Posts Tagged ‘HSBC’

HSBC gets it wrong a second time

Monday, March 14th, 2011

Today, I received a second letter from HSBC, claiming once again that they sent me a Statement Available Alert on January 13, despite my twice providing proof that they did not.

They also claimed that they were not in violation of the Truth in Lending Act because the Act only requires them to make statements available on their Web site at least 21 days before the payment due date. I.e., the law does not actually require them to notify customers that their statements are available and they have a payment due.

It turns out they’re right… I also received today a letter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency confirming that the law does not require banks to send electronic statement notifications to customers who agree to receive their statements on-line.

In short, customers who agree to save the bank money and help the environment by not receiving statements on paper, lose the protection of the law when it comes to requiring the bank (or not) to notify them about payment due dates.

Here is the letter that I would send back to HSBC were I willing to waste paper, an envelope and a stamp on it (the HSBC “Executive Liaison” with whom I have been corresponding has not provided either an email address or a fax number, and I refuse to waste my time conducting business of this sort in telephone conversations):

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HSBC takes its cue from the “we’re a large corporation and we don’t care about you” playbook

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

I’m not going to bother to reprint the response I received from HSBC to my recent complaint. Instead, I will reproduce the response I just sent them:

25 Foster Street
Brighton, MA 02135-2616

February 26, 2010

[name elided]
Executive Liaison
Office of the President
HSBC Card and Retail Services
P.O. Box 80026
Salinas, CA 93912

Dear Ms. [name elided],

I have received your letter dated February 18 in response to complaint #[elided] which I filed with the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Your letter does not in any way address my complaint.

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HSBC figures out clever money-making strategy: don’t email statement until after payment is due

Friday, February 11th, 2011

My wife and I have a Jordan’s Furniture charge account issued by HSBC NV, a somewhat shady subsidiary of HSBC with a history of predatory lending and suspicious practices. They issue “private label” charge accounts for Jordan’s and many other retailers.

We have a balance on the account under one of their frequent “buy now, pay later with no interest” promotions, which they offer to virtually anyone who is eligible for a charge account. As long as we make the minimum monthly payments on time and pay off the entire balance before the end of the promotion, we will pay no interest. However, if we are late for just one payment, the promotion is canceled automatically and we have to pay a high interest rate retroactively back to the day we made the purchase.

We are signed up for paperless billing on the account. Instead of sending us a paper statement every month, they post our statement on their Web site and send us email notifying us that it’s available.

Several months ago, that email never arrived. (more…)

Do we have a Jordan’s PowerCharge account, or don’t we?

Tuesday, April 13th, 2010

My wife and I recently visited Jordan’s Furniture to look at mattresses.  While we’ve had our problems with Jordan’s in the past, Mattresses are definitely a commodity item, the Jordan’s “sleep techs” really do seem to know what they’re talking about, and their mattress prices are quite reasonable.

We have a Jordan’s PowerCharge account which we opened several years ago, and we had planned on using it to buy a mattress as well, to get the zero-interest financing.  While we were at the store, we asked their office to check if the account was still active, and they said it was closed after two years of inactivity and we’d have to reapply for a new account.

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