Why HSBC Sucks

by Robert Nagle on 8/29/2008

in Anti-Consumer Hall of Shame

(This post includes my specific complaint about HSBC’s failure to close my account after I had paid my balance. However, over time, I have expanded this post to include helpful information for US consumers about how to fight the business practices of HSBC).

If you are an American and have a problem with an HSBC-backed credit card, you probably only need to read my Tips for Handling a Dispute with a Credit Card Company.

March 9, 2009 Update: I have just started the www.hsbccreditcardsucks.com website. It is now dead, but here is a summary of what is said:

10 Reasons Why HSBC is the world’s worst credit card

  1. HSBC doesn’t respond to written correspondence sent to them by post.
  2. HSBC will not provide a copy of the credit card agreement upon request, either on the website, or via post.
  3. HSBC does not provide written information on their website about how to pay off a final balance and close the account for good.
  4. HSBC is linked to Household International, a credit card issuer well-known for its predatory lending practices (It settled a $486 million lawsuit with 46 states in 2002). HSBC integrated with Household International in 2003, and some allege that the current HSBC uses many of HI’s unsavory business practices.
  5. HSBC has a contact form which (in my experience) works rarely. Even when it does work, HSBC doesn’t allow you to have a record of emails you have sent to them (except by cutting-and-pasting onto a MS Word document).
  6. HSBC disregards legal contracts. In my individual case, HSBC agreed to a written counteroffer I made to resolve our dispute, but then promptly disobeyed the terms of it.
  7. When you dispute a charge in writing, instead of actually investigating the complaint, HSBC will send a generic reply which shows no evidence that it actually investigated the item being disputed.
  8. HSBC will not investigate your account after you have complained to a credit-reporting agency. HSBC is legally obligated to take action and contact the customer. In my specific case, HSBC sent a generic reply refusing to take any action until I provided documentation (This was long after I had sent them lots of documentation already).
  9. HSBC (like many other banks) gambled and lost billions of dollars on subprime mortgages.
  10. Recent complaints have shown that HSBC has raised interest rates and lowered credit limits to a dollar amount dangerously close to a customer’s current balance. This practice may not be illegal (and other credit cards seem to be doing the same thing), but it increases the likelihood that HSBC will award itself over-the-limit fees which result from it.

************************************ (my original post)

Ok, HSBC, this means war!

I closed this account by paying the balance in full as quoted by the customer service rep. (She quoted an amount higher than the current balance, saying that some interest changes hadn’t been factored in).

I sent an email to them confirming my request to cancel the account. I received an email confirmation from a HSBC representative. So what happened?

HSBC added $7 to the $0 balance, and when I protested, they added $20 late charge. I have sent these guys 3 certified mails. Here is what I have gathered:

  1. They simply do not read their mail (negligence as a matter of corporate policy).
  2. Their contact/email form has been broken (except for the first time I tried). Incompetence bordering on negligence.
  3. They made it next to impossible to obtain a copy of the original legal agreement to know exactly what the agreement is. (Deceptive trade practice).
  4. They accepted a counteroffer I made and then refused to admit that they did this. Hey, guys, I have the check as evidence! (dishonesty, deceptive trade practice).
  5. They failed to follow the terms of the counteroffer which they agreed to.. (deceptive trade practice).

You may ask, why did I have to resort to send certified mails and counteroffers? The plain fact is that they never responded to a single correspondence of mine; I had no choice.

Now they are ruining my credit report. Every month they award themselves the right to impose a fee of $20. Now it is $120. I know they don’t have the right to this. And if someone with half a brain were to look over the facts, they would be inclined to agree.

I have dealt with many unscrupulous banks and credit companies. So far AT&T,  Citibank  are the worst. Chase has good customer service, but their promotions are just as tricky to figure out. But what HSBC has done in the last 6 months to me is much worse than all the banks combined.

Here is where it gets interesting. This time, after having been burned once or twice, I know how to keep notes punctiliously. The facts are on my side, and I am determined to seek damages from HSBC, whatever the cost.

If you have other HSBC horror stories to relate, feel free to relate them here.

Update: February 25 2009. Wow, so much has happened over the past few months. And so little.

First, let me offer concrete advice. when dealing with a national bank, file a complaint with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency as soon as possible! They are located at gethelpwithmybank.gov; they are a federal institution set up precisely to handle disputes between the credit cards and consumers. They have a PDF for filling out, and the credit card is required to provide a written response to an OCC complaint within 2 weeks. You should do this first when you have a complaint. If I had known about it when I started my complaint, I would have definitely tried that avenue. Helpwithmybank also gave great information and advice about how to handle these kinds of disputes.

Second, if you are dealing with any credit card company, you need to keep diligent records. I recommend creating a free account at Google Docs. Then note any conversations with telephone reps and include copies of any correspondence with HSBC in a single file. Google docs keeps versioned date-stamped versions of this document, so you could demonstrate when you made notations. Of course, anyone could question the legitimacy of a document, but the Google Doc datestamp is likely to be persuasive. Importantly, when you send correspondence to HSBC with confirmation of delivery, you should type the numbers of the tracking code into the Google Doc.

