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Monday, May 21, 2012

HSBC/Capital One/Best Buy

In case you have been here before, you probably read something a bit different...something a bit more unprofessional. I am trying to be as professional as I can be on the blogs so I have removed everything that was written previously when I was emotional. Below, I am still angered as a customer, but not as angry as once before. Both blog posts will be changed. Sorry for any inconvenience this may cause anyone. Information about my experience will not change, only words and phrases that may be deemed inappropriate, obscene, and unnecessary.

I am a regular customer at Best Buy and have been all of my life. I have even encouraged many more people to come to the stores to shop for their items rather than other competitors because I value their stores and experience so much. I went ahead and applied for a credit card with them which I regret to this day. I got it so that I could get a computer at a great price and pay it off within a set amount of time and not pay out cash all at once. Plus, I figured that another line of credit would be great so that I could have money for Best Buy even if I didn't have any on me and I could improve my already great credit.

My mistake was not asking all of the appropriate questions before applying. I was so excited that I completely forgot to ask one of my most important questions, "Which bank/agency will be handling my card?" and I ended up sticking with their only choice which happens to be HSBC/Capital One (I am unsure of which company is actually handling the card but the last spokesperson that I spoke with was from Capital One, I believe.) My mom had dealt with HSBC in the past and my dad with Capital One and both parents dislike both companies and refuse to do further business with either due to their own personal experiences. I have my own now.

When I received my approval, the Best Buy associate congratulated me, gave me the necessary paperwork proving my approval, and told me about the offers, plans, and other features of the account, she also mentioned that any price above $400 would be marked down by a certain percentage and that my purchase would not include interest if paid off before 18 months. I was also told that while I wait for my card, I could make a purchase using my Social security number.

Later that day or in that week, I headed down to Best Buy and purchased a computer that was worth well above $400 which put me in this special spot for the additional features. Upon purchasing, the associate taking care of my purchase at the cash register also informed me that if I paid off the balance due within 18 months, I would not incur interest.

I took my laptop home and have been enjoying it since. I am not complaining one bit about the laptop itself, which would be my only purchase with the card, or anything involving Best Buy, the company. My complaint lies with HSBC/Capital One.

My first letter arrived congratulating me on being approved for my new card and included information about my card such as interest as well as the actual card itself. Note that there was no paperwork included that explained how much I owed, how to pay, where to pay, and how much time I had left to pay as is usually the case with any credit or debit card from any bank or credit agency, at least the ones that I have dealt with in the past.

Later in that week or the week following, I received, what I thought to be, my first bill from the agency. When I opened the bill, I was surprised to see what was included in my initial fee. Not only was I to be charged for the month for $X amount of dollars in monthly payment, but another fee was added...I don't have the actual paperwork on me at the moment...but I believe that the "late fee" was an additional $30. Not only that, I was also charged an interest charge, which two Best Buy associates informed me that I would not have to pay if my balance was paid off within 18 months. I presume that the interest payment came from HSBC/Capital One claiming that I was late on my first payment. I was angry but remained calm and contacted HSBC/Capital One customer service for help with this and to see if these charges could be removed seeing as how I never received a first bill previous to this one claiming that I was late on payment. I was tossed every which way being told that I did not have the right customer service until finally a woman came on who said that she could help. When I explained my problem to her, she reviewed my account and postal address and asked if that was the correct address, I replied with a yes and she said that there was nothing that she could do about the late fee charge. I was a bit angry but continued to keep my composure. I thanked her for her service and was about to hang up when she asked if I would like to make a payment over the phone. I politely refused and said that I would just mail in a payment. She was determined to get a payment over the phone and asked for my checking account number. I told her that I didn't have that information to give her and she then asked me for a debit card. I gave her my debit card information and she began to process the payment. She asked if I was sure about the total and gave me the total. I told her to charge me twice as much as they were asking and she said that that would be fine. When she read out the total, it was what I had said plus an additional $15. I stopped her and asked where did the additional $15 come from. She then explained that their policy was to charge $15 for processing a debit transaction. I just told her that I'd like to cancel the payment and just mail in the payment if that's what was going to happen. Determined yet again, she said that she could waive the $15 fee for this one time. I accepted and allowed them to charge my debit account.

Not a single bit of help was offered or tried for me to get that charge removed off of my account. No investigation was offered to me to investigate if I had truly received the first bill or not...I felt as though I was being cheated out of an additional $30 simply because they could do it and knew that I'd have no other choice than to pay them or else they'd ruin my credit history. My second bill arrived on time and I will be paying it with extra money. My initial payment has been posted and my second payment does not include any additional fees for being late. Once this is paid off, I am canceling my account. I refuse to deal with HSBC and Capital One after this experience and I am discouraging anyone else from joining any of their services too.

I have never appreciated being treated with disrespect, lied to, and cheated by a company. Once, Sprint tried to charge me $0.25 for a long distance call. I never made any long distance call and immediately contacted Sprint customer service who were happy and willing to work with me and did, in fact, remove the bogus charge from my account. HSBC/Capital One, on the other hand, refused to do so, did not admit fault, nor try to appease me nor tried to investigate to determine whether or not I was wrong or right. I do not appreciate this and I will not stand for a company or continue to do business with a company that acts in this way.

I would not encourage anyone to join with HSBC or Capital One for any of their services based upon this experience.

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