Posts Tagged ‘Citizens Bank’

Century Bank scorecard

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Century Bank LogoMy wife and I recently closed our Citizens Bank checking account and home equity line of credit (HELOC) and opened new ones at Century Bank. We decided to do this after many unsatisfactory interactions with Citizens.

We’ve learned a lot about Century in the short time we’ve been doing business with them. I wanted to post this “scorecard” of our interactions thus far, for the benefit of anyone who might be considering patronizing them or comparing them to other banks in the area.

Executive summary: So far, I like Century and I’m happy with the switch. I have my complaints, but the positives outweigh the negatives in my mind, especially since there are some things I like a lot.


More Citizens Bank shenanigans

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Those of you who have been reading the ongoing saga of my dissatisfaction with Citizens Bank will no doubt be pleased to hear that it is nearly at an end. Last week, my wife and I transferred our home equity line to Century Bank and opened a checking account there, and we applied for a Capital One Venture Rewards card to replace our Citizens Bank card. In another week or two the final details of the transition will be complete and we will close our Citizens Bank accounts for good.

In the meantime, however, I have yet another bit of Citizens Bank lunacy to report.


Citizens Bank credit card dispute idiocy

Friday, January 28th, 2011

Citizens Bank FAIL

Tuesday, November 30th, 2010

Terrible UI Design of the Day

Thursday, November 11th, 2010

The Citizens Bank Web site recently added a new feature: bill payees can be put into groups.

When you first visit the “Add/Manage Groups” page, it looks like this:

The first stupid UI decision should be obvious after a moment’s thought. Once you’ve set up your groups, you will rarely if ever create new ones, and yet they’ve put a big “Add Group” box at the top of the page, taking up precious real estate.


Bye Bye, Citizens Bank

Monday, November 8th, 2010

Last July, when we were preparing for our trip to Israel, I called Citizens Bank and asked this simple question: “What is the least expensive way for me to get Israeli sheqels out of my Citizens Bank checking account?”

In response, the customer service representative told me the following:

  • The fee for withdrawing currency from an ATM in Israel is 2%.
  • The fee for exchanging currency at a bank branch is waived because I am a “Citizens Gold” customer, so this is cheaper than using an ATM in Israel.

Unfortunately all of this is incorrect:

  • The fee for withdrawing currency from an ATM in Israel is actually 3%, not 2%.
  • While the “exchange fee” is indeed waived for Citizens Gold customers, the bank charges a hidden fee by marking up the exchange rate by around 10%, so in fact exchanging currency at a bank branch costs 7% more, and is thus 233% more expensive, than using an ATM.


More Citizens Bank idiocy

Sunday, September 19th, 2010

I have to confess that at this point it seems like posting examples of Citizens Bank incompetency is sort of like beating a dead horse, but here’s one that might amuse a few people. (Stay tuned for a future post about the >$300 in fees that Citizens Bank stole from me, which I’m holding off on posting about until it is resolved.)

The last time I logged into the Citizens Bank online banking Web site, I saw this message:

We’ve made some improvements to Online Banking! The new “Manage Features” tab provides convenient access to services which work along with your accounts, including Goal Savings, Rewards, Overdraft Services, and Protection Services. See how you can get the most out of your accounts!

Unfortunately, there was no “Manage Features” tab that I could find anywhere on the Web site. I sent them this message through the site:

My home page says “[above message elided]” but there is no “Manage Features” tab that I can find anywhere on the site.

Two days later, I got this response:

Thank you for your recent email regarding a Manage Features tab. Please provide additional information where you are viewing this reference; please provide page. Unfortunately we are unable to assist you further with this issue with the information provided, as we are unable to locate the page you are viewing. You may choose to call when you are on the website so we can navigate along with you. We regret any inconvenience this may have caused.

Which part of “home page” did they not understand? Which part of “It’s your broken Web site that displayed this stupid message, so why don’t you go bother the people who create and post these messages instead of wasting my time?” did they not understand?


Citizens Bank promises, doesn’t deliver, $50 promotional credit to me and presumably many others

Friday, July 23rd, 2010

July 23, 2010

Lawrence Fish
Executive Chairman
RBS Citizens, N.A.
1 Citizens Plaza
Providence, RI 02903-1344

Dear Mr. Fish,

Please find enclosed a complaint about your institution which I just filed with the office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts.

You promised me a $50 promotional credit and then never paid it. I spent almost 25 minutes on the phone with your customer service department today trying to get this resolved, only to be told at the end that it would be “researched” and it might take another two months before I am paid what I am owed, if indeed I am paid at all.

When I asked for this to be confirmed in writing, the representative with whom I was speaking said this was not possible. I had to escalate to a supervisor, Ana, who assured me that I would receive a confirmation letter within 7-10 days. Why I had to escalate to a supervisor just to receive such a letter is beyond me. It remains to be seen whether I will actually receive the letter I was promised, or for that matter the $50.

I would like to know what you are going to do to ensure that every single person who was entitled to the $50 promotional credit receives it. Promising a promotional credit which you then fail to pay is unfair, deceptive, and fraudulent. Are you going to let that stand or take steps to remedy it?


Jonathan Kamens

encl: copy of complaint to Massachusetts Attorney General

Citizens Bank idiocy round-up

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Citizens Bank screws the pooch on weekend “upgrade”

Monday, August 31st, 2009

Citizens Bank “upgraded” their online banking site over the past two weekends.

This morning, when I attempted to log in, here’s what I experienced:

  • 30 seconds to load the initial login page
  • 72 seconds to load the identity verification page (i.e., “you’re using a computer without one of our cookies already in its browser cache, so you need to answer one of your security questions”)
  • 57 seconds to load the password entry page
  • 95 seconds to load the home screen, and several page elements were missing when it finished loading

Total: four minutes and fourteen seconds to log into a broken site

Afterwards, I tested from two other independent internet connections and saw similar results.

Some upgrade, eh?

I’m sure they’ll eventually figure out what’s wrong and fix it, but still, haven’t they ever heard of load testing?

One would hope that whoever is responsible for this debacle will be getting coal in their performance-review stockings this year.