Dealing with Customer Service: A Hilarious Encounter with CitiBank

Have you ever had a frustrating experience with a customer service department of a major corporation? Well, let me tell you a story that you, especially if you’re in the 45 – 65 age range, will surely appreciate.

Earlier this year, my dear Aunt passed away in January. The next month, I was shocked to see that CitiBank had billed her for their monthly service charge on her credit card. Not only that, they even added late fees and interest on top of the monthly charge! It’s worth mentioning that the card’s balance was a perfect zero, but now it was around $60. Can you believe it?

Determined to resolve this absurd situation, I dialed the CitiBank customer service number, hoping to find some understanding and empathy. Here’s how the conversation went:

Me: “I am calling to inform you that my Aunt passed away in January.”

Customer Service: “I’m sorry for your loss, but the account was never closed, so the late fees and charges still apply.”

Me: “Well, maybe you should turn it over to collections then.”

Customer Service: “Actually, since it’s already 2 months past due, it has already been turned over to collections.”

Me: “Alright then, what will happen when they find out she is no longer with us?”

Customer Service: “They will either report her account to the frauds division or report her to the credit bureau. Or maybe both!”

Me: “Oh, I see. Do you think God will be mad at her for not paying her credit card bill?”

Customer Service: “…excuse me?”

Me: “Did you understand what I just told you? My Aunt is no longer alive.”

Customer Service: “Sir, you’ll have to speak to my supervisor!”

I was then transferred to a supervisor, who I hoped would be more understanding. Here’s how that conversation went:

Me: “I’m calling to inform you that my Aunt passed away in January.”

Supervisor: “I’m sorry for your loss, but the account was never closed, so the late fees and charges still apply.”

Me: “So, what you’re saying is that you want to collect from her estate?”

Supervisor: “…um…are you her lawyer?”

Me: “No, I’m her great nephew. But I can provide you with her lawyer’s information if you need it.”

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

Me: “Sure, I can do that.” (Fax number is given)

(After they receive the fax)

Supervisor: “Our system just isn’t set up to handle cases like this.”

Me: “Oh, I see…”

Supervisor: “I don’t know what more I can do to help…”

Me: “Well, if you figure it out, great! But if not, feel free to keep billing her. I highly doubt she will care.”

Supervisor: “Well, the late fees and charges do still apply.”

Me: “Alright, would you like her new billing address?”

Supervisor: “That might help.”

Me: “(Odessa Memorial Cemetery #### Hwy 129, plot number given)”

Supervisor: “Sir, that’s a cemetery!”

Me: “Well, what do you do with dead people on your planet?!!”

While this frustrating encounter may have been comical in hindsight, it sheds light on the challenges we face when dealing with customer service departments of major corporations. Hopefully, situations like these will encourage companies to improve their systems and processes to better serve their customers, even in unique circumstances like the one I faced.

Remember, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, don’t be afraid to stand up for what’s right. And don’t forget to keep your sense of humor intact!

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