I have had it with Citibank and need to switch where my money is. Why? I’m glad you asked... So far, I’ve called Citibank customer support more than 15 days this month.

Warning: This is mostly me just bitching about Citibank. Citibank wanted me to review their services so badly that they went and made transferring money require some kind of act of God.

My rent was due on February 1st. The same day (apparently) that Citibank decided that it was out with Popmoney and in with Zelle. That’s great, since I used Popmoney to reliably transfer my rent to my landlord. I convinced the landlord to sign up for Zelle. Unfortunately, I was also traveling in Europe until the 4th of this month and didn’t have the ability to get the confirmation texts required to send the payments through the new fangled system. They graciously said “no problem, just send when you get back”. On the 4th, I sent the payments (split in two), and they went to “pending” while the landlord set up their account.

But their account took Zelle 14 days to process. During that time, “pending” went to “expired”. Sigh. I guess I’ll just send it again. Wrong. 

By this point, I was back in Europe. The website again required texting/calling me a code. Thankfully, there is a backup number that you can call to get the code but it’s only open during american hours. No worries, I’ll just do that after work in the evening. I set up the payment, hit “send”, get the number to get the code over the phone, call it, then spend 20 minutes on old, 15 minutes giving my family history to a stranger, then I get transferred to a number that gives me a code. I type it in and....

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This is my favorite error message. It’s basically the epitome of trying to send money with Zelle’s Citibank integration. You get this if you type information wrong, try to send too much money, or look at the website the wrong way. It tells you nothing. Every time I get the error, I call the number. Every time I call the number, I get a different explanation.

- This is a website problem. Try logging out and logging back in.

- You’ve already sent too much money (I HAVEN’T SENT ANY DAMN MONEY, THANKS.)

- You may have entered some details wrong and the total is cumulative so even if it gives you an error, that counts towards the $2k per day you can send (even if it hasn’t sent)

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- There may be a security hold on your account, let me transfer you.... Weird, there’s no security hold on your account.

Mind you, every time I’ve called this number (16 times so far this month, plus the other various Citi numbers I’ve had to call), you get a phone tree. You would think that it’s always the same phone tree. But you would be wrong. Why’s that? Because at some point, the system was sick of seeing my number and automatically sent me to the fraud department every single time I called it.

The fraud department was completely bewildered and couldn’t figure out how I was getting them every time I called the general support number.

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At some point, that simply resolved itself without explanation.

Tonight, I tried again. Same error. I go through the phone tree, talk to level 1 support, get transferred to a level 2 support, who tells me that the department that can clear the security hold isn’t there tonight and I’ll have to call tomorrow. But we’ve already determined that I don’t have a security hold (on 3 separate occasions).

You may at this point be wondering: Why don’t you just hand them cash or a check? Well, we all live a pretty high paced Bay Area lifestyle here. Mobile check deposits are capped for banks and the rents are high here. So depositing the check requires going to an actual bank. It’s a pain for me and it’s a pain for my landlord. Cash is also a risky proposition.

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So tonight, I’m online looking at banks and credit unions in my area. Preferably ones that have non-useless support and low foreign ATM fees. Anyone have a recommendation?