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Visa Customer Service - No where you want to be
Posted by on
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:

1. 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

2. Written notification was required to begin the dispute. This delayed the process 3 weeks as I was camping and without access to a fax.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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.
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tnchuck100 on 11/19/2007:
Thank you for a well written review/letter. I don't blame you for dropping them. I wish EVERYONE who has a legitimate problem (many are customer ignorance) with these companies with poor customer service (and there are more every year) would inundate their CEO's with letters such as yours.
Principissa on 11/19/2007:
I agree with chuck. This is a well written letter. You have a valid complaint and managed to get your point across without making ridiculous demands and threats.
writer731 on 04/06/2008:
Be glad that you found this out and it only cost you $120. HSBC is a horrible credit card company. They give cards to people with poor credit and then charge them fees for everything under the sun. They have no limits on the interest rates they can charge and they make it very difficult to close the account. I know this because I am trying to close an account of my daughter's. Run away from any HSBC credit card offers, as fast as you can!
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Sneaky And Dishonest Customer Service
Posted by on
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.

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Suusan B. on 11/12/2007:
So a couple of weeks ago you got a $100 credit line increase bringing your total limit to $400 to support a balance of $395 and based on the fact you were at 14% APR you felt that $5.00 was enough to cover your interest charges at that rate and you wouldn't go over your credit limit? Wow. Something tells me there is a lot more to this story - - and no matter your financial status, you are obviously running this account way to close to it's limit.
KKT on 11/14/2007:
To Suusan B. (11/12/2007). You must be an Orchard Bank Manager explaining your response. I think you need to go back and CAREFULLY READ my entire review, not just part of it to understand my complaint. In addition, maybe you need to read all the other complaints on this website against Orchard Bank. I find it interesting that everyone has similar complaints against Orchard Bank and none of us know each other. No, there is nothing more to this story than what I stated in my email response. I have told the truth. The whole point of my response was to show that Orchard Bank is deceptive and does not communicate properly with customers. I maintain that Orchard Bank is sneaky and dishonest as I found out Mon. Nov.12, 2007 that the 29% rate was implemented on Oct 9, 2007, the day BEFORE I was given the credit limit increase on Oct 10, 2007. The Ochard Bank customer service Manager that I spoke with on Oct 10th repeatedly assured me that I was still at the 14% apr never mentioning that my apr was changed as did every customer service rep I spoke with until Monday Nov. 12, 2007. This has nothing to do with being close to my credit limit and everything to do with Orchard Bank's deceptive practices. So, I stand firm in my original statement. I have no remorse as I did nothing wrong. They had no reason to put me at that rate as I was a good customer so I am not sorry for writing this review. It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that $10 IS NOT 14% of $395. That is what prompted me to inquire as to why my finance charge was so high for this month. That is how I found out I was at a 29% rate. I stand firm on my complaint against Orchard Bank.
jktshff1 on 11/14/2007:
KKT, I got to agree with Suusan don't need a credit card.
Cut it up. These companies are all ripoffs
Mario The Great on 11/20/2007:
You said "YOUR OTHER CREDIT CARD" That almost made me laugh. Orchard Bank is for people with little, no or bad credit. I'm betting that YOUR OTHER CREDIT CARD is Capital One, First Premier, Applied Bank, etc. All of these cards are for bad credit, 2nd chance, etc. lol...My other card... I HAVE the Orchard Bank Card and Capital One. lol..It's an emergency credit card. Nothing else, nothing more. Pay the bill, lower your balance and get over it. You're lucky to have a credit card at all. lol...Sorry for the sarcasm guys.
KKT on 11/21/2007:
I couldn't care less about the sarcasm from "Mario The Great" or others. I stand firm that what Orchard Bank did to me was wrong, deceptive and illegal. It does not matter about my credit rating, etc. I still deserve to be treated respectfully and fairly. I have enough confidence in myself as a person to know that what happened to me was unjust and unfair. No, I will not "get over it" as I am a smart, not a stupid person. Perhaps, you need to "really read" my review carefully. Then you will realize that this had nothing to do with a bad/good credit rating. This could have happened to a person with a 5 or 10 thousand dollar credit rating that was never late. I specifically stated, if you read carefully, that Orchard Bank did not follow their terms of agreement. To imply that I am stupid is an insult to my intelligence. I choose to forgive you anyway "Mario The Great" as I cannot control another person's bad attitude.
jktshff1 on 11/21/2007:
KKT: If you are on "state aid" the last thing you need is a credit card. You may be intelligent, not stupid, but you apparently have no fiscal responsibility nor the means to deal with it.
