My wife and I bought a large TV at Best Buy. My wife and I thought it was a large enough purchase, so we bought the coverage to protect us if one of us was disabled or if we lost our jobs. It was quite a large investment so we thought that was a good deal. The problem is, the deal is scam.
We were paying for the TV for quite a while and then, my wife lost her job. She wanted to see if she could get a job before leaning on the service policy we bought for just such an occasion. When it was obvious that she was not going to find a job quickly, she filed with HSBC, who was the lender BEST BUY USES. They said there was a time limit and that we were one or two days late. 1. There was never any mention of time limits. We just tried to do the right thing, and they used something we never saw. WE have tried to get the entire contract several times, but to no avail.
Best Buy just says, "we are not responsible," and just washes their hands of it. I wish I could lead folks down the path to destruction and then just say, "I am not responsible." Like shooting fish in a barrel. (In my humble opinion, Best Buy is responsible to the public for the instiutions they bring under under their roof and use as reputable companies. We, the consumer, who bought merchandise under their roof and are taking their lender at their request, IS responsible! We depend on them to steer us in the right direction. Otherwise, the should tell people up front that we have to find our own lenders when we make a purchase. Best Buys tacit agreement with these crooks makes them culpable. They are in enough hot water already. You would think this would be something that they would not like to be tangled up with. HSBC is clearly one of those dirty institutions with tons of complaints about things I would call fraud, but won't because I have not read the doc on those complaints, so can't really accuse them in those cases. As with our case, you don't need to see a fish to know there is something rotten in the area...
We will end up getting an attorney over this, but I wanted to let folks know up front what they will be dealing with if they buy something from Best Buy on terms. This will be our last not-so-Best Buy from this sinking ship... I say good riddance. One more dirty organization taken out by trying to do as little as possible for its potential customers, (suckers).
Yesterday, I received notice from HSBC that they were re-pricing all accounts that were "in my APR range". Effectively, this moved the "purchases" APR to 19.9, and "cash" to 29.9.
While I cannot begrudge companies that are tired of putting up with stupid customers who (1) can't remember to pay their bill on time, (2) don't pay their bill because they did't get their mailed statement (anybody heard of the internet??), or (3) keep right on spending even when they fully know they have exceeded the account limit - I DO take EXCEPTION when companies jack up the rates for those that don't fall into these categories.
Like many others earlier this year, HSBC is now one of them. So, I opted out. After 10 years I had to close the account to avoid paying through the nose.
Today - I keep thinking about this and I keep wanting to "do something about it". I keep thinking about my bank and how they basically do absolutely nothing to have use of my money on a daily basis. I keep thinking about how to ...well, how to not ever be in this position again.
What I realized is that all of these wonderful institutions have programmed ALL of us to believe and accept that we need them in our lives to be whole and complete. We have come to accept that "payments" are necessary and required. We have been led to believe that there are pieces of plastic that make us better - more prestige, more clout - as long as we are willing to handover more money.
And then, the double whammy hits. The almighty FICO "score" and credit reports. To be "good" we voluntarily allow our financial life to be rated and then distributed to companies we don't even know.
It used to be that the Better Business Bureau was THE place for consumers to make sure a business was worthy. Now the tables have been turned and it is we - the consumers - who are being rated exclusive of any shenanigans of the businesses.
I think there needs to a new rating system. One that bridges business and customer ratings to produce an entirely new means to evaluate who we want to do business with.
But - in the meantime, I am going to do something about it. With a very old, old tool found in nearly every home in the US - I have cut into pieces every credit card I have that has seen an APR increase outside of any increase to the prime rate. I have called and emailed every single one of these companies and closed the accounts.
I am now down to one single account. One.
I am going today to move my checking and savings accounts to a local credit union that doesn't have 30 million dollar CEO's. (I think it is quite obvious these guys ain't worth their money when they have to go ask the govt for a handout. What? Were they asleep at the wheel? They didn't see it coming? They didn't know? What?)
