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Citibank boils my blood again

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Hafta go to Daytona Beach for a funeral.  (Yes, Daytona Beach.  It's like, hey Death, read a room, k?)

 

My work offers us these "dealescapes" through LifeMart - don't know if that's two different companies or what, but I found an awesome hotel rate and tried to book it using my Executive World Elite MasterCard.  A pop up said "Your card is being protected by Citi" or something and I had to click to receive an automated phone call for an auth code... it was a mess and I botched it.  Dealescapes.com wouldn't let me re-attemot, saying the card was declined for unstated reasons.  I called Citi and the fraud department said they'd reset it  for me.  PC/browser hung so I ended the phone call to wait for the PC to get better, but when it did and I tried again to book the room, still no luck and then an emailed fraud alert from Citi regarding the booking I'd just attempted.  I clicked "Yes I recognize this transaction" and got a msg saying I was all set, free to use the card, and when I did, it was declined and I got another email saying fraud.  "Call the fraud folks at 1-800 blah  and reference case number blah."

 

Seething - because the hotel prices displayed were rapidly changing to less favorable ones - I said fraud folks schmaud folks and called the regular cust serv number on my card because I deserved to let some supervisor there face my seething fury.

 

The 800 number asked for my card #, zip code maybe, security word, and then said "the department you have reached is currently closed; please call back later.'  I tried again and got the same bullshit.  THIS IS THE LEVEL OF 24-HOUR CUSTOMER SERVICE I'M PAYING A $450 ANNUAL FEE FOR?????

 

I swallowed pride and did call the fraud number, even keying in the goddam case # and demanded to speak to a supervisor there, I actually got one pretty quick.

 

He says that both the charges actually went through but that Hilton reversed them immediately.  Citi approved the charge but Hilton "didn't accept their approval."  He said hotels do that sometimes, when they want more validation/verification of the transaction, or something.  (If that's how they're rolling then why bother to submit the transaction as-is to Citi in the first place?)

 

Indeed, by then my account screen was showing two approved charges from Hilton and both of them immediately reversed.  Fraud supervisor gave me a # to call at Hilton.

 

Still, I think I have quite the grievance with Shiti, for declining these transactions and crying fraud after I had REPEATEDLY authenticated & verified for them; and for not answering the damn phone at 3:30 in the morning when they're charging $450 and vaunting their "superior" customer service.

 

When I call them to damn the torpedoes, what should my endgame be?  What sort of recompense can I realistically score here?  (Hardcore fans of the Sidewinder Scoop might recall the hair-pulling story of when I was first issued this card in October 2015 and they failed to send it to me, then promised to FedEx it and instead once again didn't bother to send it to me.)

 

Naturally I should declare my intention to cancel the card and see what sort of retention dance they do?  (If they do, then, I ask again, what's realistic to expect?)

 

Edited by Sidewinder

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On 2/29/2020 at 4:01 AM, Rogue said:

With Citi it really helps to have very low expectations in the first place....

Well you'll pardon me if I had a few expectations off of a $450 annual fee.

 

(Which, of course, I've paid for the last time.)

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1 hour ago, Sidewinder said:

Well you'll pardon me if I had a few expectations off of a $450 annual fee.

 

(Which, of course, I've paid for the last time.)

 

So, remind me what you were promised that last time you renewed your card ...

 

I only have one expectation of this card (and, while you weren't clear about this, I presume that we're talking about the Citi AAdvantage Exec yada yada):   Admission to AA Admiral Club lounges when flying on the airline.

 

Other than that, a read-through of the card benefits leave little doubt that if you're looking for much more, you're barking up the wrong tree.  If your expectations are higher than that, that's on you.  I'm not convinced the story would have ended differently with another issuer.  (No way of knowing, of course.)

 

But don't get me wrong ... I so dearly emphasize with your frustration in this instance (VERY dearly!)

 

 

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Now that it's September, the annual fee is coming due shortly, and I must of course cancel the card (I got a letter from Citi regarding this crap last February which I ought to have told you guys about; I wasn't 100% satisfied with (maybe not even 80% satisfied either); I also got - I must, in all fairness, disclose - a $250 statement credit which I hadn't asked for, so they did do that; they also included the sentence, "We respectfully decline your request to refund the annual fee," despite me not having actually made that request).

 

So I call and I say I want I should cancel the card, and... I half-trust they send me to a "retention specialist?"  Who offers me all kinds of goodies if I stay?  Anyone have any experience with trying to cancel a Citi credit card and then watching them tap-dance?  What kind of retention goodies might I expect?

 

(I'm a little bit torn here, on account of even if they do offer cool stuff, I don't want to be paying this ridiculous annual fee anymore.  That would probably be true even if they hadn't boiled my blood back in February; and even in that case, the devil in me still sees this cancel-my-card call as an opportunity to make them nervous & watch the show  :D )

 

 

Another question:  Will they blackball me if I cancel?  Are my chances for being approved for the Double Cash card a year or so from now going to be less, on account of I've hurt their feelings?

 

Edited by Sidewinder

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I would speculate a retention offer may be in a lowering of AF or some AA miles, but likely not a full AF credit.  Depending on length of relationship and amount of card usage, the more usage and longer relationship, probably the better the offer.  They may offer nothing.

 

As far as blackball I would highly doubt closing this card will preclude you from any future Citi products.  One thought, you could open a new DC and then call the EO to ask them to move the credit line from your AA to the new card if you are dead set on closing.  That way you don't lose the available credit.

