I was originally introduced to this company when I financed a new motorcycle from my local Kawasaki dealer. For all intents and purposes people are led to believe that this financing will come from a bank, and no where on the paper work does it mention that this credit instead comes in the form of a credit card. Had I known this I would have chosen a different route for financing, as I not only already have a credit card, but I feel it is a poor choice for financing a vehicle.
Within a few weeks of the purchase I received the credit card from them. I called the number listed on the card curious as to why I had received a credit card and no information as to where or how to make payments. I was informed that I would have to wait until they mailed me the first statement and it would contain all the information I needed; they refused to give me any contact information during that phone call. When my statement arrived I set up my payments online via the address that was provided. As a side note, they make it incredibly difficult to contact them as they have numerous conflicting addresses, and even on their website they list this:
By Email: Click here to email your question to an Online Customer Care Representative regarding your credit card account.
By Phone: Call the number listed on your billing statement or on the back of your card to speak to a Customer Service Representative.
Everything went smoothly for the first few months except for the fact that they continually changed the due date for each payment, sometimes even scheduling it to be due on a weekend. I began to inquire about Hsbc on various internet forums, and people often stated that in their dealings with them that this was not uncommon. They also claimed that Hsbc would often hold their payments for up to two weeks before processing them even if it meant going past their due dates, which naturally incurred penalties for late payments.
I didn't worry too much about this because I was set up to pay my payments online and figured I could avoid this issue altogether. I stayed on top of the changing due dates and payed each payment early, also paying far more than the minimum payment they had specified.
After 3 months I put in for a balance transfer from my Bank of America credit card to Hsbc so I could receive my title and sell the motorcycle, and at this time I also notified Hsbc of my intentions to pay off the loan early. The stated time for the balance transfer to take place came and went, and no transfer ever took place. I placed a call to Bank of America and they confirmed that the transfer had indeed been sent electronically, and provided me with the date. I placed several calls to Hsbc and each time they claimed they never received said transfer. I placed another call to Bank of America and they stated that the transfer could not be canceled after it was sent, and that they were concerned that Hsbc had not received it. I was instructed by them to request that Hsbc not process the transfer if it showed up later, and to instead return it back to them.
I placed another call to Hsbc and informed them that since the transfer never arrived that Bank of America had instructed me to have them return it to them instead of it being processed. I also informed them that I would be paying the loan off early now via an online payment so I could receive my title. Hsbc refused, and informed me that even if the loan was paid in full they would still process the transfer if and when it arrived.
During that phone call I found out the exact total that I owed, even going so far as to ask twice and make sure that no other charges would be applied once that amount was paid. I also recorded that part of the conversation. I then had my account canceled and after hanging up the phone I made an online payment to Hsbc and paid off the account in full.
After the payment posted I again called Hsbc to confirm my account was paid in full, and asked them about my title. They acted surprised when I asked for it and stated "oh, are you requesting we send you the title?" I was also told that they were legally allowed up to 30 days to process my title and mail it out to me, although they then stated that sometimes it took even longer. I stated that it seemed ridiculous to me that it would take over 30 days to process and mail it out, and instantly they replied "oh I remember processing that this morning so it should be mailed out very soon" This last statement completely contradicting what they had just told me.
When the next billing cycle arrived I checked my account online and it showed I owed just over $16.00 in finance charges, even though the account had been paid off in full prior to this billing cycle and Hsbc confirmed to me that nothing further would be owed. I also noted that AFTER my account was paid in full that the lost balance transfer had miraculously showed up and was being processed.
I contacted Hsbc and voiced my displeasure over this and was told that "IF I wanted the money back" they would simply mail me a check for the amount that they had over drafted for the transfer. I told them of course I wanted that money back as their was no reason for them to have processed that transfer in the first place. I was then told that it would also take 30 days for the check to be mailed to me. I also took this opportunity to inquire about my title and they said they would put in a request to have it processed and mailed to me. They again stated that it could take up to 30 days for that to be mailed out, and this was all AFTER I had already requested it.
I later checked my account online again only to find that Bank of America had denied the transfer and that Hsbc had ran it through twice, fining me a returned check fee both times. All this AFTER I had contacted them numerous times about returning it to Bank of America as per their request. I called Hsbc again and complained to one of their supervisors.
After informing her of what had taken place, I was told that I was still responsible for the charges and that since it was a credit card, finance charges would also apply. When I asked how I could be held liable for charges incurred from a transfer that they were instructed to return, I was told that there was no way they could have prevented it from being processed unless I had requested a stop check to be placed on it from Hsbc. I told her that I had requested that it not be processed and that I was told it would be processed anyway if and when it ever showed up. I also told her that in NONE of my previous calls had I been informed that there was an option for a stop check. She apologized for the inconvenience, said I would still liable for the charges and the finance charges that would apply to them, and asked if there was anything else she could help me with. I told her I would inform everyone I could about their fraudulent practices and activities, that I would like to seek legal council, and she stated that it was ok because it was my right to do so.
If nothing else comes of this, I hope this serves as a warning to anyone who even thinks about doing business with Hsbc, as I can't even pay them off and be done with them. Sadly enough in this country, justice is no longer blind, it simply turns a blind eye. He who has the most money wins.