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HSBC / &credit card& that's not a credit card

1 United States
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I bought some stuff at casualmalexl. great store. they offered me a discount by entering the purchase on a "casual male xl credit card." I took it and within a week got a credit card in the mail that says casual male xl on the front. on the back it says clearly "" on the paper it was attached to it says to call [protected] to activate the account or for customer assistance. that phone answers as "casual male xl" and directs me to the same “” website. I go there and set up an account, entering all my personal information, takes several minutes. but when I check to see my statement of account, there's nothing there! the only reference to credit cards is "add credit card," which is for visa, mastercard, etc. - in other words, set up a completely new form of payment with them.

I call casual male and am told that the credit card I got has "nothing to do with casual male. it's completely separate. that's hsbc. their accounts are completely separate from casual male."

Note, they’re talking about the credit card that has casual male all over it and their website, and no reference to hsbc. no hsbc logo at the bottom right, nothing. well, on very careful inspection, at the top left on the back side there’s tiny white print that says “hrs1012 (09/05).”

I call the original 800 number again and wade through the menu, entering my card number and the last four of my ssn, and finally I get to speak to a human being. i’m told that to see my statement, I have to go to hsbc’s web page,, not casual male. so I go there and, again, put in the account number from the card and my zip code, and then i’m told that I have to set up an account. they already have an account for me, I entered the account number - but I have to set up an account! so I enter all my personal information, name address age sexual preference birthmarks ssn etc etc and when I click submit i’m told that my login already exists. this is a very unusual login that I use for all my accounts, so I call up hsbc again on the phone.

I wade through the menu again and finally get to speak to a human, who asks me if I have another hsbc account. I remember that I had one for best buy, one of the most horrid credit experiences i’ve ever had. he says that account is blocking me from entering my username login and that I have to create an entirely new account. I ask him why the old account hasn’t been deleted, as I paid if off years ago and said “close it.” he won’t answer that. he just keeps telling me that I have to reenter a new account. I keep telling him to answer my question, and he won’t. he infers that I don’t understand him.

I hang up and check my old records for the old login to my old best buy account and try that out. it no longer works. I remember that one of the problems with that account was that I had to keep changing the user name and password because they would never work.

I call hsbc again and go through the routine with another person, getting more and more upset, and she puts me on hold to talk to a supervisor. I wait over 20 minutes and when someone picks up, it’s not a supervisor. I tell him how i’ve been waiting and he puts me on hold and I only have to wait another 5 minutes to talk to a supervisor. she tries to explain things to me like i’m an idiot. she says it’s impossible for them to do business any other way. how could I possibly direct my payment to the right store, if they didn’t ave completely separate accounts for each store? I ask her how other credit card companies do it. can you imagine having to have a completely different account for every different store where you used your credit card?

She explains to me, like i’m a four-year old, that this “is not a credit card - it’s a merchant account retail card.”

I tell her they should be out of business if this is what they call customer service. it would take about an hour to set up a system where I could log in to hsbc with one login and then choose what store I wanted to pay off, if that’s what they need. I tell her I am going to pay off the balance, and I want all trace of me erased from hsbc’s records forever, all accounts closed.

She says she can close my casual male account. I ask, don’t I also have an inactive account? I want that closed too. she says “we have you on file, ” but I can close the active account.” I say, “what about the inactive account? I want that closed too. and all the merchant and affiliate and non-merchant privacy agreement stuff, all that cancelled. I want nothing more to do with hsbc.” she says the inactive account will be closed too. aha, I say, you do know about the inactive account.” “i’m sorry if you misunderstood me, ” she says. “I didn’t misunderstand you, ” I say. “you’re just not talking straight to me. you knew I had an inactive account, but when I asked you if I had one, instead of saying ‘yes, ’ we’ll close that for you too, ’ you said, ‘we have you on file’ and started talking about the active file again what is wrong with you people? why can’t you talk straight?”

She wants my address so she can send me a notification of closure. I give it to her and she says she’ll get me back to someone who will take my payment. she puts me on hold and after about 5 minutes I get someone. she takes my info and I make sure to tell her again that I want to opt out of all the privacy agreement stuff, and briefly I tell her that i’ve been with hsbc for about an hour already and just want to pay it off and then have nothing more to do with the company, and she’s all customer-service nice, sorry you’ve have a bad experience, thank you for your feedback, and finally she asks for my payment info and I give her my master card number.

“sorry, ” she says. “we only take checks.”

So I dig out my checkbook and give her the routing number and account number and a check number. and then she says “there will be a $15 charge added to your bill for taking payment over the phone.”

I explode. “no way!” etc. she puts me on hold and checks with her supervisor and returns to tell me that she can’t take the $15 charge off, but she has approval to recredit it after the payment comes about two days. I get her name (brandi) and rep number (b7t.)

I’m waiting for a statement of account. if the past is any prologue, the charge will still be there, along with a lot of other crap.

The next time anyone asks you to enroll in a "credid card," ask them if it’s hsbc. it so, say no thank you. it’s not worth it. hsbc sucks, bigtime. nothing but profit leeches. they should go out of business, the sooner the better.


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