Posts Tagged ‘Citi Smith Barney’

More Citi Smith Barney incompetence

Thursday, December 25th, 2008

November 14: Complaint letter sent to Citi Smith Barney.

December 9: Citi Smith Barney responds.

December 12: A different person at Citi Smith Barney responds again: “This is to acknowledge receipt of your November 14, 2008 correspondence… We are in the process of reviewing the situation and will report back to you as soon as we complete our investigation.”

December 15: A third letter from Citi Smith Barney: “Enclosed is [our] December 9, 2008 letter to you in response to your November 14, 2008 correspondence.”

In other words, “Oops, sorry, I didn’t realize that somebody else at the company had already spent time responding to your complaint, so I wasted my own time and the company’s money researching it again and sending you two more pointless letters about it!”

As I told them in my original complaint letter, “No wonder you guys are in such lousy financial shape, while Vanguard is doing fine. Vanguard knows how to serve its customers properly, whereas apparently all you know how to do is provide bad service and charge obscene fees.”

Citi Smith Barney refunds transfer fees

Monday, December 15th, 2008

I wrote previously about the painful experience I had trying to transfer from stock from Citi Smith Barney into my Vanguard brokerage account, and about the bogus transfer fee that Citi Smith Barney charged me without prior notice.

Citi Smith Barney charged the fee because I initiated the stock transfer from Vanguard.  I did it this way because the Vanguard instructions complete and comprehensible, whereas the Citi Smith Barney instructions were gobbledygook.

Since then, I dealt with another transfer agent, BNY Mellon, about transferring some shares of stock from them to my Vanguard account.  Their policy, believe it or not, is to charge a fee for transfers initiated through them, but to do it for free if the transfer is initiated through Vanguard.

Yes, that’s right, Citi Smith Barney charges for what BNY Mellon does for free, and BNY Mellon charges for what Citi Smith Barney does for free.  This illustrates rather clearly, I think, how completely bogus and detached from reality these fees are.

In any case, I received a letter from Citi Smith Barney today in which they admitted no wrongdoing (of course) but agreed to refund the fees “as an accommodation to you.”  How civil of them.

One cannot help but wonder if the substantive feedback I gave them about the quality of their services will ever be seen and considered by someone who might be able to act on it.  I doubt it.

Citi Smith Barney incompetence

Friday, November 14th, 2008