Third, HSBC messed up my credit score and in fact have never sent any kind of response to my correspondence. If anything, they simply send non-specific denials and requests for information. Hello, I thought I already did that.

I decided to file a lawsuit against HSBC, but there were several extraordinary circumstances relating to my case, so I would not recommend this strategy for everybody. Instead, for Americans, I would recommend filing a complaint with the OCC as soon as possible! Here is a FTC Summary of all the Credit Card obligations under Fair Credit billing (highly recommended). Here are  many FTC consumer guides about credit cards (in PDF form) for free download.

A commenter made me aware of a scam reporting site with lots of complaints about HSBC specifically (including a lot of complaints from different countries).

Here’s an article about how much money HSBC has gambled and lost on subprimes (Hint: it’s a lot).  Here’s a series of posts of people who have sued HSBC..and won! (in UK at least). Here’s the larger UK forum about HSBC. These two links don’t apply to US, but it is heartening to see the groundswell of complaints against HSBC.

Here’s a US-based credit card forum specifically about HSBC.   Here’s a list of complaints by people in the US about HSBC-related problems.

Here is contact information for serving legal documents (valid as of February 28, 2009)

HSBC Bank Nevada, NA
c/o Walter Menezes
1441 Schilling Place
Salinas CA 93901

One detail: This address may be for HSBC, which has several entities.  The defendant is HSBC Bank Nevada, NA. You can call  HSBC Executive Decisions department at 800 753 6529 ext 2608 to find out whether this information is specific for your situation. The headquarters is in Illinois, so it can be very confusing.

Finally, two interesting bits from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency:

I  currently have a billing dispute regarding my credit card / personal line of credit / home equity line of credit. While the dispute was under investigation, the bank reported my account negatively to the credit-reporting agencies. Can it do this?

No. Generally, if you have filed a proper billing error dispute with a national bank, the bank shall not make an adverse report to any person about your credit standing.The bank also should not report that an amount or account is delinquent because you failed to pay the disputed amount—or related finance or other charges—while the investigation proceeds. If your bank has made a negative report despite your having filed a billing error dispute, you should file a written complaint with our office.

I am suing the bank. Should I serve the registered agent?

National banks do not have “registered agents.” Therefore, matters relating to registered agents should be directed to the specific bank’s president. Please contact the bank directly to obtain the name and business address of the president.

You can file a complaint with the FTC (it’s a very nice easy-to-complete interactive form). If you file such a complaint, however, it will help the FTC but it does not resolve individual complaints.  For this reason, I still recommend filing a complaint with the OCC.

By the way, I feel compelled to recommend a credit card I do like. Amalgamated Bank of Chicago. I’ve had this card for 15 years, and they have never given me any hassle about anything!  And their interest rates are low too. Read this Motley Fool article for what to look for in a credit card.

February 26 Update. Wow, it turns out that HSBC missed the deadline to send a response to my petition. I am theoretically eligible for a default judgment. Wow, I didn’t expect this.

February 28 Update.  HSBC made a reply, and the court date is early April.

February 28 Update 2. I am keeping a log of  similar complaints I find on ripoffreport and other credit card forums.

March 1 Update. Household HSBC Watch is a blog/news source dedicated to covering the abuses/misbehavior by HSBC Bank in USA.  This is probably the most comprehensive news source for US-related incidents. See complaints related to credit reports,  and  payment-issues.  Apparently in the 1990s HSBC bought a company known for fraud called Household International, and the blogger explicitly accuses them of continuing the same predatory practices.  From this amazing article:

If you have a merchant credit card such as a Best Buy card, or any HSBC credit card, you may find yourself at risk. The question is ‘Who Does HSBC Hurt Financially’. Worded another way people want to know how HSBC picks their targets. Which families get lower credit scores after dealing with HSBC? Which people with HSBC credit cards head for financial ruin? The answer is that HSBC, through HSBC Finance Corporation, targets people by opportunity, not by their credit score.

Trend analysis shows a ’slaughter window’ which is defined as anything within one week of a balance due. Just like the battlefield, HSBC Finance sends customers to the slaughter window by sending letters indicating when their interest free period is about to end. The shady part of these notifications is they DO NOT get to the customer until it is too late. In cases where the customer calls for a pay off HSBC simply lies to the customer! Lying comes in two or more formats, as shown below in a real life true example.

You need to know that HSBC Finance was once stained, sullied, embarrassed and bottom dwelling predatory lender Household International. Answers come into focus. In the past HSBC would quote a payoff, add $15 for a phone payment, take the payoff and the following month they would bill the customer for $15 plus all the interest due – a questionable and shady tactic at best. The customer did not know to add $15 more to the quoted payoff. Welcome to HSBC’s slaughter window. Today HSBC adds the $15 as a new purchase, further clouding the problem. Like leading customers to slaughter a combination of notices that arrive late and additional charges puts one at a disadvantage. Then consider the fine print of the HSBC Finance Corporation contract and there is little one can do.

They were accused of hounding soldiers in Iraq and of  adding late fees before the deadline occurs. Another quote from the home page:

Many of HSBC’s problems stem from their purchase of predatory lender Household International. That is why we started watching HSBC. There were very few changes at the old Household International, now called HSBC Finance, and that is the responsibility of HSBC corporate decision makers. “They sit on checks until a late fee kicks in,” Eggert said. “Then you do what they call pyramiding: When the next payment comes in, they apply it to the late fee and say the borrower didn’t make a whole payment. And then they collect more late fees or foreclosure fees.”