I read your review over several times. It is you that either do not understand your terms or have not read them.
kcmookie on 01/07/2008:
Let me see, you ran your balance up to $395 when your cc had a limit of $300, then called in and had the credit line bumped to $400? By going over your credit limit you were then bumped into the default rate. I think this is the rest of the story we are missing. I have been rebuilding my credit and currently have an Orchard account, by rebuilding my credit I work hard to manage my accounts and make good decisions. If this was to happen to me, I would take my business elsewhere. If nobody else is willing to give you open terms, maybe there is a reason for that. I agree, you hsould not have a cc.
KKT on 01/08/2008:
To kcmookie....Apparently you did not read any of my previous comments. I DID NOT RUN MY BALANCE UP TO $395 BEFORE I HAD MY INCREASE TO $400. That is not what happened. You need to go back and read all the comments I posted. Initially when my account was opened over a year ago, I WAS NOT CHARGED AN ENROLLMENT FEE. Furthermore, I was never informed in writing or verbally that I was ever going to be charged an enrollment fee. With that in mind, I DID NOT GO OVER MY $300 LIMIT. However, as I checked to see my account online a few days after making my OCT 2007 payment ON TIME, I was baffled as to why I had a huge charge that put me over $300 as I paid ON TIME AND DID NOT GO OVER MY CREDIT LIMIT. I then contacted a very rude Orchard Bank Rep who informed me that it was the enrollment fee that put me over the limit. I then spoke to a supervisor who advised me that I was informed of the enrollment fee on my previous statement. I found that statement that DID NOT INFORM ME THAT I WAS TO EVER BE CHARGED AN ENROLLMENT FEE. On Oct 10, 2006, this same supervisor went over my account telling me I am a good customer and that I would qualify for a $100 credit line increase to $400. This same supervisor on OCT 10, 2006 went over every detail of my account telling me that I am still at the 14.9% APR rate with available credit as well. I called Orchard Bank Reps on 4 different occasions after OCT 10th and was told every time that my account was fine at the 14.9% rate. The last customer service rep. I spoke within OCT 2006 told me that I would be just fine as long as I had $5 to cover my finance charges at the 14.9% rate. So when I checked my account balance online, I was baffled as to why I was charged a $10.91 finance charge on $395. I called Orchard Bank only to be told that my APR jumped to 29.9% on OCT 9, 2006. I asked the Supervisor why the Orchard Bank Supervisor I spoke with on OCT 10, 2006 as well as all the other cust serv reps I spoke with after OCT 10, 2006 told me I was at the 14.9% rate when in reality I was raised to 29.9%APR on OCT 9, 2006 She said that none of the cust srv reps or supervisors have access to any of that information until the first week of Nov 2006. It was Orchard Bank that lied as there is nothing verbally or in writing that stated I was ever to be charged an enrollment fee since I never was charged an enrollment fee. Furthermore, I was NEVER informed on any statement that I was to ever be charged. I recently saw credit card holders testifying before Congress on one of the national news programs as to this practice of scamming customers this way. Yes, I was scammed. And what happened to me was very wrong. I think that all these previous negative comments about my Orchard Bank experience are actually from Orchard Bank Managers PRETENDING TO BE CUSTOMERS. I stand firm that Orchard Bank is a SLEEZEBANK that is sneaky and dishonest.
DieselBoi on 01/25/2008:
To kcmookie: If you read the fine print in your agreement, there is probably a cause that if Orchard Bank feels that you spending habits have changed or you become a higher risk, they can change your interest rate (it is a fairly common practice with certain cc companies). The fact that you were close to your total credit limit, which lowers your FICO score may have been enough. The fact that you requested more credit as opposed to waiting for a credit limit increase from Orchard bank may also have been enough for them to red flag you, unfortunately they do have perfectly legal ways to raise the interest rates if they feel that you're a liability. If I were you, I would decide how badly I needed the card. If you can live without it and are unhappy then I would cancel it. If you need it, I would bite the bullet and try to pay it off and keep paying it off in full each month.
Centaur DS on 03/02/2008:
Simple math tells you that even if you had the interest rate of 14% on a balance of 395, a $5 payment would not cover the interest that would be applied to the account.
jethangar on 09/19/2008:
HSBC BANK is the SCUM of the earth. They absolutely REFUSE to answer their phone. I'm just amazed that these criminals manage to stay in business. DON'T EVER, EVER USE THEM!!!! Currently they are refusing to release the Lien on my motorcycle despite that I paid in FULL 2 weeks ago. My buyer literally can't register a motorcycle sitting in her driveway with the DMV because of HSBC Bank. They are absolute thieves. There's a special place in hell waiting for the CEO of HSBC Bank. May his entire family get cancer and die a slow and painful death. F U HSBC BANK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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Fraud Practices, Mal-Practice To Meet Targets.
Posted by on
BOMBAY -- This is with regards to my requirement of opening account with HSBC ANDHERI WEST branch in India, I approached them to open account with 600$/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:

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. 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)

4. 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.

5. 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.

6. 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.....


( 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.)
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Alex70 on 10/20/2006:
I had even worse experience with this bank. But I sent e-mails and called their manager with my own expenses and warned them not to deposit my initial checks for about $40000 to open an NRE account for which they complained the same reasons you mentioned. They got frightened with my warning (that I will complain this to RBI and see that this bank is blacklisted) finally they called my cell# and apolozised, asked if I am still interested in opening account with them to which I refused to do so. On my request, they resent all my application documents along with undeposited checks by the weird DHL courier service which I had to pick-up personally and found that the application is as required. After that I opened an account with ICICI which is another bitter story as they did not provide debit card and check book even after opening the account 6 months ago. They even charged for the Taxes in INDIA for Rs 4 lakhs sitting in my NRO account unused because I cannot access it. After several call backs and comparing the CEO of ICICI as a huge who wants to have the whatever it looks like and where ever it is and hence he asked his people. I asked the CSR's to record all my talk and let their supervisors and CEO hear about my frustration. Finally they did sent me the debit card I guess which I am waiting to get back from this Stupid DHL service again, which I still expecting it to be delivered after it has been roaming here in Atlanta undelivered upon my several requests/enquiries landed in Alabama and scheduled to be delivered today with completely new updated tracking history showing the origin as Alabama instead of Mumbai India.
Soaring Consumer on 05/25/2009:
Whoa whoa don't post your credit card number in public!
DebtorBasher on 05/25/2009:
I had your comment deleted...NEVER, EVER Post all of your credit card info on any websites...Thanks Soaring, it was your comment that brought me here!
Anonymous on 05/25/2009:
No offense how stupid can people get.
DebtorBasher on 05/25/2009:
I have a feeling their bill will be a lot higher next month.
DebtorBasher on 05/25/2009:
Not only the cc# Wally, but their first, middle and lastname, date of birth and mobile phone number...from India, but still fraud is worldwide.
anotherloser on 07/04/2009:
I would say that HSBC sucks in all aspects. They are good as money extracting goons
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Ripped off by HSBC
Posted by on
SOUTH CAROLINA -- I have to start by saying I am guilty of not reading my statement and just grabbing the top page and paying the bill. When I checked it the other day, I discovered I owed far more than the furniture cost. They have charged me over $700 in interest this year. I made two late payments and they are charging interest on the late charges.

When I called, the supervisor hung up on me after telling me to pay my bills on time. Believe me, I was upset but I was in no way rude to this women (Colette). I have been on line trying to find a link to an executive officer to further my complaint, to no avail. In my 60+ years I have never seen such shoddy lending practices. WHY HASN'T THE GOVERNMENT STEPPED IN TO SHUT THESE FOLKS DOWN?
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warddw1526 on 09/16/2010:
I believe that the late payment fees are just added to the total owing. And the interest is calculated on the total owing. The quicker you can get it paid off, the better.
FlShopper on 09/16/2010:
Paying this off should be your main focus right now. Worry about taking your complaints further later.
momsey on 09/16/2010:
What furniture? Were you wrongly charged for furniture?

