USA -- 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 bank's 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 shocked 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!!!
Recommendations: 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.
DENVER, COLORADO -- 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 changed rules that deviate from the vague written "so-called" terms of agreement.
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 can't remember to pay their bill on time, don't pay their bill because they didn't get their mailed statement (anybody heard of the internet?), or 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 want 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.
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 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 gamble with my money, I would rather do it at the casino and not with my bank accounts.
I accepted a postal mail pre-approved offer and opened a credit card account with this company. I had the card for about 2 years (+/-) without any problems. I feel I was an ideal customer, from the credit card company's standpoint: I never exceeded my credit limit, never once was late with a payment (on ANY of my credit accounts, anywhere), and always carried a monthly balance. My FICO credit score is always in the 670 to 700 range whenever I check it.
One month after about 2 years, I opened my monthly statement and was shocked to discover that my monthly interest rate had been changed from 12% to something like 27%, and there was a monthly fee added for credit monitoring, which is something that I had never authorized and which is mentioned NOWHERE in any of the terms and conditions in the original card agreement (I save EVERYTHING when I open an account, and urge others to do the same).
I immediately called the company and was sent to on-hold hell, where I spent much of my lunch hour at work and never did get a live service representative. The next day I encountered the same thing, but did manage to eventually get a customer representative who explained patiently that in the account agreement it clearly states that they can pretty much change the terms and conditions of any account at any time for any or no reason at their will.
I asked whether there was any sort of reason for deciding to change my terms with no notice at all, and received no clear answer (just a canned statement that something must have changed in my credit history or that I may be in default on some other account. **. I monitor my credit score and am NEVER in default on anything. I have since double-checked, and my credit is fine and I have had no problems with any other company.
I was pretty angry by this time, and very clearly stated that I wished a payoff amount and wanted this account closed immediately. I received the payoff amount, paid it off in full by internet transfer from my checking account while still on the phone with them, and verified on the phone that they had received payment. I repeated that I Wanted the account closed immediately, and wished to file a dispute for the credit monitoring charge of $12.95.
In about a week, I received in the mail a computer generated form letter confirming my disputed $12.95 charge. 2 weeks later, I received a monthly statement which indicated that the account was still open, with a zero balance. I immediately called, and was told that there must have been some mistake or misunderstanding as nowhere did it state in my records that I wanted the account closed. I was angry now and very clearly stated several times that I wanted this account closed, NOW. The representative said it was now closed.
The next month, I received another monthly bill for zero dollars... This time I asked for a supervisor, and repeated my insistence that the account be immediately closed NOW this INSTANT. I again got the song and dance about there having must been some miscommunication on my part. I followed up with a written letter stating the same thing, and have not received any monthly bill since then. Eventually I got a check in the mail for the $12.95 disputed credit charge.
Beware this company. If you DO open an account, be sure to check your statement every month, as they are dishonest and unethical and undoubtedly make a LOT of profit by slipping in unjustified fees and changes in interest rates without anyone noticing. I am just thankful that I happened to open the paper statement and check that month, since I usually pay online and might not have noticed being raped for several months otherwise.
I went back through my mail, and there was NEVER any sort of notification of the change in interest rate or additional fees provided to me. Note: I have a Capital One card, and have never had any problems like this in 10 years, nor have I EVER encountered such an uncommunicative, rude, arrogant customer service staff as the one at HSBC.
BUFFALO, NEW YORK -- Do not use HSBC for mortgages or refinancing unless you love to go through hell and lose money. I have investigations ongoing from state and federal agencies along with the Better Business Bureau into the business practices of HSBC Bank, Mortgage Division. The complaint concerns two issues: Deceptively assuring customers that loans were pre-approved to collect non-refundable application fees. Performing fraudulent appraisals.
On February 5, 2008 I inquired online to HSBC Bank on the refinancing of my manufactured home. HSBC Bank is the current lender for my mortgage for over 15 months which I have had no prior issues with or had any late payments on, so I thought it was in my best interest to continue my business relationship with them. I received a call of pre-approval from ** of HSBC at 1-800-622-7759 ext. ** and she brought up my account and asked me for more personal information and brought up my credit report. At this time we locked in a rate at 5.6% and I was told that I would have to pre-pay a non-refundable application fee of $525.00.
At the time she brought up my credit report, which is a credit score of 678 and said that with all of the information she had that the refinancing should go smoothly and quickly. Knowing that they manage my mortgage and have for over 15 months, I paid the $525.00 after being assured that the refinancing would be done.
After several days I contacted ** to see how the loan was progressing, and was told that HSBC does not refinance manufactured homes and that they would not able to refund the application fee of $525.00. Being that they have managed my account for over 15 months I was puzzled why they did not tell me that they could not refinance my home before they took my “non-refundable” application fee.
At this point I submitted a formal complaint and received a call from ** supervisor. I explained my frustration that I was assured and pre-approved for a loan which they ultimately would not provide and that they would not refund my money. I would not have given them the application fee of $525.00 if I would have known they would not refinance my manufactured home.
She told my that I had given ** false information concerning the property type, for which I stated that not only did I not give any false information, but that they have all of my information from the current mortgage which would made it impossible to falsify my information. At this point she told me that HSBC buys mortgages in bundles and has no idea of what those mortgages are, but she would investigate.