March 1 Update #2. Consumer Affairs lists these complaints from American consumers about HSBC credit cards.

April 15, 2010. Sorry for not updating! Last year I reached a settlement with HSBC that I am happy with. I think the settlement provided redress for my complaint and compensated me for my time and inconvenience. See my Tips for Handling a Dispute with a Credit Card Company.

{ 44 comments… read them below or add one }

poophead September 11, 2008 at 1:01 pm

poophead: Where are the details? I just sent them a pdf document showing I was about to complain to the Attorney General’s office of NY State because of a returned check fee. If the returned check fee was my fault, I would have absorbed the $25 but it wasn’t. This was the result of a call to customer service. They would not waive the fee and nor would the floor supervisor. I uploaded the pdf document to my server because HSBC does not provide email addresses, only form email. Sent them the link via email. I used the media contact link from here : http://www.hsbcusa.com/​hsbcusa/​abouthsbc/​contacthsbc.html?​WT.svl=100

Hannah October 30, 2008 at 2:10 pm

As part of my university course I’m spending a year studying in Canada (I’m from the UK originally). For the past week or so I’ve been unable to withdraw money frommy UK account (I have bearely anyaccess to it overhere as it is, “World’s local bank” my ass). I just got an e-mail from my parents saying that they’d had a call from Fraud Prevention from HSBC saying that they wanted to talk to me because they’d noticed moneybeing withdrawn from overseas.

Fair enough. But it turns out that instead of waiting to talk to me about it they just cut off all access to my bank account just in case, which is not only mind-bendingly dumb, it also sounds kind of illegal.

Obviously no one told HSBC when the aeroplane was invented. Just because someone joins the World’s Local Bank it doesn’t mean that they’re not ever allowed to leave their home town.

WHAT A GAY **T November 10, 2008 at 6:30 pm

oi buddy, instead of whinging about it on your silly lil blog how about you take some practical action, eg file a civil case??? retard…

Mike November 24, 2008 at 9:11 am

While in litigation with HSBC, I believe every thing you said happened DID happen.

BTW, GE Money has been our best experience yet.

Jeremy December 24, 2008 at 5:44 pm

I’ve had similar dealings with HSBC in the past and they participate in many deceptive practices. This has happened twice while dealing with them.
Buy something on credit; say from Best Buy for example. Try to take advantage of the No Interest period. Well This is a sham unless you ruthlessly pursue paying off the total debt. The first time they got me and ill explain. This time I will shove so far up their arses their teeth will shine!
So let me setup the scenario.
Go to Best Buy, and buy something. Try to take the no Interest(Total Scam BTW) . Pay the entire amount off, Actually called them and requested the payoff amount. Apparently they quote the payoff amount at the time of the phone call, not the billing cycle its self. So then site down and write them a check and send it to them. Well now, by the time they get the check days have passed and they will include additional interest charges. In my case I just received a bill for!!!!!

12 cents! For the remaining amount due. Now you would think since I called them and asked for the payoff amount that they would have included this 12 cents.

Go To HELLL HSBC!!!!

shawn January 20, 2009 at 2:22 pm

HSCB Sucks I paid it off two times had 2 or 3 late pays they droped my credit line in half. I sent the card back cut it up and put a f-you letter with it. Ill pay the last $76.00 back in pennys Ill pay the shipping just to make them deal with it.lol F HSBC

rikki February 25, 2009 at 4:43 am

Feb 24th

Sorry you are dealing with this scourge of a company.

Yes, they are an immoral and corrupt company. They have sued my husband for an unsecured debt. What’s funny is that he had insurance on the acct to protect him if he was laid off or disabled, and when he actually got laid off and our pyts began to be late, they said he wasn’t eligible to use his insurance benefits AND they raised the interest rate to some exhorbitant amount over 30%.

Yet my husband still wanted to work out a pyt arrangement and they refused despite a pristine pyt history before the layoff. Now they are suing him using a nasty law firm called Mann Bracken.

We will go to court on this. The original debt was for $20K but somehow the balance grew to $27K with only finace charges and lates being the culprit. I checked my husbands credit report and the account number on the cr matches the letter from the law firm. HOWEVER, it does not match the loan number of the docs that we have on this loan. They are sloppy with their paperwork and due to their mergers may very well NOT have the original contract on hand. But if they do get a judgement, we will just file for bankruptcy anyway.

Their pidly unsecured debt will be totally discharged, and my husband and I can keep our home as the mortgage is current and we have NEGATIVE equity.

Best wishes pursuing your issue with them try the credit boards, which outline what you must do to nail them AND seek an attorney’s help!

hsbcsucksbigtime February 28, 2009 at 3:27 am

http://www.ripoffreport.com/reports/0/428/RipOff0428924.htm

hsbc failed as a customer friendly bank.
It sucks big time.
there are so many scams and scandals in most countries.
However it works good for chinese region, bur for rest of world it is a money hog looking to sell their products but miss on rest .

darko March 5, 2009 at 4:00 pm

Currently being hasseled by HSBC for Musicians Friend credit card.

