Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Banking Blues...

If you thought this service from citibank was is something that takes the cake...!!!

Here is a snapshot of an actual transaction I have been having with HSBC for over many days…

The back-drop: Sometime in March 2007, HSBC decided to award me a Gold Credit Card in view of my excellent repayment track-record for my existing home loan with them – which has been in existence since 2005. Don’t ask me why they didn’t bother to send the credit card earlier for so long. The world’s local bank was probably sleeping all the time... For some strange reason, I decided to keep it too… basically deciding to consolidate the bunch of dealings with one bank and do away with my Standard Chartered card and HDFC cards… So I sent in the response coupon that came along with the card with a copy of PAN card back to HSBC for activation of the card about 3 weeks ago.

3 weeks gone, several calls made to their call centre – yet the card has not been activated. And here’s just a snapshot of some amusing conversations I have had (over email/online and Phone) with the “Customer Service Executives” (they should rename them as Customer Harassment Executives). The wordings are a close reproduction of the actual exchanges as I recall them…

Me: I am waiting for the activation of my card – I sent in the request for activation 3 weeks ago. Why has not this been activated yet?

HSBC: Yes sir!! We have received your request and its been sent to the concerned dept for processing.

Me: But I talked to an exec earlier who confirmed that the card has been activated. I went to an outlet and it was rejected.

HSBC: Yes Sir… your card is activated.

Me: Then why did it get rejected at the shop when it was swiped.

HSBC: Sir, it will work after activation.

Me: Urrrrgh… So it is not activated yet…You just said it is activated.

HSBC: Please be on hold…(hold for ages and back with same confusion)… Sir your card activation has been sent to concerned department.

Me: So when will it get activated.

HSBC: (Again put on hold…) sorry to put you on hold…Sir please send us your response coupon and PAN Card copy through post or drop it at any HSBC drop box - and we will activate it within 2-3 days.

Me: But I have already sent the activation coupon and PAN card copy and you confirmed its been received.

HSBC: Yes sir…

Me: So then why another response coupon and request…?

HSBC: (again put on hold)… Sir, please send us a scanned copy of response coupon and PAN card over email to with reference no 1954556.

Me: Urrgh… how can I send it to you. I already sent it once.

HSBC: No problem sir…just send us a scanned copy of response coupon over email.

Me: Is this rocket science? I told you I don’t have the response coupon anymore because I sent it already to HSBC. So how will scan it for you?

HSBC: Yes sir…that’s right sir. But we will need the response coupon for this activation.

Me: Darn!!! You don’t get it. Why the hell do you need all this anyways? What are you trying to validate/verify from the response form.

HSBC: Sir, your PAN card details, address etc needs to be recorded.

Me: Damn!!! You already know my address – you sent me the card on it. What the hell? I am an existing customer of HSBC – have had a home loan from HSBC for over 2 years now. Why isn’t verification enough?

HSBC: (again put on hold)… Yes Sir, you are an existing customer and seeing your record with us only we have offered you this Gold card.

Me: Good… so why the fuss over a response coupon for verification when you know who I am already? So can u get it activated now…

HSBC: No sir… we need the PAN card copy and response coupon for verification to activate the card.

Me: To hell with your card. Just cancel it… I don’t know why I even bothered to ask for activation. I have a bunch of cards already – I better not bother with this anymore. Please cancel it.

HSBC: Sorry Sir… I will file an issue on this and one of our senior executives will call you in 2 hours. Is 98xxxxxxxx your contact number?

Me: Yes… but forget it. Just cancel it.

HSBC: Thank you sir… We will call you back.

It’s been 3 days… yet HSBC’s 2 hours haven’t ended yet. That’s the World’s local bank for you !!!

Actually wait... my experiences with ING Vysya Bank have been the extreme case of worst service... So they take the cake. More on that later...


How do we know said...

ha ha.. seriously.. my net banking with HSBC is not working for over 2 months now, and i hve also spent these 2 months with assurances of "it will be done soon"

the Hell with them!

!!! said...

I have been receiving 2-3 calls each day from some delhi call centre.. and each time the story is same

"Sir, we are pleased to inform you that you have been sent a Gold Card which you must have received by now. This call is for activation on the card. Please give us..." and I just blast off each time.

Dumbo's dont even check how many complaints I have filed already about it...