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Monday, April 19, 2010

The World's Worst Local Bank = HSBC

Warning: One LONG whining story ahead.

One fine day my mom was walking in a shopping complex when being approached by HSBC's credit card marketeer. She politely declined and told the person she wasn't in need of another credit card, and also that her application was declined before by HSBC and she wasn't planning to try again.

After much convincing, my mom decided to give it another try. And while filling up the forms, she wasn't allowed to fill up her latest address but to use the one that was on her IC. She was told that she could request for a change of address later. And so my mom informed the marketeer that the office address she filled may not be complete and in case her application was approved, they will have to call up and reconfirm the address before sending the card.

Approximately 2 weeks later, my mom received an SMS saying that her application has been approved and the card has been sent out. Unfortunately the bank did not call the verify the address again, and after one week she still did not receive the card. We suspected that the incomplete address may have been the cause of the delivery problems, and so we contacted HSBC to check and it was true that the original card was returned to the sender by Poslaju. They promised that they will send again to the right address this time.

Another week passed and yet no card was received. And instead, she received her first statement with RM50 Service Tax charged to her card!!! We called again to check with HSBC and was put on hold for more than 3 times with each hold lasting for eternity. They confirmed that the card has been sent out by normal post, and that's why the service tax has been credited AUTOMATICALLY by the system. My mom was like "WHAT??? How can you charge me service tax for a card that I have not even received??? Have you even any prove of acknowledgements that I have received the card???" And they calmly responded, "I'm sorry m'am, please wait for a few more days and if you still don't receive the card, call us again and we'll send a replacement".

And so my mom waited for a few more days and called HSBC again. You know how it's like when you call this centers and they ask you to key in the credit card or IC number for faster service, and when somebody FINALLY answers the call and ask you for your card number again??? Why on earth did I key in that number for in the first place? To help me pass time so that I won't notice that I've been waiting a whole century for someone to pick up the call??? And then they so sweetly tells you that they need to ask you several questions for verification. Actually it wouldn't have been that frustrating if you hadn't  been put on hold for 3 times, and transferred to 3 different operators and being ASKED for your MOTHER's name 3 times for verification during the same phone call!!! My grandma would certainly have jumped up from her grave and whined about this too if she knew!

Finally the operator apologized and told my mom what she already knew- that the card was already sent on X date by normal post, and if it still hasn't arrived by now it is probably lost. And they will send another one on the way. Again the operator reconfirmed the correct postal address and assured the new card will be sent out immediately. Another 2 weeks down the road my mom has already given up and lost all hopes of actually receiving the card. And she thought she didn't want to waste time calling them anymore until she received another statement from them. This time with an additional RM5 of compensation fee (we still haven't figured out what exactly is a compensation fee) and RM5 of late charges for not paying the service tax.

This was really absurd. My mom had already had enough, and called HSBC again and told them to forget about sending her the card (definitely not nicely I can assure you), and to reverse all the charges on the statement. The operator was stunned but apologized profusely for the inconvenience, and said that she will do the necessary cancellation of the card and charges.

And guess what? This month  my mom promptly received another statement from the bank. Both the service tax and compensation fees have been reversed by the late/finance charges remains standing. Which means my mom still owes HSBC a RM5 after all the unnecessary waiting on the phone and call charges to them trying to track the GHOST card. No doubt they got another lashing, and this time the operator assured that she will not receive anymore statements from them and that the RM5 charges will also be reversed.

That's our World's Local Bank!


Marlene said...

I hate banks. I hate credit card companies. They're all EVIL, I tell you. EVIL. One of these days I dream of having no credit cards or bank accounts. Money will grow from trees, and I will actually be able to raise a money tree without killing it before it spits out a penny.

Oh my dreams, anyway.

Sorry your mom has gone through so much hassle.

JW+AL said...

Your mom's experience is quite close to what my company is facing, our corporate card (HSBC Spore). They said they sent out in Feb, it's now April!!! shadow also didnt see. All the cards are expired. Staff travel by using their own credit card now. Call them they said, got to do the procedure all over again as they need to submit for replacement card. All our directors in Spore got to sign dont know what to confirm that. I shall see when these card will finally reached us. May be next year Feb!