HSBC banking to continues to fail to deliver

| January 7, 2008
HSBC banking to continues to fail to deliver

I’ve written before that HSBC Premier Banking is not the best service around, but unfortunately my experience with HSBC is getting worse.

To summarise from before, HSBC Premier accounts claim to offer lots of extra features.

But these are applied so selectively that about the only difference a HSBC Premier customer could see over a normal HSBC banking customer is – calling a UK call centre, instead of an Indian call centre.

Now there’s customer care value in action.

Unfortunately, I no longer enjoy that benefit – HSBC saw fit to change the eligibility criteria for Premier banking back in November last year.

Interestingly enough, HSBC appeared to make little or no attempt to upsell customers being downgraded to remain Premier customers for a fee.

Instead, they sent out new cards for downgraded accounts, then cancelled the Premier cards the following month – even though they were valid for at least another year.

Here’s where HSBC continue to cock-up.

I was sent a new HSBC Platinum credit card – and a new HSBC Premier credit card. I queried this and HSBC Mastercard seem to think I’m still a Premier customer.

No debit card arrived, however.

Then while doing the grocery shopping just before Christmas, imagine my surprise to find the debit card I normally use blocked.

Good job I’ve been sent two new credit cards, right?

I queried HSBC about the debit card having been blocked, and they suggested it was lost in the post and they would send out a new one.

All sounded fine – until they told me they could only send the replacement to my branch, where it would be entirely at their discretion as to whether they send it out to my home address, or insist I pick it up.

Since opening the account about 4 years ago, I’ve since moved about 450 miles away to the Scottish Highlands. Not only do I not fancy the journey just to pick up a debit card, but HSBC has only an extremely limited presence in Scotland – it’s a minimum 2 hour journey to the nearest branch.

Doesn’t matter anyway – apparently HSBC lost the card when sending it to my original branch. I just found that out today.

So back to square 1. I have no debit card, and my credit card – which I pay off every month – is mounting up with payments.

And having pushed the point very strongly to the HSBC call centre staff, that I expect the new debit card to be sent directly to my home address with no excuses – it’ll still take at least 5 working days for the new card to arrive.

I can easily get a new bank account up and running in 5 working days.

The overall point, is that HSBC Premier banking is not the “premium” service the bank may like to project it to be – but in changing the Premier criteria and downgrading people to normal banking, all HSBC have achieved is to continue to downtread on the customer service experience.

I have my investments and mortgage coming up for renewal later in the year, and so far HSBC has given every indicator that the only time they turn on the customer service is when we hand over wads of cash for their service. And once they have that – wham, bam, thank you ma’am.

In the meantime, it’s time to explore other high-street banking services, because it appears that I’ve been with HSBC out of habit – and they continue to provide every excuse to leave their services.


Comments (1)

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  1. Mr Shah says:

    Re: HSBC Bad customer service

    I agree with the above article. The level of customer service is disgraceful. I think HSBC think because they are a massive bank they can get away by behaving like they don’t care about their customers.

    The only time you will receive any customer service or feedback from anyone, is if they are benefitting from you. For example I wanted to bring 50,000 over and put it into an instant savings account. I needed to open a new savings account with HSBC, so I spoke to customer services who stated someone from my local branch would call me to arrange an appointment. I received a call the next day from a lady at the branch asking if I wanted to switch my mortgage over. I simply answered no; I just want to open a savings account. She advised me that someone would call me the next day to open the account. I am still waiting for a call!!!!

    I used to work for Barclays and the sad fact of branch staff is that they are only willing to do something that will benefit them by increasing their points total for their bonuses. I know as soon the lady from my local HSBC branch realised I was not moving my mortgage over to HSBC she was not getting any commission and she did not even have the courtesy to arrange for someone else to call me to open a savings account which was all i required.