Yes, typical big bank — bend over the customer and take what you can. What, and no kiss? Pay attention as all big banks are raping their customers, especially the ones unlucky enough to be trapped like flies in their sticky web of fees, horrible customer service and product commitment. Like me.
I purchased a new camera at Best Buy late last year — a gift to myself on my 50th. (I know what you're thinking, "he's 50, wow, he is so cool and it just makes him seem so much younger." I know, it's like a curse.) Camera, extra lens, bag, insurance, I spent about $1,400 — but wait, they had an 18-month 'same as cash' promotion. Make the purchase today and take up to 18 months to pay without interest. Of course if any part of the balance goes beyond the promo period, 18 months in this case, they tack on interest on the entire amount — regardless of how much may be owed — and that would appear on the next statement. But I knew that and was okay with that because I intended to pay the camera off in one year.
Got my statement today and it had a $39 fee for being late. WTF? I called HSBC customer service and of course, they answer as Best Buy credit — but I know better. I explained to Barb that I signed on for 18-months same as cash, which translates to no fees, no minimum due and no finance charges — none of this nonsense for the first 18 billing cycles. She told me she understood my frustration but this promotion was different, and my August payment was late. I stopped her right there and told her I did not even send an August payment and that I had been sending $50 or $100 payments previous months because that was part of my plan to pay down the 'free' loan. She repeated her understanding of my frustration. Okay bitch, if you really understand my frustration — and you stated that you did at least 3 times — then remove the fucking fee! Nothing doing.
I told her this was the last time I would do any business with HSBC and that I will never take advantage of a Best Buy credit promotion again. I pointed out that my minimum amount due is only $10 and they were charging me $39, and by now, my tone is less pleasant and more angry. She gave me the "I understand your frustration" line again and then went into a sales pitch for a product they have that would ensure to make at least the minimum amount due each month if I were to forget, and that it only costs some small amount based on the outstanding balance. This was the point I went from reasonable consumer to irate consumer — let's see what her scripting has in store for me now!
I told her that big banks like HSBC are the reason the government had to get involved with new regulations related to credit cards. And as she told me about the insurance program again, I had to tell her to stop. Really. I said "Barb, listen to me and stop reading from you script. I just told you I am pissed off at your company and will never use your product and you continue to try to up-sell me on an insurance product." It wasn't personal, and I am sure Barb was over it the very next call she took, but I was beside myself. Then she delivered the closing script, "Have I handled your inquiry to your satisfaction?" I laughed and told her to go back, with her supervisor, and listen to the recording, then decide for herself. I said "thank you" and hung up the phone.
So there you have it — one more reason to pile on banks and another way of showing why they suck. And despite them being bailed out by you and me, the American taxpayer, they are still disrespecting their bread and butter consumer.
Last bit of advice: join your work or community credit union, you'll never be treated this way.
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Here is some related info about predatory banking practices: