By Chuck Bentley
Citigroup will issue refunds to 8.8 million consumers totaling $700 million for worthless add-on credit card products or services.
In one allegation, Citi telemarketers were said to have sold consumers identity theft protection services with a 30-day “free” trial, when no such free trial existed. Or they signed up consumers for an add-on service when it was ambiguous whether the consumer actually said they wanted it. In another situation, Citi sold credit-monitoring services when they weren’t performing such services at all or were not actively monitoring a consumer’s credit file with credit reporting bureaus.
Citi also allegedly misled its customers by charging a $14.95 “expedited” payment fee to customers who made over-the-phone payments and did not tell consumers about no-fee options.
Nick Bourke, an expert at the Pew Charitable Trusts specializing in consumer lending issues said, “ Add-on services, for the most part, provide no benefit to consumers and people should be very careful to sign up for them.”
I wanted you to be aware of this because many of our largest banking and financial institutions have historically enjoyed reputations of integrity. Sadly, that is no longer the case. Be very skeptical of any phone solicitation trying to sell you services that may be available for free—or may be totally unnecessary.
Originally posted 8/5/2015.
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