Consumer Complaints and Reviews
This garbage bank has been ripping me off for years with their ridiculous little nickel and dime "service charges". I've contacted them several times and they apologize for their error, refund the "service charge", then start up again a few months later. I've had it and I'm closing my account now that I have some free time to deal with this nonsense and find another bank. To anyone else considering Citizens Bank, don't bother.
Worst bank ever. I've been a member of this bank for over 11 years and in the last few months they have royally messed up three of my accounts. When I initially signed up, I thought I had my checking account up with overdraft to connect to my personal savings. When my husband and I joined accounts, they disconnected my checking account to any overdrafts services and unconnected his account to his savings for overdraft and connected his checking account to my savings for overdraft-cause that makes total sense. My own checking was not connected to anything despite them telling me that both accounts were connected to the same large savings for overdraft.
Imagine my surprise when over a year later, I'm hit with a ton of fees cause they did not connect my account to anything. I've only ever had one overdraft and it was this one occurrence and it was solely due to their mistake. Fast forward to three days later and I find out that they had also messed up my other savings account. This account is used to solely put our car payments and rent into each month along with any freelance project money I earn. This account was supposedly a non-interest savings since I was using it for debits and deposits from time to time and I elected to do so to avoid transaction fees-something I had also signed up for years ago. Well they hit me with a bunch of fees in April of this year for transactions fees-meaning they charged me for putting money into my account. Who the hell charges you for putting money INTO your account? These idiots.
So I called them and they reassured me that the account was changed to a non-interest account and they reversed the fees. Now I find out this week that they had not only never changed my account to non-interest, as they told me, but they also charged me $50 in fees in a 4 day span for these deposits I made. That's right, they charged me $50 for putting over $1k into my own damn account. I am beyond disgusted with this bank and plan on removing all my money from every account. They are thieves and absolutely unqualified for managing your finances. Do not use this bank. Tell your friends not to use this bank. They used to be a great bank and now they've gone down the toilet.
I have been with Citizens Bank for many many years. Throughout the years I have had nothing but problems with this bank between taking fees and not giving you the common courtesy to let you know, to taking fees for reasons never mentioned while banking with them. I have had to write to this bank more times than I would have ever thought I would ever have to write to a corporate office.
The latest issue is I just recently found out they closed my savings account that I had had for many years without again the common courtesy of even making me aware that they were closing this account. When I had called and asked why they said my account went to a zero balance when in fact they were supposed to be taking from my checking automatically and transferring to my savings so that this should have never happened. Don't recommend this bank to anyone!! You may think you are getting a great deal when you sign up but trust and believe they make their money back and then some.
Citizens Bank cancelled my card because of fraudulent activity... no phone call, although their very rude customer service operator ensures they did (no record to prove it?). They sent my card to the correct address overnight, but the pin number was sent to an incorrect address. I was assured once again that the pin number would carry over from my last card. This is false. Every person I spoke with either blatantly LIED because they were completely uninformed, or tried to place the blame on me, and was met with extreme attitude. Switching banks this week. Do not bank with this institution.
I have been with another bank for years and love it. My parents recently moved back to the NorthEast from Florida and wanted to open their new accounts at Citizen's because it was "in the grocery store - so convenient". Against my better judgment that's what we did. Dealing with Citizen's has been a nightmare from day one. They sent them checks for the wrong account, charged them $125 for "upgraded" checks they never asked for, and their online banking is less than efficient or easy to navigate. The saddest part is that when reaching out to customer service they "try" to help but simply don't have the knowledge or tools to do so. Their computer systems were literally down for almost TWO days!! Stay away from Citizen's bank. Very amateur when it comes to anything other than maybe cashing a check or making a deposit in person. ATM's often down, just roadblocks wherever you go.
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I'm very disappointing with the citizens bank customer service. I opened account with them on 10/9/2015. Waited for many weeks for my debit card but until today I'm still waiting. After I talk one of the supervisor his name is Tom, he promise me I'll received on next day and this time I won't miss the card, turned out I found out he was mailed out by regular mail, therefore I still not receive my debit card. I don't mind if he told me the truth, I don't need to have someone to stay at home waiting for my mail. Never want to banking with the citizens bank.
I have a citizen's checking account and a credit card. I requested a convenience check from the credit card to be deposited into my checking. They charged my account, including fee, but I have yet to receive the funds in my checking. When I called, they said they mailed the check. So I asked them, "why I'm getting charged in my credit account before I received or cashed the check. What if I never get it?" They didn't seem to care. Juan, was my customer service rep, he was not a nice person. I'm closing my checking account and canceling my card. I don't think what they did here is even legal. I'm filing a complaint with the authorities. I haven't even received the check, so it's impossible for me to cash, my account should not be charged until I cash the check. They haven't paid out the money they are charging me for, that is not legal.
