If you know me in the 'real-world'... Keep it to yourself.

Do NOT tell my friends and family about this blog!

This blog is a work in progress. Eventually, when it grows up, it wants to look pretty. Or maybe dark and dangerous.

Hmm... well come back later and see for yourself...

If you want to contact me but are a) too chicken to leave a public comment and
b) too lazy to look up my email address from my profile
use the form below.

Email Address:

Monday, January 05, 2009

HSBC Credit Card - Part One

This is something I've got to share...

The sad saga started more than a year back. Some guy walked into our office and asked if we wanted LIFETIME FREE HSBC Credit Cards. I wasn't too keen but since everyone was applying for one I did too and soon I was the owner of a LIFETIME FREE HSBC Card. [The capitals are there for a reason.... read on]

I received a call even before I got the card saying that I would also receive a free add on card. I specifically said I DID NOT want an add on card. I mean, what would one of me do with 2 cards?

The person on the phone said okay, the add on card would be cancelled and yet after some time I found that 2 cards were delivered. I should have figured out how attention deficit they were right then. I would have refused the second card but I wasn't sure that it would be a good idea to leave the card with the delivery guy!

Anyway, I have no idea where the post office is so I never did send that card back. Why the hell should I have to pay and take trouble for their asininity.


Fast forward a few months. I used the card a couple of times but found that it was a big hassle paying the dues. The card statements would come almost on the due date and then I'd have to scurry all the way to town since they didn't have any branches nearby. They also didn't have any cheque pick up facility... c'mon, how antiquated are they?!?

Anyway one time I was 1 day late with one payment. I was actually standing in their atm but could not pay since I didn't have my atm pin. So I'm on the phone with their customer executive and he's telling me there's nothing he can do to help me. Then the talk somehow turned to the fact that the card was a free card. I had this warning chill down my spine. I asked him point blank if I would have to suddenly pay something for the card. He asked when the expiry was I said towards the end of 2009. He said I might have to pay some charges then. I told him I didn't need a card and I'd sooner cancel it than choose to renew it.

Anyway, after that I got fed up with traipsing all over town to pay my dues so I paid them all off. In fact I paid about 172 bucks extra, and then I promptly forgot all about the damn thing.

Today I checked my email.. (thank you God)... and I found that they'd sent me a credit card statement. I opened it, something I'd ordinarily never do.... I mean why would I open a credit card statement for a card I haven't used for months. A card moreover where I have paid EXTRA!!!

But I opened the statement expecting to see what I'd seen last time... the pleasing sight of money owed to me by a credit card company.... BUT.... you know what's coming up right....
apparently I owed them 3000 bucks!!!!

I was shocked. My card was right in front of me. Had someone managed to get it out of my purse without my knowledge...

I frantically checked the details, only to find that they were as follows:

Membership fees - Rs. 2000
Add - on fees - Rs. 1000

I was furious at first. I called up their customer care line intending to rant and rave, but some poor SOB was lucky the damn thing was closed.

So I vented out my ire in an email.

Then I checked online and apparently this is a common scam of theirs. Promising "LIFETIME FREE" cards and then very quietly adding membership fees.

Now I feel it's my duty to see that someone who can't afford it doesn't become a victim.

So now... here I am... with a brand new 'new year' resolution... SCREW HSBC

Now I don't want their card or anything from them even if they paid me.

I'm strongly tempted to make a voodoo doll called HSBC and stick pins into it.


Anonymous said...

HSBC sucks... most credit card cos do but HSBC is one of the worst...

SwB said...

And here I thought HSBC was one of the better Credit Cards. I havent had any problem swith Citibank though.

KD13 said...

@ Denise - I agree completely. Only ICICI is worse I think.

@ SwB - I'm sticking to HDFC cos I have an account with them. But if it wasn't for the fact that credit cards are necessary for online purchases, flight tickets, booking movie tickets online etc I'd get rid of that too...

Credit Card Money said...

You Know I am really sick to all of the positive reinforcement this company gets in the media. It is the fifth largest Bank in the world. I hope they fall like hell through this financial crisis

Anonymous said...

Valuable info. Lucky me I found your site by accident, I bookmarked it.