I will diligently pay off every account I closed - and the one that remains open. And when done, will never again agree to such an insane arrangement.
Live. Experience. Learn. Don't be stupid.
GEORGIA -- I took out a credit card with HSBC April 2008. Me and my husband were to use the card for a house we were remodeling to flip. Their 0% interest drew me towards them and I got the card in April. Paid online via billpay, and on time as long as I got the bill in the mail, which has always been my reminder. All of a sudden I got a letter from them in August to let me know that I'd missed payments. Well, I called them and asked them why I'd not received a bill in the mail. The CSR told me that I had gone online and opted to receive my bills online, which is not true. Funny thing is that I'd not received any online bills either. The CSR would not budge, basically didn't believe me so all of a sudden I owed over $600 to bring the account current? Keeping in mind they'd added fees and all of a sudden I had a 38% interest charged to the account balance. I'd kept my credit scores at 700 and above until this happened. The CSR told me they'd work with me at $50/month for 4 months, which I agreed to and also told them to close the account.
They were to draft it from my account. This did not happen and I ended up having to make the payment via billpay. I continued getting phone calls and still got harassed. I finally received a letter from their company which I disputed and faxed my letter of dispute to their company (all documented). They continue to call me at least 6 times during the day beginning at 7 A.M. and sometimes lasting until 10 P.M. I don't answer the call because I recognize their number. They seem to refuse to respond via paper or mail. So for now, we're at a standstill. This company will not work with you. I was widowed in 2006 and then was married for 1.5 years to an abusive relationship in which I made a decision to divorce this man, finalized Dec. 2, 2008. He left me with ALL debt.
HSBC CSR's showed no sympathy and showed absolutely no compassion as to my circumstance. They also have ruined my credit. Furthermore, they've been in the news lately more than I'd like to say, with stories that are shameful and it concerns millions of dollars. Let me guess...my dollars? I'm sorry but if they can give a man a $22 mil. in a settlement to leave their company, can they not work with me on a measly $4,000 balance? Oh, I guess we need to add the $1000 in fees and charges they've attached to the bill which brings it to over $5,000. Shame on HSBC!
So, my advice? STAY AWAY FROM THESE PEOPLE....they're bad news.
I have been a loyal customer of HSBC for a long time, and until recently I was a happy customer as well. Suddenly, I have become a very unhappy customer and I am taking my money out of HSBC because of the dreadfully unfair and arbitrary actions taken by HSBC. I have been very diligently paying my bills on time and taking other steps to make sure my credit score goes up as much as possible. Suddenly my credit score dropped significantly even though ALL of my payments, etc. have all been paid on time. So why did my credit score drop one might ask? The one and only negative thing that happened in any of my credit history recently is that HSBC arbitrarily decided to lower the credit limits on a large number of its credit card customers. I always paid my bills on time, never went over my credit limit, and in fact, I always kept my outstanding balance below 50% of my credit limit. Suddenly HSBC arbitrarily decided to lower the credit line on my card and thousands of others by 60%!!! Yes, that number is correct.
They lowered my credit limit by 60%! This caused my balance to available credit ratio (a key factor in determining FICO scores) to go from about 40% to about 97%. The 40% ratio which I worked diligently to maintain is viewed as very good in the eyes of the credit reporting agencies, and was one of the factors helping to bring up my credit rating. However, one of the worst danger warnings in the eyes of the credit agencies is a "maxed out" credit card, so this 97% ratio caused solely by the arbitrary actions of HSBC caused my credit rating to drop by about 30 points! Now let me again stress that my income and job situation has not changed, I have not had a late payment or been over my credit limit on any of my credit accounts in many years, and have not had any other activity that might negatively affect my credit rating for many years.