Someone made up counterfeit checks on my account. Citizens Bank cashed over 3000.00 dollars worth of checks. I went to the bank, filed a claim, filed a Police Report. I keep calling the bank and get "Sorry we will have that person call you back" and they don't. I am fed up. This was my vacation money. They caught the person cashing the checks but still haven't put the money back in my account. I have gone to the bank in person and get nothing but lip service about how sorry they are. Who do I call. They refuse to give me the bank President. The Fraud Unit was no help! I am furious and will be closing all accounts once this is resolved. I just got a call back now they promise the money will be in my account tomorrow. We will see! Finally someone gave me an answer. Ridiculous practice on their behalf.
I noticed at 2:36 am on 9/3/15... a check I'd deposited at 3:15 pm the previous day at another bank ATM had insufficient funds. I immediately transferred funds through the automated route and verified the balance was enough to clear the check. That morning those check funds were subtracted from the deposited monies and everything was fine. However, the next following morning I incurred a retroactive $35 overdraft fee for a service that was never delivered. CITIZENS BANK's own overdraft policy stipulates what I was led to believe: An overdraft occurs when you do not have enough money in your account to cover a transaction, but we pay it anyway. We will charge you a fee of $35 each time we pay an overdraft.
Today, I went to a Citizens Bank branch located in Stop and Shop to withdraw funds from my savings account. I was told the systems have been down for 2 days and I could not withdraw my money. I was furious!! How dare they say I cannot access my money. Needless to say, I will be taking my business elsewhere!
My issue was resolved.
When my great-grandmother passed away she left each of her great-grandchildren $10,000. This money was placed in three separate accounts until we turned 21 years of age. I am the youngest of the three great-grandchildren and therefore the last one to obtain my funds. I went into the Hudson, MA branch on June 26th to get the money.
I showed the employees the forms that had been sent to us from the attorney handling my great-grandmother's estate. I had no problems while at the bank and opened a new account to transfer the money into. Everything was fine until 24 days later when I got a call from someone at a Boston branch of Citizen's Bank telling me there was a problem and they were not supposed to release my funds without prior authorization from the court.
I was given a number of someone to speak with from the courts, but they never answered the phone and their voicemail message did not appear to be an official court number. I have worked in a law office in the past and have experience with court voicemail messages so I know what they should sound like. Shortly after this phone call I received another call from the man I had worked with at the Hudson branch. He was calling to make sure I had received my debit card and that everything was going well.
I informed him of this phone call and asked him if he knew anything about this problem. He was not aware of this problem, except to say he had received an email from the court asking why he released the funds. He replied that he read all the forms I brought with me that stated I could get the funds upon turning 21, and that since I was 22 when I went to get the funds, he released them. He asked me to come in just so he could photocopy these forms to send to someone from the Boston branch.
This was on Monday, July 20th. I called again on Friday, July 24th and was informed that my account had been frozen and he was working on resolving it. All of this would be fine, if it were true. Neither my sister nor cousin needed prior authorization from the court to receive their funds. My sister actually went into the court and spoke with a judge who informed her that the court no longer had anything to do with this account and that she could just go straight to the bank.
This has all seemed to be very back and forth between the bank and the Citizen's employee in Boston and also between this employee and the one I worked with in Hudson. I have not received been contacted with any updates on this, except for calls that I myself have made. I now have no access to my money, including money that I deposited into this account separate of my trust fund. As soon as this issue is resolved, I will be taking my money elsewhere and canceling both my Citizen's Bank Checking and Savings accounts.
I had "inherited" Citizens Bank when Allbank was taken over by them. I continued on with Citizens because the same people who worked for Allbank stayed on at Citizens. I had two business accounts and a CD at the bank. All were inactive after a while and I eventually closed one of the business account a couple of years ago. Even though I was foolish to keep the other inactive checking account open, I continued to be assessed monthly fees upon fees. I went to see a branch manager who took off the larger monthly fee and promised me that I would not incur them in the future but only the $3.00 maintenance fee and of that, it also could be mitigated if I signed in to their online banking. It never happened and I continued to be charged the larger fee each month.
I went to the bank in May 2015 and told them to close the remaining checking account but kept open my CD waiting for the maturity date of July 18th 2015. Today I went to one of their branches located in an upscale community and asked that the fees be taken off seeing I had closed the account in May. They informed me that the account had not been closed (even though all the money had been withdrawn and the balance was zero), and the teller at the Wilbraham Mass, Main Street location (a Tracy with supposedly 16 years’ experience) was combative, rude and lacking in sensitivity training. I'm an older Caucasian who happens to wear my hair (and nice hair I may say) very long.
