I'm confident I am not the only person who has experienced what must be one of the most outrageous examples of predatory credit practices in modern times. The summary set forth below is no less than a road map for a class action against the offending credit card company for their unconscionable policy and practice.
Here are the pertinent facts:
I have a number of credit cards, and I transmit payments to the credit card companies by way of Moneygram ExpressPayment. Moneygram represents to its customers that, for the stated fee (which varies depending upon the payee) Moneygram will transmit the payor's funds electronically to the payee, with the funds available to the payee within 10 minutes of having been sent. Moneygram provides me with written verification of the transmission of my payment and can verify, upon request, that the funds indeed were transmitted electronically and received within 10 minutes.
With the exception of but ONE credit card company (HSBC - Household Bank), my Moneygram payments are transmitted without a glitch and are received without a glitch, and in fact receipt of said payments can be viewed online - usually the same day - for all of my credit card accounts
EXCEPT FOR HSBC. Again, with the exception of HSBC, my payments are credited on the day they are received by each credit card company.
HSBC, however, is unique in the industry in that it artificially, and with no legitimate justification, IGNORES the actual date that the payment is electronically sent, and furthermore IGNORES the actual date that the payment is electronically received by HSBC.
Rather, HSBC artificially delays the posting of Moneygram payments for at least 24 to 48 hours. It matters not to HSBC that by delaying posting of said payments HSBC is able to unilaterally assess a substantial late fee when the Moneygram payment is sent and received BEFORE the payment due date BUT NOT POSTED until AFTER THE DUE DATE because of HSBC'S arbitrary "delayed posting" policy.
Having experienced at least one instance of HSBC assessing a late fee as a direct result of their "delayed posting" policy, I corresponded with the Executive Liaison of the Office of the President of HSBC (located in Salinas, California) to outline what I assured HSBC was a clear example of arbitrary payment posting practices which would easily support a class action for predatory credit practices and fraud. After my correspondence, the HSBC's Executive Liaison reversed the late charge, and in writing asserted that as long as a Moneygram payment was made on a Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday BEFORE 4 p.m. Eastern Standard Time, that HSBC would credit said payment the FOLLOWING DAY. Otherwise, HSBC would not credit or post the payment for an additional 24 hour period at a MINIMUM.
Satisfied, at the time, with HSBC'S capitulation and reversing of the late fee as described above, I took no further action.
The problem, however, has reared its ugly head once again as a Moneygram payment made by me to HSBC on a Monday (June 29th) prior to 4 p.m. EST was NONETHELESS delayed in it posting by HSBC until Wednesday July 1st. The end result was that, once again, HSBC insisted on assessing a $30 late fee, DESPITE THE irrefutable evidence that HSBC in fact received the payment ON JUNE 29th !
What we have here is nothing less than an arrogant belief - taking the form of "official corporate policy" - that the posting of payments may be artificially delayed regardless of the consequences to the consumer who paid their bill prior to the date it was due.
I ask you - is this not predatory, fraudulent and flat-out illegal?
On July 4, 2009 (a legal holiday and a Saturday) HSBC engaged in more conduct which supports my position.HSBC'S fraudulent behavior becomes even more evident now that I have documented the fact that, ALTHOUGH HSBC REFUSES TO CREDIT customer Moneygram payments the same day they are made, but rather delays payment posting artificially in order to extort late fees, HSBC HAS NO PROBLEM PROCESSING AND POSTING MONTHLY STATEMENTS WITH INTEREST CHARGES, etc, ON ANY DAY OF THE WEEK, including HOLIDAYS SUCH AS JULY 4th, on which date HSBC had the audactiy to process and post my monthly statement.
HOW ODD THAT HSBC is unable to post payments on weekends and holidays, even when they are made PRIOR to the weekend or holiday, BUT HSBC is able to take the time to process and post monthly statements on Saturday July 4th and can do so in sufficient time for customers to view those statements on line the very next business day!
Simultaneously, I brought HSBC'S "delayed payment posting policy" to the attention of Moneygram, the company which takes my fee for electronically sending to HSBC my monthly payments. I asked MONEYGRAM the following question:
"Does it concern MONEYGRAM INTL that customers are not getting the benefit of what they bargained for when, DESPITE MONEYGRAM'S electronic transmission of a customer's funds to a payee, the payee REFUSES TO ACKNOWLEDGE receipt of said payment?
The point I am making is that MONEYGRAM is permitting their contracting "payee" (specifically HSBC Card Services) to reap the benefit of MONEYGRAM'S electronic funds transfer services while at the same time denying the MONEYGRAM payor-customer the benefit he or she paid for - namkely, same day electronic funds transfer.
EVERY OTHER CREDIT CARD COMPANY which contracts with MONEYGRAM and to which I send MONEYGRAM payments acknowledges receipt of the funds I send ON THE SAME DAY THEY SENT AND RECEIVED. ONLY HSBC CARD SERVICES consistently refuses to acknowledge that it has recieved said funds, and in fact HSBC represents to its customers that said funds are NOT RECEIVED FROM MONEYGRAM for up to 2 days after the funds are sent by the MONEYGRAM customer,
In essence, HSBC Card Services has, by virtue of its delayed payment posting/crediting practice and policy, made a mockery and a sham of the service that MONEYGRAM customers pay for. Since HSBC stands ALONE in its arrogant and illegal "delayed payment receipt and posting" practice, MONEYGRAM is indirectly being defamed, in that HSBC is telling its customers that MONEYGRAM fails to do what it's advertisements say it will do - namely carry out an EFT within minutes of the MONEYGRAM customer paying MONEYGRAM a fee for said service."
The law firm of Constantin and Cannon, PC in New York was lead counsel in a multimillion dollar class action SETTLEMENT against Mastercard and Visa for illegal credit fees imposed upon merchants. While the facts of the litigation pursued successfully by Constantin Cannon were materially different than the "delayed payment posting policy" carried o-ut by HSBC, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that they have the unique expertise necessary to hold HSBC accountable once and for by way of civil judgment.
On a final note, I have filed complaints with the California Department of Justice, Attorney General's Office, as well as the FTC. I think affected HSBC cardholders (of which, based upon the many posts on RIPOFFREPORT.COM against HSBC, there are literally thousands of ripped off cardholders) should seek legal counsel to intiate a class action.
Long Beach, California