Full amount due was sent from citibank on 02/26/09.

As of 03/06/09 they still claim they have not received payment and will add hundreds of dollars in penalties if account interest free promo isnt paid in full by 03/08/09.

There customer website has also conveniently erased my prior account and I had to sign up for a new one.

ROTTON!

not telling April 3, 2009 at 10:10 pm

i worked there. i wouldn’t admit it publicly though.

Sherry April 8, 2009 at 1:18 pm

This credit card company really sucks! They decreased the credit limit on credit card accounts and send out a letter that they are dong so, like immediatly. So, the purchases that you have made in the mean time are now over your credit limit and then they have the balls to charge a over the limit fee. I spoke with the representitive that could not speak freaking English! All they could say was ” I understand your frustration” THIS CREDIT CARD COMPANY SUCK’s!

yamaha rider May 1, 2009 at 7:29 pm

In the year 2001 I opened a Best Buy account. There was no annual fee but they also sent another card that I never asked for(HSBC card). I never activated the card and never knew ther was a 99 dollar anual fee. I closed the Best Buy card after paying it off along with all the late charges that were somehow always there.

Now 8 years later there is some debt collector saying I owe 1000 dollars(they added interet and some other charges)for some card I never asked for or activated!

Best Buy cards and HSBC cards are both scams

Never even apply for one of these because they are the BIGGEST crooks in the WORLD!!!

catherine May 8, 2009 at 7:20 am

I have been trying to get them to close an account I has with them 5 years ago. I have been trying this for two years now! It keeps showing up on my credit report as active although they say they closed it, but will not send me anything in the mail to say this.

Ron June 19, 2009 at 9:30 pm

HSBC lied over the phone to us as to what our monthly payment would be. Word of advise, if making a purchase at BEST BUY, DO NOT fall for the “no interest” terms, this is how they reel you into their corrupt institution. Simply DO NOT buy from BEST BUY, if so use your personal credit or simply pay cash. HSBC is Brutal!! I will shop at HHGregg or Walmart, internet, etc, finished with BEST BUY!

Concerned American June 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm

I am a HSBC employee recently terminated. I want to let you all know about them while their policies are still fresh in my head. This info is regarding HSBC credit card services (all GM credit cards, orchard bank, household bank, fifth third bank, Union Plus, Teamster credit card, Corvette MasterCard).

First of all, HSBC is a bank in England. So all of you pro-American Union plus or Teamster MasterCard owners may enjoy that fact. (HSBC stands for Hong Kong Shanghai Banking Corporation)

If any of you ever have requested to speak to a supervisor, you will be connected to another agent playing the role of a supervisor. They have no additional power or decision making capabilities. The same is true for most over-the-phone customer service, by the way.

If you have their credit card, you will fall into two categories: Prime and non-prime. Each customer is assigned a “segment code”. In most cases, you are either an “X” segment code or a “W” segment code. These codes are what the agent you are speaking to over the phone will use as a guide when dealing with your issue.

They mainly determine if you can have a fee waived (Late fee, Overlimit fee, NSF fee, ect). As per their policy, “X” segment codes will always be denied a fee waiver. while “W” segment codes, in most cases, will have their fee waiver request granted (FYI: non-prime customers 95% of the time are “X” segment codes).
In my experiences, minorities usually fall into the X Segment code category (go figure). If you have been denied a request, you may be an “X” segment code.

Second. They have recently decreased credit lines due to “economic circumstances”. First the decreased Prime customers, and currently they are reducing non-prime customers. The thing is, all of you non-prime customers who have requested a credit limit increase, by policy, you are charged a fee for the increase. This fee is not refunded in the event that they reduced your credit limit. Seems illegal to me… For you prime customers (credit lines usually over $5000), if you’re credit line has been recently reduced, you may have an offer to restore part of your credit limit. By policy, it’s an “honor, don’t offer”. Basically, the agent you’re dealing with cannot offer it to you, you have to request it and it usually is granted by the “supervisor” you may have to speak with. Remember, minorities are usually non-prime, so this not available to non-prime customers.

HSBC, like all lenders, are subject to “Fair Lending Laws” which means THEY HAVE TO TREAT EVERYONE THE SAME. But non-prime (X segment codes) customers will be ravaged by fees and high APR’s so that the prime (W segment codes) can enjoy lower APR’s, higher credit lines, no fees (Annual fees, late fees, ect.)

Unfortunately, you have agreed to most of these things in your user-agreement that you sign before you are issued a credit card. But if enough of folks get together, you may have good case for an “unjust enrichment” lawsuit.

If you’re ever bored, call your HSBC credit card service department and discuss some of these issues. You will enjoy the way the poor bastard on the other end of line tries to side-step your inquiry.

Sincerely,

Concerned America.

Paul August 10, 2009 at 5:23 pm

HSBC is down-right rude & their heartless practices should be banned!

HSBC sucks October 2, 2009 at 7:39 am

I had a life policy with them, supposedly maturing in 2018.
To pay it, I had a savings account where the money gets transferred automatically.

Happened a couple of years ago I just received a notice in the post to send payment. Which I promptly did. Same thing occured the following year and the following.