This Teller clearly profiled me as other than I am (a well-respected local business owner with 35 years invested in the community) and treated me like I was a homeless person instead of the past president of my local business association. When I objected to her patronizing ways and her attempts to defend the bank for errors made by a teller at another bank, she stepped back and said in front of other customers and employees at the bank, "I'm afraid of you." All the while holding hostage my 10k in CD funds without a professional willingness to have her manager be made aware of my attempts to take off fees due to the error of another teller at another branch (now with New Alliance) who was instructed to close the inactive checking account and instead gave me the funds to it, bringing the balance to zero. Complete nonsense and illogical by any business standards.
I lost faith in this teller's ability to remedy the situation, asked that she forward the information to her non-existent manager so that I wouldn't have to start all over the next day when I came in or called. She insisted she didn't know what I was asking of her (total incompetence at this point) and brushed me off on another teller who was curt but more helpful and take charge (Wayne) who then called another branch and asked them to "bail" them out. I went to the other branch, in which a Linzy was the Manager and she was sweet as could be and not only took off the fees but was very apologetic for the mannerisms of the Wilbraham branch staff. I called corporate to complain and told their "service rep" (who was nice and professional) about what could have been construed as a Hate crime if I was African American or Hispanic instead of Caucasian.
Can you imagine in a society that today is so overly sensitive with political correctness and sensitivity training that a bank teller would tell a customer of theirs that "They were afraid of them" because they were attempted to have service fees taken off their account in which should have been closed as requested? All this without any profanity or physically, verbal abuse being directed at the teller except that I wanted answers as a customer with funds in their bank and she was unable or unwilling to provide them.
I will wait a few days to see if anyone at corporate gets back to me with an apology (holding my breath after reading all the complaints filed on this site about their customer service skills) and a course of remedial action against this teller and if I don't, I am going to contact the Banking commission and the State's anti-discrimination agency and file a profiling complaint against the bank, its manager and in particular this insensitive teller. After 35 years of being in a business in which customer service is our motto, I am shocked that someone in the banking industry could be so rude and insensitive to a customer's needs. Perhaps she doesn't understand the word CUSTOMER.
Well Citizens Bank teller, let me spell it out for you: It means that you bend over backwards as far as you can whether or not the customer is right in order to make them a satisfied client. No ifs ands or butts, that's what people who come in contact with consumers HAVE to do every day or they don't stay in business. So while you're collecting your paycheck (derived from insidious bank fees), padding your 401K and exploiting vacation time, how about taking a "how to influence people and win friends" course. You need it badly and you shouldn't be coming in contact with the public if you can't manage your banking tasks in a friendly, take charge, get it done manner in the interest of good consumer relations.
Bottom line, lucky for you that I wasn't affiliated with a group in this country that may have had the local anti-sematic or racial profile neighborhood group protesting outside of your branch for your racist, insensitive and discriminatory commentary to me. It won't happen again to another one of your customers, that you can be certain of because when I'm on a mission to get bad customer service people to be accountable for their insensitivities, I have never lost a review by a higher authority to date. Having your insensitive commentary addressed by authorities having jurisdiction will be no different this time around. BANK ON IT.
I have been banking with them for over 10 years and as of recently never had any problems. Last week I called to get my bank account number and they said they couldn't give it to me over the phone. I had to get it online. I told them the online banking system was down and they wanted to transfer me to tech support. I called the branch and they gave it to me over the phone but mixed the numbers up, so the two bills I paid gave me returned check fees of $20 each. I explained that I don't write checks, and the CSR told me I should get them so I have my account number??? HUH?
So today I go into a branch to get a Money Order and the teller tells me I should go somewhere else where they are cheaper. I then ask her why she would tell her customer to go somewhere else to buy a MO? Are you assuming I can't afford a MO? Or am I just not good enough to buy your product? Trust me lady anyone who buys a MO at a bank knows the fee involved... Maybe we have good reason for spending $5??? I'm done with this bank... Don't know what's going on with your bank lately, but I suggest you get your CS in order or you will be losing a lot of customers. I have referred sooooo many people to your bank in the past, just because of your excellent customer service... Not ANYMORE!
I made more than $500 deposit with several checks, and then found out my account turned to negative, $-106! I went to the branch nearby. Two assistants and one manager spent more than 15 mins to figure that they mistakenly rejected my two checks, and charged $20 for each. Then, why did I get $-106 instead of $-40? After standing there for another 30 mins, I got an answer that they don't know and I have to wait until the end of the month to know why. Ok, that's the most frustrating experience I ever had with a bank. How could I trust a bank who always steal my money secretly? Let alone those "mistakes" and incompetent employees. I will definitely close my account.