From what I understand from the review, you didn't read your bill and therefore didn't pay it properly. What do you want the government to do about that?
Anonymous on 09/16/2010:
What is the interest rate on your card? I don't think two late payment fees could account for $700 in interest fees over the year, but yes they (and all CC companies) do charge interest on the late fees, too.

Big ticket items like furniture really should be saved up for and paid in full rather than charging to a CC, unless a person is able to pay off in 30 days. Depending on how long ago you bought the furniture and how much you paid for it, what your interest rate is with HSBC.. $700 in interest is not unlikely. Good luck paying this off and being done with them!
MRM on 09/16/2010:
It has been 9 months since commencing on my New Years Resolution in paying off my balance and so far, so good. Slowly, but surely.
Obsfucation on 09/16/2010:
Is this a case where you had an interest free loan until you had late payments, then you incurred all the interest? That's how they work.
FlShopper on 09/16/2010:
Is it one of those accounts where interest is accrued but deferred for the first few months? If you are late once, they will add on the entire amount of accrued interest to the balance and then charge interest on the new higher balance (which also includes the late fees).
What was the original amount charged to the card?
FlShopper on 09/16/2010:
Obsfucation...looks like we had the same thought at the same time!
Obsfucation on 09/16/2010:
momsey on 09/16/2010:
Obs and Fl, I bet you hit the nail on the head there! That didn't even occur to me. I bet that's it, the only HSBC card I have is my Best Buy card, which I only use for those interest free financing deals and I make sure that bill is taken of before any other bills.
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Payoff Card But They Don't Have Proof
Posted by on
Whatever you do, if you plan on paying off your hsbc credit card, they don't want you to pay it off because they want you to owe them. I paid off an orchardbank card in February of 2009 and have account statements and check carbon to prove it. However this card ended up in collections and I had to chase it down in order to pay it and inevitably I was referred back to hsbc to pay it. They already made three times as much off me for this card. The customer representative said he would send me a notice it was paid off. The amount came out of my account and I thought everything was good. Six months later a company or collector started sending me notices through the mail that I owed them more money and said ididn't pay that card. So now they are making threats that they are going to garnish my wages for a bill that got paid off. I can't afford to pay another 1000 dollars as I am a single mother trying to make honest efforts to pay off my bills and am struggling financially and if they were to garnish my wages I would be out on the street with my children. I think I will have to talk to the attorney general about this. They said in the threat that I could get my money back after they took it and get a lawyer which I can't afford.

That makes me think that even if they did take another 1000 dollars what would stop them from saying I did not pay them but they helped themselves instead and keep doing it over and over again just to make more money off of a poor woman trying to make ends meet. Hope this helps someone.
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Class Advocate on 01/04/2010:
I know these guys. Let me guess. Credit limit is less than 1000. 12 bucks to pay by phone. 10 bucks to pay online. 10 day billing cycle. Outrageous APR. Huge annual fee. If you have in fact paid them, I would do not pay them another cent and file with the AG.
Anonymous on 01/04/2010:
That's absolutely ridiculous. Are you telling me you paid them TWICE??? Seems like they are up to no good. If you in face paid them the FIRST time, you should have contacted them and told them you paid it and have proof....If they threaten to garnish your wages, I would threaten them with a lawsuit. I would contact a lawyer immediately.
goduke on 01/04/2010:
While the collection guys are talking about garnishing wages, I seriously doubt that they would resort to that for $1,000. It would require them to file a suit, get a judgment, execute the judgment though the sheriff's office, have that come back unsatisfied, and then they'd have to go back to court to garnish wages. It's generally not worth it for them to do that.

Still, you are right to want to clear it up. A few options:

1. The A/G's office is a good bet. They can at least make the collection agency and Orchard cough up what documentation they have. They generally are a good neutral party.

