Monday, July 14, 2008

HSBC Direct Sucks

It all started innocently. Since I was earning a few bucks during my internship, I thought it would help if I saved a couple of dollars (especially since I won't have an on campus job to support me next sem). I suppose I could have transferred it to my Bank of America Savings acoount, but we all know money in the same account as the direct deposit one would be spent soon. So I started looking for a good savings account and found that online banks offer better interest rate. Since I didn't have a car to get by, I assumed that it would be easier to open an account online. Right? WRONG!

when I started looking for online banks, I had 2 options - HSBC Direct and ING. Since HSBC was offering 3.5% as opposed to the 3% offered by ING. Also HSBC allowed me to link how many ever accounts I wanted to the Savings account. Naturally I tried to open an account. It seemed easy enough - fill out basic details and then the trial deposits. But even after confirming my trial deposits, my account was pending - awaiting documentation. They said that they needed some form of address proof (bank statement, utility bill) and so on. Since I am now in Wisconsin, I ask my roommates to send over some utility bills. And I fax them and wait for the prescribed 48 hours, which then becomes 72 hours. So I call the Customer Service. After waiting for nearly 15 minutes (while listening to "exxccitng" new from HSBC) I reach a human. She tells me that they didn't receive the fax and ask me to resend it. By this time I am a little impatient and so I resend the fax and wait another 3 days. I get am email reminding me to send it again. I was raving mad when I picked the phone and called them. They tell me that they did receive the document, but the bill was older then 60 days (it was 63 days old) and so they cannot use it. This seems reasonable enough, but nobody told me this while opening the account. And would it have killed them to send me an email rather than wait for me to call them?? So I fax over another document that's pretty recent and send it out on the same day (last Wednesday morning). On Friday I give them a call to hear them say that they didn't receive the fax and that a specialist would call me on Monday morning 8:00 a.m. It's 10:00 a.m and no call. So I give them a call and after waiting for an eternity I am told that they didn't receive my fax. And when I complain about how it's 3 weeks now since I started to open my account, the customer rep tells me "You are not the only applicant you know"!!!

I have cancelled my application with them and opened one with ING. The experience has been pleasant and hassle free till now. I talked to a Customer Service agent before opening the account (and I got a human within 2 minutes). She was polite and assured me that they needed no documentation from me. Plus I was referred by someone and so I get a $25 referral bonus. Sweeet! And since I am not going to be saving millions, a 0.5% doesn't matter much, in fact it might be lesser than the $25 I earned. And if I things go well with my Savings account, I will open a Checking account with them and you can link as many accounts you want with that. Plus you can write checks. So it's win win win for me.

HSBC just lost themselves a loyal customer (hopefully the business of the people reading this blog too). I am not a person who chases after interest and I would have stuck to them for years.

So the moral of the story is : HSBC Stinks. And it pays to have a good Customer Support and Admin system.

P.S Wanted to write a post on something else, but HSBC irritated me so much that I had to put this up. I am usually patient with such things 'coz once you get the system rolling, you don't have to worry about other things. But they really got my goat.


Sandeep said...

I still cant believe they have the gall to tell a customer "You are not the only one". You should've slammed the right then! And add me too the anti-HSBC roster.

Keep up the pace and let the posts roll!

Jinguchakka said...

If only you had told me you needed an account to put your money in, I would've gladly offered mine.
I am a friend in need. You are a friend indeed.

janani said...

@Sandy Boy - Yeah let me refer you to ING so that you get $25 and I get $10 ;-)

@jings - Hmmm, nice try ;-) I wouldn't mind depositing money anywhere I get more than 3.5% interest :-)

Juggernaut said...

gaja vetti
office lendhu blog pannu.... bah!

fccalaza said...

Also had a very bad experience with costumer service from HSBC. They suck. No patience at all. you try to explain something and they are like machines, they keep repeating the same thing and that they can not help you. So why the costumer service if they do not help costumers?? One of them even hang up the phone on me while I was talking

HSBC Sucks said...

i have been a life time HSBC customer, but it ends here. I had a very bad experience at the HSBC Canada Forrest Branch. Bank Rep Miriam Zaoral made multi promised that she could not deliver. Dario Carpino, FMA, Branch Manager allows and practices such tactics. No apology or correction. I guess they only care about multi million dollars at that branch and could not care less about normal customers.

Chelsa said...

Well written article.

Anonymous said...

they suck with capital letters, tried to open chequing account with them they only approved me for a savings, because i'm not allowed to have cheques, HSBC stands for huge sucking bank ac_unts!!!

Ken D. said...

I actually had an OK time with getting an account, and enjoyed the 3.5 \% rate for a while. But soon they dropped it down to what is lower than competing banks!

But what really got me...I didn't get my 1099-INT in the mail, and I noticed I hadn't gotten statements in a couple of months! Going to the HSBC website to retrieve the info, I found the "Estatements" section "hijacked" can't enter it until you click on the "I Agree" button to go paperless!!!

A phone call to their customer service was exactly as described above...a robot telling me something I knew was not true...that all HSBC accounts are paperless by default! How do you explain all the paper statements I previously received?

I am still awaiting a reply to an email I sent online to resolve the situation...they had better start sending me paper statements *and* allow me to see them online, or GOODBYE SUCKY HSBC!

What really sucks is that more and more companies steal money from you by stopping services that you are paying for, under the guise of being "green"! Those scumsuckers aren't doing it for the planet, they are doing it to line their pockets!!


Anonymous said...

For all those people not familiar with this site check out and post your story on the forum to expose this SOB Bank HSBC

Anonymous said...

HSBC has the most incompetent and inefficient staff in NYC. In mid-Feb, '10, I visited the branch at 3rd Ave and 57th and, among other things, requested debit/atm cards. As I'd just moved to NY, I was added to someone's existing account.

1 month after I received nothing. I called their 800 # and was told I'm not in their system. Then i visited their Grand Central branch and gave them (again) my SSN, and once again requested the same cards. 2 weeks after, nothing again. So I called yet again. I was told no cards were ever requested for me, and after a few minutes of being put on hold, was told that the Grand Central branch never ever got a visit from me!

At this point, I was speechless, as this type of service is what one expects from a supposedly small-time bank in a backward society.

Our solution is simple. We closed our accounts and took our money to Chase.

HSBC might have flashy advertisements everywhere, but they lack the human touch. Thank God we live in a capitalist world where there are options!

Anonymous said...

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.

Anonymous said...

I do no apppreciate you posting a negative comment with my name, as a bank employee I have no choice but to follow my managers directions. There was obviously a reason for the actions that made you upset and it is very unfair of you to post my name in this negative blog.

Anonymous said...

TOTALLY agree with you that stupid HSBC of a phone system SUX big time! Each time you call, you have to key in a BUNCH of stupid numbers and then get a barage of useless options you have no choice but to listen to them one by one excruciatingly. It's the stupidest and stinkest customer service system EVER.