It’s simple. HSBC call themselves “the worlds local bank” but they are anything but.
For the second time in a few years HSBC has f**ked up my holiday by cancelling a wrong card, mis-informing me and then being unable to do anything about it.
How is RBS able to deliver a card to me in 72hrs yet HSBC the ‘worlds local bank’ unable to do it AT ALL. I even pay for an “advance” service. Apparently, even as a “premium” customer you’d still not get a new card in a timely manner, they can only send them to your home address or to a branch – and it takes 7-10 days.
Why is it that one of the globes largest, most profitable banking groups is unable to deliver a new card to a customer within a timely manner? especially when Royal Bank of Scotland managed it within 48 hours?
There have been all manner of reasons I’ve been given – last time I was even told “it’s illegal to send a VISA card to another address, it’s not HSBC’s fault it’s VISAs” (evidently from RBS, that is a lie).
So I was told it was impossible. Then I called again, this time it suddenly WAS possible, but provided that I had manager authorisation… but it would still take 5 days.
They finally suggested a Western Union transfer. I then went on a wild goose chase to a Post Office in France, which didn’t exist, as HSBC gave me the wrong details. Western Union called and said the nearest place was 50km away. With no money and it now being already 5pm, that was not an option. Eventually I then went to another post office, having found it via my pigeon French, but it was not possible to get the cash.
HSBC had suggested that might be the case, due to French post offices apparently not liking to accept transfers from business (?). In addition, even if they DID, the Western Union system had been broken all day today and yesterday in this area apparently, so I could not even get a friend to do a personal transfer.
More wasted time. We’re up to 7 hours thus far, having missed yet another day’s skiing – and the costs associated with doing so.
VISA Emergency Cash Delivery
After more calls, I finally spoke to someone at HSBC who seemed to have a brain, and give a sh*t about my situation. Let’s call him “Ben”.
Ben said he would organise an emergency VISA cash delivery – this involved yet more telephone calls. VISA called me and I spent another 20 minutes organising it giving details. She gave me a reference number. They said they would liaise with the bank and call back.
3 hours later, no call. It’s now 8pm. The number the VISA girl gave me does not work, so I check their website. The UK number repetedly cuts me off thru the automated process. I call the USA. They trasnfer me and after 20 minutes I speak to someone finally. The reference number I was given is wrong. Thankfully, we guess the mistake and I get the right number.
VISA inform me that they dont have authorisation from HSBC. More waiting. I also am told that when they do get authorisation, it wont be a cash delivery, but it will be a Western Union transfer.
This whole experience becomes more and more surreal and ridiculous.
I get transferred twice in HSBC and speak to a “Karen”. She informs me HSBC has no request from VISA. She say’s she’ll look into it. She also says that it won’t be cash but an emergency card.
The Emergency Card
Where did this emergency card appear from? Only 24 hours ago, it was not possible to get one. Now my 500 euros emergency cash, is a card. “Karen” say’s she’ll sort it out and call me back. At 8pm, the prospect of eating in the next 12 hours, looks like zero.
I’m still without money in France and as I write this, pretty damn hungry as I haven’t eaten all day. I’m cold and fed-up.
Parity of Conduct
When we make a mistake, such as go overdrawn when unauthorised, the banks slap up with a charge. Yet when the banks make a mistake or are negligent, ruin my holiday, use up my time, cost me money via calls, lost events not to mention the stress and discomfort (I had to walk 5km up a mountain in -5 centigrade in the dark, after my card stopped working). I twisted my back and knee walking on the ice, the accident also reigniting the sternum injury I had from two years ago, as the violent twist put a great strain on my ribs.
Is HSBC going to pay me for that personal injury or the affect it will have on the rest of my ski holiday? Were it not for their negligence I would not have been walking up an icy road, in pitch dark, in freezing conditions to get back to my accommodation – French drivers by all accounts don’t pick up hitchhikers.
HSBC are terrible internationally; simple as that.
I will be writing to claim compensation for this injury, trauma and stress. I’ll update this post with their response.
Right now, I’m going to open a new bank account elsewhere.