Despite all of my diligence in maintaining my credit and despite my loyalty to HSBC and the fact that I even have my savings account with HSBC they took this unfair action which has already had a very negative impact on my credit rating. I had been saving up to buy a house this year, and now I will most likely have to pay a higher interest rate on my mortgage or wait even longer before I am able to purchase a home, all because of the indifference of HSBC toward its customers. Just as a "maxed out" credit card is a danger indicator for the credit reporting agencies, this kind of of indifference and arbitrary action towards its loyal customers is a BIG RED FLAG about the financial health of HSBC! A wise person could see such acts by HSBC as a strong indication that HSBC is a bank struggling in very serious financial trouble. I for one could not be comfortable leaving my money in an account at a bank in serious financial trouble. I know the banks are supposed to be insured, but why take chances with bureaucratic red tape?
It seems much wiser to simply take all money out of the troubled bank. HSBC may be located in Nevada, but if I am going to gamle with my money, I would rather do it at the casino and not with my bank accounts.
USA -- Jim Ivey
HSBC Credit Card Service
1441 Schilling Place
Salinas, CA 93901
RE: HSBC VISA Customer Service – No where you want to be
Case # 708 093 70556
Dear Mr. Nenezes and Mr. Ivey,
I would like to report an abominable customer service experience with an HSBC Visa billing dispute.
It has taken 4 months, 20+ phone calls from me, countless hours of my time and your banks time to solve a dispute of $114.68. The cost to service the dispute is undoubtedly higher than the disputed amount.
Further, a strategy of ‘wait and see if she calls back before we follow up’ was employed. These words were written in the notes in my file. Visa positions itself as being an advocate of the consumer, yet the burden of proof was continually put on me to prove that the charge was a fraud. I have been a customer for 20 years, dating back to Marine Midland Bank. I am leaving the bank as a result of this interaction but did not want to do so without bringing this issue to your attention.
Details and recommendations are below, but I believe this is an issue with the design of the process that does not empower employees to put the customer first and solve their issues immediately. One easy solution would be to have each case assigned to an individual who is empowered to make necessary changes. All of the 20+ individuals I spoke to were quite nice, they just couldn’t do anything.
Customer Unfriendly Hurdles:
When I initiated the dispute I was told that it was my responsibility to contact the merchant and have the charge removed. This socked me. American Express would never do that. I was unable to contact the merchant who is on a beach in Thailand. Time: Mid July
Written notification was required to begin the dispute. This delayed the process 3 weeks as I was camping and without access to a fax.
Faxes were frequently ‘lost’ in transmission, which I only discovered by calling to check on the case. I immediately issued a second fax each time.
Burden of proof was placed on me. On 9/28/07 Visa obtained a sales slip from the merchant and issued a letter to me stating that the case was closed because the merchant submitted a sales slip with a signature and card imprint and the card had not been reported stolen at the time. In fact there was no imprint on the sales slip and the signature was forged.
Two months of weekly calls were required to push the process along. Each time I called I had to speak to a different person who merely skimmed the case and told me I needed to fax in another document, call back in 5 days for HSBC Visa to confirm receipt of the fax and then call back 5 days later to confirm that the received fax had been read and was ready for the next step.
Evidence the sales slip was a forgery was ignored. I submitted a detailed fax on 10/23/07 with evidence that my signature was forged, including copies of my signature and a Visa statement for flights that put me out of the country on the date indicated on the forged sales slip.
A letter was sent to me requesting a copy of my Driver’s License to confirm the signature (I would have happily sent this with the other evidence, had a billing disputes representative told me Visa requires this as proof of official signature. But no one ever mentioned that.) This letter took two weeks to arrive at my home. I called in advance of the letter and faxed in a copy of my license that day, then called back 5 days later which was when I was told Visa could confirm they had received my fax. This fax was apparently lost as well, so I sent another fax immediately.
I called back about 7 days later to confirm receipt of the second fax and receipt still could not be confirmed. I was promised a call back on 11/12 to say that the amount had been credited to my account. I heard nothing.
On 11/15/07 I asked to speak to the supervisor’s supervisor and was told that the case should have been escalated to management review in October and my account should have been credited. I was told it would be credited immediately.
As of 11/19/07, the amount has not been credited to my account and a late fee has been assessed!!!!
