Christ on a crutch

Okay, so some time back my bank (cough cough CITIBANK cough cough) sends me a new ATM card, which is also a debit card — something I never asked for or wanted. Fast forward to late March/early April — some scumbag gets ahold of my debit card number and charges up nearly $2000, money which is taken out of my account. The bank notices something odd — i.e., the fact that someone who has never used his debit card is suddenly running up thousands of dollars of purchases — and calls me up.

And guess what? I have to go through an investigation, supply all sorts of information, wait several months to have the money returned to me. Think about that: the friggin’ bank sent me a financial instrument which essentially allows anyone who gets ahold of the number to dip their greedy little hands into my account and help themselves. I neither asked for this financial instrument nor wanted it. And yet — when it is, inevitably, abused by some scumbag — I have to wait for “the process” to be completed.

Now, the nice person I talked to on the phone yesterday told me that it was no problem, I was a valued customer, a “provisional credit” was being issued immediately. However, when I called today to double check on some information, I was informed that this was not true at all; I had to sign papers, send information, wait for an investigation that can take up to three months — then maybe I’ll get the money back.

Money which I never would have lost if Citibank had not sent me a debit card I never requested.

Thanks so very friggin’ much, Citibank.

…actually it’s even better: for some reason, the bank didn’t have my current phone number when this fraudulent activity started happening, and they couldn’t get ahold of me. Somebody at Citibank was apparently on the ball, however, and saw what was going on, and delinked my ATM card from my account. And they deserve kudos for being on top of things that much — but when I went into the bank to find out why my ATM card had been delinked, nobody knew — there was no note attached to my file or anything like that. So they made some calls to customer service, tapped at the keyboard, scratched their heads, shrugged — and reactivated the card. And it remained active for another two and half weeks, until somebody else in the fraud department called me yesterday. If the scumbags who stole the number had been on the ball, they would have had another two and a half weeks to help themselves to my bank account — courtesy of our friends at Citibank.

But no matter how many mistakes they’ve made — no matter that I never wanted the damned debit card in the first place — I’m the one who has to jump through hoops to get my money back. Banking’s a great business.