When I was overseas, I saw that my account had overdrawn because the bank chose to hold a payroll check (from well-known university in area) for 6 days, although they never had before. When I tried to contact the bank using their "secure" email, they claimed they couldn't tell me why they were holding the check through their "secure" email -- I had to call. (Being overseas with high phone rates didn't matter to them.) I then tried calling -- repeatedly. No one, not even their bank manager, could tell me why they were holding the check. All the calls cost me a fortune. It wasn't until I got home and saw a quick letter sent to me that I found out what the problem was -- CB just holds checks whenever they wanted to, that's all.
When I asked for paperwork to show me that in this world of internet banking, they warned us they could sometimes hold checks as they wished, they gave me a VERY vaguely worded document that said just that -- that "sometimes" they might hold a check for 6 (or more) days without warning. The fact that they would do this to a long-time client, cause me huge phone bills because they couldn't trust their own email to simply tell me that the paycheck was being held, plus the fact that no one could tell me -- either by internet or phone -- what was going on just reflects a very, very poorly run bank. Needless to say, I can't get out of that bank fast enough.
When I lived in Boston, I had a safety deposit box at Citizens Bank at Kenmore Square (560 Commonwealth Ave). I was sure that I had closed my safety deposit box when I left in 2005, but for years the bank deducted the funds directly from my checking account. I spoke by phone to several bank managers over the 10 years, but they all insisted that I never closed the box. I've been to Boston many times over the 10 years, but could never get a locksmith at the same time I was in town.
Finally, I needed to be in Boston and went a day early because I managed to land an appointment with the locksmith. Lo and behold, when the box was drilled, there was no box inside. But, did I get any apology? Of course not. Instead, **, the bank official, accused me in front of the locksmith and other bank personnel of having stolen the safety deposit box; it was humiliating. And really, was that the most likely scenario??? Absconding with a large safety deposit box and no one noticed??? She indicated that there was no record that I closed the box and I insisted that she look again. Surprise! In the surrendered accounts file cabinet was my paperwork, which included a card dated from 2005 indicating that I surrendered the box and this surrender was signed by a bank official. So, I have been billed for 10 years for a safety deposit box that I surrendered in 2005. How bank managers I've spoken to over the years missed this is beyond me.
When I asked how to get reimbursed for the money I have been paying for 10 years, Ms. ** indicated that I had to prove that I paid all these years. Who keeps paperwork for so long??? I looked over her shoulder when she brought up my account on the computer, and could see some of my recent payments, so Ms. ** knew my account was up to date. Not once did Ms. ** apologize for the bank's mistake. In summary, accused of being a thief, no apology for a mistake by the bank, and huge hurdles to get my money back. Total incompetence and a blame-the-customer-for-the-bank's-mistakes attitude! If I could have given zero stars, I would have.
Since I mistakenly opened an account with Citizens bank and I am discovering how they are a Sneaky bank, changing my account fees without notification resulting in "non-refundable service fees". Even though all communication was set to electronic/email, a letter was sent to an old address. Slimy and disgusting way to steal people's money.
My account went negative because of a citizens checking fee for non-activity and every day it went negative, there was another charge. I now owe $105.00. I went to the bank and they reduced it to $48.13 but that is all they would do for me. There was a big news article on Boston.com how a cup of coffee can cost you $40.00 citizens but they were removing those fees. I guess they never did because my cup of coffee cost me $48.13.
I was charged $70 in overdraft fees even though I deposited three checks and cash to more than account for expense transactions. I contacted customer service to discuss the issue because it was not ethical to charge me those fees. I told them I disputed the overdraft fees that were charged to my account because I made deposits on the same day of the transactions to rectify any potential issues. I also contacted customer service to see if the mobile deposits could be processed faster and was told they couldn't. However I also have a credit union that allows for mobile deposits to be processed sooner with just a phone call so that's not accurate. I would not dispute these fees and would agree with them if I had not made those deposits prior to the overdraft occurring. It is not ethical to be charging me those fees of $70 which were ultimately what even caused my account to be at a negative balance.
By sending promotional bonus, this bank tries to cheat customer like me to open an account, after that, you will never get the bonus, since they will tell you this promotional bonus code is not for you and they do not know how you receive this bonus code. In fact, it's their responsibility to check the record from the post office to figure out why I receive it. What's worse is that the staff in that branch always say he will contact you the next day, however, they will never contact you. The way they treat customer is really too bad. Just posting this for the future potential customer not to be cheated anymore.
