HSBC Complaint - America pays - HSBC - and all the rest
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 thru 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 their 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.