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You replied to snerge, You didn't act as expected, thus you get the runaround since you obviously must be in category (a)[theives]. Be thankful you got your money back.

And if snerge didn't get his money back, who would have been the thief?

It seems to me that this is a problem with Citibank's application process. What are they doing accepting a check for an account, if they can't open the account? Accepting the check amounts to accepting the terms of the contract.

Sure, the terms of the account may allow Citibank to close the account any time they choose; but they also have a responsiblity to return the money to its rightful owner. Citibank had an obligation to take exceptional care in returning snerge's assets. Had Citibank lost the funds, they would have remained liable to snerge for them.

It occurs to me that Citibank should have either 1) confirmed snerge's address before accepting the application and cashing his check; or 2) contacted snerge about returning his funds before issuing a refund check. Ideally, they would do the former. Option #1 is best because both Citibank and snerge would only have to worry about the return of a voided instrument, rather than worry about the return of his funds to an unverifiable address.

As for snerge, I think this wasn't entirely Citibank's fault. If I had been snerge, I probably would have waited until I moved before opening a new account. These kind of problems are probably endemic to online banking because of the additional security required. It's not unreasonable to believe snerge could have anticipated this kind of problem and avoided it irrespective of Citibank's obligations to snerge as a customer.

I think both snerge and Citibank should both be thankful things didn't get any worse than they did. Citibank should implement additional controls in its application process to deal with this problem. And I think we should all take this as a lesson about the potential pitfalls inherent in dealing with an online financial institution.

- Joel
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