In Day 2 of the Federal trial of Bill White in Roanoke, Virginia, one of White's alleged victims testified as to how upset she was over White's Internet threats and how they degraded her productivity as a worker. Coverage by WSLS Channel 10 HERE. Continuing coverage from the following sources:
-- Roanoke Times blog coverage of the entire trial HERE.
-- Roanoke Times blog coverage of Day 2 only HERE.
But before that, there were opening statements by both the prosecution and the defense. Representing the prosecution was Cindy Chung, who stressed how Bill White sought out a group of diverse strangers and targeted them with a series of threats and intimidation.
Representing the defense was Ray Ferris, who admitted that Bill White did some ugly and obnoxious things. But Ferris asserted that the real test is whether or not White's nasty comments and racial slurs were actually threats. If not, they are covered by the First Amendment. Assisting the defense is David Damico (unlike Hal Turner, at least Bill White found some white attorneys).
The supervisor of Citibank employee Jennifer Petsche, Rachel Dixon, who is the departmental manager of Citi Group’s collection wing in Kansas City, then took the stand, stating that Petsche "went to pieces" after she found out that Bill White had dug up the woman's home telephone number and address as well as contact information on her families, then sent her an e-mail to inform her that he had done so. An unidentified Citi internal investigator took the stand next, explaining to the jury how he investigated the email and turned his findings over to the Kansas City office of the FBI. The investigator said White called Citi’s Kansas City location 46 times during a three hour period on March 21st, 2007.
Finally, it was time for Citibank employee Jennifer Petsche to take the stand. Petsche, who works in Kansas City, had no idea who White was when he first e-mailed her about a dispute over his credit card. The more she learned, the more fearful she became of the neo-Nazi leader. After White suggested that she might meet the same fate as Chicago Federal Judge Joan Lefkow, whose husband and mother were murdered, Petsche began to screen her calls and obtained an unlisted phone number. The personal information was also posted on White's defunct Overthrow.com website, and an account of the exchange posted on the inaccessible Overthrow88 blog.
Since I was a regular reader of Overthrow88, I remember Bill White posting his account of the exchange between himself and Petsche. But although Overthrow88 is now inaccessible, the information isn't completely lost. Investigation revealed that at least part of the exchange was cross-posted on Voice Of Deseret and integrated into a post exposing Citibank's corporate predation and victimization of customers and informing the public of the Boycott Citibank campaign. The Bill White exchange is now cross-posted below:
Folks may remember that a year and a half ago the CIT Group was forced to pay me a $100,000 judgment for wrongful foreclosure. They reported me in foreclosure when I wasn't and wouldn't fix it, then didn't show up in court. 'Nuff said.
Well, some other creditors decided to jack my interest rate up to 30% or more as a result of CIT's false report -- the infamous cross-default clause. When I won the libel judgment, all of them admitted they were wrong except one and fixed it. Guess who didn't fix it.
So I've been in court with Citigroup / Citicards / Citibank (South Dakota) NA for the past two and half years. Last year, a settlement was imposed on the case. I can't discuss the settlement, but, since I got it, Citigroup / Citicard / Citibank (South Dakota), NA has been very unhappy with me. Passive aggressively obstructionist, one might call it. They haven't done anything wrong, but have deliberately not done everything they could to be helpful. This week, I lost patience with it.
There has been one girl at Citibank who is their head debt collector. She is in their Litigation Management division. This one girl has been the major problem. She's one of these kinds of debt collectors who goes onto messageboards and brags about how good it feels to have people beg her to correct their credit report, refuse them, and watch them cry about it. She likes abusing power. I hate people like that.
So the other day I made 150 phone calls to the 2200 people who work in their Kansas City, Missouri Citicard Credit Services, Inc center, until I found someone with both the access to tell me who was the head debt collector and the lack of brains to answer my questions when they didn't know who I was. It took me three hours to find that person, but find them I did.
Then, I called their Internal Recovery Unit and I had a conversation:
Me: "Transfer me to x in Litigation Management."
IRU: "I don't know what you're talking about."
Me: "Is this Internal Recovery?"
Me: "And you deal with Litigation Management?"
Me: "Do you know an x in Litigation Management?"
IRU: "What I don't know is how you know her."
Me: "None of your business how I know her. It is sufficient for you to know that I do and I have some business with her. Now please transfer me."
IRU: "We can't transfer you. There is no incoming line to Litigation Management."
Me: "Don't lie to me. I spent all last night cracking your phone system. Every desk in Kansas City has an incoming line. Now transfer me to x."
IRU: "Hold on."
And they transferred me to x. X, however, didn't know who I was and let her voice mail pick it up. Fortunately, her voice mail had her last name on it.
It then took me two hours to figure out how to spell her last name, which is unusual. Once I did though, she was easy to find.
So I sent someone to her house last night to have a word with her. Specifically, she was told that she either did what I've been trying to get her to do and stop obstructing me or I was going to release her name, address, phone number, family members etc onto the internet and let anonymous have a whack at Citigroup's head debt collector.
This morning, the papers were pushed.
So there is the answer to the magic question of what exactly it takes to get Citigroup to give you good customer service -- hunt their debt collectors down at home and show them what being tough with someone really means. Anything else, Citigroup just seems to blow off.
This exchange shows how Citibank's insensitivity, indifference, and arrogance can enrage customers. Can anyone really blame Bill White for being put out with these people?
There is also word that another of White's targets, columnist Leonard "Cry Me A River" Pitts, may be called to testify at the trial. Discussion of this case taking place on the Vanguard News Network Forum.