Sunday, July 27, 2008

Citibank is BLOCKING Customers Who Use Linux

One of my laptops has Ubuntu 8.04 64bit and it works perfect. Then I went to Citibank's site to login for the first time, At first, you get this:

You should get this, however, unless you can login within 2 seconds the page switches to this :
Naturally, User Agent Switcher, a firefox addon, came to mind and it works perfectly but I was just not satisfied. None of the other banks I use do this, even the small ones. According to Citibank:
I called Citibank Technical Support and the person I spoke with said "the Citibank website supports Firefox but does not support uncommon operating systems like Linux".
I called again just to see if this was the official Citibank policy. This next person went into detail about how Windows is the only OS that offers "real security".

At this point I was a little offended.

The next two people I spoke with had never heard of Linux (in technical support!) and put me on hold to ask the manager if I could view with Linux. Of course they came back and said Citibank only supports "secure operating systems" and that windows was the only option.

The Last person I spoke with at Citibank Technical Support had heard of Linux. She stated "I have Ubuntu on my laptop, and I love it!". She also assured me, off the record, that this is Citibank's official policy and they do not care.

Personally, this pisses me off. WHY would you block customers that use Linux, especially when your site works fine with Linux? This has clearly been an issue for over a year. This post is from In a post on, Citibank: You’re on Notice, the author goes into detail about his similar experience with Citibank and their unwillingness to do a thing about it.

Maybe this is nothing but if you feel like calling Customer Support, use 800.852.7282, no waiting ::grin::.

Here is a video showing the problem. First I show that Citibank is using Solaris, via Netcraft, and then I attempt to go to As you can see, the page goes blank. I then right click on the page, press play, continue, continue, and close. This workaround, brings the login page up correctly.

If you work for Citigroup Inc. and you would like to share your thoughts, please contact me via email or in the comment section.

One or two Citibank employees have mentioned wanting to do something about it. If something had been accomplished, I would have already posted it.

neil1492 on pointed out a very interesting fact with this question:
"Now the question is why is there a flash animation for Linux but not for Windows or Mac?"
This is a very good question indeed and is probably a part of why Linux users are having this issue with Citibank.

omoshiroi on found this alternative:
Note: You NEED to use both the https and the www or else it will fail. This is the address that forwards to once a user logs in. I wonder why Citibank did not give this address to me when I called?

HAKdragon On verified my suspicion that Citibank is using Solaris on their servers with this link to Netcraft. It appears that both and are running on Solaris. So Citibank is using an operating system that is, in their opinion, not secure. Very interesting ::grin::

cube3x3 on stated a second solution aside from using the User-Agent Switcher add-on:
1. Right Click on your browser in center area (after the page disappears)
2. Click on Play option
3. A window will pop up, click continue twice and close.
Note: you have to do this each time you goto to login.

fotoman On pointed out a rather interesting fix. If you goto and hit a few times once you see the login page, the page will not disappear. You can then login without any problem. very nice.

earthmansurfer On pointed out a 4th solution, very similar to the third.
Stop the page right after you get the log in screen. It will work fine, just have to time stopping the load.

chezifresh On pointed out a funny workaround, but it requires some good timing. If you are able to click in the login field before the page disappears, the page will not vanish. I was able to verify this workaround a few times, however, some of the time it doesn't work, even if you click in the field before the page vanishes.

Clemens on point out this more involved solution. Since I do not use greasemonkey, a Firefox add-on, I cannot verify it works. Here is the script:
this greasemonkey script deals with the problem:

// ==UserScript==
// can be found at
// @name Citibank
// @namespace citibank
// @description Remove stupid help screen
// @include*
// ==/UserScript==
if(null != document.getElementById('help-overlay')){
var crap = document.getElementById('help-overlay') ;
GM_log('removing stupid help overlay')
GM_log( "encountered some problem, here's the exception:" + e)

May on have pointed out that if you have a flash blocker add-on for firefox, it will work. This is most likely do to the fact that it pauses the flash app giving you a chance to play it or not. This is very similar to hitting Esc while the flash loads or stoping the page before the flash app vanishes. This solution is definitely one of the easiest and potentially has other advantages.

Interesting Links and References:
Microsoft Business Solutions Joins Forces With Citibank Merchant Services .....
Microsoft Signs Citibank Indian Software Unit Deal
Citibank joins Microsoft bill venture

--from moulin1 on
Now this picture is starting to make sense. Lots of Microsoft+Citibank deals happening, I wonder.......

Citibank ATM breach reveals PIN security problems
PIN Scandal 'Worst Hack Ever' - Citibank Only The Start

m6ack on

Citibank: You’re on Notice

--from Budding on

Comments from Citibank Doesn't Like Linux Users on