@CitizensBank – Saun Bruce W Van – July 28,2018 Bruce Van Saun, Chairman One Citizens Plaza Providence, R.I. 02903 Dear

Kathleen Pickel sent a message to Saun Bruce W Van that said:

July 28,2018
Bruce Van Saun, Chairman
One Citizens Plaza
Providence, R.I. 02903

Dear Chairman:

Writing a letter of complaint is something I have rarely done. This is one of those rare times. Understand that writing this letter to you is taking time out of my busy schedule but I was so affected by my negative experience at Citizen’s bank that I felt compelled to share it with you. I hope that my input will result in change. What follows is my story.

I went to my bank (Trustco- in Albany, NY) with the intension of withdrawing money to put in my son’s account with Citizen (He lives in Binghamton NY). Trustco explained to me that if I paid a fee they would give me a bank check for deposit in my son’s account with Citizen and it would accepted as cash. My son needed the funds by the following day. I paid the bank fee for the Trustco check and drove to Citizen’s bank on Wolf Road in Albany to deposit it into his account. At first, I was informed that there would be a 3 day hold on the check. I explained that that would not work, the funds were needed by the next day of business. The Cashier spoke to his manager who said that since it was a bank check, they would waive the 3 days and make it available the next day. I deposited the check based on this promise.

My son called me the following day to say that while the account first noted that the funds were available, that status was subsequently changed to a 5-day hold. My son spent considerable time at his branch and on the phone with the 800 number for Citizen bank trying to explain what was promised but no change was made. I called the Citizen bank’s 800 number and was told that the funds were not validated by Trustco yet. Again, I explained that my bank issued the check, not me personally. The Bank is worth 100’s of millions. The supervisor (Patsy) resorted to saying that I had no authorization to receive information because I was not on the account. I explained that I was not asking for any personal account information, I was asking about the transaction I made with Citizen’s bank. The Supervisor was not inappropriate or rude, she was cold and uncaring about the situation I was in and seemed indifferent to the bank’s original promise. Bureaucracy at its finest. I lost all control of my money when I deposited it with Citizen’s bank and they were not going to assist me.

The supervisor said that while the teller that I spoke to in Citizen’s did mark it as available funds, someone in the back office (who I would not be permitted to speak with) changed the status. She finally told me to call the original teller back and discuss changing the status again. I did call Justin at the Wolf Road branch back; he was surprised that Patsy, the supervisor at the 800 number, sent me back to him and didn’t think he would be able to change the status. Unlike Patsy, he apologized for the situation, understood my situation was created by the original promise and said he would investigate and call me back. He acted and resolved the issue and made the funds available. From beginning to end, this exercise took 2.5 hours of my time on the phone and much worry and frustration. My bank, Trustco, informed me that they have never heard of one bank not accepting a bank check as cash from another bank. If Citizen’s Bank had concerns, a simple phone call would have resolved the issue. I later found out that is exactly what Justin did to help me.

While I can share with you that the people in the banks working with customers were friendly and helpful; your “customer” service 800-line folks are unfriendly, and unhelpful. I would like a response to my letter, but I understand that I am not one of your customers and I believe at this point I will never be.

Ironically, I found this motto for your bank as I was looking up your address: “On the phone. Online. In branch. When you need us, we’re here to help? The way we see it, it’s just good banking.” Perhaps this should be shared with Customer Service?


Kathleen Pickel

Kathleen Pickel

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