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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Shitty bank

If you have an account with Citi-bank, you'll realize how much pain in the a$$ it really is.

The trouble started when I opened a Citibank account for my monthly salary credit. Little did I know then that it would become a frustrating experience within a matter of days. First off, a Citibank agent helped me open my account and thanks to the fantastic training she must have gone through, she managed to get my account name and date of birth, the two absolutely essential information, wrong in the records. It took me about 3 months of phone-calls and online complaints to fix the name. Talking of online, their UI is a nightmare. It has more flashing ads (for their own) than anything else. It's a treasure hunt to locate their contact phone number on their site (and no, the ATM card doesn't have this already. what a shame!). I set aside all work one fine day and put in all my time to locate their phone number, and I did. I called up only to find that the number was wrong. I think it took a few months before they fixed it. Talk of online availability.

They deducted Rs 500 for a card I did not ask for. Then when I asked them to disable it, they disabled my only ATM card instead. I could still login online, which is good because I could transfer all my money to some other bank and just forget about the whole trauma. But now, they seem to have disabled online access too. So, I can put IN money. But I cannot take any OUT. Talk of security -- could anything possibly be more secure?

I could have banked on the phone. But since they managed to record my wrong date of birth, they won't recognize me anymore (it's one of the things they ask you to confirm your identity).

More highlights:
  • There are exactly 4 Citibank ATMs in Hyderabad. And no, I cannot withdraw free-of-charge from other ATMs.
  • If you need to call up Citibank, it just notes down your request. They tell you that they'll call back within 48 hours (yes, yes, that's 2 days). But they don't. Instead, they call back after 3-4 days, if at all. Talk of 24x7!
  • Make an online complaint and you'll get back a template response. While we are at it, I must mention that their online complain form takes in no characters other than a-z and 0-9. Characters like (, ', ", %, $, are taboo. Therefore, you cannot write: it's.
Moral of the story: if you ever want to open a Citibank account, think again. If they approach you instead, run for your life.

The only thing integral to the bank's image is its name. Rhymes well with "Shitty".
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