Google Ad Rep / hillhurst manager
Why I left CitiBank after 15 years as a happy customer:
Because your Hillhurst branch manager, Josephine Rivera, asked me to close my accounts.
I'm a 77 year old retired businessman who has always maintained at least $15, 000 in 4 savings accounts and one checking account at Citibank. The last thing in the world I wanted to do was to change my bank since I received my SS deposits there, had all my auto bill payments made from my accounts there and had transfers set up between my brokerage accounts and Citibank.
That all changed about 2 months ago when I went into your branch to withdraw $1, 000. I had a contractor waiting at my house for me to pay him for supplies. Since the ATM would only dispense $800 to me, I had to get in the teller line (a thing I never do) for the additional $200.
There was only one teller open and she had a customer at her window. There was also one customer in line ahead of me so I thought I shouldn't be there very long. I was wrong. The customer at the window was there for, literally, 15 minutes, which is a long time for me to stand still with my arthritic, bad back, as well as keeping the contractor waiting.
While I was standing in line, a strange looking woman entered the branch. She looked like she might have been a street person, unkempt in appearance. She walked right up and interrupted the teller, was told something by the teller, and impatiently began pacing around the bank. Next thing I know is that the woman stepped in front of the line and went up to the teller as soon as the teller's customer left. Instead of telling the woman to get in line, the teller took her, knowing full well that she should have gotten in line behind the rest of us. My mouth fell open after all the waiting I had done. Needless to say, I was upset.
Worse, the scabbing woman had several transactions to do, which took at least another 6-8 minutes. When she was done, the line proceeded and at last I got to the head of it, not a happy camper. I was angry for having to be there for a half an hour to get $200 and told the teller as much. I asked her name, saying I was going to let the bank know how cavalier she was about taking customers in order, and that she needed retraining.
As soon as I expressed that I was going to make the report, a woman, your Ms Rivera, came out of an office directly next to the teller and asked me what was going on…not the teller, ME. She had obviously overheard me asking for the teller's name and came out ready for a fight. I told her I was angry at being kept in line so long, only to have someone walk in off the street and get immediate service. She told me to keep my voice down, which admittedly had gotten raised when she confronted me in such a rude manner.
When I told her I wanted some explanation of why I had been there for half an hour only to have a strange woman step in line, she said, "Would you like to close your account?" in an extremely confrontive way, just out of the clear blue sky. I never had any intention of closing my accounts. I loved Citibank but was so stunned at her anger towards me and her challenge to me to close my account that on an impulse, I said, "OK".
I told her that I'd need time to change all my business over to another bank and she just stood there, stone faced, so I asked the teller to give me a cashier's check for $10, 000 and just close 2 of my accounts right then and there until I found a bank to move to, which she did. I also finally got the $200 I'd gone in there for so long ago. Your manager just stood there and stared at me while I took my money and left, obviously glad to be rid of me.
At no time did Ms. Rivera ever try to smooth things over, apologize to me for what happened, ask the teller why she did what she did or try to make things better for me, the customer. Her attitude obviously was ‘the customer is always wrong' and instead of resolving problems, just throw the customer out.
About a week later when I went in to close out one more account (I had moved to Chase by then), I told her I had had my own successful business for years and the first thing I insisted my employees do was make things right for the customer. I asked why she didn't try to do that. She said to me, "I'm always fiercely passionate about my employees". I said, "But not your customers?" She then said, "My employees and my customers." I thought to myself, since you put your employees first, perhaps they should pay your salary.
Anyway, after having no intention of ever leaving Citibank, your branch manager let me know that I wasn't really ever valued there as a customer, certainly not as much as the street lady she preferentially gave service to.
I'm saddened because, not only did the move require hours of work for me to move everything to a bank farther away, but because I frequently travel to New York and there are CitiBank ATM's on practically every corner, making it so easy for me to do banking there.
In any case, I'm completely at Chase now. I hope you made it through this letter because I wanted to let someone at Citibank know what can happen on a more basic level in one of your branches. Maybe next time, Ms. Rivera will make more of an effort to recognize a good customer and try to keep them instead of forcing them out as her first reaction.