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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

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John Taylor

George,

Exhaustive stuff! You do your homework. Like I said before I have done the research myself and there is still nothing on the market to approach the effectiveness of the Identity Theft Shield anywhere in the world.

John

Mike

I guess you could say I took a gamble when I signed up for the service. I had signed up for a Citicard mastercard and this was one of the features they ask you if you would be interested in. I was 18 at the time and was concerned about my credit, so I gave it a try. I think I still only pay like 11 bucks a month. They update your score every month and you can view all your scores any time. They also have a feature where you can plug in info such as if you made all your payments on time for a year and what your score would be at then. So far it has been pretty accurate. Any time you apply for credit or get a collection against you they notify you via email immediately. I had my credit card information stolen and they resolved the problem within minutes. Try it out for yourself I think you will be happy with it.

Don

I use the service and am very happy with it. It gives me timely alerts and has credit scores and reports for all three bureaus. It also has a great program for seeing how things impact your score (i.e. pay down this card over that, apply for credit, etc).

My one complaint is that the scores are lower than actual. Makes sense because I would guess that any service other than the actual bureau estimates the score and always estimates low.

But to be honest, I only compared with one other service.

Hope this helps your readers.

Don

George

Don and Mike:

Thanks for taking the time to submit comments about your experiences with the service. Your comments are informative and I am glad that you are happy with the service you are receiving. I've Been Mugged readers want to hear about the good and the bad, to make good decisions as informed consumers. Thanks again!

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Ed Casey

I never signed up for this service, but got charged for it. When I called Citi bank, they said it was not them, but a separate company. I finally go ahold of someone at Citi Credit Monitoring who told me I must have signed up for it. I told her I had not signed up and asked her to provide me with some proof that I was wrong. She said she could not do so. They stopped charging me from that day forward. Sounds like a scam. Anyone else had this happen??

Debra

I cancelled this service two months ago and recently noticed that they are still charging me for it.

George

Debra:

Thanks for your post about your billing experience with Citi Identity Monitor. It's sad to hear of the company's inability to bill you properly.

George

lin mud

I was ambushed by a Citi Monitoring Service rep when all I wanted to do was activate my Sears card by phone. He was damn persistent and assured me I could cancel. Needless to say, I was charged for the service and wanted the fee reversed. By talking with the people at the call center for the monitoring service, I could tell they were no where as professional as the "real" Sears or Citibank people. I would not recommend getting involved with these people.

RobrtJ

i use the service, think it's great, esp. compared to the experian service since it does all 3.
I get alerts whenever something happens on my account- can be annoying when you change an address, etc, but I rather have too much than too little.
I think the main downside of this service is if you need to talk to a human, takes a long time and is a pain, but for the most part I don't have that need here and it works great.

Avanti

I have Identity Monitor and have been reading all the comments. How would you improve it?

philip arcario

i have it for 3 years. you get free credit scores from all 3 bureaus. they let you know if someone rang up a new card or a major loan was paid off or taken out under your name. I have not had a major problem to fix so I don't know if they would fix it. they did help with a wrong street address. 7 was wrong 17 was right a few records said I lived at 7 when I lived at 17. only took 25 minutes to fix.

Rob

I signed up for this program in sept of 08 after a co-worker told me about it. At first it was awesome the information i had available. After months went by, i was iffy about it. My credit information never updated and i think my credit score updated 3 times. Almost 7 months past by and i still see my info from october. It never updated. I emailed them and they told me to call them. Last time i called them (because i forgot my password), the operators were VERY unprofessional. Not so much that they were not polite but their thought out conversations were unprofessional. Different operators were switching between convos at random times, people overtalking on the current person i was talking with. It was like i was calling best buy. When i experienced that, i got worried about my REAL information and how they handled that. So far i didnt have any problems and i get billed correctly each month. Im gonna wait a couple more months and see what happens and if im still not satified, im going to cancel it.

