Citibank, Your Security Breach Is Not A Credit Reporting Sales Opportunity

Joy. Citibank closed my credit card today, not because of anything I did but because of some unknown merchant problem. Aside from being an inconvenience to me, Citibank also apparently thought it was a good time to pitch me on credit monitoring. Bad idea.

Apparently, some undisclosed merchant out there had a security problem that has caused Citibank to close the accounts of some unknown number of people. How reassuring.

This is the second time this has happened to me in the past two or three years. Which merchant, I asked, when I called Citibank. They didn’t have that information. I mean, someone at Citibank has it, but their customer service people don’t have it to give out to customers who might wish to avoid that merchant in the future.

Nice.

More fun when I went to activate my new card. After activating it, I got this long sales pitch on how I could get credit monitoring for free for 90 days then $8.95 per month after that, which apparently is some special rate.

You know what? I should just get that for free. A security breach on your end is not a sales opportunity. And when I decline, don’t try to sell me a secondary monitoring service that’s slightly cheaper. And when I question why you’re pushing this on me rather than giving it to me for free? I shouldn’t get told, “We’re just the activation department — you’d have to talk to customer service about that.” Hey, if I’m calling just to activate my card, then do that. No upsell.

Just a last thing. I would so dearly love that if I punch in my credit card number into your automated system, I’m not asked for it again by the human operator. It would just make me feel like I’m wasting less of my time.


Comments

  1. says

    Preaching to the choir here! The upsell during activation is frustrating. Also, there are way too many “automated” phone systems who ask you to punch in every number you can imagine, only to have someone else ask. Good post; good point!

  2. says

    Danny,

    Thanks for airing this out. I had the exact same experience with Citi two weeks ago. Still waiting to hear which merchant compromised my identity. SO much for transparency.

    Peter

  3. Zoran says

    Go to Bank of America I have nor problems with them and they do not ask me to type number again… guy once told me no need I have it in front of me.

  4. says

    Time to jump ship from Citibank. I’ve moved all my purchases to Schwab’s 2% cash-back card (with good customer service, too, and 0% foreign transaction fees!).

    I’ve had headache after headache with Citibank, which has lately been one of the most customer-hostile companies out there lately. Currently, I’m fighting with them about returned check fees that are the fault of their buggy online system which still (despite my best efforts) has an old zero’d-out Citibank account listed as the withdrawal account. Sadly, since I’ve had cards with Citibank for more than a decade now, I think they know that I have little recourse but to keep the accounts open or risk a big ding on my credit scores .

  5. Adam says

    Time to jump ship from Citibank. I’ve moved all my purchases to Schwab’s 2% cash-back card (with good customer service, too, and 0% foreign transaction fees!).

    I’ve had headache after headache with Citibank, which has lately been one of the most customer-hostile companies out there lately. Currently, I’m fighting with them about returned check fees that are the fault of their buggy online system which still (despite my best efforts) has an old zero’d-out Citibank account listed as the withdrawal account. Sadly, since I’ve had cards with Citibank for more than a decade now, I think they know that I have little recourse but to keep the accounts open or risk a big ding on my credit scores .
    Sorry… forgot to say great post – can’t wait to read your next one!

  6. says

    I’ve had the same thing happen with Citi, they’ve canceled my card twice in three years.

    It’s long since past time to shitcan the insecure credit card system. It is crazy that anyone armed with sixteen digits can have access to my money.

  7. Steve says

    I dislike Citibank with a passion. The people they hire are some of the most imcompetent that I’ve ever dealt with. Not only that, you can’t get anything done with them without them trying to upsell you.

  8. dlperry says

    A-BLOODY-MEN!

    Sadly, if the ‘system’ is anything like it used to be way back when, the representative is just one of hundreds of reps in a call center somewhere and they have scripted responses, and mandatory sales quotas to meet in order to keep their jobs.

  9. Who Me? says

    Fun Stuff:

    Citi was formed by CDC.

    Did you know?: citi history

    Control Data Corporation

    CDC background:

    The supercomputer market was too small to be able to afford more than a handful of companies, so CDC started looking for other markets. One of these was the high-performance hard disk drive market, which was becoming more lucrative as personal computers (PCs) began to include them in the mid-1980s.

