Citibank Doesn't Want Your Gross Punctuation Marks

Sandra wanted to contact Citibank about a fee, and figured that contacting them using secure account e-mail from within their site was a good way to do it. When she tried to send the message, the system rejected it, telling her to remove any special characters. “What special characters?” she asked. Turns out the e-mail form didn’t like quotation marks. At least it wasn’t apostrophes?

I have been charged $15 for an “Account Summary” that Citibank offers (via email) and they never said it is a paid service. So I decided to complain via secure email, meaning from my own account. Each time I tried to send the email I got an error message stating that I needed to limit the use of “special characters” such as hyphens, backlashes ampersands, etc.

I tried several times, puzzled because none of those were present. I was getting frustrated because no matter what I was getting the same message (you can see it in the attachment).

Finally I took EVERY character that was not a letter, one by one, still getting the same message… that way I find out that the message was triggered by the quote/unquote characters, characters that are not really “special ones” and that are needed to make sense in some sentences.

So, a message that should have taken 5 or 10′ to compose and send, took almost an hour. I wonder if they do that on purpose or it is just plain idiocy (of their developers and QA people).

I just want to share my experience in case someone else wants to communicate with them via email.

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