick
06-10-2003, 11:05 AM
This much I can say. When it comes to service, here's my summation (as I had experienced it then; perhaps situation may have changed now):

1. Southern Bank wasnt too bad but the other perks were very dull.

2. Maybank Card service- as though we dont exist.

3. Eonbank - perks..nothing much to shout about. Supporting bank service...poor. But card free...so cannot complain.

4. Diners - not too bad but outlet acceptance poor.

5. Amex - hound you for payment.

6. Citibank - Luck of draw. Depends on the customer service staff that handle your case. Some are good, but some....yeach!!

Recently, I applied for the so called free card from 'Direct Access' (part of Southern Bank). Called me up to tell me my application was not successful. Why...my guess is because I am supposed to be retired and therefore cannot furnish my income statement. The irony of it all is until a few years ago I was a Southern Bank gold card holder. After I chose to 'retire' early, I decided to rationalize and termination my sub with the many credit cards I had as there were no free cards then. SBB kept persuing me to renew my card. Since now that they were offering free cards, thought I could renew that acquantance..but sadly they dont want me! Ha ha...actually it's their loss not mine. I have been a darn good card customer for donkey years and have never defaulted even once! Pay all my dues in full and usually even more. It's ironical isnt it? When I had to pay sub, they begged me to renew. When it's free, they wont even give me a card!!

That brings to question. Does it usually means people who are 'retired' wont make good card customers? I think their decision making and thought process isnt much to shout about. Or perhaps they are worried I may kick the bucket and they wont be able to recover their dues!! ;-) Ha ha.

Good luck in your decision making. Perhaps Penghulu should do a poll as to which is the most preferred credit card issuer ?

Rgds.

romi_o
06-10-2003, 10:53 PM
sorry to hear about that, patrick. well, i think that happens to a lot of ppl out there (i'm still young, 25, and this is my 1st creditcard bank), so i don't know much about the retiree's point of view... thanks for sharing though:)
anyway, i do like to start a poll, but how? anyone??:)

as a conclusion, i think, so far: customer is not right:D as long as u pay promptly/more, u r just an ordinary customer; but if u don't pay (bill/annual fee/misc. fee), u r also not a preferred customer!:mad:
bottom line: why pay??:D

bankers out there, adious to ur customers if u still continue like this....:mad:

Joecool
10-10-2003, 12:27 PM
My experience with Citibank? Well, I got my free card some time last year. Then they have this promotion where you get a free phone if you give out a supplementary card. Annual fee for the supplementary card is also free. So why not. I got it for my wife. Then I decided to terminate the card and of course my wife's card. The customer "service" person called me to say I cannot do that. There will be a fine since you took the free gift! hahaha. I laughed in her face (phone actually). I told her to show me any thing in writing that I have accepted that mention a fine. She then change her tone to say I could get two more years free if I put an autodebit for my bills to the card. Told her not interested and hung up. No problems after that so far. Why did I decide to terminate? Not so much because the free period is over but because their cards are being frauded so often that it is almost like not having a card. So I gave up on them.

Cool Hand Luke
10-10-2003, 03:50 PM
I have been a Citibank card holder since 1995. I never have any problem with Citibank. Of course, I have to do my part. I have always paid my monthly spending on time and I have not owed them anything. In the event that I could not pay the full amount due, I made sure I paid the minimum amount on time. In any business transactions I believe that it takes both parties to play their parts. Being old and ancient, I still believe that there is honour in business. I will not try to find faults with Citibank and in return, it has always been very accommodating to me. Or maybe I am just naive.

:)

romi_o
13-10-2003, 10:21 PM
well, as i mentioned before, what will i get by paying promptly or paying more?? bad service in return!!
i do understand it's my duty to pay, and i do pay the late payment charge (if it's my fault).... but after i asked them to cancel my supp card, they still insist i hav to write in/fax in?? if so, what is the online messaging for?? afraid of fraud?? (check ur security lah, unless u r not so sure about ur security, hmmm...) afraid u r not the correct person? (wah, worst, that fella can login with ur info!!!!:eek: ) no record? (pls lah, ur computer system so lousy, so lousy that u can't even print???)

with all the above questions, hehe, u smart ppl out there figure urself lah... so called "security"/"customer is always right" wor:confused:

joker2107
14-10-2003, 01:23 PM
o m i mighty glad i resurrected on this site. 4 all my condemnation of the high n mighty big nose citibank. now i know i m not alone. where the hell were u all when i begged for support a couple of mths back?

