I had a bit of an embarrassing moment yesterday as my credit card was declined for a $3 purchase of drywall screws. No, I am not a deadbeat (even though the cashier looked at me as if I was), I am just twisted and quite vengeful when it comes to large companies. Let me explain myself.
Last year, I was very happy with my CitiBank credit card. It gave me discounts on gasoline, reward points, and best of all; customer service was excellent… in fact I would always get a person instead of a machine when I called into their service line! In July, I got a pamphlet from CIBC stating that they had bought out the cards after Citi declared bankruptcy in Canada and that I would be receiving my new CIBC card in the mail shortly, and promised no service interruptions.
About a week later, I went to the citi website to log into my account to see my statement, something I do almost daily, and the “Sign in” button had vanished. I searched everywhere on the site, but there was no option to log into my account. So I ventured over to the CIBC site and tried to log in there. No luck. Tried to sign up for an account, it wouldn’t allow me because my card was still with Citi Bank. So I sent them a nice email saying I understood why it wasn’t working, and nicely asking how I could gain access to my statement. All I received back was an automated email saying that my card would be in shortly. This was at the beginning of August.
I tried calling the CIBC customer service and got automated messages that directed me through endless loops, and wouldn’t give me any more information than the email stated. I pressed 0 to speak with an operator and after being left on hold for over half an hour, I was hung up on. This happened a second time!
I go into the local CIBC branch, and they were no more helpful, telling me I had to call the number and set up telephone banking before I could get online access, but ALSO I had to have my new CIBC card before I could do this. Asked when I would get my card, and again I was met with vague answers.
I did not receive my new card until the end of October. For 3 months, I had no statements, nobody I could speak to, and no way of ensuring the safety and privacy of my information. I couldn’t believe that the company could allow such a lapse in service. Not only was it inconvenient for me, but I still think my records may be off.
So when I got this card, I thought to myself “Hmmm, they were terrible to me, how can I be terrible to them?” So instead of activating my new card, I chose to continue using my Citi Card. After all, it doesn’t expire for quite some time. And yes, they sent me letters in the mail, they tried calling me, and I wouldn’t respond to them. How does it feel CIBC? I know it must be inconvenient for them to have to deal with these old cards. Perhaps they have to hire extra employees to ensure tracking was done correctly. I was a good customer, always paying my bills on time from my bank teller and making sure everything was in order (even when I refused to answer their calls).
So maybe they won by cutting me off before the expiry and embarrassing me at Home Depot, but I still managed to make business difficult for them for a good 4 months and that makes me happy. So I will make my final payment and bid CIBC adieu with a bit of satisfaction, and give my business to a company who does care about my business.