Since the introduction of the RM50 service fees chargeable on every credit card you own, most of us had cancelled some redundant credit cards.

As banks are losing their customer fast, they are coming up with different strategies to retain their customers, including this (email from a reader):

Chronology of event:

1. on 22-3-2010 I made a call to Citibank to request for cancelling my card, they told me i need to wait for 3 working days for their cancellation department to contact me to proceed.

2. on 25-3-2010, I finally got a call from their cancellation officer, and he was offering me some ‘promotion’ so I could consider not cancellation my card. I told him I need time to think.

3. on 27-3-2010, the office called me again and I told him I considered the promotion and decided to still cancel the card, and he said to proceed to do that he needs to ask me some ‘verification questions’. My reaction was ‘You are the one that called me, why do I need to be ‘verified’?‘; but he insisted, so I try to answer all questions. I could answer the first 2 questions, but the 3rd question
was ‘When/where was the last time you made the transaction with the card?’; I told him I don’t remember anymore since I have a few cards and I have not been using Citibank Card for a while. He insisted me to answer that question before he can proceed, and I insisted I that I don’t remember and suggested him to ask another verification question.

He didn’t, but finally said ok, he will proceed with the cancellation, and the procedure is that I have to go to Citibank website, and download a cancellation form, and fill that in, and fax it back to Citibank, and it will take 2 weeks to process that cancellation.

My complain for Citibank:
1. Their officer were the one that called me, yet he still needs to ask the 3 verification questions, and when I could not answer one, he insisted that he cannot proceed with the cancellation unless I go check and get back to him on the info he needs, eventhough I offer him to ask another question, he just was trying to delay my cancellation.

2. Given the situation when he finally said ‘ok lets proceed with the cancellation’, all he asked me to do was to go online, download a cancellation form, and then fax it back to them, and then wait for 2 weeks for them to process and get back to me! If this is the standard
‘cancellation procedure’ from Citibank, why can’t they tell me the first time when I called on 22-3-2010? After going through so many steps, and they told me all I need to do is to go through this cancellation process again and wait for 2 weeks?

3. This morning 29-3-2010, I called Citibank again and request to talk to their cancellation department supervisor to sort this out as I am really uncomfortable with this, they just keep telling me all of them are out and no one is available to talk, and just asked me to wait for 3 working days for them to call me back.

4. I am afraid with the long waiting to cancel the card, by time when it is being processed, we will be charged the government tax already. If that is the case, who will bear the tax?

When you are trying to trick your customers, you bear the risk to lose not just one customer’s trust, but all the prospects and customers who hear what she said, and read what she wrote. Especially when it is written on the web, it is indexed by Google and appear long enough on the Internet search result.

I am feeling that this blog is not just a place where you can search for personal finance information, it can also serve as a platform to voice out your concern, suggestions and dissatisfaction. If the big corporations don’t care about their customers, I can at least inform thousands of you who should be aware of it.

Do you have any story to share? Just email your story to me.


KCLau
KCLau

Personal finance author and trainer

    34 replies to "Citibank delay credit card cancellation"

    • AskChong

      Keep one or two cards is essential as the GST RM50 will be earned/refunded somehow…. problem with banks will always be there…. can anyone find a bank never be complaint? From time to time, bank will try different ways to retain cancellation (and to increase issuance of new card).

    • lan

      I’m the other hand always give Citibank problems 🙂 I used their cards, maxed them out, don’t pay, arrange for a term loan and pay them in full, after a couple of months when everything is clear, I’d do it again..my beef is I hate those interest charges but do use their OPM facility which is good and recognized globally.

    • ronmahsih

      Hi Orang Kampung,

      It happened to me with Affin. At least I have yet to be blacklisted.
      You may go to legal means if you can afford it or better still, if you’re a lawyer.

      Otherwise, you may just keep calling citi and make sure that you record down your report number (ask for it if they didn’t provide you). Then liaise with BNM as well. The website include a mail address for complaints.

      Good luck.

      • orang kampung

        Thank you Ronmahsih for the advice.

    • ronmahsih

      Hi Tee.
      You have to fight it!
      Keep calling the CS saying that you never activate the card and thus should never been billed in the first place. Demand for the bank to absorb all charges and/or late payment fees.
      Don’t ignore!
      Continuous non-payment will appear in CTOS and will trouble you later. You will be blacklisted not just from EON Bank but everywhere including telecommunication and hire-purchase companies.