• Put the customer first and recommend solutions to their disputes.
• Have one person responsible for each case so things don’t fall through the cracks.
• Fix the link between online banking and Visa so customers can handle disputes through their
regular banking interface.
• Allow verbal or email notification to begin a dispute.
• Check out American Express’s process for handling disputes. They have a great customer service
system on their basic Green Card.
I hope Visa HBSC take immediate action to address the gaps in the billing disputes process so that these types of customer service issues are contained.
I will also be posting this letter online.
Customer since 1987, soon to be ex-customer.
DENVER, COLORADO -- Here is a "cut and paste" of my recent email to Orchard Banks Customer Care that pretty much describes what they did to me:
Subject: RE: Orchard Bank Customer Care Message Confirmation (KMM51069276I31069L0KM)
"This morning, I just spoke to a customer service manager that explained that apparently I am now all of a sudden at a 29% default APR instead of the 14%APR. This is very sneaky the way this went down as every customer service rep I spoke with until today assured me that I was at the 14% APR rate. In fact, the very last Orchard Bank Customer Service Rep I spoke with a week ago assured me that my APR rate was still at 14% explaining that $5 would cover my 14% APR on $395. The previous customer service manager I spoke with weeks ago that approved the $100 increase bringing my credit limit to $400 never explained I was going from a 14% APR to a 29% APR. I am angry beyond words as this is horrible customer service.
I do not recall this in the original written terms of agreement. Repeatedly telling a customer by telephone that they are "safe" at their current APR even approving a credit limit increase is terrible to say the least. What makes this worse is that every single Orchard Bank Cust Srv Rep I spoke with up to a week ago REPEATEDLY ASSURED ME I WAS AT THE 14% APR RATE AND THAT AS LONG AS I LEFT $5 TO COVER THE $395 BALANCE IN MY ACCOUNT THAT I WOULD NOT GO OVER LIMIT. I HAD NO CLUE I WAS AT A 29% DEFAULT RATE UNTIL TODAY. Doing this to a poor person with a low credit limit who is on State Aid recovering from major surgery to "teach me a lesson" makes this even worse. I constantly kept on top of my account always contacting your customer service. I called the Colorado Better Business Bureau to file a complaint. Maybe legally Orchard Bank can get away with this but at least I can let other potential customers know what I went through. This is terrible. I am extremely upset as there is no excuse for this. Please do not send a reply email to me to justify why this was done to me by Orchard Bank as there is no acceptable excuse. Dealing with this today is making me ill so I will have to deal with this tomorrow."
I called this morning inquiring why my finance charge was $10 instead of $5 at 14% on a $395 balance only to be told by an Orchard Bank cust srv rep that I was now at a 29% APR. I could barely understand this customer service rep as he did not speak English that well.
He did not seem to know what he was talking about as well as a rude demeanor. After several minutes, I finally spoke to an extremely rude Orchard Bank Manager that explained to me that I was put at the default rate weeks ago without my knowledge. I then questioned her as to why weeks ago the previous Orchard Bank customer service rep Manager as well as the most recent conversations (a week ago) with Orchard Bank Customer Service Reps stated I was at the 14% APR rate. The rude Orchard Bank Customer Service Manager I spoke with today, Monday Nov 12, 2007, informed me this so-called 29% rate information "was never available to any of the customer service reps or the previous customer service manager" explaining I was given the correct information. Go figure as this makes no sense at all. I am filing quite a few complaints against Orchard Bank. My advice is Stay away from Orchard Bank as they are a rip off. My other credit card company is so much better processing my payments right away and working with good customers, not against them. JEERS TO ORCHARD BANK. SHAME ON THEM!!! Oh another thing is that Orchard Bank has constantly changing rules that deviate from the vague written "so-called" terms of agreement.
BOMBAY -- This is with regards to my requirement of opening account with HSBC ANDHERI WEST branch in India, I approached them to open account with 600$/account ( Around 25000 INR) which is minimum requirement. I wanted to to open four accounts for my family. Made a start with opening my account first and rest three accounts after few days.