    Through its Magnetic Peripherals unit, originally a joint venture with Honeywell and Honeywell Bull, CDC became a major player in the hard disk drive market. It was the world wide leader in 14 inch disk drive technology in the OEM marketplace in
    the 1970s and early 1980s especially with its SMD(Storage Module Drive) and CMD (Cartridge ModuleDrive).

    CDC was an early developer of the eight-inch drive technology that was pioneered by Shugart Associates with products from its MPI Oklahoma City Operation. Its CDC Wren series drives were particularly popular with “high end” users, although it was behind the capacity growth and performance curvesof numerous startups such a Micropolis, Atasi, Maxtor,and Quantum. CDC also co-developed the now universal Advanced Technology Attachment (ATA) interface with Compaq and Western Digital, which was aimed at lowering the cost of adding low-performance drives.

    Inexplicably, CDC exited the hard disk drive businessentirely in 1988, spinning
    off Magnetic Peripherals under the name Imprimis. The next year, Seagate
    Technology, which had been seriously lagging in the high-end drive market,
    purchased Imprimis. The remainder of CDC was renamed Control Data Systems, Inc.

    Syntegra (USA), a subsidiary of the BT Group merged into BT’s Global Services
    organization.

    CDC’s Energy Management Division was one of the mostsuccessful CDC business
    units, providing control systems solutions that managed as much as 25% of all
    electricity on the planet. In 1988 or 1989 this division was renamed Empros and
    was later sold to Siemens as CDC broke apart.

    CDC’s services business was spun off in 1992, and it became known as the
    Ceridian Corporation. Ceridian continues as a successful outsourced IT company
    focusing on human resources. In 1986, Sandy Weill convinced the Control Data management to spin off their Commercial Credit subsidiary. Over a period of years Weil used Commercial Credit to build an empire that became Citigroup.

    hmmm…from super computer to hard drives sounds like they probably got the Internet pretty much covered too….gee funny and you say they are tied to who?…hmmmm

    If you follow the links between companies that maintain the worlds largest databases including the records of most every ones income, health, legalities and spending and then you see that their ties with groups like travelers insurance, Morgan & Stanley, Citgroup, etc…and Metalmark who specializes in MiddleMarket buyout leverages (Buying ir dismantling small to medium businesses…

    Scares me specially if you see how many liberties have been removed over the last 10-20 years……yet it is still business as usual for the politicians soon if not already they can just come right out and say we really don’t care what you want! We will do as we damn well please we know everything about everyone and have the power to make the decisions you need to have made. They will be able to fabricate lies if necessary to punish those against them and can not be stopped….

    Kinda makes one say hummmm….Like I heard Bush saying an international statement “You are now witnessing the beginning of the New World Order”. I was amazed that no one made any fuss over that statement?

    I think what disgusts me the most is the same people who set up the whole disaster are now arranging to clean it up! I’m sure you heard cliche’s like Haste makes waste and desperation makes great deals….A lot of profit can be made from the desperate!

    Makes me sad that any politicians can be so morally shallow that they don’t care what they do to the U.S.A and its people yet alone their own integrity?

  10. Ted Chick says

    Bank of America just pulled the same thing in reference to a security breach at an undisclosed account. Have any of you thought that these credit card companies are trying to get you into a new contract before the new laws go into effect 02/10
    The terms and conditions are not on the documents you receive, you must to onto their website to view them.
    I believe this is some sort of scam by them to increase their profits after receiving Billions from the Bail Not Me I have shreded the new cards waiting for the deactivation of the old. Cash or Check for me from now on.

  11. Neil Ferree says

    Its a darn shame the big cheese at Pay By Touch was such a kook. Having a biometric identifier to secure and protect a credit card transaction from being breached by hoodlums and cyber criminals had strong potential to prevent many of the CC breaches that have occurred the past few years.

  12. Becky Yoder says

    It just happened to me this past weekend. And yes, for at least the 3rd time in 3 years. So now comes the joy of notifying all of my monthly automatic charges and re-memorizing a new #. We all know what they just did to our interest rates as well! Danny — I’m with you — I can’t STAND it when they ask me to repeat the card # when I just entered it 30 seconds before. I always make sure I mention my irritation.