HSBC Visa Complaint - Visa Customer Service - No where you want to be
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.