      • Orang Kampung

        My experience with CITI Bank really2 bad as well. YES, I did apply for the Air Asia Card when one of their officer call me just because i frequently use Air Asia to travel so maybe i could get something extra from it. After sending the form through fax, i never get contacted by them even though the officer promised me a gift for applying. So i assumed that my application was not success & i actually not putting any hope for getting the card and don’t really bother so much about the application.
        But the terrible thing comes after that…6 month later…i tried to apply for ASB loan from CIMB but they tell me that my name is under CCRIS because of credit card problem but they don’t know from which bank & they can’t process my loan. I was very surprised because I had never failed to pay any outstanding amount due to credit card that i have (2 cards)& then suddenly i remembered about the application and straight away contacted Citi Bank. and it’s true that the problem is from that matter. The officer ask me to settle the outstanding even though i explained that the card never reach me and i never received any statement from them. I feel reluctant to pay since i didn’t received that card & the bank didn’t do their part to make sure the card reach me throught any acknowledgement (via post or phone) so why i should pay for the thing that i never enjoy..So it was a very harsh thing done by Citi Bank to list me as a bad person in CCRIS just because of RM50 which they actually not yet give any service to me..unless if i used the card but didnt pay that will be a different story…So I plan to take a legal action against CITI Bank for the “loss” that I had to face because of their bad service (such as the loss of dividend from ASB that i could received etc)….Do you think that I can or should do so?…Please anyone could advice me …Thank you..

    • Tee

      Today I received a letter from EON Bank, telling me that althought I have cancelled my credit card on 25 Aug, 2010 before it is activated, I still need to pay the GST of RM50. I was told to pay it to avoid further finance charge or late payment fee.
      Can I just ignored it? The card was cut in front of me in the bank, why must I pay it ? Is there anyone has this experience? The most is I being blacklisted by EON bank, right?

    • Taufik

      I had similliar bad experience when i want to cancel my citibank credit card. They appoint young clueless fresh graduate customer services to answer the phone call.

      i cannot remember how many times i had call and email their customer services and fax the letter of cancellation to them.. they keep asking me for verification and why you want to cancel this card???.. crazy fellas.

      Finally i email to them and cc to bank negara, then about 3/4 days after that they cancel the card for good. what a relieve..!!!…

      be extra careful with citibank they even charge you with the unwanted insurance coverage (to your outstanding balance) which doesn’t visible clearly in your cc , of course you never give any consent to subscribe to this crap insurance.

      • KCLau

        Seem like many people are having trouble with Citibank card cancellation.

        • JC

          Surprisingly, I don’t have issue with Citibank credit card cancellation. I called in and told them I want to cancel my card. Immediately, they processed it for me without much questioning. No more receiving statement for that canceled card with immediate effect.

          I think it all depends on your luck who is at the other side handling your request. Experienced CS knows when there is nothing to offer to customer to keep the card, majorities will not change their mind.

    • Cherry

      how can i settle the citi bank credit card since they don have any easy payment?
      The stupid office ask me to apply their term loan n cover my balance. WTF, that mean i still owe them money, their interest is high.
      And i don’t wish to go for AKPK.
      Any other way to settle the outstanding balance?

      • Bob

        @Cherry, if u can get a balance transfer at another bank do it.
        Else u have to get a Personal loan at another bank, look for which bank is having a promotion at the moment and try there.
        R u non-performing? If u r, then that is a problem. U will need to pay a higher price becoz of ur credit risk.

        • Cherry

          thanks BOB, from the beginning i have pay it well, just 1 time i use on buy a PC, then they call me offer me those easy payment plan…then i just agree with it, but i never know what they charge on this procedure, i already tired on all of my debt. especially Citi Bank, they really a big shark

    • Louis

      I have no problem to deal with citibank when cancelling my credit card last time. But I will never ever sign up any credit card or deal with citibank again. It’s just too much hassle the bank branches only available at the state capital city.

    • Vin

      My top worst bank credit card customer service list:

      1. Citibank
      – They are actually very rude
      2. UOB
      – They try to convince u with all sort of promo which are not interest
      – delay in the cancellation ( it took me 2mth (3calls, 2faxed & 1posted letter) to canceled it)
      3 Standard Charted
      – they have weird rules/t&c,
      – they send me 5 cards!! (2gold (visa & master), 2 platinum (visa & master) & 1 goal (visa)) I was like wth I need so many card sharing the same credit limit by the same bank while there’s not any special promo (petrol disc) on each card??
      – last time they ask me keep the card for 6mth without using it only they can waived the annual fees??
      – 2mth later where the Gov Tax come in, I called up, they canceled it for me, WTH with the 6mth keepin??

