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Shockingly high fees
A HSBC card holder K.V. told reporters that because of her urgent need for a September 2016 bank statement and has not yet received the statement via email, she called HSBC’s switchboard to request assistance on March 6, 2017..
After several attempts, she finally reached the responsible staff, only to know that she must pay $4.82 for printing the two-page statement and wait for at least five working days to receive the document.
The majority of domestic banks print bank statements for customers at very low prices ($0.22/statement period), or even free.
“Once I requested Vietcombank to print six whole years worth of statements, and I only had to pay $2.41,” V. shared.
According to HSBC, the fee of $4.82 for printing bank statements for each period is meant to encourage customers to view their statements online.
Many customers commented that beside printing bank statements, other HSBC services are also among the most expensive in Vietnam. For example, HSBC’s annual fee ranges from $15.35 to 52.63 per month, foreign currency exchange fees go up to 4 per cent (this fee in other banks is 2.5 per cent), and the interest rate for borrowing through card is 27.8 – 31.2 per cent a year, etc.
International bank, poor services
Beside the exorbitant fees, customers complain the most about HSBC’s poor servicing attitude.
According to Thu Hoai, a former HSBC card holder, customers usually have difficulties contacting the switchboard. Even when customers are put through, they still have to call several other numbers to finally reach the right person. This is extremely costly and time-consuming. Many customers are afraid that in case they lose their cards, difficulties in contacting the bank would increase chances of losing money.
HSBC card holders have also experienced unbelievable accidents. V. said that previously, HSBC sent bank statements to her monthly. After a while, she suddenly stopped receiving statements, but instead was contacted by phone by a debt collector. Only in August 2016, when V requested a bank statement, did she find out that for the past five years HSBC had been mistakenly sending her bank statements to a stranger with the same name.
“A so-called international bank whose services and information security is even worse than domestic ones’,” V commented.
Another customer shared that he was once mistakenly contacted by a HSBC debt collector.
This is not the first time customers have complained about HSBC’s service quality. Last year, Lam Viet Vuong Quoc (District 1, Ho Chi Minh City) lost his credit card and was stolen $830. When he contacted HSBC, he received a splash of cold water in the face as the staff said outright that “this would not go anywhere.” After eleven days of going without a response from HSBC, he directly went to the bank and was promised to have the problem resolved shortly. However, that evening, he received an email from HSBC stating that unfortunately it would not deal with the case nor send report to VISA, and suggesting that he should make a report to the police about the money loss.
“From the receptionist to the customer service department, no one showed any sign of support or will to protect the customers. The risk of using HSBC credit card is too high. I was too late to realise this,” Vuong Quoc said.
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