Citibank yanks customer cards

Customers get surprised when trying to make purchases

By Kim Peterson Oct 20, 2009 1:08PM
Credit card © Floresco Productions/CorbisCould banks have any less respect for their customers?

Citibank (C) has begun closing customers' accounts without telling them. That's a bitter surprise for some people who pull out their cards to make a purchase, only to learn that the card has been denied.


One woman tried to pay for gas, according to the Associated Press. Citibank said it was because of something that appeared on her credit report. But when the woman accessed her credit report, it only said, "Closed at credit grantor's request."



The woman said she used the card regularly and always paid the bill promptly, according to the AP.  Other people have reported similar incidents. Read this person's story for more.


When asked about the issue, Citibank said it decided to close some MasterCard accounts that were co-branded with oil companies, including Shell, Citgo, ExxonMobil and Phillips 66-Conoco.


Now it's fine to close customer accounts. That's business, and banks do it all the time. What gets me, however, is the way Citibank did it. 


AP reports that Citi closed the accounts on Wednesday, but sent out letters Monday informing customers of the change. So Citibank waits until the last minute to tell customers, most of whom probably didn't receive the news before their cards were shut down.


Way to leave your customers in the lurch.
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