Kelly Bennett

I've used Identity Monitor for a couple of years now. I've found it to be a pretty good service and worth the $12.95 per month. I think a lot of the problems people have with getting current reports is that they may not know how to access them. There is an (illusive) link to it on your login homepage on the left side of the page. I've found it to be available usually after having received their monthly email announcement of either activity or no activity on my credit file (this is not an alert email). Once I've viewed the updated report the link no longer appears again until next month. For some reason the credit reports/scores that you can always access appear to be somewhat outdated (but, not ridiculously outdated) and I can't figure that one out. But, any time there has been the least bit of activity on my file I get an alert, login to the site and read the alert. It's always been told who's looking and why. But, since I'm not a wheeler-dealer and far from that pot of gold over that dumb rainbow, it may be that the service is right up my alley, being a poor slob who the thieves wouldn't care about anyway? Maybe?

Cindy

I wouldn't recommend using this service anymore. I've been with them for a few years now and I just called to cancel. I follow up with an email asking them to confirm the canceling.

The reason why I'm canceling is because the credit report on the website had not been updated since October 1, 2008. It's currently May 2009 and the last "current" statement was for September 2008. That's 2-3 quarters ago! This is simply unacceptable for a company that charge that much a month. I had check beginning January 2009 and assumed they might post every quarter but that's simply not true. They are not current and hence completely useless.

Clifford

I also have this service. In response to several other peoples posts indicating the scores have not been updated recently, it is IMPORTANT TO NOTE that you have to click the update link on the overview page to see the updated scores. The link will only be there if you haven't updated for 30 days or more. It is NOT automatic. Every 30+ days you can log in and update your scores. The most recently updated scores will always be available. It is actually a really helpful service, particularly if you are trying to raise your score. Your scores from all three credit agencies will be available as will the full reports, although they are in a side-by-side comparison table instead of the full individual reports. I think most information is included on the table.

If all you want is someone to monitor your cards because you are worried, I think Citi does that automatically regardless. We recently had a false alarm that really impressed me. I am not sure if I got such good, quick service because I have identity monitor or if that is universal for all users. The false alarm happened shortly after we moved. I changed our address in the Citi system and failed to tell my wife I did so. She tried to use a card to pump gas and when it prompted her for her zip code (as most pumps in California do) she entered our old zip code. Needless to say it wouldn't work. After several tries it locked her out, and I immediately got a call on my cell phone from Citibank telling me that someone was attempting to use our card with the wrong zip code as a gas station. We had it all sorted out before my wife even got through pumping gas! Very impressive.

I am not going to spend a long time answering all the questions, but I will say it is a good service for what I am paying, which is less than most people. I signed up for one month (which was free) so I could go ahead and see all of my scores for free. I was then going to cancel it because I didn't think it was worth the $12.95 a month. When I called in to cancel they offered it to me for $6.95 a month. If you call and threaten to cancel I am pretty sure they will do the same for you.

George

Clifford:

Thanks for sharing your advice and experience with this service. Hopefully, this will help users get the most from their Citi credit monitoring service.

George
Editor
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Paula

I had Citi credit monitoring service and was quite happy with it for about 2 years. Since I've been a Citi customer for 12+ years, they offered it to me for $7.95/month, which I thought was a deal. Yes, I had problems with "old" reports and not updating, but you did have to do the refresh thing -- kind of wierd. About 3 months ago, I got a new Citi debit/credit card because they stated "a service provider had been compromised." OK, whatever. I activated the new card. Within two weeks, I got a letter from Citi Monitor stating they were cancelling my account because the card it was billed to was no longer active (duh, it's my Citi debit/credit card). When I called, they said they were a 3rd party provider and the account had been cancelled, but I can re-apply at $12.95 month. This is how I'm treated for being a loyal customer? In addition, I have overdraft protection with Citi -- they used to charge just interest (granted it was 18% -- but I always transferred money within a day or two) and now they charge $10 each time -- even if it's 5$ over! Citi has it's problems, but they're not standing by loyal customers. I'm seriously thinking of switching to Chase since I already have a credit card from them and the interest rate is decent (7.99). Did I mention that Citi upped my interest rate to 15.99%? Thankfully, I don't use that card, but it's good for my credit score. And, my credit score is 780+ and has been for several years. I'm now looking into Credit Score, which was offered to me by AmEx at 11.95/month for all 3 credit bureaus. I'll research and let you know how it goes. Citi has obviously left me high and dry!

