My account is now, and has always been in good standing for many years with Orchard Bank. In fact, I have 4 cards issued by their parent company, HSBC. Two branded with Orchard Bank, a Best Buy Mastercard, and my ARCO Gas company card.
The account I am referencing here is the Orchard Bank Platinum Premier credit card account. In particular, the 2% cash back rewards program. This program offers a 2% cash back reward on all your purchases, payable by check. You can accumulate as much in rewards dollars as you like, however you can not request a rewards check until you have $25 or more in rewards value. Rewards are issued only in $25.00 increments.
On September 27, 2010, I requested a rewards check to be sent to me. The website used for that purpose states that I should allow 15 days for delivery. Today is November 19, 2010. It has now been FIFTY-TWO (52) DAYS! No reward has arrived.
I called customer service today and got the run around that they had a glitch in their system and only now realized that anyone who requested a rewards check from mid September through mid November had not gotten it yet.
I was told my check had been issued the third week of November. Really? Today is the 19th. The third week doesn't even start until the 21st. To which the agent backtracked and said, "I mean the 2nd week". I understand glitches can happen, however there's a few key points I'd like to make.
First, Orchard bank has no delay in sending me payment reminders 3 days before my due date, another message when they receive my payment, and yet another message when the payment has actually posted. They send these both via email and text message. These are sent in addition to many other communications I receive via promotional solicitation or account terms and conditions. However they not once ever sent an email to say they were sorry, the system is being worked on, your check is delayed. Ok, so maybe they only just found out about the issue...
That brings me to number two. I highly doubt I'm the first person calling and asking the whereabouts of my rewards check, if the glitch affected every check for nearly 2 months for every customer, as I was told it had. I believe by the time that check was 3 days past the 15 day estimate, they already had customers calling and asking about it. At that point, they could have alerted those of us affected.
Third, I am certain that they hold an account which contains all the funds needed for rewards checks to be issued. Would it not have caught their attention that the account balance was rising at an alarming rate because no checks were being withdrawn out of it?
This is a financial institution and they can't even notice a glitch that involves their own money almost immediately? Do I want to trust such an institution that is so oblivious to the money that passes through their hands? If they can not manage their own accounts, do I want them to be in charge of mine?
The answers to those questions are an obvious "NO!". As originally stated, my account is in great standing. In the many years I have had the account, I have never missed a payment, or gone over my limit. I'm not writing this to complain about a company utilizing it's legal rights to collect. I've never been scorned by Orchard Bank or HSBC. I'm writing this from the viewpoint that now it is obvious how this company handles their own finances, and frankly, it's unsettling. I will be paying off all HSBC accounts in the next 30 days, and closing each one in a manner as to not reflect poorly upon myself.