      I prefer they verify you with few difficult question rather than askin you whats your credit limit ( which u can guess it) or whats your mom name where almost everyone know it….

      Btw, anyone got free waive on the RM50 gov tax? My friend got his free waive by compliment 11k points T&C (need to swipe 3times within this month) then next month aft the points will be credited. You need to call the bank again to reverse the GST with the points they compliment. So troublesome & weird…. SCB of course.

    • Daud

      I had a very bad experience with citibank a few years back and will never ever deal with citibank again. I am happily using the services of our local banks now.

    • ronmahsih

      Banks have their clients’ registered phone numbers. Should a client called using that number, they should know. With added security of detail info that normally a bank officer asks a client, they should be able to get some confirmation before proceeding any query.

      The thing is, once you apply for ONE card, banks will, at their whims and fancy, issue you with FOUR cards. Say you apply for a mastercard, the bank issue you with Visa as well. Then oncd they know that you have a spouse, they issue him/her with supplementary cards. With the BNM ruling of the RM50 for main card and RM25 for supplementary, it is a lot!

    • Robert Samuel

      There is a reason that the bank has to verify that you are the real person who got the credit card and now wants to cancel the said card.

      Just imagine the scenario where someone writes into the bank and informs the bank that address and mobile number has changed. Then a few weeks later, calls in a request to cancel the card.

      Assume that you are not that person who made that phone call. AND that you are on holiday in Europe with RM10K Malaysian ringgit in your wallet and you have your 2 credit cards.

      The person who called in, can then say, please cancel both my cards ASAP. Now if the bank did not go thru the 3 manual verification or the PIN verification, and proceeded to cancel the cards. You could be left stranded in a foreign country with no usable credit card and cash which is not exchangeable.

      Frightening isnt it. Hence although it is annoying, I would rather the bank’s CS officer go thru their spiel of confirming my identity to the best of their ability before deciding to cancel my cards or make any major changes in their database about me.

    • ronmahsih

      An update for my 21st April reply.
      I’ve received my latest RHB statement and indeed, they add another late payment fee and interest. I have made an official complaint to the customer service (customer_service@rnbbank.com.my). I also made another mail to the same address for the cancellation of annual fee. Both were done yesterday.
      As of to date, I have received one mail on the cancellation of annual fee. I was requested to do a formal signed letter either by fax or snail mail.
      I’ll follow up with another update.

      ronmahsih

    • elin

      I have the exactly same problem with Citibank. I successfully cancelled my citibank credit card in last November. Then, they called me persuading me to take back my card, saying they will pay back the late fees charges and wat-so-ever charges to me(This is practically why i cancel the card, they charged on everything.) Plus, they say with the new card, i can used the card till the late november this year. Which means, i can cancel the card b4 november to save myself from govt tax. But then, in April, the govt tax showed up in my statement. I called up and asked what’s the problem. They said My card had been used for one year and is entitled for the charges. You know, they are the person processing all of this. They sent me a new card and said i m using my old card. i have been tanggling with this for half a year, since last novemeber when i first cancelled the first CITIBANK credit card.
      Advice to credit card users: CITIBANK is the worst bank ever. Cancelled it b4 it creating more troubles to you. Sincerely…

    • Marcus Tan

      Thanks for sharing. I have a credit card from Citibank too but i never face such problem before but so far the Citibank service for me is good. Any recommend for credit card recently that will waive RM50 government tax? Here i want to share out experience is Alliance bank service was bad. I was make a payment a few day late on my credit card based on issue date and i have been charge for 3 charges ( late charge credit & retail interest charge). Then i was try to appeal all this charges around 2 months and follow up within 3 officer. It was really, really bad service from them. I will prefer good services that provide from those International bank.