Calvin Yang

Do not join Citi credit monitor. Their customer service is horrible. It takes at least ten - 20 minutes to get anybody on the phone. They don't allow cancellation of the program any other way. Even after canceling by phone they continued charging me. Even after I canceled my credit card so they couldn't charge me they continued my service. Canceling by phone was like trying to drag a seven year old to the dentist. The service rep just would not let me cancel my service and kept asking for a reason and trying to dismiss all my reasons. Then he put me on hold for another ten minutes so he could "talk to his supervisor" They deliberately make it so hard to cancel so that you give up. INsterad of admitting that 10 minute wait times and thirty minutes to cancel a service is way too long, he said the problem was I did not have patience. I think any customer deserves to be able to cancel a service without having to jump through so many hoops.

George

Calvin:

Thanks for sharing your story. Sorry to hear about your troubles. You can find reviews of other credit monitoring services in this blog. I plan to add more reviews later this month. Let us know what other credit monitoring service you switch to.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Bill

Citi IdentityMonitor sucks.

None of America's service men and women serving overseas are able to use this service because Citi will not allow you to subscribe or ultimately access your account unless you are physically in the USA.

So, as far as Citibank is concerned, yes, they want our Armed Forces to defend them and their right to raise your interest rate to 37% and cut your credit limit 99% for no apparent reason, but they do not think they are worth the effort to allow them to become customers and obtain IdentityMonitor by Citibank.

www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1678332601

I do not recommend this service. The scores are not updated for last 3 quarters. I was shocked to learn that I am shown delinquent for an account in Equifax and when I ordered my free annual report card from straight Equifax they don't show me as delinquent. Its a pretty shocking to see that a company of such repute has such shoddy service.

Jay

I've had this service for a couple of years now and I'm beginning to wonder if it's even affiliated with Citi anymore or if it's just a complete fraud. I haven't been able to access any of my information for months and no matter when I call during the day, I get phone messages to try calling during business hours. I haven't been able to contact anyone. I'm a complete fool for staying with them for so long. Of course, it'll probably take several more months before I'm no longer charged...assuming I get through to someone live to speak to.

Joe Halloran


I was on the Home Depot site trying to pay a credit card bill. In the process of navigating their (intentionally?) confusing process I was presented with a form that appeared to be part of the Home Depot process. Turns out I inadvertently signed up for Citi Identity Monitoring service - below is the email I received. So I call them up immediately to cancel - they cannot find my account - "call back in 72 hours" - I insist on talking to supervisors,end up talking with several people who have my information,but who say they cannot cancel the account. So I will have to call back using more of my free time to undo this trickery. I will not be patronizing Citi or Home Depot again if I can avoid it. I'm sure these sleazy marketing tactics are in hopes that some people will not realize they are being signed up and charged.

Reply

IdentityMonitor to
show details 8:21 PM (1 hour ago)
Dear :

Thank you for enrolling in Citi® IdentityMonitor®. You've joined other members who, like you, want the valuable credit resources that only Citi® IdentityMonitor® can provide to help you take control of your credit information.

IdentityMonitor is now available to you online with convenient 24x7 anytime, anywhere access to your personal credit information!

Once you receive your information, register as an online user at http://www.identitymonitor.citi.com to conveniently access your account online anytime, day or night. Remember - online customers get access to tools and resources that are unavailable to offline customers. It's information you can't afford to be without. All of these valuable credit management solutions, along with the convenience of e-mail alerts when any changes to your credit file information occur, are at your fingertips!

If you have any questions, e-mail us at customerservice@identitymonitor.citi.com or call our Credit Education Specialists toll-free at 1-866-279-9637, Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Eastern time.

Sincerely,

Citi® IdentityMonitor® Member Services
http://www.identitymonitor.citi.com

George

Joe:

Thanks for the alert about web site customer service forms that also sign up consumers for credit monitoring services. Can you provide a link to the specific Home Depot online form? I am interested since so many companies now try to use "negative marketing" or auto opt-in mechanisms, that frequently result in the experience you described. In my opinion, it is a bad practice and needs to stop. Please let us know what happens with your situation. I hope that others who encounter a similar situation will share their experiences.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

John

hey I closed my citi identity theft account 2 weeks ago and it is still working. I closed it because I found about the 4.95/month deal. I called them twice and they said that my has been closed but when I told them it is still working they told me that there may be sth wrong with the system.