She called the next day to inform me that HSBC would not refund my application fee of $525.00. I the told her that I could not believe that after 15 months of making thousands of dollars from me that this business relationship was going to go sour over $525.00. She then apologized and said that the $525.00 could not be refunded because it was used for an appraisal of my house. I told her that there was not an appraisal done of my house and she checked on her computer and said that one had been done.
At this point I told her that I am a certified Appraiser II for the Property Tax division of the Arizona Department of Revenue and that a drive by picture of a house may justify as an appraisal in New York, but not in the State of Arizona. She then checked the computer again and said that a full appraisal had been done of my home. I told her that in order for a full appraisal to be done, the appraiser would have to enter my home and therefore I would have to be present or someone representing me would have to be there. She insisted that a full appraisal was done.
I then asked her how did someone get into my house and why would HSBC perform an appraisal on a house that they would not finance. She did not know. I then asked for the name and license number of the appraiser. She said that I would have to talk with underwriter ** at 1-800-432-5632 ext. **, but quickly said that she was not in that day.
I have left messages with **, but she refuses to return my calls. At this point I felt that there was some kind of fraudulent or criminal business behavior going on and I wrote in another formal complaint to HSBC stating that I was going to file a complaint to the Comptroller of the Currency, the New York Attorney General's office, the New York division of the Better Business Bureau and the United States Justice department asking for a full investigation into the mortgage practices and possible fraudulent appraisals performed by HSBC Bank.
Since issuing complaints to state and federal agencies and multiple complaints to HSBC I have heard no response from HSBC and have not had any money refunded to me at this date. The moral of this story is stay as far away from HSBC bank as possible. They will find a way, legally or not to take your money.
WILMINGTON, DELAWARE -- I have their premium card product: the Saks Fifth Avenue World Elite MasterCard. While I don't have any major horror stories with payments or charges or rates or fees I am very disappointed with the quality of customer service I receive via postal mail, email and telephone.
Long story short without background: I have sent some 6 postal letters to their Wilmington DE PO Box (Customer Correspondence) – no confirmation of receipt like with Citi or reply to any of my inquires after more than 60 days. Does anyone check that PO BOX? Do they have a dedicated team to reply to Saks MasterCard holders?
I have emailed them via website many times on various issues and in some replies gotten 2 completely different telephone numbers to call for follow-up and further information etc. none of which were the numbers on the reverse side of my card.
The MasterCard account is serviced by HSBC Card Services (and they keep telling me its done by MasterCard) but the emails via the web log-in go to HSBC Retail Services, which manages the Saks Fifth Avenue account. Thus none of the email reps can answer my question and thus tell me to call them for more info and when I do they have no idea about these emails and that this is the wrong number for my account and they don't offer to transfer me or apologize for bad numbers email reps give.
Don't the systems record each and every correspondence item via all mediums with card holders? Don't get me started on their telephone reps. No one is empowered to give me an answer and when I get some information it is often incomplete and false—until I correct them.
I finally got to a supervisor of the Saks First rewards program. She said she would call me back after researching my answer. No calls after 3 weeks. I followed up each week. My persistence paid off as when I finally spoke to her she said she had given my case over to a colleague and that person should contact me.
Thanks for calling the customer to let me know! I should not have to follow-up. They should follow-up with me! And even this other more senior person had to consult with people in a different business unit and different state and city to get my answer. She even said she would send me the answer in writing -- I have gotten nothing after more than 30 days.
I got passed around on the telephone even at the senior level! HSBC Retail Services website states the aim for a one contact resolution – meaning the first person you call should answer your questions. I spoke to close to 10 people on just this one issue.
This is their most premium card product and I expect high quality customer service from all representatives of the company. I am upset that I am not valued as a premium card holder. If they can't treat their premium customers right, how can they treat their low-end valued customers right?
GEORGIA -- I took out a credit card with HSBC April 2008. My husband and I 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 bill pay, 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 bill pay. 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.
INDIANA -- I have had a HSBC Gold MasterCard since 2002.I have been an excellent customer and always paid on my account. I recently received a replacement card - 03/2008 - and along with it was an offer for 0% APR on purchases made between March 1 and April 30 for 6 months.
I was considering taking HSBC up on this offer but wanted to confirm the terms before putting any major purchases on the card. What happened after I contacted customer service was just UNBELIEVABLE! First, I was told by a customer representative that they had no record of a 0% APR for purchases even being offered to me. He said there was an offer for a 0% APR for balance transfers for 6 months. I explained to him that a purchase 0% APR offer comes with no transaction fees and balance transfers do, so I preferred the offer that was SENT to me with the card!
I asked to speak to a supervisor and after waiting on hold for what seemed like forever, I talked to Latoya. She again told me that no offer for 0% APR on purchases was in my records, only the balance transfer offer. I then read the offer that was sent to me and asked if the balance transfer offer could be changed to the purchase offer that carry no fees. She then said I had to FIRST fax a copy of the offer that they sent to me!
I told her that they should be aware of the offers they send out to customers and put it in their records FIRST before sending them out. I asked her why should I have to fax them THEIR OFFER! She refused to budge on the matter and would not change the balance transfer offer to the purchase offer.
To make a long story short, I just told her how ridiculous the situation was and how I would have been in a real bind if I had trusted their false and misleading offer. So to anyone out there carrying a HSBC Credit Card beware of their bogus offers!
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. 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 institutions they bring under their roof and use as reputable companies. We, the consumers, who bought merchandise under their roof and are taking their lender at their request, ARE responsible! We depend on them to steer us in the right direction.
Otherwise, they should tell people upfront 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 upfront 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).