Egg vs HSBC

If I’ve ever had two completely different customer service experiences, it’s been with banks today – Egg and HSBC.

Egg

First up, Egg.

I’d basically made a major blunder with my Egg account. After taking up a balance transfer special offer, I’d forgotten to change the repayment options, meaning that I repaid it back to where the transfer came from originally within days – so I’d been charged a transfer fee for nothing. I discovered my gaffe this morning and also realised that the offer I’d taken up expired on the 30th September. If I wanted to do it again, I’d be charged another transfer fee and also be charged at an APR 4 times higher than the one I’d signed up for. I was kicking myself.

So after calling myself all names under the sun, I rang Egg to see if there was any other offers coming up.

“Hello! Thanks for calling Egg” a mans voice cheerily answered. I was slightly taken aback as I wasn’t completely sure if the voice was a recorded message or not. It did turn out to be a recorded voice which then asked me to say my postcode. This is where I thought it was going to be one of those situations where you spend ages saying things like “Cambridge” and it replies “I think you said Tower Bridge. Is that correct?”.

But amazingly it wasn’t. I said my postcode and it got it straightaway. Then it asked my name, which I thought would be a good test, but it also recognised that first time. All the other security questions went equally smoothly and I was most impressed. In fact, when I got through to a real customer services person I told her just how impressed I was with it. It’s not often you say that about VR systems.

Anyway, I explained what had happened and I could tell she was one step ahead of me. “Hang on a minute or two and I’ll see what I can do she said”, a few minutes later she was back and told me she’d reverse it all, waive any extra charges and it’d be like my mistake never happened and I’d be on the super low APR. Within ten minutes, she’d sorted my mistake out. She didn’t have to and I was very, very impressed that she did. Marvellous result!

HSBC

Then it was onto HSBC.

My HSBC credit card expired at the end of September and early last week I rang them up to see where my replacement card was. “We’ve sent it to a branch in Peterborough. Did you not get the letter we sent?” she said. “Err, no, I didn’t get any letter. Can you arrange for the card to be sent to a branch closer to me?” I asked. “No problem”, she said and took the details of the branch I wanted it to go to. She sounded a tad incompetent, but I didn’t think anything of it.

Today, I go to the branch and queue for ages to pick it up. “Sorry Sir, we don’t have your card here”. Arrrgh! I explained to the chap that it was supposed to be redirected from Peterborough and how I’d arranged it all over the phone the previous week. He rang the branch in Peterborough, who didn’t have it either or any record of ever having it. He told me to call the customer service number that I’d called the previous week. So I did, and they denied having any record of my request. Great! So I’m now without a credit card.

Since I was in the branch at the time, I queued again for the customer service woman. After 30 minutes, it was my turn. I explained the situation and asked if I could have any extension on my current account overdraft due to my lack of credit card. She told me that an overdraft extension application would take 40 minutes and she wanted to go home in 30 minutes, so I’d have to come back another day or call the customer services number. I wasn’t happy as I’d already been in the branch a good hour.

When I got home, I gritted my teeth and rang HSBC customer services yet again and once more explained the story. The chap told me they’d charge me £25 to extend the overdraft, despite the reason for the extension being their own fault.

They’ll charge me £25 for having an unauthorised overdraft, or £25 for the privilege of an official temporary authorised overdraft? Hmmm! I politely told him to ram it and hung up before I said something I might regret. I’m going to get charged either way, so what is the point?

It would seem Egg don’t do current accounts, so can anyone recommend a good bank that does? I’ve been with HSBC over ten years, so I think it’s time for a change – even if it is really inconvenient! And no, apparently Carlsberg don’t do banks – I’ve already asked.

Rant over.

Comments on: "Egg vs HSBC" (5)

  1. Ok, bit of an update on the HSBC saga…

    A few days after I posted the above, I opened a new account with Alliance and Leicester. They just seemed to offer a much better deal in pretty much every way when compared to HSBC.

    Anyway, I wasn’t planning on closing my HSBC account just yet in case the grass wasn’t actually greener. So today I went into my local HSBC to collect my problematic missing credit card. I’d given them another ten days to redirect the card (they’d actually told me it’d take 5-7, but frankly I didn’t believe them so I left it a little longer to be totally sure).

    Guess what? They still didn’t have it. What a shocker. So, I spoke to the customer service lady (who’d previously told me she wanted to go home). She rang people – lots and lots of people trying to find where it was. I wasn’t expecting the excuse story she finally came back with…

    Basically, my new HSBC credit card has been destroyed in a flood way back in August (!!) – along with 65,000 other renewal cards.

    Do I believe that? Haha… yeah right.

    Fortunately, with my new A&L account already open and my patience exhausted, I was able to politely tell them I was going to take my account elsewhere. The customer service lady wasn’t at all surprised.

    To say HSBC are totally incompetent, not just in one, but mosts areas of their business is frankly an understatement.

  2. hsbc sucks in canada too…..

  3. Marianne!! Blimey, where have you been hiding?! :-)

  4. me?!?!? you’re the one who disappeared! i’ve been very insulted

  5. and aren’t you supposed to say “Cor Blimey!”?

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