The saga of my sister and Citizens Bank’s dubious sense of responsible and responsive banking received coverage in today’s Wallet Pop.

Under the headline “Bank robs customer: a cautionary tale,” writer Geoff Williams succinctly and fairly lays out the sequence of events. Like a penny doubled, or a snow rolling downhill, this could be the start of an interesting PR “situation” for Citizens Bank. After all, Wallet Pop is owned by AOL, a fairly significant media player that you may have heard of. What I especially appreciate is that the story is filed under two categories: “banks” and “ripoffs and scams.”

Stay tuned. [Update as of 3 pm Central, June 19th: after the Wallet Pop item was headlined on AOL’s home page, the number of reader comments surged from three to 300 in less than eight hours. Most chronicled their own beefs with banks, including Citizens Bank.]

As of August 2022, the story was online—in abbreviate form–at Yahoo Finance, under the headline, “Bank robs customer: a cautionary tale.”

Here’s that shorter version:

Americans spend billions of dollars in bank fees every year, and at least one customer, Judith Tremblay, is a little irritated about it. She has good reason. She’s been stewing over and trying to fix what she feels is an injustice for over a year now.

Tremblay, 43, had been a customer at Citizens Bank for 12 years when she noticed a monthly fee on her and her husband’s bank statement. She asked her spouse about it, and he replied that he assumed it was a standard charge that they had to pay. After all, it was there every month.

Curious, Tremblay called the branch near her Salem, New Hampshire home and learned that the $17.50 monthly fee was an error. Because they had something called Circle Gold Checking, the Tremblays were supposed to be exempt from the fee. But instead, the $17.50 had gone unnoticed.

When Tremblay asked for her money to be returned, she learned that she could, indeed, get a refund — but only for the last three months: $52.50.

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