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Sue Citibank in small claims court?
Old 05-20-2016, 07:14 PM   #1
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Sue Citibank in small claims court?

Hi all,

Would you sue Citibank in small claims court if they did not award you 30K AAdvantage miles even though you (believe you) fulfilled all of the requirements of the promotional offer AND you had waited for a while AND you asked them to investigate AND they said that no offer existed?

I figure the value of the 30K miles is approximately $300.

The small claims filing fee is $69.

The court house is 8.3 miles and 17 minutes from my home.

I've never filed a small claims case before. There is a court assistance office which has forms and they'll answer basic questions.

It's not really worth the money to me, but I suspect they are deliberately not fulfilling awards and that rankles my justice meter.

I do have some evidence and records that I met the offer, but I'm don't think what I have is ironclad because I think I may have got lazy in taking screen shots in this instance.

Or would you call and ask Citi to reconsider and to award you the miles anyway because you think you did fulfil all of the requirements and you'd rather not go through the hassle of suing them?

Or would you do something else?
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Old 05-20-2016, 07:32 PM   #2
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Have you scoured the web to see whether the promotional material is still there, even if the promotion you are sure you fulfilled is over? I just casually typed in 30000 AAdvantage promotion and got a number of sites showing such a promotion did exist, such as : [Expired] CitiBank Offering Up To 30,000 American Airlines AAdvantage Miles To Sign Up For Their Checking Products: No Direct Deposit - Doctor Of Credit

I would call and ask to speak to a high level person. But you will need evidence that there really was such a deal in the first place. It is always important to take screen shots and, if you didn't do that, you don't have much to go on except your word versus theirs. Good luck!
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:05 PM   #3
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I hadn't, but the offer I (thought I) took advantage of was similar to the one you linked.

What I do have is a saved copy of the HTML from the original offer description from the Doctor of Credit website. That HTML does contain the offer code I used.

I also have a saved copy of the HTML from the Citibank result page when I opened the account. On that page it shows my Citibank account number and there is also link that says "Promotional details" which link to a popup window referencing the offer code. I think this could demonstrate that I opened the account with that offer code.

The promotional details don't show on Citi's website any more. What I do have are my notes about what the requirements were (as well as the Doctor of Credit page which also lists the requirements), and I can demonstrate that I met those (2x billpay, deposit $X, etc.).

I think I will try calling in and asking to speak to a higher level person and appeal my case. Hopefully giving them the offer code and asserting that I opened my account with that offer code will work.

The offer code I used was 42ERCWNQU6. I am putting it in here so that anybody else who has problems can know about my experience and reference it in case there is a future class action type of problem.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:27 PM   #4
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I guess if it were me I'd just be very assertive and insist on speaking to managers until you can go no further. As a note on the principle of the matter I spent nearly 4 months trying to get Centurylink to acknowledge a bait and switch they pulled on me. I had written documentation; I had names, dates, and badge numbers; I spoke 7 times to the highest level person I could get; I got hung up on three times; I spent hours on the phone and a lot of righteous anger -- and I got nowhere. The best thing to do I realized is just walk away from that company completely. They don't care in the least about you, whether you walk or stay. You are small potatoes. What matters is your own mental health and your own life. So do your best and at some point give it up and let go, chalking it up to experience.
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Old 05-20-2016, 08:38 PM   #5
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If you file a claim in small claims court, they will never take the time to show up and defend themselves so you will likely either win by default or get the attention of someone at corporate who will give you your points just to make this go away. So I say go ahead and file if you don't mind going through the process to do so.


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Old 05-20-2016, 08:46 PM   #6
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I think you would get quite a lesson, but spend dozens of hours in preparing and properly serving the entity within Citi that issues the card.Most mega banks have hundreds of subsidiaries , and you need to serve the correct one. If you look at your cardmember agreement, it likely specifies the state where you must file any legal action.

IIRC the cards used to be issued by "Citibank South Dakota. Don't currently have one of their cards, so I'm not sure.