2. Dispute it with the credit agencies. Again, it will require orchard and the collection guys to produce the evidence of what they are talking about.

3. Contact your local bar association and see if they have a program where you can get an attorney for an hour or so either pro bono (free) or at a nominal fee (sometimes it's as low as $20). They'll be able to look at what you have and draft a letter on some nice letterhead telling orchard and the collections guys to back off.

Good luck. Let us know how it works out.
bcd on 01/04/2010:
They cannot garnish your wages without a court order. Check carbons are not proof of payment. Good luck.
Anonymous on 01/04/2010:
Goduke, A decade ago I would have agreed with you that a creditor wouldn't bring suit for a $1,000 but today that simply isn't true. In many states the legal process has gotten so simplified with statutes in place that allow the prevailing party to recuperate legal fees that it's not uncommon to see creditors cross state lines for $500 or less. Case in point the case below (which is one case out of thousands in Oklahoma) for an original amount of $709 which garnered a judgment of $1,547.32 which in turn led to a garnishment being granted. Like I said this case is not uncommon in Oklahoma or in many other states.

Class Advocate on 01/04/2010:
Stew, but it still needs to be reduced to a judgment in court. RIght?
Anonymous on 01/04/2010:
That's true Class Advocate. My point is that today is so much easier, cheaper and profitable to get a judgment than it used to be. The rule of thumb tens year ago was that creditors wouldn't cross state lines for less than five grand. That simply isn't true today because they're crossing state lines for as little as $300 plus of course legal fees. Back to your original question, yes, one must obtain judgment before garnishment.

UNLESS they're collecting a federal debt in which case the collector can get garnishment without a court order.
goduke on 01/04/2010:
Well, yeah, but court in Oklahoma is different, what with the dirt floors and the chickens flying around everywhere.....
Anonymous on 01/04/2010:
LMAO @ goduke!
Anonymous on 01/04/2010:
We haven't had dirt floors since the day we started letting the collections attorneys sponsor our district courts. As far as the flying chickens go first of all they don't fly and secondly WELL EXCUSE US if we like our poultry fresh. I still don't see what dirt floors and well behaved court room chickens have to do with easier court filings in the 21st century.
MaggieMcT on 01/04/2010:
bcd - check carbons aren't proof of payment, but the OP says she has statements, too. And then there would be the cancelled checks . . .
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HSBC you deserve any financial trouble you're in.
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OK, so today I received a notice from HSBC that they were jacking my APR up to 25% next month. I thought "that's ridiculous". So I called the number in the notice to ask them why and all I got was an automated system. You know the type, with the condescending voice. Anyway, after fumbling through the blasted menus and multiple redialing it gave me only two options. Accept the terms or cancel the card. Well I immediately chose to cancel. Why should I pander to them? If they don't even want to talk about it I say F-em.

Then I tried the number on the back of the card for answers to why they did this. Well that was useless. All I got from that was some poor guy in India, who could only spew back at me the company line. He was rather confused and couldn't really answer me. He just kept repeating the same thing over and over. A computer answering service could have done the same for less money. I finally called him an idiot and hung up. Don't worry, I don't think I was able to insult the guy, he didn't understand what I was saying after all. HSBC, get some real/knowledgeable people to answer your phones! You look rather incompetent when that is the best you can do for customer service.

Back to the issue, they had no reason to jack up my rate. I've made all my payments on time, have excellent credit, above 750 if you must know, and have had this account for years . . . ever since I bought my big screen TV on it back in 2002. The only reason that makes sense is that they screwed up in the home mortgage market and are now trying to use their credit customer base as a captive money making machine. SHAME ON YOU HSBC. You screwed up and you know it.

It wasn't my bad judgment that put you here. It's solely your own fault. Don't try to make me pay for your mistakes.

Thankfully I really didn't have much on the card and was going to pay it off this next week anyway. I just moved that payment up to today.

Oh and HSBC . . the loss of your little credit card is no skin off my back. I think I'll do just fine without you. I think the world would do just fine without you. May you go down in flames. I hope you go bankrupt.

Thank you,
for nothing.


