Enough with CitiPhone

“Your call is important to us, that’s why we ask you to hold…” Yah right. If my call was important enough, I would not be kept on hold. 10 minutes is way too long to be kept on hold. Clearly, it doesn’t help to be a Platinum VISA cardholder, because calling the Citibank Platinum Services hotline, which by the way is not toll-free, didn’t make any difference. I still had to wait like forever.

I used to be very happy with Citibank. Their loyalty and rewards were great. Their CitiPhone officers were truly empowered to get things done. I was not kept on hold. My Citibank VISA card was one card I did not want to cancel. That was maybe 10 years ago.

Things have changed over the years, unfortunately. I didn’t mind too much that their rewards nowadays have become mediocre. Their CitiPhone officers started giving excuses. They made me feel like they have moved the earth to grant me a trivial waiver. But what irks me the most is to be kept on hold and not being able to speak to a human being. Even after waiting over 10 minutes. Twice. The Citibank Platinum Services hotline.

Internet banking is great. Phone banking is great too. But the human element is just as important. Internet banking and phone banking will not replace a CitiPhone officer any time.

A complaint on their website evoked a response the next day about how they were experiencing a surge in call volume during this festive season. Can’t they scale their call centre capacity to deal with seasonal volume? They further explained that the situation was compounded by recent staff movement. If this is the first time I was experiencing difficulty calling them, I might have accepted their explanation (not that I agree it was a good explanation). But no, the difficulty in calling CitiPhone isn’t a new problem.

Was it Citibank that some time ago announced their aim to answer all calls within a certain small number of seconds? Hey, it is trivial matter to get a computer to answer the phone in 1 second. Please try to aim to get a human to answer the phone in that certain small number of seconds.

Citibank, please buck up. Humans are still needed.

2 Responses to Enough with CitiPhone

  1. Actually, 10 min is not that bad. I have called UOB a few times and each time was more than 20 minutes of the music playing over and over again. Leaving a voicemail takes them about 5 working days to get back to me. By the 3rd day, I was fedup and called the hotline again. I only got through after 15 minutes of waiting, again.

    If I were to compare, Citibank has slightly better performance than UOB.

  2. I work in Citibank. I called to our back-end department for process inquiry. And they kept me on hold over 10 minutes, too. So I understand how you feel.

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