First, I must preface this by saying that the fees that originally provoked my frustration and eventually led to the closing of my account were technically legitimate. While I am upset about the unfairness of the fees, what really irked me and led to the final decision to close my account was the way I was treated from a customer service perspective.
I had been a Citizens Bank customer for over five years. My record with them was without a single blemish. I never once incurred an overdraft fee in over five years, and on average the balance in my checking account was greater than $4,000. Unfortunately, I screwed up and the bank took advantage. I had made a large payment via an electronic check, and at the same time I transferred money from another account at a separate bank to cover this payment. Unfortunately the payment was deducted one day earlier than the funds arriving to cover the payment. The payment actually didn't make the balance go negative. It was my scheduled student loan payments that did.
Unfortunately, I have multiple student loans with the same vendor, so for whatever reason the lump payment is deducted separately for each of the five student loans. So, in the end, I had five student loan payments deducted the same day as the large aforementioned payment and the account went negative by about 120 dollars FOR ONE DAY. The money from the other bank arrived the next day and I was back in the positive by a large amount. However, Citizens Bank charges an overdraft fee for each item that overdrafts. So, because those five student loan payments each technically an overdraft, the bank charged me a $35 fee for each of these five payments that caused the balance to go negative. This totaled $175 in overdraft fees for an account that had a negative balance of about $120 for LESS THAN A 24 HOUR PERIOD.
SO, essentially what Citizens Bank did is loan me $120 for ONE DAY (to cover the negative balance in the checking account) and charge me $175 in interest (aka overdraft fees). Everyone accuses payday lenders of being unscrupulous?? Payday lenders wish they had it this good. How this fits in with the Good Banking is Good Citizenship motto is beyond me.
So, thinking I am a valued customer for five years with a flawless record (I should have known they didn't care), I went to a branch in Fairhaven, MA and spoke with the branch assistant manager. She said that she could offer me $70 back on the spot or escalate it with her regional manager and see if we could get the whole dollar amount back - or at least most of it. I choose escalation, and she stated that she agreed with me. She said I would receive a phone call regarding this by the beginning of next week (this initial encounter was on a Thursday).
Of course, I didn't hear from anyone all the next week, so the following week (almost two weeks after the initial encounter), I went back to the branch and (of course), the assistant manager wasn't there. So I spoke to one of the underlings - and I say that because all she kept saying was that her hands were tied and she couldn't do anything for me but she would have the manager call me back ASAP. Of course, that never happened. So, I called corporate and they apologized for the runaround (a half-hearted apology to be sure) but unfortunately, so they said, all they could do was refund $35 of the total fees. I asked why the manager first told me $70. They (of course) couldn't explain why she would say that.
So I took the $35 and said the hell with it. So I tried one final time to make my displeasure known. Since visiting a branch didn't work and calling didn't work, I submitted an e-mail via my online account to complain about the way I had been treated (not the fees - I accepted that 35 was the most I was going to get back - and further I acknowledged all the time that it was my fault - but I thought they would make an exception since the fees, even if they are policy and legal, are basically immoral and unethical). Never received a response - not surprising.So I opened up a checking account with Capital One 360 and online bank. Let me tell you, this may have been a blessing in disguise. This is such an awesome bank.
Benefits:1. NO ACCOUNT MAINTENANCE FEES period (that is no fees AT ALL - unlike other banks such as Citizens where you have to jump through hoops to get the monthly maintenance fees waived, such as having a certain number of transactions or direct deposits) - it really is free checking;
2. NO OVERDRAFT FEES - I simply, due to my good credit, have a $500 overdraft line of credit. I never overdraft anyways (except for when I screwed up once in 5 years as mentioned above). So if I do overdraft, I only pay a daily amount of interest on the overdrawn amount. In comparison, for the situation above in which the account went negative for 120 dollars for ONE DAY due to five items, I paid $175 to Citizens. With Capital One 360, I would have paid less than $1.00 (YES, that is correct - 175 dollars vs. cents)
3. FREE 1st 100 checks
4. EXCELLENT MOBILE APP WITH THE EASIEST MOBILE CHECK DEPOSIT EVER
5. TONS OF FREE ATMS IN LOCATIONS CONVENIENT TO YOU. MORE OPTIONS THAN CITIZENS HANDS DOWN
6. THEY PAY INTEREST REGARDLESS OF YOUR BALANCE. It's just that the amount of interest you get is tiered based on your balance. The higher you keep your average balance the higher the monthly interest you earn. But even if you have only 500 in your account, you'll earn something. Hey a few cents if better than nothing. WITH CITIZENS FORGET IT, you have to have their top tier account with a high balance to get any interest.
