Hsbc, Best Buy and Their Credit Card Rip Off

HSBC and Best Buy

I visited my elderly mother the other day, and she asked why she paying on interest on her Best Buy credit card, when she was supposed 18 months no interest. I asked to see the statement and here is what I found. She was not paying interest, she was being charged 1% of her balance for payment protection. If you didn’t know before, payment protection or credit protection is designed to pay for all or a portion of your credit card bill in the event you lose your job, or source of income. So people that are in their working years, it can be helpful, but for those that are retired it does not make much sense. My mother is retired and collects my father’s pension as well as social security and has over $400,000 in assets, mostly cash. The chance of her losing any income is non existent; the pension she receives is a Federal Government Pension for 30 years of service. Even if she did lose some income, the money she is not using could replace her income for the rest of her life. I really don’t think she needs payment protection.

She could have paid for the TV in cash if she wanted to. Now her expenses are far lower than her income, but she considers herself living on a fixed income and only uses her social security ($550 per month) for living expenses and lets my father’s pension ($1700 per month) sit in a savings account, and tries not to use it. So she went with the 18 months no interest deal, she figured she would $50.00 month and slowly pay off the TV.

As I said earlier she really did not need payment protection, and I told her that when she applied for the card. She also told the young man that she did not want payment protection nor did she want the extended warranty. Well you guessed it, somehow payment protection got on there. The other problem, she did not tell me about the “interest” on her account, and I did not feel it was necessary for me to look at all her monthly statements, it went 14 months before we found out.

Called Best Buy Customer Service and HSBC Customer Service

First I called the Payment protection company and had it cancelled, and then requested the past fees refunded. They kept saying they have a signed copy of the application, which by the way was entered by the Best Buy employee, on a computer, where she signed a signature capture device. The employee went through and she declined the protection, but the employee forgot to uncheck the selection. I requested a copy of the application to check the signature, as of now, it is 1 week later, I have not received it.

I then called HSBC, that is the bank that services the card for Best Buy. After telling them what happened they said the same thing. I then requested again, the signed application, now I have requested it from 2 sources and I still do not have it. I then Best Buy and yes, got the run around again.


My Conclusion

In my opinion the Best Buy’s name is on the card, they have responsibility to their customers to ensure they are not being ripped off and serviced properly. This obviously is not part of their mission. I know HSBC services the card, but it is Best Buy’s reputation they are tarnishing.

Also HSBC is at fault, because they want to blame the payment protection company. The representative I spoke with also said since my mother was retired, really did not need the protection, but kept saying that there is a signed copy giving permission.

In conclusion Best Buy and HSBC are not customer friendly, they will take advantage of you and apparently the elderly to make a buck. Companies such as HSBC that do things unethically gives the entire financial a bad name. This bugs me especially since I work in the financial industry. Although there is not much I can do about it, I can report about it. I can bring it to the public. How can we battle them, first we could stop shopping in Best Buy. This is difficult for me, because they do have decent prices, not always the lowest but decent, and really they are the only game in town where I live. We could cancel all HSBC cards and all store cards issued by HSBC. And I can keep reporting the deceptive and unethical practices of both companies.

This is not the only story. Check out this link (http://forums.bestbuy.com/) and scroll down to “Customer Service” (4th from the bottom), and read their stories. Credit can be a wonderful thing, but it can lead to problems as well. just be becareful.

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Comments 25 comments

Linda Webber 6 years ago

My Dad recently passed away at 92 yr.old and we found out that at 84 he took out a loan on his paid off home for $72,000 at 10.5% for 30 yrs with a Home finance company that has practically went out of business except for payment paying.There was no life insurance policy.I'm curious as to just how long did they expect Dad to live?I have been in contact with them since Dads passing, waiting for the dust to settle and sending them al the paper work they have been asking for.They acted like no big deal.So,now I called to ask them to send me the payment information so I could resume the payments .I was asked if I had received the accelerated paper work for the foreclosure yet ? Last night after the phone call I sent a check they will have to sign for.Today,I received the foreclosure notice.

It really is looking like to me they had wanted Dads home along.This is one home that is worth more than what is owed on it. Had the home crisis not happened the potential forDads home would have been much greater. This appears to me like a case of elder abuse.If an adult child or care giver took advantage of a Senior they could be prosecuted, so why is it ok for a business to get away with it?


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 6 years ago Author

Sorry to hear about your father. The bank assumed that the mortgage would be paid off after selling the house. Now the idea of sending a foreclosure notice after finding out of your dads passing is b.s.

