Recently, I received a notice from Citibank:
Important Security Message
This is to inform you that your account may be at risk for unauthorized use. To ensure that it remains protected, we have:
- Restricted Account Online access for this account number.
- Issued a new Citi Card to you.
Okay, I thought, it’s annoying that I’ll have to change any recurring payments, but it’s good that someone is paying attention to my card’s security.
Next step, I called the 800 number to activate the card. I keyed in my information as requested and was told to stay on the line until the activation was confirmed.
Now, I abhor using telephones.
Just ask any of my friends – they all know if they are lying bleeding on the floor, if they don’t email me with that information, help will be a long time coming.
Likewise, if zombies take over the earth via phone signals, like in Stephen King’s book “Cell,” I will be totally unscathed, until Jon catches up to me and eats my brains.
But since stupid company policies are rarely the phone representative’s fault, I always try to make an effort to be pleasant. I maintained this attitude throughout the call, even though the representative tried to sell me two different plans that would cost me money and provide a service I didn’t need. That’s fine, it’s part of his job and he probably doesn’t want to have this call anymore than I do.
Having been assured that the account was activated, I went online to check my balance. I couldn’t access my account, which I figured was normal – I’d just register my new card and we’d be back in business.
Unfortunately, the only way to register your card is to log in using your security word, which I apparently asked for when I requested this card.
This is when I started to get irritated.
I did not request this card, Citibank, you compromised my account information and issued this card to me. After several unsuccessful attempts, I checked my Citibank emails, just in case. No security word.
My emails did however, tell me to go to the website and click Contact Us, which would let me email customer support. Unfortunately, this is what happens when you try to email customer support with this issue:
I sighed, and picked up the phone again. After a nice conversation with Arthur, who could not help me, I spoke to Ryan, who handled the web support. By this point, we had figured out my security word, but unfortunately, Ryan also could not help me, because at that point, I’d made too many attempts and was locked out of their system.
Instead of resetting my account, or, god forbid, setting up access for me while they had me on the phone, they suggested I wait 24 hours and just try again. Ryan also shared with me the fact that the reason my card was compromised was because one of their credit card processors had accidentally rendered a whole mess of card numbers insecure.
This truly inspires confidence.
While I was typing this rant, I received another email from Citibank, instructing me to log in to my online account, because it’s been set up. In fact, I am “all set to manage my Citi card account online.”
Hopeful, thinking, “I will have to eat my words, but that it’s worth giving them one more chance,” I went to the registration page and tried setting up my account.
We’ve had a problem processing your request.
I hate you, Citibank. That was just taunting and unnecessary.
Now, let’s review. You want me to stick with you after you’ve locked me out of my account so I can’t pay you, the 3 representatives I spoke with can’t help me, you’ve sent me 2 meaningless emails asking me to log into an account I can’t access, and this is all because you let my credit card get hacked in the first place?
Screw this, I’m using my Amex card from now on. You can even activate their cards online.