Corporatism Part 2- HSBC Is A Pain In My Butt And I Hate Them

For an interesting documentary about corporations and some of the good and harm they have done, I highly recommend the film “The Corporation“. I ordered this documentary from Netflix and found it interesting. You may have noticed a trend in the world, or at least in the developed world, toward large corporations exerting vast control over our lives and affairs. These corporations are often run by people with a lot of power and influence (See Enron: “The Smartest Guys In the Room“, also available from Netflix.

Not all corporations are bad or evil, and not all are working toward government favor in their operations. I’ve done business with some corporations that make it very easy to work with them. Then there is HSBC: the absolute worst mortgage lender I have ever dealt with.

I’ve had two properties, and I’ve refinanced my current house several times. Normally I’ll use a mortgage broker who will work out a deal with a lender who will shortly sell off my mortgage servicing to another bank. This time, we got sold to HSBC. I don’t like them very much at all. It seems to me that they pay consultants to create business processes that make it as difficult as possible to do anything with HSBC.

Our mortgage payment is due on the 1st of the month. That’s pretty normal. My wife and I use Checkfree as our web bill pay service. In November, my wife logged in a little bit late to make the payment on time, so she scheduled it for the 14th which was the soonest Checkfree claimed they could issue the payment. The payment arrived at HSBC on the 13th, but was postdated for the 14th so HSBC returned it. Then they called me asking where my payment was. My wife assured me that she paid the bill. When HSBC calls you for a payment, they are not willing to let you off the phone until you take out a credit card and make that payment. I don’t know about you, but our budget most months doesn’t exactly allow us to make 2 mortgage payments, so I demanded to speak with a manager, said I would look into it, and called Checkfree. They explained that the check had been returned to them and set up a conference call between us and HSBC. It took more than 30 minutes to convince HSBC to make a note on my account that the check was in the mail, but they said they would charge a $30 late fee. I tried to appeal the late fee, but they said it couldn’t be taken off my account until the payment arrived so I would have to call back.

After the payment showed up, I did call about the late fee. The Indian call center representative I spoke with didn’t understand at first, but tried to encourage me to send a fax. I wanted to just deal with it over the phone, but they insisted on a fax. Guess what? They declined my appeal over the late fee. OK, you bastards, you and your billionaire stockholders can keep the $30. I’m sure you need it more than I do.

Try calling HSBC. There is not a single option in their entire phone tree to speak to a customer service rep, and pressing 0 will just get your call dropped.

My wife got the idea to try to make our mortgage payment with our Rewards Visa. I tried calling their office today to make a payment, and they’re closed.

HSBC is an example of a corporation that thinks it’s your privilege to do business with them. They seem to intentionally make everything as difficult and painful for the customer as possible. They are unreachable unless they are trying to extract money from the customer.

The next time I refinance my mortgage, I will not do business with any broker who does business with HSBC. IF I could only go back to Washington Mutual…

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