This is a great example of making sure we all know what our elderly parents have, not just in assets but in debts. Especially during this whole crisis when rates dropped to 5% and less, why did they not try to make contact. Even if your parents don't want to tell you, it is important to continue to talk to them and find out. Let them know you want to know about anything the kids will have to take care of.

Are they willing to work on refinancing at a lower rate to help? If not contact your congressman and start complaining, and become a nuisance to everyone. It's time for this to stop, aren't they making enough money.


Guest 6 years ago

I work at Best Buy and I process applications for the Best Buy Credit Card. The only way they would charge you is if you signed yes for the debt cancellation program. Even if by mistake the associate did put in the computer that you wanted it on the first 3 bills you would not have been charged for it and it would have reminded you to cancel if you have been charged. If you get the papers saying that she signed 'no' then HSBC will have to credit it back to you. Hope this helps, if not call 1-888-Best-Buy. They are pretty good with issues such as this.


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 6 years ago Author

Thanks for the response. I called your corporate office and talked to someone there. Unfortunately they couldn't do anything, as I mentioned above. And you may process applications but it doesn't take brain surgeon to figure out that a 70 year old retiree does not need insurance which covers payments in case she loses her job. I worked in retail for over 10 years, I process credit card apps there as well as in my current position. It's called doing what is best for your customer. That is one insurance the elderly do not need, it is just a profit center for the card companies. With that said, when I am sitting right there, do you not think I would have said no. Which means that I told them no for her, I expected it to gone, so I did not double check, because I figured the employees were competent.

As for seeing it on the bill, thought it was interest, remember she is 70, and I am not in the habit of checking over every bill when I expected it to be correct. Apparently you are younger, because I never really saw anyone working there that looks over 30, you will see how credit card companies work. I worked for Chase Bank as well, and I know how they make their money on credit cards.

As a merchant with your name on the card, it is ultimately your responsibility to take care of your customer correctly. If you did there would not be a customer service department. Funny in my office, I don't have a customer service dept, my staff makes sure the customer comes first, even before the company sometimes. And guess what I have a lot of customer referrals and ranked in the top 10 of my company. I am only beat by larger banks.


Someone 6 years ago

It was a mistake... It doesn't make it a rip off. If the employee typed in the wrong info and she signed it then it was a mistake. But how is the customer service people going to prove or disprove it? If it went for over a year they might think that YOU are trying to get your money back for a service. Do you understand what I'm saying? It is unfortunate that this has happened and the employee was in error but I think you are going a bit over board to say it's a rip off when it is a legitimate service.


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 6 years ago Author

I understand what your saying, but you have to understand the elderly do not always know what every line on a credit cards statement is. Perhaps I need to look over every piece of mail to ensure things are ok, and actually at this time I do. It is the ability to use common sense. I sell credit cards in my business as well, I also know enough not to add the protection to accounts for the elderly, they have no use for it. And yes I get paid to sell the card and service. The service is used in the event that you lose your job or something happens where you lose your income. I don't see an elderly person on social security or a pension losing their income. Therefor in this instance, it is a rip off. The customer service rep should have used common sense and not worry about lining his or his companies pocket. He may not have been paid for it but rest assured the company was.

But then again maybe she could lose her income, maybe government will run out of money, oh wait, they just print more. But she could lose her pension, then again she has a government pension, refer to the last statement. And in my opinion, if you sell a form of insurance to someone who clearly will receive no benefits and their family will receive no benefits or will never use the service, you are just as unethical. Common sense people, use it.


Ryan 6 years ago

I work at Best Buy, and trust me, whoever set your Mom up with the credit card didn't try to rip her off. The employees make absolutely nothing from adding the account shield. I know when I hook someone up with a credit app, I could care less if they decide not to go with the account shield. Yeah, for some people it is a very useful option, for others like your Mom, it isn't needed. But unfortunately the employees are told to give everyone the option of account shield, and I mean EVERYONE. I'm sure that getting put on there was just an honest mistake.


Wow... 6 years ago

If you, or your mother indicated that the credit protection was not desired, and it was added to the account, oops it's a mistake. It is the responsibility of the consumer to know what they are signing and agreeing to when they use credit, that is just the way the world works, and if you work in the financial district you should know that... What about reading a bill? I assume your mother looked at it, at least long enough to determine how much she needed to pay. I find it hard to believe that a 1% interest charge could be missed, especially now that there is a separate line on the statement that shows interest to date. If it's a 0% interest agreement, then that should remain $0. I don't see how one party is at fault in this more than the other.

