18
Dec
08

Cash is king. Citi fails.

After many, many years as a Citibank credit card customer, I elected to terminate my account today. As has been widely reported, Citibank decided to reward many of its loyal customers with huge rate increases. The real bitch of this is that it wasn’t done as a penalty for cardholders who were late on payments, it was applied across the board. I don’t even carry a balance on my Citi card. So this change wouldn’t have affected me in any way – at the moment. However, if at some point in the future I do need to use credit for a major purchase, I don’t want to be stuck with an account that has rates that are normally reserved for deadbeats. This is a blatant cash grab by Citi, and I find it disgusting. That’s why I terminated my business with them.
What really surprised me was the total lack of any sort of customer retention strategy on Citi’s part. I called to opt out of the rate increase and the whole process took about 3 minutes. There was no hold time at all, and there was no “let me transfer you to a specialist”. Just press 1 for English, then speak to a rep for about 45 seconds, and the account is closed. They didn’t even counteroffer with anything to help take the sting out of the rate increase. I was surprised. Anyone who has ever closed a credit card account has probably experienced the usual tactics where they try to throw you a bone to keep your business. Low balance transfer rate? No payments for 90 days? Nope. Nothing. Just “OK, Mr. Jihad, your account is now closed. You’ll receive a confirmation letter in 5-7 days. Kthxbai!”

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