7. EXCELLENT WEBSITE, BETTER THAN CITIZENS IN MY OPINION.
8. Free debit card, though this is pretty standard among banks
9. RESPONSIVE CUSTOMER SERVICE UNLIKE HOW I WAS TREATED BY CITIZENS
10. There aren't any physical branches, but who the hell needs to visit a bank branch anymore. Good luck to bank employees in 10 years - maybe sooner. Physical bank branches are going to relics of the past soon enough.
11. 50 DOLLAR BONUS if you use your Capital One 360 debit card three times within 45 days - not to hard to meet.
So goodbye Citizens. Thank you for treating me so poorly so I could discover, in my opinion, a much better bank.
I went to Citizens Bank with my 90 year old mother. She has no computer and could not get her balance on the phone. She got a $35 fee. She asked to have it removed from the manager but he referred it to a regional manager Michael **. He told me his heart said yes, his head said no - totally heartless. Sooner bank goes out business the better.
Transferred money from an IRA account illegally and wire transferred money into another branch to the branch manager... Refused to tell me what happened to the money. A bank employee told me it was not my money anymore and they could not tell me what happened to the money because it was an invasion of privacy. It should not have left my account to begin with. The bank manager had access to the money. Mismanagement of bank. They hire inferior inexperienced people. Had a CPA on my payroll - they refused to talk to my financial people AND TO RESOLVE THIS. They have gone to great lengths to cover this up - A law firm in Boston had a straw escrow agent at the bank. THEY were transferring securities. Horrible bank, bad employees.
My husband and I are middle-aged citizens and we're trying to refinance our home. With my husband working full-time and me as a part-time worker, we're offered by Citizens Bank a refinancing option to our current home. Since we maintained accounts with Citizens Bank, we trusted their offer and began the loan processing in July, 2012. I have to let the world know that it was nothing but a nightmare process, and now after six months, they still haven't closed the loan and we lost the deposit of $450.00. Citizens Bank's loan department has literally taken us for a ride.
We've submitted all the long list of documents within two weeks of the initial processing, then started following up. Two, four, six, eight, twelve weeks passed by, and after 4 months they started asking for the same documents that we've submitted earlier. We're helpless, and the worst part about it was there was no explanation from the Citizens Bank's side about why it took so long for responding and queries, and what they were doing with our files. For them, the customer satisfaction has no value in it. We did not understand how such a huge mistake could have happened. Almost six months later, they started requesting the same documents and other list of verification again. We kept on requesting them, really humbly, to stop this processing fiasco and refund our hard-earned $450.00.
Citizens Bank simply replied with no. We had lost our deposit money, as well as 4+ months of reduced monthly mortgage payment. Citizens Bank dragged us to this nightmare went with no remorse or apology. It's hard to imagine what such a bank can do to the long-standing customers. If you are considering refinancing or financing a loan with Citizen Mortgage, our humble request is to run away from them and don't end up a prey, like us. Please stay away from them for loan purposes.
First of all what I'm about to describe is a scam that we accidentally stumbled into, which I do not blame the bank for. However the bank's communication led us to falling for the scam, and then they quickly backed out and said they were not responsible. Here is how it happened.
My wife runs a tutoring business teaching Mandarin. English is her second language but she knows it fairly well. She sometimes deals with foreigners and other folks who may not understand American customs.
One day she came to me saying that a client has given her more money than she asked for, to tutor someone down at the library. I was very busy and distracted, and I usually don't get involved in her business, but I noticed that it was a bank check she received was a LOT more than she asked for. I thought this was very strange, and it raised a red flag. I asked her to return it. Then she came back to me and said the client wanted her to cash it and forward the remainder via Western Union to the caretaker of the child who was to be tutored.
This made me angry and I nearly told her to tell her client "no" and returned it. I should have. Not appreciating this extra work, but needed my wife's income and not having time to deal with her business affairs, I strongly advised her to cash it and ask the bank to tell her when it CLEARS. I asked her to be very specific about that, it has to clear before we do anything else. She is very good about following instructions, she is a smart girl, and understood my intentions.
So she deposited the check with a teller at Citizen's Bank. She very clearly asked the teller to tell her when the check would clear. The teller then gave her a date. My wife returned home and gave me that date. I thought the date was too fast, but this being the digital age I decided the bank knew what it was doing.
On that date, we checked online and so no hold on the money, and no indication of a problem. The check seemed good. So my wife wired the remaining money ($3,500) to the party we were supposed to.
