Wednesday, September 28, 2005

The Citi never sleeps and won't let you either

Last three months went crazy for me, lots of travelling and some hectic work. The outcome of this was that the blog suffered as I couldn't post anything during this time.

Now I am back and will probably again try to be regular with my once in a week thoughts.

Today I want to write about one thing that I couldn't avoid even when I was super busy, which was talk to a Citibank agent, twice a week, to convince them I did not need their credit card.
Now Citibank is the one of the very funny companies I have come across.

I have had a Citicard for the last 10 years without any history of payment problems. Some time back they came to our company and offered free gold credit card to all employees. They took a lot of documents from each one of us and promised to get back and they did get back fairly quickly.

They called me to say that I already owned a credit card from Citibank so they cannot issue another one till I cancel the existing one, I happily cancelled my card and very promptly got a reply from Citibank saying sorry we cannot issue you the card we promised. So I spoke to this brilliant employees from Citi who was appointed as our account manager and he promised to get back and never did. Finally my finance department convinced him somehow to speak to me and he said the card was rejected as the old card still had a balance outstanding. Since I had just cancelled the card and the billing was yet to be done in the normal cycle I requested him to tell me the amount and I made the payment the same day.

My application was reactivated as per him and I was promised a card soon, one day after a month or so I called this account manager, as it is probably against Citi policy to call your customers back even if you have promised. During this time I had to travel abroad so I badly needed a credit card and he promised to get back with the card. One day during my followups I was told the card was now lying in his office and he will send it to me the next day. The next day came and went with a few more and again I called to find out that the card cannot be delivered as I have not provided my Pan card. I took major efforts to get my Pan card from Calcutta and submitted and post that there was silence. So I gave up my quest for a credit card.

I went without a credit card for 8 months and believe me there is good life without a credit card. I did not have a single problem without the credit card and infact saved a decent amount of money during this period.

Now Citibank has been calling me twice everyweek offering me a free credit card sometimes from Delhi sometimes from Chennai. Some of them have been persistent to also ask questions to find out why I was refusing a completely free card, that too free for life. They don't bother about what time they are calling or they don't bother about checking whether you are free to take their call. Its impossible to avoid their calls. I have been woken up from my sleep many a times to take these calls on a weekend.

If anyone from Citibank reads my blog, please, please, please, please stop these calls. I will never want to have any other Citibank card in my life or deal with Citibank again. If you can stop it I promise to send you a free gold card from some other bank and the offer these days is to have a card for you, your spouse, your neighbour, your maid, your driver, your dog, your cat etc etc.