Later it transpired that there hadn’t been enough funds in the savings account (I use another bank for my day-to-day stuff). I also noticed in my yearly statement that I had been being charged €30 for three times around the time that I effected payment.

I made an appointment with them.
First thing out of my mouth was why I wasn’t informed about there not being funds. My other bank always did…
Second thing, why 3 times in a row every time? I mean if there’s no water in the tap it’s useless banging on it because water won’t come out unless one reports the fault!
The answer was that it’s the “automated computer’s fault”

3 Days ago I went there personally and told the clerk to cancel the life policy. That said and done, she said my funds were transferred to my savings account.

Today I went to close my savings account (feeling very happy it was my last entry into an HSBC bank…)

After signing some papers and leaving me there alone (with a queue behind me) for 45 minutes, the clerk returned and dropped some €8
We stared at each other for some long seconds…

Then I asked him what the fuck is this for?
He replied ‘Thats the balance in your account’.
I told him it’s not possible, I got my entire live saving policy in that account and I wanted it all in cash………

His reply?
“Nope… Your life policy is still here.”
Me – “I cancelled it and it’s supposed to be in the savings’
Him – “Nope not only it is not in the savings but it’s not even been cancelled. On my pc I see it as an ACTIVE policy”.
Me- Can you call Ms X… she cancelled my life policy 3 days ago…
Him – You can speak to one of our consellors on the right.

I take a glance around. All the tables are empty… there’s no staff at all.

I mumble some stuff I don’t remember but which made the policeman at the door eye me a bit too suspiciously….. and leave immediately.

Now my money… it’s in a vacuum.
The life policy is supposed to be closed…. and they had to be transferred to savings.
BUT I just closed my savings. The clerk told me that account closure is not reversible… And that my life policy is still as active as ever…

DUH HSBC really SUCKS big time…

Kathleen October 28, 2009 at 1:57 am

I’ve dealt with many banks over the years; mortgages, auto loans and credit cards. HSBC ranks at the top for unscrupulous business practices. I have experienced similar collection tactics by them that have been mentioned in this blog. One tactic I will add: Their call collection center called me before my payment was 10 days late. (This is for a home equity line). They stated an amount due that was below the “amount due” on the statement. This was offered only if I would “pay today by phone.” The following month there was a late fee added to the regular payment due, plus the difference between the statement “amount due” and the amount quoted on the phone. Had I not spoken to the caller I would have paid the amount due before a late fee was incurred. (By the way, the call center charged an additional $15 to take advantage of this sweet deal.) Uggh! When dealing with this company now and in the future . . . I get everything in writing and don’t discuss it over the phone. I believe their practices are criminal. Buyer Beware!

tammy November 20, 2009 at 2:19 pm

I Used to work for them and they dont treat the employees great either.
Some times there is no way to help card holders and when there is a sugestion to help they wont listen.
They let me go after almost 11 years of being a loyal employee. That is because they dont let hardley anyone work to retirement.
I heard threw the grape vine the site I worked at will be closing so they are firing people left and right. that way they wont have to py severance.

Amie December 15, 2009 at 1:17 am

I totally agree, today I went there attempted to wire money to HSBC account , but different region ; I had cash , I had account name and account number , they just won’t let me …first time I experience something like this .

Syed March 7, 2010 at 2:31 am

I haven’t really had any major problems with HSBC…but then again:

“When they came for the gypsies, I did not speak, for I am not
a gypsy. When they came for the Jews, I did not speak, because I
wasn’t a Jew. When they came for the Catholics, I did not speak, for I
am not a Catholic. And when they came for me, there was no one left to
speak.”

I call this monetary slavery

Marco Conti March 22, 2010 at 1:58 pm

I have 2 HSBC loans, a home loan and a line of credit. These guys are the shadiest lenders I have ever had the displeasure to deal with.
I have been trying to renegotiate the loans for 3 years now. Constantly my applications are turned down for “Lack of documentation”. Every time I send them exactly what they asked (and then some). Turns out it’s a ploy used by them and other banks on a regular basis.

I am now trying to get an address on the West coast to send them yet more documents, since their fax machine apparently eats paper.
No go. I think I’d have an easier time getting the Mafia’s postal address.

concerned April 15, 2010 at 10:40 am

Robert how did your case work out with HSBC. They changed their name to HSBC advance.

Michael Diack May 14, 2010 at 2:50 pm

My company, a Long Island AC Repair company,
used HSBC in the past. They are horrible and we will never use them again.

jackie June 23, 2010 at 11:48 pm

I had both Best Buy and Musicians Friend with HSBC never could get anywhere with payments the balances were higher after two years then they were when I started. Paid both balances in full on the same day through online banking. BB cleared right away about 12 days later Musicians friend was still not on the book. I canceled the check my money was refunded and they now have my account as paid in full. Holding my money until they realize that the check was reversed and they don’t have their money after all. In the meantime I want to pay another months payment before they count me thirty days late due to their slow processing time.
Jackie

Max July 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm

Be aware that HSBC has a breach of information, I have received a scam call, they knew I had HSBC account, my cell phone ( which is registered under different name). When I called HSBC about it, it took me more than two hours to reach and explain to the customer service my concerns. They blamed it on me, they said I might have lose my personal info or something, when I gave them the phone number of the scammers, they were not interested at all.

