Citibank and Dead People

27 Apr

I had written about Citibank and their peerless customer service before.

I got this forwarded as an email. I think its the funniest one I have received in a long time. The sad part is this is probably true. Here goes:

A lady died this past January, and Citibank billed her for February and March for their annual service charges on her credit card, and added late fees and interest on the monthly charge. The balance had been $0.00, now somewhere around $60.00. A family member placed a call to Citibank.

Here is the exchange:

Family Member: “I am calling to tell you she died in January.”
Citibank: “The account was never closed and the late fees and charges
still apply.”

Family Member: “Maybe, you should turn it over to collections.”

Citibank: “Since it is two months past due, it already has been.”

Family Member : So, what will they do when they find out she is dead?”

Citibank: “Either report her account to frauds division or report her to
the credit bureau, maybe both!”

Family Member: “Do you think God will be mad at her?”

Citibank: “Excuse me?”

Family Member: “Did you just get what I was telling you – the part about
her being dead?”

Citibank: “Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor.”

Supervisor gets on the phone:

Family Member: “I’m calling to tell you,
she died in January.”

Citibank: “The account was never closed and late fees and charges still
apply.” (This must be a phrase taught by the bank!)

Family Member: “You mean you want to collect from her estate?”

Citibank: (Stammer) “Are you her lawyer?”

Family Member: “No, I’m her great nephew.”
(Lawyer info given)

Citibank: “Could you fax us a certificate of death?”

Family Member: “Sure.” (Fax number is given)

After they get the fax:

Citibank: “Our system just isn’t setup for death. I don’t know what more
I can do to help.”

Family Member: “Well, if you figure it out, great! If not, you could
just keep billing her. I don’t think she will care.”

Citibank: “Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.” (What is
wrong with these people?!?)

Family Member: “Would you like her new billing address?”

Citibank: “That might help.”

Family Member: “Odessa Memorial Cemetery , Highway 129, Plot Number 69.”

Citibank: “Sir, that’s a cemetery!”

Family Member: “What do you do with dead people on your planet?

The lesson as the email says: CANCEL YOUR CARDS BEFORE YOU DIE.


18 Responses to “Citibank and Dead People”

  1. Nikki Rose Ty April 27, 2007 at 2:34 pm #

    LOL. That’s funny. I work at Citibank — not in customer service. Pls don’t hate me.

  2. Veena April 27, 2007 at 2:46 pm #

    Probably in their WILL they can also mention to cancel their credit cards 🙂 ! for some people who don’t have time to say bye before going.

    On the serious note, read such post here.

  3. praneshachar April 28, 2007 at 3:05 am #

    its mad mad mad world proved by citybank people
    great guys even if in will it is mentioned the same sort of talks
    may continue because the people at call centre may not be taught
    about this so god only should save the dead from cluthes of banks credit cards

  4. bachodi April 28, 2007 at 5:13 am #

    “If not, you could just keep billing her. I don’t think she will care.”… LOL
    Hilarious 😉 Good one.

  5. Mysorean April 28, 2007 at 7:24 am #


    Citi never sleeps. Unfortunately they neither work either!

  6. Mysorean April 28, 2007 at 7:24 am #

    Err… it should be unfortunately they neither work!

  7. ramsblog April 28, 2007 at 11:51 pm #

    hahhaaaa – funny! 🙂

  8. gmohanprakash April 30, 2007 at 9:27 am #

    Ha ha ha…
    Citi never dies!!!

  9. Vani April 30, 2007 at 12:01 pm #

    There was a serial that was being aired on Star some years back…”Small Wonder”, one of the episodes was similar to what you have said….goes to say a lot about the insensitivity of organisations.

  10. Priya May 3, 2007 at 8:59 am #

    Really funny..:) Actually if this is their attitude, they might even send the bill to the cemetry and then send someone to collect delayed payment…. Only God can help us….

  11. Vijay May 3, 2007 at 9:05 am #

    Priya: You are right… scary thought

  12. Veena May 3, 2007 at 12:04 pm #

    If somebody could successfully do this, then the telemarketing guys will start calling their extentions & offer free credit cards & personal loans! 🙂

  13. ramsblog May 14, 2007 at 8:04 am #

    co-incidentally, reading about Change of Address with Citibank, reminds me of my mailing address they have. It was the one I had given when I opened my account. I have changed 4-5 addresses in last 6 years and I still get the mails forwarded from my original address – including my tax documents and statements; in spite of talking to CSRs ‘n’ number of times and sending my forms ‘n’ number of times.

  14. Vijay May 14, 2007 at 9:09 am #

    @Ram: This seems to be a CRM “best practice” not only at Citi but with ALL providers… I still get calls from my Internet Service Provider because I gave them my number when I started my company… now despite having 2 sys admin guys, I still get calls all the time.. by their tech support, billing, customer care etc… each time I threaten to discontinue and they promise me that they’ll change.. but each time the same stuff gets repeated…

    EAI anyone?

  15. mike October 23, 2007 at 4:09 pm #

    This is a fake story, they wouldn’t advise them to fax information to a call center, plus the death certificate legally would wipe out any fees or charges.

  16. johnny January 15, 2008 at 5:42 pm #

    it seems a bit absurd to me that a major financial institution and credit card issuer would claim they were not setup to accommodate the inevitable circumstance that there customers will eventually die. Credit card companies don’t generally turn an account over to collections after a mere 60 days of past due status, especially when no charges have been made on the card. A credit card company that automatically sent every account witha a 60 day past due status to collection would be regularly losing a good deal of its customer base. plus it’s pretty unlikely a credit card co. would go to much effort beyond 1 or 2 phone calls to try to recoup $60 in unpaid charges from the estate of a deceased customer, but they might very well have a legal right to do so.

  17. tv bracket April 5, 2008 at 11:13 am #

    LOL Hail to the superb automated system of citibank! I read this long time ago, but this joke always had me laughing all over again.

  18. Vineet October 10, 2008 at 4:14 am #

    CitiBank sucks…they are theives……

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