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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Bad Customer Service Experience From the HSBC Credit Card

I have been in dilemma on whether to post my bad experience with the customer service from HSBC but in the end I decided to post my story here so that more people are aware of some of the bad services by certain banks, and this is not limited to HSBC. If I have bad experience with other credit card issuers in the future, I might post it here as well.

I know that not all customer service are perfect, but at least what they should do is to provide the best customer service that can satisfy their customer.

Being the HSBC credit card user for about four years, I feel that HSBC has been doing alright to retain and to satisfy their customer. Why? Because there was once that my dad has lost his wallet and we called to block the card, and immediately the CS offered to send a replacement card and he received his card within three days. However, my experience with the replacement card is totally contrast with what my dad has experienced.

Ok, the following is what I have been experiencing and I am actually still waiting for my replacement card when I am posting this. The whole fiasco actually began somewhere in mid of August, think it was 19th of the month if I can recall properly.

First of all, there was a fraud transaction which HSBC manage to catch, which is good and leads to my credit card blocked with the promise of delivering me a new credit card within few working days (three working days was what I heard on the phone conversation). Granted, it did not happened and so I called the CS and was told by another CS rep that my card was not issued and will issue it and deliver to me in about another few working days.

Few days past, I called again as I have yet to received my replacement card, and the CS told me that I have to wait for another few more days and if I still have yet to received the replacement card, call back to the CS to check on the status. This loop goes on for like few weeks, I keep calling and getting the same reply over and over again and in the end one month past, and guess where is my card - answer is still in hyperspace.

I know that there is a holiday season during the Hari Raya and the Malaysia Day. But the holiday season is just one week, and it has been a month since this thing started. If I got my replacement card a week later than expected, then it is understandable, but now it is a month and best of all, I still don't have the replacement card.

I am really curious on what are the actions taken on Pos since the CS are talking that the Pos people are responsible for it? Is it the correct way to ask the customer to keep waiting and calling and there is no action taken?

I'm not saying that I am a big user of the HSBC credit card, and that I am desperate for the card, but, I am most worry that someone has took it and start charging it without my knowledge. Does it really make sense for the credit card issuer to use a normal mail that is without tracking to send out credit cards to their customers? Is this one of the cost cutting measure by HSBC? If the card was sent via courier services, the CS would have know where the credit card is, now, all of them are not sure.

Ok, let me do a comparison here. I am also credit card user from another bank, say the bank is XXXX, and what I like about XXXX is that the credit card was sent via a courier service. What I like best is not just that, when the card actually sent out from XXXX, I got a message that the card was sent and I should be expecting the card anytime.

Now people, we know that credit card is an important stuff that should not be sent using a normal postal service that the issuer or the customer cannot track on the status of the delivery. What if the card actually landed to the wrong hand and people starting to charge the card? Who is going to pay for it? The CS told me that we have to call the CS to activate the card, but what if the "hijacker" is very good in social engineering and manage to crack out the activation process?

In my opinion, credit card should be delivered via courier services no matter how costly it is to do so. It is just plain stupid to use normal postal service and just plain dumb reason saying that most customer prefer to get their credit card via the normal postal service instead of courier service. I'm saying this because when I asked about why it is not delivered using courier service like last time when I first have my card, the CS reply me with the dumbest reason that anyone could have think off.

So, after reading my story, one might asked, why not just terminate the card? Well, that is because I am waiting refund from another merchant which is why I cannot terminate it at will and in fact this is also the reason why I do not want to have the replacement card re-issue as what the CS just told me recently. In the meantime, I have no choice but to wait for weeks after weeks for my card that is still in hyperspace, until the merchant has refund me.

Anyway, this has really prompted me to think twice in renewing the credit card service in near future and in fact prompted me to start blacklisting the credit card issuer, although it used to have the the best service among all the credit cards that I have been using.

With other banks' services and privileges are slowly catching up and higher credit limit, given a choice now, I definitely have no qualm in terminating the HSBC credit card.

I seriously hope those customers that are facing the same issue as me will do the same, though I will educate potential credit cards user not to select HSBC as their choice through my blog and word of mouth to all new hires in my company.


  1. I have the similar experience with the world's local bank. (huh!)

    It took them four months to acknowledge my specific request via the customer service team and two months on the replacement credit card. I have not received my credit card yet.

    I could have just walk away and switch to another bank but this will not do justice to myself (after the 4 months being mistreated by their poor standard of service.

  2. JonW,

    Wow, that is really bad. I thought I am the only one facing the problem as their customer service told me I am one of the rare case. Maybe the best thing you can do is to report them to Bank Negara Malaysia or even write to newspaper like The Star to get their attention, but not sure it is working or not as I went through the same process, and my comment was not published, but Bank Negara Malaysia told me they are doing something.

  3. I also heard the same experience as you had.. That is really disappointing. By providing poor customer service negative word-of-mouth can spread very quickly in the community...
    Small Business Answering service

  4. Unbelievable. I never thought that some reputable companies still have poor customer service. And we must keep it in mind that there is a golden rule in customer service and that is to "do unto others as you would have them do unto you." That if you treat your customers with respect, they will treat you back with respect also. So no wonder why you guys said that because that's what you've been really experiencing.

    In other reputable companies, they are known to have great customer service. They trained everyone in the company especially the call center people on how to deal with the customers and how to be effective in giving client's needs.