Then I decide to transfer all my funds from HSBC to my other bank.

So it took me another hour to reach the actual branch near me, they told me that they can’t transfer money to my other account, that I have to mail a request to theyir office in BC, I am in ON, so another week of waiting. I ask them what other option I have , they said I don’t have any other, so I should wait.

Then I ask for the withdrawal of cash, but they said they don’t have cash on hand and that I have to wait up until next Friday, it was Thursday morning.
Naturally, I was furious, because when I was opening the account they told me that I can withdraw up to 100K if I give them one day notice. After half an hour, of yelling at me that I have no idea how banks work, they decide to give it to me next Tuesday, I wasn’t happy with that too. So after another 15 minutes of arguing they agreed to give me part of the money, but the rest will wait till Tuesday.

Then I ask them if I could do a money draft to transfer all my money and they finally they said OK we could do that for you, but have a seat we will be with you shortly.

So then I was sitting there watching them serving other customers for another half an hour, and I notice that if one has “Premium account ” ( or whatever they call it, it is a black card) one will be treated with smiles and timely, and normal account holders are treated like a second class customers.

So to summarize, The HSBC phone customer service are like a robots and they do not listen to what you say, they have the script of the template answers. And it takes several hours before you can get an answer to “unusual” question.

The branch customer services is unfriendly and rude.

HSBC will not give you cash (more than 10K) as soon as you request it or the next day. (even if they have it)

They don’t care if a scammers are using HSBC name.

They don’t care if there is a concern that HSBC may have a breach of information.

Nothing beats a real banks, CIBC, TD, RBC, BMO etc.

Chuckkkk July 16, 2010 at 5:04 am

@Max – don’t be mad if they can’t provide you a 10k cash right on, there’s a legal reason behind it, although, they might not disclosed it to you, federal law will only allow a maximum of 9999.99 transaction per day, anything beyond that, should be requested in writing or other forms, depending on the bank’s policies.

Guys, the root of all this problems is your contract, try reading your contract! I’m a mortgage specialist, and to tell you honestly, those people located in the branch, the one who sells you a pre-approved loan, they wont tell you all the truth! they will sugar-coat everything, looking like the loan has no downside… common! is that really possible? you could have double checked your contract for that.. I know some people will say, “hey, who the effing hell read their contracts? only lawyers can understand it!”, hell no, that’s not true.. its like letting your credit be surrendered to those banks… do you really want that?

READ YOUR CONTRACT GUYS!

Robert Nagle July 17, 2010 at 6:07 am

For Chuckkk

My experience with HSBC was revealing because the contract was the issue; HSBC failed to make available their credit card agreement to me — despite the fact I made three telephone requests and sent them 3 requests by certified mail. In frustration because they never sent me a legal agreement, I ended up making a written counteroffer to them; they accepted the counteroffer and then refused to abide by the terms of it! So I haven’t seen evidence that HSBC abides by legal contracts.

(The final settlement that HSBC made to me was acceptable and even generous, but it all could have been avoided if they had made a minimum effort to address my concerns in the first place).

One of the problems is that national banks change their terms every 6 months on their agreements, so it’s hard to be sure you have the latest version of the contract. One good thing about the new credit card law is that they require that credit card issuers keep a copy of their latest agreement online — so people can always have access to it.

Another issue is applying the contract. I never got the sense that HSBC customer support reps were empowered to analyze individual cases. Instead they just report people to the credit bureaus even when there is clear evidence from the borrower that the information is wrong. If you send damaging information to the credit bureaus for a person, at minimum you have a responsibility to verify that the information is factually correct. In my case I don’t think HSBC ever did this.

The other problem is incomprehensible language. One of the nation’s leading bankruptcy expert (Elizabeth Warren) described most credit card agreements as incomprehensible. (She teaches bankruptcy law at Harvard and served on the US TARP oversight panel). Bank/lending contracts are inscrutable intentionally; Inscrutability works to the bank’s advantage because it makes it hard for consumers to assert their rights.

(I work as a technical writer and I could easily boil down the boilerplate language to a single page which any 5th grader could understand).

If I recall, truth in lending disclosures in the mortgage industry were an issue. Frankly, if you don’t know what you’re getting into when you sign a mortgage agreement, it’s your own damn fault. On the other hand, it’s not really a “meeting of minds” (that’s contract law jargon) if one side doesn’t understand the terms clearly. I think nobody should be allowed to receive a mortgage from a mortgage company until they have passed a simple 10 question test by a third party certifying that the borrower understands their contractual obligations.

HSBCSUCKS! August 8, 2010 at 5:10 pm

HSBC truly sucks, they give X whores credit accounts using your credit even though you didn’t sign for it then harass you for the money from accounts you’ve never heard off that X whores max out at your expence. Plus they lie like no tommorw and are incopitent as a retard ninja darth vader robbing a bank.

Ella J November 8, 2010 at 3:28 am

As a former employee I agree with everything written above… AND MORE! Read your fine print on everything because that’s how they will f$%^ you over!