As for the store clerk, how is he/she to know what your mother's financial situation is? I have a 70 year old grandmother that still works, she doesn't need to but she enjoys applying the skills that she's accumulated during her life. There is no way to know that your mother has 'a government pension', or collects social security(I believe that SS can be deferred until 72?), or has 400,000 in assets(mostly cash, that's great maybe she should use it, a $900 TV is hardly worth the $3 in interest that she is going to make over the course of 18 months).

I'm just saying that there is no way you can hold anyone else accountable for this situation if you cannot hold yourselves accountable first.


heartless one 6 years ago

HSBC Account Shield not only cancels the remaining balance after loss of income but would also wipe out the remaining balance if the old wench were to die... sounds like it does apply to her situation and cannot be deemed useless.


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 6 years ago Author

Ryan and Wow, as I mentioned earlier alot of elderly people will receive a bill and just pay the bill, they don't understand all the things on the bill. Being in the Financial Industry has taught and shown me that. Not all of the elderly want their kids going through their bills, they want to do it themselves. Have fun checking every bill your parents get at that age, its harder than you think. I look at her bills every few months, otherwise she takes care of it herself. The Financial Industry taught me that too. I also meet elderly clients everyday that will open CD's a bank they never banked at for .50% more interest. (On a $5000 CD that is $12.50, and that does happen.)

Actually on $900.00 interest saved on a credit card that charges 9.9% is $133.00. Now since the new Federal Regs went into effect, the average credit card company is charging 19.9%, which would be $268.00 over 18 months. The best credit gets the 9.9%. Now my mother has a product that is paying 5%, guaranteed for 5 years (purchased a few years ago, that same $900 will make another $67.00. Now if she puts it in a savings account add a $1.00.

How do you think the elderly in a good financial position made their, they were taught not to pay interest. Our generation was taught that interest is ok. As I said, I sell credit cards every day, that is part of my job, but there is a thing called full disclosure. The agreement terms and disclosure given when you apply fulfills that, but honestly do you read them. You expect the clerk to be able to tell you the important things. Account shield is one of those.

Incidentally what is the percentage payout on the death claim. My guess very small, since not many people will know about it. Not all payment protection plans have that, it's the first time I heard of it on that program, but then again I don't sell HSBC. So simply at time of sale it should be mentioned what it is for, and asking a simple question, "are you on a limited income?" "could your income stop?", "it also covers cancellation at death." Store clerks don't know this. In my opinion they should not be selling a financial product, they have no clue on how it works. Again common sense.

I encourage you to google (or now bing) "Best Buy Account Shield" or "HSBC account Shield". You will find out just how good HSBC is. Also, do you know why stores want a branded card? With a branded card, people will spend more money at that company.

Thank you for your comments, they are appreciated.

Awareness is strength.


fred 5 years ago

you guys are idiots if you think best buy is at fault here, lets look at whos the real enemy in this and every other situation in this country, its the credit card companys and banks that are bleeding this country dry, people need to wake up and realize the gioverment doesn't control the county, banks and credit card companies do, so place blame where blame is do, The problem lies with HSBC


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 5 years ago Author

Fred,

You hit the nail on the head. The problem is with HSBC and the other credit card companies out there. Best Buy is not innocent though, they allow their name on the card, they are not faultless. They receive a kick back from HSBC, otherwise, why would they allow it.


kate 5 years ago

That same thing happened to me! They sent me a 'signed copy' and it wasn't my signature, it wasn't even my name. I couldn't believe it. I had to hand-write a letter giving them proof before they refunded it!


ekwant 5 years ago from California

The main problems people have with signing up for any type of credit card is they do not ask for advise from someone not connected with the credit card company. Any time you sign a contract, you should first have a friend or family member check it over. Most of us do not have paid lawyers to help us and many do not realize that the document is a legal contract. People also need to check their credit history on a regular basis. The elderly are easy victims of credit abuse. Because they think they are able to handle things on their own, they usually do not ask for advise.

When I first took out my Best Buy Credit card, I made sure that I could check the on line account to keep up on things. With in 3 months there was a charge for Metro phone service in Texas and I am in California. I do not even use Metro. I called Best Buy right away about the identity fraud and at first they said I had to prove that it was not my charge. I countered with turning it over to my attorney if they did not do their due diligence on their end. I told them that my proof was that I had been in California the entire time, I used a different cell phone, and I had not been in Texas for 35 years.