as patrick says, with citibank its luck of draw. but like betting single no. in roulette, the odds at 1 to 37 against u. thats to repeat from what i've told - staff turnover at citibank is so great that it'd be almost to get the same cso in different months.

i've finalised my redemption of homecredit, and just dsipensed with my accumulated points from my 2 yrs usage of citibank's credit card. the card's gonna expire this mth and they can hope agst all hope and call and rent and threaten for all their money's worth - i'm not going to confirm renewal of the card, and i'm not imparting my hard earned dough to them. if they wanna enrich their layers, i'm not complaining - its their perogative. my stna dis as long as i do not agree to renew the card and do not use the card and do not pay my bill (for only the rneewal) and do not a balance for mths thats mroe than enuf basis to mean that i do not want their card. bad as the tiger is i just subscribed to them cos of maybank2u.com. ain't got online yet, but there seems to be lots of u igivng that serivee the thumbs up.
and patrick, u r right, uob had excellent customer service. even when i was at war with them, i had to complement their customer service. just that their reward scheme does not justify the term reward. btw the way i had to as a matter of principle give up on them cos they unilaterally withdrew the travel insurance benefit after giving me the cert of ins and could not prove to me that the termination of the benefit was communicated to me. and this was when i wanted to fly soon after 911. i miss their service, but i'm a sucker for principles. even if i end up losing, never mind, it can't be much worse than brutus thornapple.

Joecool
14-10-2003, 03:21 PM
My homeloan experience with Citibank - when you get approached for the loan. Everything was good and nothing was explained. We paid off our loan early only to realise that we have paid an extra 2K. We asked why this was so and it was an early payment penalty which is equal to 1 installment. It was never explained to us during the loan application and the papers signing. We could have saved 2K by paying all but RM 1 and let them charge me interest on that RM 1 for 15 years. Technicality but do look out for that clause if you pay off your loan early or transfer your loan to another bank.

Cool Hand Luke
14-10-2003, 07:53 PM
I believe that all banks charge penality for early settlements of all loans and hire purchases. And no, I am not employed by Citibank :) but I am a very satisfied customer of Citibank's credit card services.

Joecool
15-10-2003, 09:14 AM
Yes. All banks who offer special schemes do charge a penalty. But they do tell you about it. I have had good experiences with Citibank as well. However, when I ask what I need to do to pay off my loan in one lump sum this was convieniently not mentioned. It was not mentioned to me during the signing of the loan agreement nor was it mentioned to me when we applied for the loan. Recently when we applied for another loan at another foreign bank, our attention was drawn to the clause and the agreement was explained to us properly.

joker2107
15-10-2003, 09:33 AM
tq joecool and chl, i read and reread the loan agreement regarding early settlement. says clearly i've gotta give 3 months notice. i've given notice, now i'm stalling the redemption so that 3 clear mths go by b4 the a/c is settled. and the pungency of citibank - in the redemption statement the had to try to rub some chilli padi in - they will close my current a/c 14 days after the loan (an overdraft) is settled. so what will happen is i decide to keep my half million cash in a current a/c in an american bank? or do they actually have a directory of nasty customers to whom they are eagerly awaiting to show the exit, whose faces they want as wallpaper for the abundant no entry signs in their most unfriendly office.

romi_o
15-10-2003, 11:40 PM
sorry that i missed ur posting back then, joker:) well, if they keep on doing like this, hehe, they can kiss their big fat "yanki" @$$ bye-bye in m'sia:D
anyway, i'm still waiting for the stupid @$$ to call me so i can shover my hand so deep up into their "u know where" so deep that they need a scuba diver to get my hand out:D hahahaha (parental advisory needed)

now applying for other cards, while waiting, still thinking of a way to get back all my points, and they think they can all get away so easily :) so, any ideas??

Joecool
16-10-2003, 11:13 AM
My marketing guy tells me that it is 10 times harder to find a new customer than to keep 1. But why do they constantly annoy their existing ones and then spend money in their campaigns trying to recruit new customers for their credit cards? Citibank and other foreign banks only wants to keep their profitable customers only as the so-called non-profitable ones that only use their deposit facilities but not take up their loans, etc. is not welcomed. Maybe it is due to their lack of branches as governed by bank negara and therefore wants to limit their accounts. Unless of course you are their Citigold customer which means you got more than 300K of investable money. Then they will welcome you into their VIP room. But bearing in mind you need to invest that money at least into their FD.