Fred November 17, 2010 at 7:32 am

HSBC cancelled my card that is used to pay my PROPERTY TAXES, now I’m losing my house. Rat bastages said “sorry”, you don’t use it enough. No where in any paperwork does it say you have to charge something every month to produce “activity”. Making payments every month doesn’t count as activity. Screw You HSBC!

Donnie January 25, 2011 at 12:49 pm

HELL WILL FREEZE OVER BEFORE I PAY HSBC ONE MORE CENT! THEY STOLE MONEY FROM ME, BY CHARGING ME FOR ITEMS THEY KNOW WERE RETURNED TO THE RETAILER, AND IN WHICH THEY WERE REFUNDED, BUT REFUSED TO CREDIT MY ACCOUNT. THEY CANNOT FALL OF THE FACE OF THE EARTH SOON ENOUGH!

joe January 27, 2011 at 9:39 pm

Avoid HSBC at all costs !! They gave me a Union Plus credit card in November of last year (10k credit line) I did not use the card last year .I wanted to use it 2 days ago and find out that it’s been closed ! I call up to ask why the card has been closed and they tell me “lack of use” and also “a public record on credit report” .A “lack of use” closure after only 2 months ? And the “public record” was a $100 late payment of a tax bill that was already on my credit report when I applied for the card !

Carmelo July 11, 2011 at 7:53 am

Is in Spanish, but helps to understand HSBC practices in South America

http://www.pagina12.com.ar/diario/elpais/1-11372-2002-10-12.html

“On Wednesday, the 23rd of October at five o’clock in the morning a part of the massacre of Square of May will be recreated in an of Buenos Aires corner. In the frame of the cause that investigates five murders that took place during the repression arranged by the government of Fernando de la Rúa in retreat, the jueza Maria Servini de Cubría arranged the reconstruction of the facts happened in Chacabuco and Avenue of May, opposite to the head office of the bank HSBC, where the demonstrator Gustavo Benedetto was murdered. For this motive a retired military man and a deputy superintendent are sued and stopped, but the Federal Chamber ordered the magistrada to need who are uniformed others that shot from inside of the building, and the procedure will be realized by this target. The camaristas had pointed out that it was a “miracle” that more victims were not producing to themselves before similar balacera, which there considered to be unjustified because the demonstrators never had intentions of taking the building, as adujeron the advocates of two arrested”

JON LOVEJOY September 15, 2011 at 6:27 am

I OPENED AN ACCOUNT WITH THESE VILE PARASITES THREE AND A HALF YEARS AGO AT THEIR MAIN BRANCH IN HONG KONG. THEY LIED TO ME ABOUT THE SERVICES AND PRODUCT THAT THEY SOLD ME, THEN WHEN I COMPLAINED , MANY MONTHS LATTER THEY SENT ME A PATRONIZING, ARROGANT LETTER WHERE THEY HAD TWISTED THE TOPIC AWAY FROM MY ORIGINAL COMPLAINTS IN ORDER TO SELF JUSTIFY THEMSELVES ON POINTS OF SEMANTICS.
THIS BANK IS A VILE DISHONEST INSTITUTION AND CAN NEVER BE TRUSTED AS LONG AS IT IS RUN AND STAFFED BY THE PREDATORY WEASELS THAT PRESENTLY WORK FOR IT

I AM WONDERING IF HSBC STANDS FOR;
HIDEOUS SLITHERING BASTARD CRIMINALS

L.M. November 26, 2011 at 4:39 pm

HSBC Sucks and I hope they go bankrupt! I had the HSBC UNION PLUS card for about 8 -10 years. Then a couple of years ago I had almost maxxed out my card which had a credit line of nearly $20,000.00. Even though I had been paying on time, they began to lower my limit every time I got it paid down a couple of thousand dollars. Several times I complained to them that this made it look like I was always maxxed-out, instead of reflecting the truth, which was that I was PAYING-DOWN my account. Finally, around October of last year, I had my balance down to around $12,000.00 and within 3 months I had paid my balance off. A couple of months later they notified me that they had CLOSED my account. When I contacted them, they said it was because I had too much revolving credit card debt, even though I had good credit, was not behind on anything, including my mortgage, and had paid off 9 other credit cards in the previous 6 months.(Maybe it was because I only had a no annual fee card with a 11.9% interest rate.) I wouldn’t have liked it if they had lowered my credit limit, but to totally close my account was uncalled for! I contacted them and told them that I would NEVER use them again!. Then 2 months later they actually sent me a letter offering to open an account for me. Just how DUMB do they think I am! Oh Yea, I even called my UNION and complained about it! (Of course, I was told that they couldn’t do anything about it, or help me in any way, but from my experience with them over the last 25 years, I was not REALLY surprised.) Incidently, I now have $O credit card debt and intend to keep it that way!

HSBC Employee March 16, 2012 at 11:37 pm

Whatever is submitted here by Concerned American can’t be more true-staff are treated in the same manner that this guy describes but the people that bear the brunt of this company’s deceptive business practices most are its US credit customers. I work for the same division of the bank’s business as Concerned American and I discovered that whatever he/she says about ‘segments’ and fee waivers are undeniably true. As per policy we have to go by this ‘segmentation’ when servicing customers, which is so discriminating at times. I’m dying to be transferred to another department. Thank God Capital One has been so good as to buy this business-so won’t have to linger in HSBC Card Services much longer. Don’t want to work for Cap One-want to be with Hsbc but no more Card Services-has been a horror story for the last four years.

