Citi Automated System Closing Accounts
I have written quite a lot in the past about my Citi retention offer experiences. Over the past year+ they have been very generous about handing out extra bonuses on their cards. For that reason I know a lot of you call often to see what is available. I know I do!
Related: Full guide to Citi retention
A Small Change Causes Big Headaches
Unfortunately Citi has recently made a small tweak to their automated system. If you indicate that you want to cancel your account (which used to be how to easiest get to a retention specialist) the automated system will just shut it down after confirming your request. Boom.
I called Citi to see if they could give me a bonus on my AAdvantage Platinum account since the annual fee is coming due next month. Through the automated system, it ended up canceling me account. I assumed after I said yes to “do you want to cancel your account”, it would connect me with an operator who would then entice me to keep my card open. But it went straight and closed it.
The worst part is that he called in later and spoke to a phone rep who told him that they would need to run a credit check if he wanted to re-open the account that was closed in error. I advised him to try and escalate to a supervisor. Hopefully he will get someone higher up who is friendly and empowered to help, but I wouldn’t count on it.
Best Practices for Calling In
Given this new information, I think it is best to ask to speak to a representative when calling in for retention offers. The system will then connect you to a front line rep who can then transfer you to a retention specialist after you tell them why you are calling. I personally will not utter the words “Cancel My Account” to the automated system for fear that this will happen.
Citi really needs to fix this issue. Given the number of data points it is clear that the automated system isn’t specific enough in what it is attempting to do. I also don’t understand why Citi has a retention department with such great offers if they just want their automated system to shutdown accounts. This seems like a case of one department not talking to another and unfortunately it is hurting customers.