Instead, sign up for the Chase cashback card, and get $150 when you charge the first $500, Let Citi go. Don't waste your time IMO
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:22 PM   #7
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I doubt you can sue in court. I suspect they have an arbitration clause. Read the fine print.

One of the issue with arbitration is that they are never *quite* unbiased.... Small fry folks like you and I do not have enough business to gain favored status... but large companies generate enough arbitration business to create some favoritism.

Another issue is there is no appeal... so if you get a bad arbitor - you're screwed... No recourse if you get a biased arbiter.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:27 PM   #8
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I'd try on the phone and shame them on social media. Start easy on social media, like hey, anybody else have this problem? Then, if they don't pick it up, get more aggressive, and hit other avenues. Twitter is good. If they have a local office, you could make a poster and stand outside the office where cars see you. If you do any of that, keep to just the known facts. All of that would likely be more productive than small claims court.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:36 PM   #9
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@Marita40, I am sorry but not surprised that you had a bad experience with CenturyLink. They are not a favorite of mine either.

I wonder if I I come across as too bitter or vengeful in my language, or if it's just that I'm talking about suing over $300 that makes me seem that way.

I'd sue sort of for fun and to learn about the process. I have visions of a default judgment followed by me walking in to their local office and attaching it to a desk or something.

@Lakewood90712, I think I can sue them here in Idaho since they did business here, regardless of any cardmember agreement. But they may require arbitration.* It is a checking account and not a credit card account in this case, not sure if that matters. And I've probably already done the Chase cashback card too...I'd have to consult my spreadsheet on my latest round of 16 deals I did. ;-)

*posted before seeing @rodi's reply. Yeah, probably arbitration.
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Old 05-20-2016, 09:43 PM   #10
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The jurisdiction is important. As is the arbitration clause. Chances are you will have to fly to where you can sue them and stay in a motel. Only to find out that you sued the wrong location.

Give it up. Let it go. Have a cocktail and kick back.

Or if you wish "tilt at the windmills" and "take arms against a sea of troubles", but know that it didn't end well for Hamlet either.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:29 PM   #11
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I wouldn't do it. But I got the 50k AA for me and my husband with no problem. So did my daughter and her roommate. Did you call them and ask what's the reason?
The new promotion for AA is now 60k, I feel cheated already.
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:38 PM   #12
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If it's a checking acct with Citibank NA, then I think you are correct and could file a small claims. IIRC, if it's Citibank NA, the HQ is actually in Las Vegas , and with most federally chartered banks, the local branch VP is obligated to accept legal service. In those cases it must personally be served on the branch VP. The FDIC website used to have a bank look up feature, with HQ location and which federal regulator is over them. Maybe someone
( not me for sure) could clarify.

PS The Chase card $150 thing is a recent offer, but for new card accounts only.

Say, could post that card / account sweet deal offer spreadsheet , with your pers. data removed so us uh, "Thrifty" lads can search for free money ?
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Old 05-20-2016, 10:54 PM   #13
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@Fedup, their letter said that "there was not an AAdvantage Miles promotion offered in conjunction with the opening of your account" - not true in my opinion, but whatevs. They also implied that they do have offers but they are targeted and non-targeted folks can't get them. I am aware of the idea of targeted offers but I don't think the promotion I used was a targeted offer.

@Lakewood90712, usually what I do is sit down about every nine to 12 months to collect a bunch of offers and then apply for them all at once. I'd be happy to send you the spreadsheet via PM, but it's from last October so the deals are probably stale...do you still want it?
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Old 05-20-2016, 11:44 PM   #14
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If you get nothing then close out the account. Do you already have an AA Citibank? If not open one and get the mileage. If you already have it, open another one like city Premier. There are so many ways to get AA miles. I just saw one in my email recently, buy $36 of 6 bottles of wine and get 5000 miles. I was tempted to get it because I need about 3000 miles, but don't really want to spend $3k on that credit card. In fact once I'm done with traveling, I'm closing it out. I can earn mileage a by doing special purchase.
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