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Hsbc, Best Buy and Their Credit Card Rip Off
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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.
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.