P.S. Same goes to any other bank that tries this stunt.
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The Little People on 10/28/2009:
I had the same problem with HSBC. I paid my payments on time, but somehow they were posted late I called and complained that this has happened several times. I even went so far as to send it 2 day mail and it still took them 4 days to post it. Then they try and raise my apr from 9.5% to 29% because somehow I triggered the default interest.
Then when I called about it I was told it was a compnay descion. I told him it was a bad one and that I would not pay that rate to anyone. He told me I could basically take it or leave it. I told him to cancel my card.Then he went into well if you cancel it you can't charge this or that. I don't know about everyone but I know what close and account means. Then I told him while he was at it he could close my other account as well. When he found out that I had the 2 accounts then he decided he would see what he could do for me without closing the accounts. So he put me on hold and came back with the best he could do was 23% apr now that would be going from 9.5. I told him he didn't do a good enough job and to close the accounts. This company is out to screw the customers without a doubt at all. They don't care how long you have been with them they only care about there bottom line.

Weel sounds like the should get better people to run the company or just close the damn doors because I will never do business with them again.
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Raised Interest Rate 10% And Lowered Available Credit
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KANSAS -- I have always paid my bill on time, never had a late charge and had $4,000 line of credit. I get a letter in the mail telling me they had lowered my line of credit to $550. I only have $524 on the card and have faithfully sent them a payment every month. Why do I have to be punished for the ones that don't pay there bill. Also HSBC has a problem posting payments. I can send my payment as soon as I get my bill and sometimes they still charge me a late fee trying to convince me to pay my bill online. Which will never happen I do not trust the internet and why would I want to put our postal workers out of business plus take the risk of someone stealing my identity. They also raised my interest rate from 9.99% to 19.99% and I don't get it when I am in good standing with this company. I feel the people who pay there bills are the ones being sacrificed for the ones that over extended themselves on credit cards and that is not fair to the people who keep their credit in good standing. I plan to pay off all my cards through this bank and discontinue use of this facility.

They are unfair in the way they handle things and all the money the government has dished out to them to bail them out and the American People who work hard everyday are the ones that get to bail out these failing banks and more less pay for those people that do not pay there credit card bills. Do you think this is fair???

It sure does make a person mad when you hear on the news that this money these banks and businesses are getting are not using the money for what it is for. So they take it out on the American People. I for one am feed up.
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Fraudulent and Unethical Business Practices
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I just got off the phone with HSBC Discover - they did it again - I put in my right bank account number just like last month. However, since they require 36-48 hours prior to having the payment post this month I put in an additional $15 to immediately process since the payment was due two days later. The payment was "returned by the bank 4 days later" per the HSBC representative for a wrong account number. When I look at the statement they just released it was returned the same day - two statements completely in opposition of each other. Then, in addition they added an NSF fee, a late fee which together with the payment they returned put my account overlimit so let's add another $39. They added $105 extra to my account. Last month I paid their fees because I thought, well maybe I made a mistake in inputting my checking account. This month I know that I did not make a mistake with the input and it is HSBC's way of racking up fees. I went on their website and they state that they will change the account number if they verify with the bank that it is not the right number. I went to the screen where I had input my information and they have changed it, again. I changed the bank account completely to make sure they do not automatically do this again.

So the bottom line-the wrong number attached to the supposed NSF check is the account number that their third party changed on my payment, starting the whole thing. There are people with the same name in my area, two at my same bank I use for my payments. Something really stinks at HSBC, this is a clear violation of banking rules and of credit laws, they fraudulently change the information at their will and then refuse payments in order to make money racking up fees - they need to be fully investigated and we the people need to file a class action suit. Anyone interested.
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grandma005 on 01/04/2009:
Pay your bills using your Bank's online bill pay. Don't ever give credit card company's your Bank's information.
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Payment Fiasco With Website And Customer Service
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HSBC is one of those companies where your payment arrangement has to be made 36-48hrs in advance on their website. After the login I chose to edit bank account information same bank different account, I get to the confirm page and the routing number box is highlighted in red with a warning stating my bank changed the routing number. I knew this not to be true, but I called to check with them anyway they confirmed it was the same number. I then called the number on the back of my card and was transferred to some technical support number. To my delight she spoke English, she then tells me my bank changed the number I tell her they didn't, she says citizen's bank informed a third party the number and if it was incorrect then it was citizen's fault and they would have to straighten it out with the third party.