Anonymous October 16, 2012 at 7:24 am

i was HSBC customer i used to use online banking then they send me this calculator think i stop using HSBC i moved to Lloyds tsb

john smithfield November 4, 2012 at 11:11 am

i was devestated by hurricane sandy.i called hsbc for emergency increase in credit.just a couple hundred for food for family.told after waiting one day that a bankruptcy,which they already knew when they gave me the card,was reason they couldnt help me.i have been a customer for years and begged the woman.they could care less about anyone.they are cold and cruel.i toom a chance and called capital one and no problem,they gave me an emergency increase.
closing my acct with hsbc.

John Doe February 4, 2013 at 10:21 am

The best way to handle these kinds of dispute is to file a small claim against the bank. It will cost very small amount to file a small claim in your local district court. You can represent yourself. make sure you have all the papers in your support. The judge will most likely give judgment in your favor. When the bank you will see all the law suits from different states, they will find it costs more than the amount in question and they will stop these kind of practices.

Barry February 13, 2013 at 11:22 am

HSBC is by far the worst company I have dealt with in my life. I am now considering all means of redresd and appreciate your comments.

Berna March 13, 2013 at 6:08 pm

HSBC is taking me for mediation, in 2009 I visit peru and in the aereoport was offered a cell phone for rent they told me I don’t have to pay for the calls those were free so I pay with my credit card 9.99 dollar for renting and in the next 4 days I found out that Movistar is the name of the phone company still all my money and they put almost 3,000 dollars in charges ,unfortunaly HSBC never credit me for this charges don’t Mather how much I talk to the credit card I dispute this problem for many times instead they of this they say every thing was correct wasn’t fraud , and I have fraud protection, lost protection I paid all this thing for nothing no one help me,now this people are taking me to court and they wants me pay court fees and service they sucks HSBC are the worst credit card they wrong my credit , this wasn’t my fault I don’t have a job I don’t know what to do .

Gary Cha June 4, 2013 at 3:33 pm

Well HSBC is still haunting us after 7 years. We took out a 2nd mortgage with HSBC in 2006 to repair our leaking roof and some other home repairs. During that time due to family health issues a payment was missed. We got charged a late fee and penalty and was told our guaranteed interest is no longer available so our account went from a 7.9% to well over 30%. The $10,000.00 we borrowed with fees and back interest quickly became over $15,000. We tried to work out a payment plan but by this time our $250.00 per month 2nd recalculated to a payment of $1,100. To get us back on track. Unfortunately we were unable to afford the new payment terms and missed the next few months all the while keeping up with our Primary lender on the 1st mortgage. At this point knowing our situation we tried to work with a HSBC bullshit supervisor who told us that because of the missed payments now we would be required to pay the loan total balance in full to avoid going into default. As we tried to get help from family or some other means we were unable to work out any payment plan but was given the opportunity to send in $12,300 this would get us back in good standing. After 3 months total of missed payments we had someone willing to help us we tried to pay the full amount but was told the amount to prevent forclosure was now over $15,000.00. We again tried to negotiate a payoff amount and was passed around to various supervisors to give us a fair and reasonable payoff amount to which now exceeded the amount we were originally told would save our home from foreclosure. This was to no avail. After 4 long months of trying to settle a letter notice of foreclosure was sent and the house was set for auction in October. Our payoff for this loan had exceeded any amount we could come up with at this point. No payment plan ever offered we had no choice but to vacate our home over a forced foreclosure on our equity loan we took out with HSBC for a measzely $10,000. It’s as if we never had a chance of trying to save our home. HSBC wanted our home more than our money. Now after 7 years thinking we could buy a home again as foreclosure is usually off the credit report supposedly. On applying for a new home loan recently we come to find out that HSBC failed to report our foreclosure for over a year to the big 3 credit agencies and were denied getting a new loan. We now have to wait another 6 months for their negligence. HSBC is an evil, poorly managed, blood sucking company who is still haunting us EVEN to this day. I encourage everyone to avoid working with this company at all costs. If you should decide to deal with them you have my sincere regrets as you will be punished beyond reason and making a BIG mistake. Still homeless in Seattle.

Loren February 7, 2014 at 6:23 pm

I just got back from an awful scene with the HSBC bank staff at Greenpoint, Brooklyn branch. The bank unbeknown to me added a line of credit after I expressly asked them not to do it and only just found out after months of late fees on this account. I EXPRESSLY asked them not to add a line of credit, that my card be declined if it had no money when in use. What does one have to do to get them to honour ones requests? They had no record of my signing an agreement for thme to do this (line of credit) and I am going to follow it up as they caused me to go into debt and possibly for my credit rating to be affected.
The staff are unable to deal with almost anything apart from signing you up for loans and over the counter deposits and withdrawals. Once the credit card is paid off I am out of this bank. American people, we deserve better than this, It’s time to get together and withdraw your money from this bank, which is filled with corrupt services and and practises. That’s what will hurt them.

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