On HSBC fighting card fraud with the wrong tools (III)

Hobbes, I just received a reply letter from HSBC in regards of my complaint. They keep saying that declining to accept my online purchases was the right thing to do because

They received confidential information that [my] Credit Card could be compromised for fraudulent purposes.

And they failed to notify me until I try to use my card online. Well, not then, they just declined the transaction, and I quote, “purely in the interest of fraud prevention” and called me the morning after.

Again, their reply doesn’t answer the obvious questions.If they knew that my card was “compromised for fraudulent purposes” (whatever that means), why didn’t they block it before I used it?

If they knew, why didn’t they let me know until I tried to use it online? Crouching tiger, waiting for his prey? C’mon!

After so much nonsense, at least they’ve got the honesty not to expect much from themselves and

Whilst I understand that your faith in our service has been affected, I do hope you will allow us the opportunity to restore your confidence in the near future.

So they don’t even expect me to put my trust in them now, today or after reading the letter. Nope. Just in the near future.

Following Elisabeth Kübler-Ross work on the stages of grief (denial, anger, negotiation, depression and acceptance), already deep in the mud of the credit crunch, banks seem to be on the negotiating step. They don’t yet acknowledge how badly they are treating their customers, but at least their communications are not as arrogant as they used to be. First the overdraft fees, then the credit crunch, what is next? Realising that without savers there is no business? They can only go so long without lending money, that is their livelihood.

So, listen HSBC, going back to basics (happy customers) makes sense. But hey, I guess that when one is a global bank and Asian operations are booming… who cares about customer services in the UK? Chinese clients don’t even know what that is, let along demand for quality service.

I loved this week’s German President Horst Köhler commentary on the finance world and its last storm:

We have to hold up a mirror to the finance world. They have deeply embarrassed themselves. And I still have not heard a clearly audible mea culpa.

I think I will join him in the wait.



2 Responses

  1. I must agree that HSBC has the wrong security measures in place and that they actually hurt the customer more then anyone else. I too have had several issues with HSBC not approving a online purchase. Yes, I too received no notice from HSBC until 15 hours later. If this was truly a security issue it is done very poorly.

  2. John, and how about those insisting phone calls I get every now and then from them? I contacted them and apparently there was nothing wrong with my accounts, but later on I received a letter from them telling me that they had been trying to contact me with no success! Weirdos.

    As a last resort, I am trying with Nationwide now, apparently they offer free withdrawals abroad (and that includes the massive 2-3% mark up on currency transactions), from what I hear, they seem quite reasonable.

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