Few sales people convinced me to open premier account with 1.5 million INR (approximately 33500 us$)which I accepted with internet banking, debit card, phone banking and assurance to be served and answered for any problems within 24 hours.... with premier features.
To my wonder I found following rip off practices even before and while opening my first account:
Two persons in Bank stated that my immigration visa and passport both are invalid which was presented for id and NRI status, which was fixed up by their higher up.
My account was opened after 10 days for which I was promised within 24 hours and in last 4weeks internet banking not activated, in spite of many calls and emails.
My first email was replied after 12 days stating that I will need to deposit 2.5 million INR to keep premier account.(rest of questions not answered)
Till now no status on opening rest of three accounts, in spite all process carried out. However verbally account number has been sent to me by SMS( again a crude way of doing banking and opening account), but so far not received any official communication, check book or debit card.
Got letter from HSBC main branch that my internet banking is not included but my branch states that since I do not know how to register so I am not able to use internet banking, whereas I have used all the banks in world with intenet banking.
Most of executives in HSBC India, are around the age of 21 to 27 freshly passed out of bank, who hardly knows how to respond to customer in professional way. They are just asked to do target to remain in job , by whatever means. These are the reasons why these crooks do all kind of manipulation to get customers, forgetting quality and professionalism using all defrauding practices.
All that they know is good English and a tie in neck by which they feel they could render good service is a real myth and brainwash.
This is another Bank in India apart from ICICI to be avoided since a customer can be taken for raid to any level to keep them in job to meet their targets. However my experience with HSBC in another countries are marvelous and great with my business accounts. thinking that I planned to open account back home, but got knifed by crooks.
I was cheated, wrongly promised of so many things. and till today , I am sitting on square waiting to hear for status of my rest of three accounts and activation of internet banking and , I am duped to deposit another 1 million to keep promised status of premier account.
The service really sucks.... the following people approached me and came to collect check of 1 million Rupees early in morning when I was sleeping apart from 1/2 million Rs. already deposited even without any update on account status and relevant facilities.....
BEWARE OF HSBC INDIA.
( also they sent me leather made accessories(along with first account check book and terms book let) which was refused and objected.But HSBC has no word on it for my ethics and feelings.)
OK. .. I notice my HSBC credit card has its APR up to 30% ! I blow my top. .. I calm down and call them. Credit card companies can lower these rates upon request as a "Courtesy". All of my credit card companies have in the past. I call HSBC and speak to "Carlos" obviously from India, without giving him any of my information (although I'm sure it was right in front of him because I had to enter my account number before the call would be answered)I told him I needed to speak with a rep that spoke English. He asked what can he do for me. I repeated, that I wanted to speak with someone who spoke English. He put me on hold and hung up on me (accidentally, on purpose).
I called back, entered my info again to get through, this time another rep from India answers, I couldn't even understand the name he gave because he couldn't speak English. I told him I did not appreciate Carlos hanging up on me. And I told this rep, that I wanted to talk with a supervisor that speaks English. He said there are none. I told him to connect me with a rep that spoke English and he said there were none. I said, "Are you telling me, in a company as big as HSBC, there isn't even one rep that speaks English or lives in the US"? He said they are global and no matter how many times I call, I will get someone in India. So, I asked him to transfer me to ANY supervisor, and that I didn't care what language they spoke as long as the can at least understand English. He hung up on me. I called back again... and spoke with "Sabrina" (yeah right), I told Sabrina that I was recording this call because Carlos and the other rep hung up on me and refused to get a supervisor on the phone. She asked me for my name and account number, I told her I will give that info to the supervisor when I get one on the phone.