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2 hours ago, Sidewinder said:

Another question:  Will they blackball me if I cancel?  Are my chances for being approved for the Double Cash card a year or so from now going to be less, on account of I've hurt their feelings?

 

If you want the DC and plan to close this card, why not just PC this card to a DC instead?

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3 hours ago, Sidewinder said:

Now that it's September, the annual fee is coming due shortly, and I must of course cancel the card (I got a letter from Citi regarding this crap last February which I ought to have told you guys about; I wasn't 100% satisfied with (maybe not even 80% satisfied either);

 

So I call and I say I want I should cancel the card, and... I half-trust they send me to a "retention specialist?"  Who offers me all kinds of goodies if I stay?  Anyone have any experience with trying to cancel a Citi credit card and then watching them tap-dance?  What kind of retention goodies might I expect?

 

(I'm a little bit torn here, on account of even if they do offer cool stuff, I don't want to be paying this ridiculous annual fee anymore. )

 

Another question:  Will they blackball me if I cancel?  Are my chances for being approved for the Double Cash card a year or so from now going to be less, on account of I've hurt their feelings?

 

 

Even if they were to waive your renewal fee entirely, what benefit are you deriving from the card that you would want to set yourself up for another round of "fee negotiations" a year from now?  The angst over kicking the card to the curb mystifies me.

 

Because of reduced Admiral lounge availability/services, they're currently crediting back 50% of paid renewal fees to the card.  (I don't understand why they aren't just cutting the fee in half ... I'm going to have to go out of my way to place a charge on the card to absorb the subsequent credit since I only use the card for airline club access.)

 

I honestly wouldn't expect them to offer much beyond that partial fee credit as a retention offer (maybe a kicker of 10,000 AA FF miles ... maybe more?).  I don't see anything heftier (and don't expect as much as a 2 second "jig").

 

Still, it's worth going through the exercise (with modest expectations); they might surprise both of us :)

 

(If you're interested in DC, why the wait on an application?  In any case, unless you had an exchange with Citi that was far nastier than you let on, I'm not sure why you fear being "blackballed" over a card closure; and if you were in such a tenuous state with Citi, why you imagine that they might "tap dance" to retain your AA account.)

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In this economic environment, few financial institutions have any motivations to retain anyone other than their higher profit customers. Expecting a retention specialist and benefits from threatened card closure is not guaranteed these days.

 

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1 hour ago, insolent1 said:

In this economic environment, few financial institutions have any motivations to retain anyone other than their higher profit customers. Expecting a retention specialist and benefits from threatened card closure is not guaranteed these days.

 

 

I nominate this post for "understatement of the week" :)  (hell, I'm willing to stick my neck out and make that "the month"!)

Edited by hdporter

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considering onboarding costs are over $100 per card for major issuers IDK... seems retention would still be in order assuming the customer has the ability to repay.  Citi just gave me a TYP credit equal to the AF on premier during a phone call that took less that 7 minutes.

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1 hour ago, hegemony said:

considering onboarding costs are over $100 per card for major issuers IDK... seems retention would still be in order assuming the customer has the ability to repay.  Citi just gave me a TYP credit equal to the AF on premier during a phone call that took less that 7 minutes.

 

To better position Citi's gesture, what was your most recent 12-mo spend on the card?  "Onboarding costs" are only relevant if they feel that have good reason to retain you in the first place.  If you've been deadwood and there's little to indicate your spend volume will increase in the coming year, I'd think they'd have motivation to let you drop, if you're so motivated.

 

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1 hour ago, hdporter said:

 

To better position Citi's gesture, what was your most recent 12-mo spend on the card?  "Onboarding costs" are only relevant if they feel that have good reason to retain you in the first place.  If you've been deadwood and there's little to indicate your spend volume will increase in the coming year, I'd think they'd have motivation to let you drop, if you're so motivated.

 

About $500 action on that card but I cycled 40K or so through prestige and recently opened citigold for the $1500 SUB.

 

I'll probably still close premier at some point soon since I was only stringing it along to combo which citi is not amenable to anymore (and believe I've tried the past 2 months including the EO)

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On 9/15/2020 at 6:06 AM, DPB said:

If you want the DC and plan to close this card, why not just PC this card to a DC instead?

Because I am ever so desirous of an 18-month intro APR.  (And yes, of course I don't know that that will still be the offer a year from now when I'll be better positioned to apply; I'm not applyin for new cards now since Chase pointed out that my high balances are a problem.)

 

On 9/15/2020 at 7:08 AM, hdporter said:

 

(If you're interested in DC, why the wait on an application?  In any case, unless you had an exchange with Citi that was far nastier than you let on, I'm not sure why you fear being "blackballed" over a card closure; and if you were in such a tenuous state with Citi, why you imagine that they might "tap dance" to retain your AA account.)

See above; I've got some gardening to do.  And I've never had any nastier exchanges with Citibank than the two I've told CB about; not in a "tenuous" state at all.  Never been a day late with the payments.  My fear (and it's a minor one) of being blackballed is because I know that childish crap like that goes on the world.  I cancel my card despite whatever retention deals they've offered; and their response is to update my record in their customer database with 'Oh yeah well you can't play at my house anymore.'

 

And yes of course I know that would be a monumentally stupid reason for them to prevent themselves from ever again getting business from an > $80K earner with >700 scores.  But they've already twice found monumentally stupid ways to fail me as an existing customer.

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