Citibank and its so called customer service

We all have heard enough about how banks come up with creative ways to cheat customers. Be it hiding the annual fee clause from the customer or sending an unasked for, unwanted credit card to a customer AND charge an annual fee over it! Yeah, these banks put any artist to shame. I am just adding two more things to the never ending list of Citibank’s tricks.

1. Suvidha account points redemption

I had accrued quite a few Suvidha usage points in the last year. Before I could redeem those, they lapsed in March. When I called the customer service, I was given a prompt answer that points lapse in March. Why wasn’t I informed about it before hand? No answer. I pledged to take revenge by redeeming the points next year. So, this year, promptly in March, I redeemed those points and was left with a few ‘chillar’ of 20 points. I was expecting these to lapse by the end of the month, but guess what, they didn’t lapse. Another phone to their customer service and I am informed that the leftover points after redemption are carried forward. This is insane! Unredeemed points lapse but left over points are carried forward? Who made this rule? What is the logic behind this?

2. Debit card renewal fee

We have all heard about lifetime free credit cards, but did you know that Citibank will charge an annual fee of Rs. 99 on your debit card from July 2008 onwards? I was given this wonderful news when I called to order a debit card. I asked the customer care executive what is the logic behind offering free credit cards and not free debit cards? He obviously did not have an answer so I answered for him. Customers can survive without a credit card, but they cannot access their account or use the ATM without a debit card. Citibank knows this well and hence can take advantage of this by charging an annual fee on debit cards. The customer care executive was really shaken by this and asked me to complain “if I am not satisfied with this situation” by sending a mail to

My mail may not result in the wakening of the Citibank executive’s conscience and the eventual cancellation of the debit card annual fee, but I surely will send a mail. If you care about your 99 bucks which Citibank is snatching right under your nose, then you too send a mail. Remember, it is not about the money.