Right away they checked it out and sent me the link to down load, sign and fax in that the charges were not my charges. With in 3 days the charges were removed and HSBC had canceled that card and re issued a new card to me. They then told me that the HSBC main drive had been compromised and they had to issue all new cards to all their Best Buy customers. That was more then 5 years ago and I have not had any problems with them sense.

People have to be on top of things before they get out of hand.


Aaron 4 years ago

There are a few things that its seems you left out of your story.

The Account Sheild Plus protection plan not only will cover payments in the event of involuntary unemployment, but will also cover if the product has been stolen or damaged in a flood or fire. I've heard many stories of people mistaking that coverage as a replacement for best buys geek squad services. This is not the case. In the event of the product being stolen or dameged in a flood or fire the remaning balance on the card will be dropped (only with proper documentation). This plan can also be dropped for a full refund but only within the first 2 months of having the card.

As far as for the employee "mistakenly" signing her up for the plan, that is not the employees control. On the application the employee processes, the checked box says that they have fully explained the offer. It is then the customer's decision to accept or deny the offer on the capture pad. If they accept the offer they are asked to sign for a second time.

Now the terms and conditions pamphlet must be presented to the applicant in order to sign up for the card because it is impossible to run the app without the 4 digit federal code that is written on it. With this being said, She was given the pamphlet.

Lately today there seems to be too much of not reading what your signing. Take the time to read the fine print. Heck you can ask the person running the application to read it for you if you so please.


Harold Mays 4 years ago

Thanks for the tips about credit repair on this site. The thing I would tell people should be to give up a mentality that they buy at this point and shell out later. As being a society we all tend to do that for many factors. This includes vacation trips, furniture, and items we wish. However, you should separate your current wants out of the needs. As long as you're working to raise your credit score you have to make some trade-offs. For example you can shop online to save cash or you can click on second hand suppliers instead of costly department stores intended for clothing.

http://debteliminationstrategy.blogspot.com/p/debt...


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

Well, I just got a notice that HSBC who Best Buy had me signed up with is now facing a massive class action lawsuit about this coverage they have been tacking on. Not to mention HSBC is not such a well-loved company by others who have had unfortunate experiences with them.....

Here's more:

http://www.wnd.com/2012/07/scandal-plagued-hsbc-sh...


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 4 years ago Author

I got the same notice myself.


ekwant 4 years ago from California

I got the same notice too.

I do not carry a credit balance. I pay my account off every month. I'm not affected by the interest rate.


Doodlehead profile image

Doodlehead 4 years ago from Northern California

ekwant..

.obviously you are a superior human being.


austin 4 years ago

Hear is some advice, READ WHAT YOU SIGN, this is in no was best buy's, or the employees fault. As a best buy employee, I know for a fact that it does not give the employee any power what so ever to approve the protection, it clearly says the terms and conditions of the protection on the keypad and the options "no thanks" or "accept" and again the best buy credit card is amazing, if you ended up with a problem on the card it is almost always YOUR fault meaning you are in no way responsible enough to have a credit card.


Nana 4 years ago

Does best buy actually believe people will shop in their stores after Capitol one sent out notices to all card holders to announce their interest rate increase? I don't believe many people will shop at best buy with an interest rate of 25.24% APR. So "what's in their wallet?". Apparently a load of crap with no ethical conscience. The high interest rate is even for customers with outstanding credit. How nice for them to let us know just before Christmas. They should change their name from Best Buy to Baah Humbug Buy!


bgigstead profile image

bgigstead 4 years ago Author

The rate increase is not Best Buys fault, that belongs to Capital One. Best But is probably getting a deal for letting Cap One manage and service the credit accounts. Additionally Cap One is not the only one that raised rates, all of them are doing it. Yes I do believe people will still shop, considering 55% of all swipes transactions are qualified credit (non rewards) cards and of that 77% of those are debit cards.

With credit card reform someone has to pay for the loss of profits the credit card companies suffered. That's us and they do it by raising fees and interest rates. A society based on credit Is what we created ourselves thus the underlying fault is ours. Use the cards for the immediate purchase and pay off within a month or two Should be the plan.


Lynne 2 years ago

BS to all of you that say that Best Buy is not ripping off its customers!! I am in the SAME EXACT situation with them.. I have called more than 35 times and still have no resolve!!! I refuse to pay the bill and now it is affecting my credit!!


Abigail 22 months ago

That insight solves the prlmeob. Thanks!

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