George

John:

Thanks for sharing your experience. The above comments seem pretty consistent about poor service from this vendor. Maybe Citi will embrace social media sties and direct a company representative to post a comment here about what they may be doing to correct things. Probably not, but one can still hope.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Bruce

I went to Sears one day last August and bought a shirt. I was offered a steep discount on the shirt if I signed up for their credit card. I did so. Sometime later I was called and offered the Identity Monitor, one month free if you cancel. Automatic billing if you don't. Upon getting my credit report I immediately called to cancel. Here is where the swindle begins: the operator tells you that the rest of the report is online. If you say something like "Oh, OK -- I'll check it out," they won't cancel the report. So at this point you MUST get a cancellation number. I didn't do that, so I was billed the following month.

Upon calling the number provided to cancel, the fellow explained with a smile (you can tell when someone is smiling as they talk, which is why telemarketers are told to smile during their spiel) that the service hadn't been canceled because I had viewed the report online. This time I said I definitely wanted to cancel and I got a cancellation number. As a further precaution I canceled the Sears credit card. This was in October. Today, November 3, I just received a notice in the mail that the Citi Identity Monitor had been canceled because they were unable to charge my Sears card for the month of November. So even my second attempt to cancel the service, made in early October, had been ignored. The cancellation number I got from the smiling phone-fellow was bogus, and the whole Sears/Citi Identity Monitor is a total swindle.

Oh -- and the shirt shrank in the wash and was unwearable.

George

Bruce:

Thanks for sharing your experience. Getting a cancellation number is great advice. Wow! You've documented either incompetence, the operator lied to you on the phone, or both.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Ethan

I wanted to use the "Free" 1 month trial so I signed up for it February 1, 2010 and gave myself a calendar note to cancel it in 26 days. On February 26th I called and was put on hold, for 1 hour. I finally hung up. As luck would have it I didn't get an opportunity to call again until 3/2/10. On the 2nd I again was on hold for an hour, but finally got through to a representative.

The representative (Esmeralda) gave me all the hard sell tactics and I practically had to crawl through the phone to get her to cancel it. Unfortunately, today (5/6/10) I noticed in my email that I was STILL signed up for it, and sure enough had been billed 3 times. Unfortunately I had trusted (as they were associated with CitiBank) that they would actually cancel it and did not get a confirmation number.

Steamed, I called their customer service again. This time I tried a different approach. The first thing I did was ask if they had on record each time I contacted them, and the woman said yes, that it showed I had called on March 2nd (She also mumbled under her breath, and I quote, "canceled... cancel was denied" < NO JOKE!!). So I told her the reason I called that day was to cancel but I still was being charged.

Instead of offering to fix it, she asked if I would like to view their online service. At the time I wasn't sure what that was for, and simply said I didn't want to do that because I did not want to accept any of the services since I had already canceled and wanted to be credited for the payments taken from me. NOW that I read these other posts, I realize she was trying to get me to use the service so I wouldn't be able to have it canceled.

But I digress. She said she canceled my service and gave me a confirmation number. I asked for the full spelling of her name and then asked she credit me back for the incorrect billings since 3/2/10. She said she couldn't credit me, but would transfer me to someone who could. I was promptly transferred... to Internet Support.

The poor woman who answered said she didn't speak to anyone who transferred the call and knew nothing of my situation. I explained myself and requested to be transferred (again) to someone who could help. This time I actually got someone who could help (Lori at the Utah Call Center, very nice lady). Lori listened to my story, put me on hold for a moment, and then came back with the news she would credit me for all 3 charges. She said they would not post until tonight (today 5/610).

I'll be back here to tell you if they don't actually come through.

Bottom line: DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE! Other than the nice lady Lori, it has been a terrible experience. If there are any attorneys looking for a class action law suit, you could probably make some serious money with this one. Feel free to use my story.

Regards,
Ethan

Richard Leibfried

I did not sign up for this Identity Monitor, please cancel it asap. Please respond to let me know this has been cancelled. Thanks

George

Dear Mr. Leibfried

I sent this message to you via e-mail and will repeat it here:

Canceling a subscription to a credit monitoring service is not offered in this blog. You need to go directly to the site and modify or cancel your subscription.

At this blog, people share comments about their experiences with various products and services. Again, please contact the Identity Monitor site directly via phone or e-mail to cancel your service.

