After Losing Student’s Money, Citibank Badgers Him

Joseph is an American student stranded in in Germany after his meagre monies just got jacked via a Citibank security breach, one that Citibank would like to blame him for.

He claims that when he called Citibank to resolve the issue, the customer service rep was indifferent, insensitive, belligerent and seemed to be trying to get Joseph to make entrapping statements to make it look like it was Joseph’s fault the money got stolen. Joseph writes:

    “…being one of those fancy jerks who likes to eat daily, I wondered if Citibank’s boast that they replace your card anywhere in the world and then give you up to $200 (or something like that) for emergency money was true. Andrew curtly assured me it was not the case in fraud matters.”

If anyone is in Germany, we’re sure Joseph could use a sandwich or something.

Read the full story at Joseph’s blog, The Humble Arbiter.

UPDATE: Jesse got some relief, thanks to his parents, no thanks to Citibank, after the jump. Ah, to be a student again, completely at the mercy of large, incorporated, worldly entities, yet quickly found in the rook of a parent’s wing…

Jesse writes:

    “I’ve went a head and updated the blog. This is after I talked to Citibank, and they wouldn’t let me talk to the higher level manager. I didn’t tell her that 15,000 will be reading daily, though. She told me that they could of course send me a card, that it would take only three days. But then she said that they would have to send the pin number, because the account was compromised, separately, and through the post. Long story short, I would have a ATM card in three days, but it would take me “about two to three weeks” to receive the atm code “through the airmail.” Great.

    I am in okay shape now, my parents have read my blog and are insisting on sending me money. It is a shame that I always have to crawl back to the nest, hey, but what can I do?

    Thank you for picking me up, it is satisfying not to be yelling in the dark.”


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  1. Sigh…I have such a love hate relationship with Citibank…While in living in Japan, my Citibank card mysteriously stopped working. Apparently, Citibank had changed the credit service they used for their check cards Mastercard to Visa or vice versa, I can’t remember. They issued the new card to my address in the US, where it sat…unbeknownst to me.

    Anyway, it left me cash strapped and I was forced to try to get a cash advance on a credit card that I had. No Japanese bank would accept a cash advance on my US Mastercard…except that is for Citibank. Citibank happily processed the cash advance…They both simultaneously screwed me over and saved me at the same time.

    I closed the account as soon as I returned to the US.

  2. Das Ubergeek says:

    First of all, if you’re reading this and you’re thinking you’re going to go to Europe, stick your card in an ATM, and have interestingly-coloured money come out at you, think again.

    Does it work? Sometimes. Usually. Just often enough to lull you into a false sense of security. “I only have 6€, but that’ll get me a cortado and a baguette in the morning and then I’ll go to the ATM.”

    Then you discover that the credit systems in the EU and the credit systems in the US and Canada take frequent vacations from each other. So you put your card in and the machine spits it back out at you and says “Transaccio canxelada per rao de falta de xarxa” or “Your card cannot be read due to network issues”. Then you go and try to pay for something with a credit card — except it doesn’t work, either.

    It’s not a good feeling. Always keep some spare cash on hand, or even just some of your home country’s money — you can always change money, you can’t always use an ATM.

  3. The Unicorn says:

    I’ve never had a problem getting money out with a Citibank card, or with using any credit cards overseas.

    But. Citibank, if you get stuck without your card, SUCKS. First of all, their international satellite offices are completely disconnected from the US ones, so if your card is stolen (as mine was) all they can offer you is their phone so you can call the US customer service — they can’t look up your account info, confirm you are a customer, nothing. Moreover, if you’re lucky enough to get the same customer service jackass that I did, you’re likely to get berated for only having one form of identification (it was a Passport; I didn’t have my US Driver License because MY WALLET WAS STOLEN, which I’d already repeated several times). Also, once you finally suggest that perhaps a new card could be shipped to a Citibank location in Spain, he will proceed to enter in the address so that it appears a package is being shipped to the Citibank locale as though it was your address, which will cause DHL to not deliver it. This, in turn, will cause you to hate Citibank almost enough to never do business with them again, but then you will, because you are lazy. Um, at least if you’re me.

    American Express, however (despite the ire that their Red card is drawing) is seriously amazing. I called my parents about the stolen wallet late Friday night/early Saturday morning in Spain, which was Friday evening in the States. On Saturday, there was a brand-new American Express card, in my name, waiting at their Traveler Services center a half-mile from my hotel. And I’d never even been a cardholder before — they were able to add me to the account that quickly. Then, after Citibank’s complete botching of Operation Send Loyal Customer Much-Needed Debit Card, the associate at another Traveler Services center helped set me up wtih traveler’s checks so that I could actually have some funds for the remainder of my trip.

    AmEx has pretty exceptional customer service in general too, so if you’re going abroad it’s probably worth your while to sign up for one of their no-annual-fees cards (like Blue).

    And I could go on, but, damn, this is a long enough comment as it is.

  4. AppTechie says:

    Interesting thing about Amex…if you spend money on their card, they WILL remove the yearly fee. All you need do is call them.