    • ronmahsih

      Headhunter,

      Thanks for the story.
      I am now in an almost similar situation with RHB. Except that no insurance thing involved.
      2 months back, I received a Mastercard from RHB, AND a supplementary card attached to it addresses to my spouse. I ignored them, knowing that they cannot do anything (by right) as long as I never activate them.
      A few days later, the bill came with the government service fee notification on the cards. I notify RHB of this and they said that they’ll settle it.
      To my amazement, last month, another bill came with the late payment charges against the non-paying of the government service fee. I notified RHB again and even the card centre confirmed that the cards have never been activated. I was given the run around, card centre-customer service-managers?-etc.
      If the bill come again this month, I will cancel all my other credit cards with RHB and do with debit card instead.
      ..and so, I will be with you, stood my ground..

      ronmahsih

    • Headhunter

      My experience with citibank was post card cancellation. After being fed up with credit shield insurance charges – i mean they force you to insure even a few hundred ringgit of bill which I found ridiculously unscrupulous (although they blamed me for not informing them that I didn’t want the insurance). Anyway fed up, I cancelled 2 cards, visa and master via phone calls, email and letters. That was done. 6 months letter I received a renewal fee for a card, which had different card no. I thought that must be some errors, so I ignored the bill, beside I had never received such card. The bills kept on coming evering month, and yes, they charged RM3.0 for credit shield each time for the pupportly renewal fee that I hadn’t settled. After a while I received a demand letter, you know their standard letter chasing for late payment. There I was, being held ransomed for a card which I didn’t receive and never dream to have. I thought that was the last straw, so I stood my ground, decided to waste my time and dealt with it…..

    • Faizal

      Write a cancelation letter to Citibank after complete full settlement of your credit.
      cc a letter to Bank Negara.

    • Ethan Law

      I have the similar bad experience with Citibank. I have cancelled all my cards with Citibank since then.

    • MrJus

      The same happens to me with Citibank credit card. I did a cancellation by faxing the cancellation letter to Citibank. They still call me a couple of times to persuade. I told them I’m not interested. I believe the best way to deal with banks are:
      – Use black and white(written/typed) – send/fax to bank
      – 2nd step, follow up by calling the Bank, speak to the person-in-charge and always get their names.

      So far this has worked for me.

    • farulg

      I did my cancellation in March too, but I did it at the Citibank counter. Thankfully no complaints there, everything was smooth. Will keep the Bank Negara/ABM tip in mind!

    • Ryan

      KC… CITIBANK ma… i faced this also last year end… i canceled my CITIbank card early than you.
      i also found that i’ve to fax in my cancellation form where i dont need to do that previously (i owned few of their cards before as just helping a friend who work there).
      The really give lots of LAME excuses.. i’m the satisfy customer previously until i give up them as need to called them up yearly for annual fee waiver… forget this Citibank.. there are local bank which can do a good job and providing good service as well..

    • My experience with HSBC is worse. They takes 6 months to finally cancel my credit card.
      They say to cancel just need to talk by phone with CS. CS told me that their cancellation department will call me but they never call. This thing repeating for 4-5 times & finally they let me cancel their card after I scold their CS. Very very bad,

    • oic

      I hate counteroffer.when requesting for card cancellation.

      I just call to report card lost and pls don’t send me any replacement card.

    • Headhunter

      LOL….I tot I am the only one…hahaha…it is a nightmare! the worst of its kind on planet earth…anyway, thanks for the tip to involve Bank Negara.

    • No2

      My wife was getting the same bullshit when she decided to cancel her Citi clear card. What I did was i lodged a report with ABM, and ABM forwarded that case to Citibank within 2-3 days. And soon after that 3 days we got a call from Citibank telling us the cancellation will be in progress, without filling up any forms whatsoever!
      So, please Get ABM’s involvement if you get a beat around the bush by this crappy bank!

    • ronmahsih

      Get Bank Negara involved!
      This is mentioned in Bank Negara website:

      To make a banking/insurance complaint or other related query, please email
      bnmtelelink@bnm.gov.my

      Whenever I have dispute with banks on things that I believe I’m right, this is where I go. In my cases, they never fail to reply. Normally they advice you to report directly to the bank’s customer service channel with even the address/e-mail provided. In one of my case, I get action done even though I never make direct report to the original bank. I believe, Bank Negara will act as soon as they receive a report. Be as detail as possible.

      ronmahsih

    • JC

      Are they offering you RM30 rebate? What was told to me is a customer is entitled for the rebate if he/she spent at least RM300 within 3 months from the date of offer. Unfortunately, I still haven’t seen the rebate show up in my statement after the terms & conditions are met.

      On the other hand, I received a better deal from another foreign bank (SC) during their CNY promotion. This is only valid for new application. A customer will be receiving RM150 rebate if he/she used the card for at least once (regardless of what amount) within 1 or 2 weeks (can’t remember clearly) from the date of issue. I received the rebate in my first month statement. That saves me of 3 years government service tax on top of free annual fees.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.