George Jenkins
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Alex

I've used the service for a few years, yet finally gave up since I thought it wasn't worst it.

Basically all I need is an ability to look at my credit score once in a year. I've read I am entitled to it for free, but was never actually able to get it. Any tips?

Thanks in advance.

LAURIE DUNCAN

i have read my George Jenkins experience. I dont really know what to do.Since april 2010 i am being billed $9.95 for myself and $9.95 for my spouse. it was a citi credit monitoring service. I have not it in months, Last night i tried to go on it.. the screen and site was the exact one I would get my credit info from, so i called the contact number on the site and was told my account was cancelled in Jan 2010. I then called my bank and the only info i was given was 877-974-7733, its a fitness center.. with a answering machine... I guess i will have to cancell the card linked to these charges! ANYONE ELSE HAVING OR HAD THIS PROBLEM! VERY UPSET!

George

Laurie:

Sounds like you bank card info has been compromised. Things I would do in your situation:

1) Insist on your bank closing your current account and opening a new account.

2) Follow the guidelines by your bank about how to dispute (in writing) fraudulent charges. Typically, those charges you didn't dispute within 60 days you have to pay.

3) File a police report about the fraudulent charges. You may need that police report later to force the bank (or retailers) to action.

4) If your bank won't help you or won't provide the services you feel you deserve, close your account and open a new account at another bank. That may seem like a hassle, but it is your money and you should get the service you seek.

5) Check your credit reports at Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion for fraudulent charges. If you see any, follow their rules for disputing fraudulent charges in writing.

6) You didn't say whether or not it was your debit or credit card. I only use my debit card at ATM machines. There are posts in this blog that can help you decide which is better to use.

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

agaian

I use Sears Credit Card, it is registered in Citibank.

amy amster

We have always been happy with Citibank credit cards. This credit monitoring service included. Their customer service is top notch and if there is anything you do not understand, they will be happy to explain to you.

Jason Anders

We are partial to Citibank credit cards also. Their Credit monitoring service is excellent.
http://www.customercreditcards.com/citi-cards.php

George

Amy and Jason:
Please share more. Who is the "we" you refer to? Is that other family members? Readers would like to hear more about **why** you are happy with Citibank credit cards. Your statements are so general and vague.

Last, Citigroup reported last week another data breach:
http://www.eweek.com/c/a/Security/Citigroup-Hit-Again-by-Security-Breach-505812/

This was after the larger data breach of several weeks ago:
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com/my_weblog/2011/06/citigroup-breach-revised.html

Any comments about this?

George
Editor
http://ivebeenmugged.typepad.com

Jason Anders

I have had nothing but problems with other credit cards. Not with Citi. The interest rates are comparable to other cards, but the rewards and offers are far better.

Samira

I've had nothing but absolutely TERRIBLE service with Citi Identity Monitor. I originally enrolled for the free one month service to get my credit report. I had a number of problems accessing it online and called to have them mail me my credit report. After being transferred 6 times and being on the phone for 86 minutes, they told me that they will mail me a hard copy of my credit report since I was an enrolled member.

Long story short, I NEVER got my creditreport. I called later to request it and they said since Im no longer a member, I have to re enroll to get it. I was flabergasted! I was transferred once again to 4 different people and on the phone for another 72 minutes just for them to say NO. I was in disbelief.

Worst part was they actually told me I was talking to a surpervisor and when I asked her name, she said she is not a surpervisor and that the surpervisor went home. It was the most AWFUL customer experience I ever received.

DO NOT USE THIS SERVICE BASED PURELY ON THEIR AWFUL CUSTOMER SERVICE.

Amanda

I had this service for about 3 months and my credit scores were not updated. Almost every weekday they called my cell phone saying that they were not able to retrieve more information about my credit score because they "required" me to make a photocopy of both sides of my social security card and/or W2 form to be mailed or faxed to them....I denied that request because there is a REAL RISK of identity theft doing that. I cancelled that service right then and there.

Jerry

Isigned up for credit moniter after I co-signed my sons pickup. He didnt make payments for 18 months and I never got contacted by them that really is bad as then I had alow credit score for him not paying. I have since resolved his mistake and am getting my credit back in order no thanks to credit moniter

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