At this time I explained to this so called customer representative that in my state the bank is named Charter One and no representative you speak with will have access to this third party. A refusal to take my payment over the phone fee free followed and advice for me to contact the ACH department of my bank. So I placed a second call to my bank this time with the changed rounting number, they are not allowed to speak to customers directly but a very nice customer representative played middle man. They told me the new routing number was for the state of New York, I live in Illinois!

It was no big surprise to me, called the technical support number again to HSBC different person different result explained earlier problems took payment fee free and didn't threaten me like previous representative saying I would get extra fees if it bounced out of the system. The first HSBC representative wanted me to pay $15 to take a payment over the phone that could possibly get kicked back because of this new routing number they claimed they were issued by my bank. If that had happened I would have had to pay $15 for payment, $29 for nsf, and $29 for late payment. HSBC has poor customer service they need to start employing people with common sense and stop trying to put off on the customer things they screw up and blaming someone else. I feel the first customer representative knew full well banks don't allow the ACH department to speak to customers, she tried anything to get rid of me.

Couldn't give out the third party information whom she claimed received the new routing number from my financial institution. The entire product and services offered by HSBC seems to be criminal.
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Anonymous on 11/14/2008:
This just underscores the fact that you NEVER want to give your account information to a creditor. By doing so, you give them open access to your account. Since they have already demonstrated that they make mistakes, do you really want them to have this access?
Set up the payment on your own bank's bill pay site. You have complete control over when and how much, and you keep your account information confidential.
cowgrlwithhrt on 01/04/2009:
I just got off the phone with HSBC Discover - they did it again - I put in my right bank account number just like last month. However, since they require 36-48 hours prior to having the payment post this month I put in an additional $15 to immediately process since the payment was due two days later. The payment was "returned by the bank 4 days later" per the HSC rep for a wrong account number and returned check. When I look at the statement they just released it was returned the same day - two statements completely in opposition of each other. Then, in addition they added an NSF fee, an late fee which together with the payment they returned put my account overlimit so let's add another $39. They added $105 extra to my account. Last month I paid their fees because I thought, well maybe I made a mistake inputting my checking account. This month I know that I did not make a mistake with the input and it is HSBC's way of racking up fees. I went on their website and they state that they will change the account number if they verify with the bank that it is not the right number. So the wrong number attached to the supposed NSF check is the account number that their third party changed on my payment, starting the whole thing. There are people with the same name in my area, two at my same bank I use for my payments. Someting really stinks at HSBC, this is a clear violation of banki ng rules and of credit laws - they need to be fully investigated and we the people need to file a class action suit. Anyone interested.
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Misleading Ads And Low Tricks To Hold Your Money
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NEW YORK -- Stay away from this product. Nobody is there for you to give you answers, they expect E-accounts to be E-neficient.

I deposited my money and was misled by the "no minimum term" disclosure in this link When I went to withdraw money by ATM could not get the amount I wanted. Went to the window (terrible long faces) and the teller told me I had to do it online. Decided to close the account because I needed the money and had to call to find out I have to email them and wait for them up to 48 hours for them to get back to me and tell me what to do.
This is the response:"Your request has been forwarded to our Online Processing Center. Please allow 2 to 3 business days for the account to fully close. The
remaining balance will be mailed to the address listed on your account
within 7 to 10 business days." That is about 15 of wait since I started claiming my money. And more: "any accounts closed within the first 6 months of opening
will be assessed a fee."

Great!!!! They can charge for their time, but mine is worth nothing. American, beware of these things, add up and all these bailed out by your pocket banks are playing scams one way or the other. ING allows you to move money from one bank to the other for free, the rate is about the same I think and you get the clearance in two days.

I thought I could start a relationship with this bank but E-trade is the new play ball with the customers. I sent emails to all my friends making them aware of this trap and also the FDIC and Feds. Saving accounts are not CD! We should not pay penalty for using our money!
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