@CitizensBank – Saun Bruce W Van – Dear Mr. Van Saun, I have been a customer of your bank for over 10

Jennifer Shepard sent a message to Saun Bruce W Van that said:

Dear Mr. Van Saun,

I have been a customer of your bank for over 10 years. I hadn't really had many issues that were worth getting upset over (although I did miss the rewards points system!), but I have really hit the end.

Two years ago, I moved to Saudi Arabia for work. In that time, despite my calling to inform you all in advance of my move, going into the bank branch itself to inform them, and arranging for Power of Attorney for both parents (which you have on file), your bank has cut off my debit card numerous times, citing strange fraud behavior IN THE COUNTRY WHERE I LIVE, leaving me stranded without access to my money. Since my company pays me in US funds directly to my US bank account, you can imagine that presents a problem. Not to mention, when I've called, 99% of the time I've encountered extremely rude customer service folks.

All of this I have dealt with. Despite most people telling me to jump ship to another bank. A larger bank that has experience working with international customers. I considered this, but also considered the fact that I had been there a long time, and who really wants to change banks?

This changed a couple of weeks ago when I attempted to log into my account to send money to a friend. I received the message, "Access Denied". I thought it was extremely odd, and wondered if the website was down for updates, or if it was an IT issue here. So, I called Customer Service and learned that yes, there had been an update, but the website was working just fine. Could I try again? I kept typing in the address only to receive the same frustrating message over and over again.

It wasn't until further conversation with the rep that he figured out that I wasn't in the USA (why else would I be calling at 2am EST?), and then informed me that due to recent federal regulations, you were now blocking certain countries from accessing your website. Apparently Saudi Arabia, the country where I live, is on that list. This not only blocked me from my accounts, but also from my mobile applications and widgets that I use to keep track of my money. The customer service rep only said, 'I don't know what else to say. It is the way it is. Sorry for the inconvenience. I'll pass your feedback on.' after I told him I was frustrated and upset that I was BEING BLOCKED FROM MY OWN MONEY.

When I attemped to contact customer service on Facebook, I got absolutely nothing other than 'This is to protect our customers and isn't forever.' after I had asked for a copy of the supposed regulation that went into effect, as well as copies of all of the countries impacted by this ridiculous federal requirement. I also demanded to know how long they expected this to last, and how many banks were required to participate in this, since NO OTHER BANK IN THE UNITED STATES IS BLOCKING CUSTOMERS.

I await your response on how you plan to rectify this issue for those of us who live abroad. How will you guarantee we will have access to our funds? As it is, my chip cards only work sporadically around Europe and the Middle East for some odd reason. A chip card is supposed to work no matter what if you have the PIN. I am tired of wondering if I will be left stranded somewhere, with no access to my cash, because of your abusive business practices.

Jennifer M. Shepard

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