HSBC Visa; Avoid This Company!
I acepted 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 servie 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. Bullsh*t; 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 mst have been some mistake or misunderstanding as nowhere did it state in my records that I wanted the accoutnclosed. 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 tis 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.