- Eric HolderAttorney General, Department of Justice
- Michael CorbatChief Executive, Citigroup
- Richard CordrayDirector, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Federal ReserveFederal Reserve
Citi Bank: Reinstate confiscated Thank You Points and card services.
After its members earned more reward points than expected, Citi suddenly launched reviews of accounts, totally confiscated these points, and shut down Thank You credit cards. All these decisions were executed without giving the targeted members notice, nor giving them an opportunity to present their version of events. Instead, Citi representatives stated that potential fraud or abuse was committed. Citi then shutdown all and any remaining Citi credit cards of these targeted members. But not stopping there, it then froze any pending awards clients already redeemed. Sadly, these blacklisted members of the Citi community were left disabled from holding it accountable. This petition represents an effort to air these grievances to Citi.
- Attorney General, Department of Justice
- Chief Executive, Citigroup
- Director, Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
- Federal Reserve
Dear Michael Cobart and Citibank Executives and representatives:
When members began earning Thank You Points, Citi suddenly launched reviews of accounts, totally confiscated these points, and shutdown Thank You credit cards. All these decisions were executed without giving the targeted members notice, nor giving them an opportunity to present their version of events. Instead, Citi agents, at times, stated that these members may have committed fraud or abuse.
To give a brief summary, Citi offered Thank You Points, which could be redeemed for, “new items every month, from state-of-the-art electronics to rock climbing lessons, your reward choices are endless.” In fact, to entice clients to join, Citi stated that members would “[e]arn points for doing the things you do every day, like banking, shopping.” These points have value, in that they can be redeemed for at least 1 cent and up to 1.33 cents per point.
Citi representatives also justified the taking by labeling the accounts as “risky.” Coincidentally, these risky accounts were the same accounts that carried thousands of Thank You Points. Hence, Citi targeted and bankrupted them. It then shutdown all and any remaining Citi credit cards. Not stopping there, it froze any pending awards clients already redeemed. Sadly, these blacklisted members of the Citi community were left disabled from holding Citi accountable, because according to Citi’s modified contract, Thank You members are now barred from presenting their grievances in court.
Furthermore, the accumulative effect has brought unintended and collateral damage, which has become punitive. Credit bureaus will report against those who were injured and will show that Citi has shutdown a member’s total credit line. This results in having a lower credit score, which defames an ex-member’s trustworthiness to honor financial commitments. In fact, one ex-client is grieved because she was shut down for accruing points by purchasing two gift cards from a drug store. In this case, Citi reclaims its points. She’s left with a seven year mark on her credit.
It’s also concerning that Citi has chosen unethical and illegal tactics to solves its problem with “the risky,” “the fraudulent,” and “the abusers.” These series of acts, at the most, amount to several intentional torts: fraud, conversion, trespass to chattel, and intentional misrepresentation. At the least, Citi has negligently misrepresented its offer and itself and breached its contracts. As a result, it has been unjustly enriched and profited.
Finally, in executing these decisions, Citi has also reaped its share of unforeseen consequences. It has violated cultivated trust in its long term relationships. Instead of communicating with its membership or even placing a cap on the amount of rewards being provided, it instead has alienated its most loyal clientele and resorted to bullying. Because such injury has already been inflicted, Citi will have a long and hard road to re-earn its trust with its community. This too will be expensive and was most likely not calculated for when this strategy was devised.
To make amends, Citi should reinstate their services and products for their clients and return the Thank You Points that have been taken. It should compensate those who needlessly suffered. It must also apologize to the affected cardholders and assure its membership that it will not engage in similar conduct in the future.
I was 18 when I received my first CitiCard. Receiving it, marked a rite of passage, in which I was shown trust and given a chance to prove responsibility. My accounts have always been paid in full, never accruing interest. My history with Citi most likely echoes that of other loyal clients, who have been recently targeted and shutdown by it. Although my points and accounts were not wiped out, I’m afraid now to use my Thank You card. The question that remains, is not what’s next - but who’s next? Therefore, I ask Citi to seriously reconsider how it is showing its “appreciation” to its loyal members.
A 13 year CitiCard Member
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