Several days go by and she goes to meet the "student" at the library. Nobody ever shows up. She returns home and contacts the client, who then says that he must cancel the tutoring, but to keep the money we already cashed.
Of course you can see where I'm going with this. The bank called us a WEEK later to tell us that the check was fraud. I hit the ceiling. I demanded to know why they said a check cleared when it didn't. They claimed that they did no such thing -- that they tell customers -- in good faith -- that a check is "cashable" after a certain date. That's why it seemed too fast. They asked us to redeposit the portion of the $3,500 that left us overdrawn, and at first I refused. They said the consequence for that would be that they sue us for it, taking NO RESPONSIBILITY for their poor communication.
Had they answered my wife's question ("when will the check CLEAR") this would not have happened. Having money become "available" is not the same thing as a check clearing. They gave us a date that we acted upon and we lost $3,500.
BTW: in a scam like this (which is very common, I found out, much to my embarrassment) the police do very little to catch the criminal. They found out where he was but did nothing with the authorities on the other end to catch him. That's why the scam is common: it depends on the banks not being clear (or not even communicating) when a check deposit is truly safe to withdraw from, and they depend on Western Union and banks taking no responsibility for being a party to the scam at all. All of these institutions allow these scams not only to continue but to thrive, shirking any legal participation or responsibility in the matter.
Frankly I think there is a legal case against a bank that gives us a bad date as to when a check HAS CLEARED. We can't possibly know when a check clears, we depend on the bank to give us that information. They give us a date, we act on it, then they retract that date and say it didn't clear after all and stick us with the money under threat of litigation.
Shouldn't there be some kind of consumer protection in such a deal?
I received a check for my son for $20.00 dollars so I went to the bank where the check is drawn from which was citizens bank, the teller asked me if I had an account with them and I said no, he then told me that there was A $7.00 fee to cash a check or I could open an account to avoid the fee. That’s blackmail; I made a big scene and left, told my son to leave that bank.
I initiated a bill pay via the company's online banking service. The bill had a pay date of 09/15/2010, the same day my payroll deposit is posted. However, the bank posted this bill pay on 09/14/2010 to create an overdraft fee. They posted an overdraft fee the next day when my payroll deposit was posted.
For all of you that have complaints against citizens bank, I want to assure you that they are and will be held responsible. I turned the tables against them after they were out to destroy me. I am going to trial and filed against them on June 29th 2010. After years of trying to deal with outrageous fees and misleading fraudulent activity, I hate the ultimate destruction of my credit, ob, safety and health compromised. I'm in collections and debt recovery. My government medicare checks were attached to payment of fees. My accounts were closed by giving me false credit to bring my balance to 0. I had to beg them and pay $15.00 a month to collections to preserve my 1 account left. I was told I would never get another savings or debit card for 7 years.
Well, here's the scoop. Citizens President in Boston stepped down and a new president was appointed. At this time, Mastercard relationships with Citizens bank ceased and VISA was the new selection to replace Master card. Instead of doing this in a timely manner, the consumers were mislead to believe that the transition was for the benefit of the consumer when in fact in bad faith the benefit was for the bank only. My career in advertising and other expertise in law in connection with publications was helpful in finding the smoking gun which will affect every law suit about mishandling of fees and illegal banking fraud in the benefit of citizen's bank only.
When the transition happened, I was in the process of correcting a mistake of not having a debit card attached to account 1. I applied for account 1 and received a master card in which was not activated. Upon receiving the new debit card which specifically stated that it was a replacement for the account 1 Mastercard, I proceeded to comply with the instructions on the attached folder. The folder clearly stated in bold and underlined that it was in the consumers benefit to comply with the new rules, one of which was to keep the same pin. The cards were computer generated in an incompetent fashion and errors were made. My account 2 card was sent in the same fashion. My 2 business accounts also. We can call them account 3 and account 4. Account 2 without my knowledge was taken out of same account 1 Visa.
I went to buy 2 cups of coffee with account 1 Visa card and was charged $3.75 cents from account 2. Account 2 at the time had only approx. $2.00 in it do to many bills and charges made. Account 1 was attached to my PayPal account and barely used. PayPal charges and eBay fee's attached the wrong account and caused more fees. The one cup of coffee from Burger King cost me an immediate fee of $39.00. I called the bank to explain the banks error and ask for a fee rebate. I was told no. I refused to pay this fee until I got compensation. Account 1 incurred $39.00 from the fee immediately and another $39.00 in 3 days. After 7 days, another $25.00 was attached. All in all over $100.00 for a $3.75 cup of coffee taken out of an illegal Visa card in benefit to the bank only. It doesn't stop there either.