Finally, a person came on the phone, ID'd herself as a supervisor (I don't remember her giving a name), I told her about the two reps that hung up on me, because I wanted to speak with someone who speaks English. She asked me if I was recording the call, (I guess "Sabrina" told her)I told her yes, I was. She told me if I didn't stop the recorder she was disconnecting the call. I asked her what the big deal is, because I was informed by them that they may be recording the same call. She said again, if I was recording the call, she would disconnect... so I said... "OK, I shut the tape off"... I didn't though. She told me charging 30% isn't uncommon for them, and basically they can charge anywhere from 17.99 and up... I told her I've worked with credit cards for over 10 years, and I know they can bring the rate down for those with a good credit history with their company and being that I've never missed any payments and was never late on any, all of my other creditors have dropped theirs for me. I told them they should be raising the fees on the people who default on their agreement instead of the ones that don't.
She said there is nothing she can do about it, they have no special offers going on at this time, and I hung up on her. I'm not even sure what HSBC is, but they took over the original creditor, Household Finance... maybe they are the same, but just changed their name, I don't know, but I do know that there is no way I will pay 30% on any account. If I have to transfer the balance to another account, I will... but I'm not paying all those fees to feed the smart assed mouths in India!
SALINAS, CALIFORNIA -- I have cards on both them and I pay annual fee as I was trying to improve my credit score.. I have never missed a payment and I access everything online. One day, I was going through my accounting and accessing my credit card online accounts and I could not get into either one of them... The funny thing is that both cards were placed on hold at the same time... Note, I am moving to another state soon and I go down to see family..
So I called in and one is closed for business (6pm EST).. The other phone is 800 and I got through customer service. They directed me right to credit review department. Be aware, these cards don't even give you a credit increase and you are paying annual fee.. The ladies comes online and verifies me with multiple private information.. Maiden name, social, address, etc.. They obviously could tell that I am the account holder... She states for verification purpose that the accounts were placed on hold and they want me to mail my income, 2 utility bills, and social security.. I asked why? You have my information and I asked where is the notification? It is in the terms of agreement. So I stated then wouldn't you think you should notify before you place it on hold so you do not disrupt services? She stated that we did.. Really, then why would I be calling you and finding out now?
Also, you really think it takes less than 1 day to notify? To make the long story short... They have my information, they know I pay my bills.. Heck, I even told her when my last payment was (since I went into the account the week prior to pay my bills)... All she could state is that I have to wait and can't use the card until it is cleared.. SO you pay annual fee for service, you are denied service (and it is acceptable for them to place a hold).. Do you think you should get credit? I see why credit card companies are predatory.. They have no problem and demanding us pay right away but would do anything possible to deny service... And they could change terms whether they want..
I am extremely frustrated, and at this point angry, with the way I'm being treated by HSBC in regards to my application for the Best Buy card.
In August of 2010 I applied for the Best Buy card online and was declined, however I was approved for the MasterCard, which I did not want, and which I did not accept. I have a steady, long-term job, and a credit score of 818 so I called to find out why I was declined and they said they'd send me a letter.
I waited about two months, and called a second time because I never received the letter. This time they said, "Oh good news! There's been a mistake, if you reapply you're sure to get approved!"
November 11, 2010, I reapply and again I'm declined for the Best Buy card, but approved for the Master Card. Again, I don't want the MasterCard, and again I don't accept the MasterCard. I call back for the third time, and again they promise I'll receive a letter within 30 days.
Two months go by, and I call for the fourth time to ask where's my letter and I'm told again that there's been a mistake and to reapply. I don't think so! I told them I don't want to reapply a third time, I want the reason of why I was declined. So I'm promised for the third time that I will receive a letter within 30 days.
So, I called them yet again yesterday, February 22, 2011. I received the same song and dance again, and they promised me they'd send me the letter of why I was declined.
Well, at this point I don't even want the card anymore, and I'm ready to stop shopping at Best Buy on top of it I'm so annoyed. If all this wasn't bad enough, my mother called me to inform me that HSBC has sent a MasterCard in my name to her address. She lives in a completely different state then me! How does this happen? The didn't even put my full name on the card! I would never apply for a card without my full name, not to mention my mother's address.
I will never, ever do any business with HSBC after this experience.