Idiots of Marketing: Citibank

I try to keep rants off my blog but Citibank made such an utter FAIL in their recent marketing that I had to write about it.

I have been a loyal Citibank customer for at least 16 years since my days at MTV. I’ve banked with them personally, professionally as a small business owner,  and used their credit card as my primary card for a good 20 years. In summary they were my default starting point for all thing financial, IRA’s, investing, loans, etc.

Last week one Debbie Gabor wrote me to say in the most confusing form letter way, pay us $20 a month or keep $15K in combined balances with us.

My issues:

1. You started charging me the $20 back in July with no explanation. Not as of November 10th.

2. Your opening is statement is a lie. You don’t value my business and your letter is anything but simple to read.

3. Your negative selling of, “new types of fees that many other banks are testing or have already introduced.” Is lame. Tell me why you are better not how you suck less.

4. Why confuse this important communication to a long time customer with we are also screwing you on our reward system, ThankYou points.

5. I have no idea what my “Client Manual” and “Marketplace Addendum” are so reading them won’t help.

6. Do I really want to publicly tweet @askCiti to talk about this? Really? No I want a real person in the US to talk to.

7. I’d leave more money in my account if your rates were not .01% (checking) and .05% (savings) that is effectively zero. I can do better at 59 other banks according to Google who offer all the same services and many won’t charge me $20 for you to lend out my money.

I understand the world changed and you need to make it up the fees to keep your stock price from sinking any lower.

Let me make some simple suggestions:

– A strong and simple call to action to call you. Get me on the phone. As your newly redesigned web site is horrific and I can’t find a thing.

– If you are going to send me form letters at least do better than just putting in my entire name. You know a lot about me. Like I use to have a IRA account with you that you would love to get back and here are three reasons why you are better than bank X.

– I know letters are expensive but the dot matrix letter you sent me looked like something out of the 1980’s. Your credit card guys send me flashy four color mail most weeks. If you are going to stick it to me. Make it look professional.

Dear Debbie Gabor here is my answer. I did some research on Google and found out  you were screwing me. I actually have lots of great options so I’m moving all my accounts from Citibank. I also signed up for a better new credit card that will be my primary card and I’ll probably close my credit account as well because your web site is just so hard to use.

PS. I’m going to tell everyone I know that uses Citibank because my guess is your taking advantage of them as well. They just need a nudge to go take a look and see they too can get 1% rates, for free, with 24 hour US operators who are nice.