The bank compromised all 4 accounts. Business account 3 medicare money checks were transferred to account 4 business account attached to another PayPal account. Account 3 was illegally transferred before a letter was sent to inform me a week later. A $49.00 credit was given on account 3 to bring the account to 0, so it could be closed for the banks benefit. Account 4 was still active but incurred $300.00 fee's due to a another PayPal account which went into this registered account of another store to recover a fee of $1.50. Account 1 went to collections and recovery in the amount of $550.00. Account Account 2 was charged off with over $300.00 fees. account 3 was charged a Liberty mutual automatic payment of $120.00. even though the account was negative. It was sent back and incurred more fees for being put through a second time, adding hundreds to the fee's. Also not paying my car insurance and compromising that.
Today, account 1 is in collections, account 2 is charged off on it's way to collections, account 3 was closed by the bank. This was a business account and money in it was used to pay account 4 fees of which I owed because account 4 went negative. This brought me to 0 accounts with the bank and a limited PayPal MasterCard. The bank tried to get me to destroy evidence and I did not. I planned to file fraud with this evidence. I had to agree to pay $300.00 to keep account 4. It was only 10 days past due. The Visa was not activated on this account until I went back to the bank and asked. In the meantime, I deposited $1,300.00 in this account to save my business. I got letters back saying that this account was inactive.
As a designer artist I was able to get to the source of the matter. The bank illegally misinformed its customers into believing that keeping the same pin on card was to the customers satisfaction and benefit. The bank computer generated the cards without editing or checking the computer programing and attempted to transact an illegal distribution of funds to the banks benefit only. This is clearly stated on the flyer and brochures mailed to consumers. We were led to believe that the bank had our safety and peace of mind when indeed it did not and knowingly supplied this misleading and false information to benefit the vice president and CEO of Citizens and Royal bank which is situated outside the country. It clearly states that the customer keep the same pin and have good faith in the banking when in reality the bank acted in bad faith.I'm so lucky to have the presence of mind to keep all and I mean all documents. I did inform citizens of the trial and they are in the process of a remedy. I don't know if I should accept it or not. I'm hoping this sets precedence for all the suits brought against the bank and all who have suffered. Last year, a letter was published in the east Boston Times on a similar occurrence which cost me an additional $1000.00. I paid those fees to secure my accounts then.
Over $2000.00 in actual fees paid. My credit report ruined. My check systems report ruined for 7 years or 10. My PayPal account limited and possibly closed because a letter was sent to PayPal implicating fraud in my accounts used. The is a regular bank procedure when accounts are closed but not applied when the bank favors excessive fees to be taken. Money taken from my prescription drug rebate. Inability to open a savings or CD or another type of account.
Loss of income and abilities to provide shelter and food to a disabled son. My retirement and my sons SSI checks used to pay for fees. Mental abuse and physical discomfort from stress and fear of losing my home. Possible loss of my eBay store. I think that feeling helpless was the worst of this. Fighting a huge bank like this is scary and almost impossible. I'm broke and have no way to have a summer vacation which I desperately need. I'm depressed and filled with anger from being a victim of crime. I have post traumatic stress from many cases like this over fees charged by the bank and threats to destroy my name and credit. Whatever else I can't think of at the moment. The embarrassment of being denied check cashing on treasury checks and even a fema check is unbearable. No one should go through this in a recession. No CEO or vice president is above the laws of the constitution of the United States. Royal Bank too.
Service rep at bank signed me up for Green-Sense program with 10 cents rebate on on-line/debit card transactions. Was told I had a debit card. 6 months in a row a customer service rep at the bank said I was signed up and had no idea why the bank wasn't paying the rebate as promised. Finally told I was not REALLY signed up. Their own tech support team told me the customer service reps were incompetent This program is a scam. It's time to change banks!
Six months of trips to the bank with much aggravation, loss of time, loss of rebate monies promised.
I have a checking account with them. I had a little misscommunication with my wife and she paid a bill when we didn't have enough money in there so I got charged over draft fees and I had other things that went through so I got charged even more over draft fees. I got a check and I couldn't spend it because it all went to the bank and I am still negative. I don't know why they charge so much.
People can't live and pay bills if they keep charging a rediculous amount. The ended up charging me about $600 dollars in over draft fee's. Right know my gas tank is empty and I have no money to get gas. They took all of my money. They economy is bad enough and they are not making anthing better by doin this to us. It makes me not want to have bank account. I feel stuck like a can't do anything about it. There needs to be a law against this. Banks should not be aloud to charge over draft fee's especcially if it leaves the consumer with no money to live on.
Citizens Bank, Massachusetts Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Citizens Bank, Massachusetts