Do you want a Best Buy credit card? Will you shop at Best Buy this holiday season? Perhaps you should think again. Many customers say or think “This will ever happen to me.” Many customers are wrong.
Compared to other merchants who use HSBC for credit card financing Best Buy Stores Inc. seems to be slightly different. Mysterious charges appear on your bill. Debt Cancellation is one of those fees.
JA in New York said: “In 2007 I opened an account with Best Buy. HSBC has been calling me non-stop since then. I’ve made over $3,000 in payments and still somehow owe over $2,000. The amazing part is that I only bought $1,650 of merchandise. Can someone help me before they damage my credit any further?”
For over ten years payments have been credited one day after the due date. This problem is not limited to Best Buy, and appears to be a possible HSBC scam. (See our other complaints.)
In another case RK in Alabama reports “HSBC/Best Buy reported to the credit burea on ME on an account that is NOT mine but my estranged husband’s. HSBC insists I was added to the account BUT have no proof or my signature! What a company. The first (1st) letter I received from HSBC was in response to a dispute I filed with Equifax wondering why an item was on my file as it was not my account number.
Mary in Virginia said “I have a store credit card of theirs. They call roughly 7 times a day and my payment is not late. I went off on one of their supervisors and threatened a harrassment suit – I haven’t followed through yet, but so far today I’ve received calls at:
10:07am, 1:20PM, 4:15PM then from a different number at 4:18PM
The number they call most often from is 800-959-1373 or 800-256-4646”
Does Best Buy care about their reputation and damage caused by HSBC? Apparently not, and one of the reasons is that Best Buy gets a percentage of all shady charges, fees, and payments.
Has the govenment, either state or federal, made any effort to stop shady practies at Best Buy and HSBC? The answer is no, in part because you, as the customer, signed away most of your rights when you opened a Best Buy account.
Is the credit card worth the trouble? Most likely it is not. Will these problems happen to you, or will HSBC decide to attack your credit? Ask Jim in Idaho who says:
I changed address to a new one and never received the statement. I have six days to go before my payment is due and I called HSBC. They wanted to send me a new statement, thus causing me to be late. I had to pay 15 dollars to pay by phone. i find it very hard to pay HSBC as they only have in mind how to make you pay more for paying them.
Lets say you get a Best Buy credit card and purchase $20 of holiday music. When you don’t get a bill on time you will get a $39 late fee. When you do receive a bill and you pay on time, chances are good the payment will be credited one day late. Add $39 more. If you call Best Buy you find you cannot make a payment at the store. Call HSBC to make a payment and HSBC will charge you $15. Your $20 purchase now costs you $113.
Sooner or later your statement from Best Buy might show a $29 ‘debt cancellation’ fee. Now you owe $142, plus interest. Dispute the charges and see what happens. The law says everything is held in limbo until the dispute is settled. We guarantee that is not going to happen.
Do you want to shop at Best Buy? Ask a North Carolina resident who tried to return her merchandise:
We purchased a few Items from Best Buy. We paid $500.00 to this company. We received a statement saying we still owed $900.00 for a $599.00 & $224.44 fridge and over-the-oven microwave. We had it being held at the store and it was never in our possession, and we returned everything.
I called to see when we would get our refund and I was told that we were only getting $231.36 back and I told them I was going to turn them into the BBB and then I was told we would get a check for $370.86 that is still $130.00 short of what we paid in.
I was told to send in copies of the receipts and where we had paid and they would return the rest of our money.
Don’t do business with HSBC and Best Buy unless you want to loose money. You need to put people in place that know how to speak proper ENGLISH, not someone from another country who is trying to line their pockets with our money.
We were not suposed to have intrest rates with this account but they were rolled into the account. We paid $100.00 every time we made a payment and we were on time and we still had late charges. What a rip off company.
All of these complaints were received from different parts of the country before the holiday season. The number of complaints will skyrocket in February, as they do every year, because people do not heed the warnings about HSBC and Best Buy. Others think it will not happen to them.
Ask this Ohio resident what happened when he or she tried to make their first payment to HSBC / Best Buy:
I opened a Best Buy account. I signed up for online billing and went to pay the bill the day it was due. I found out it cost and extra $15 to pay it that day. I reluctantly paid the $15 (on a $10 minimum due).
I got online to pay the next month 20 days later and found a bounced check fee on my statement. I checked my bank and I had $2000 in my account and no indication of any bounced check. When I called HSBC they said I must have put the bank info in wrong. Twice. With the same mistake both times.
But for some mysterious reason it was right in the system when I read it to them over the phone.
One person said I wasn’t going to be able to make a payment for 30 days. Another said the payment I had just submitted online had been recorded. Both said it was HSBC’s policy to not inform customers if there was a problem with the bank account. They didn’t have the funds.
I pointed out they charged $15 for same day payments, $25 for bounced check fees and 20.99% interest. They could afford an automated email.
Clearly HSBC can and will tell the customer anything, even if it is not right. Why does HSBC do that? Because, as we said before, you signed away almost all of your rights when you opened the Best Buy / HSBC account.
Do you want to dispute the $25 bounced check fee? You cannot sue HSBC or Best Buy. You must go to binding arbitration. The cost can be as much as $5000.
Ask JH in Wisconsin about customer satisfaction, as she says:
I did an in store application for a HSBC credit card. I have not received the card and need to pay the charged amount before all the charges are applied to my card. I want to cancel the card. What can I do?
The answer – prepare for a big shock and a lower credit score.
Have you changed your mind about shopping at Best Buy Stores or applying for a Best Buy credit card now that you read this article? Perhaps you think you will pay off your Best Buy credit card with a better card from another bank. Think again, says Julie:
I tried to pay off my son’s account that he has financed through the rip off artists known as HSBC. I was trying to pay it off with one of my lower interest rate credit cards and was told by HSBC that they do not take credit cards as payments.
Lets return to the subject of making your payments to Best Buy / HSBC. Over ten years ago this same division of HSBC Finance, then owned by Household International, was fined $10 Million for credting payments as late payments. Now owned by HSBC, the same problem persists. Ask WP in Texas:
I have been charged for late payments at least twice, and the payments are on time. The latest was paid on 10/30/09, due date was 11/2/09, but was still charged 39.00 dollars late fee. I asked HSBC to remove it, they would not listen, or even examine the fault.
Review our website and you willl find hundreds of similar complaints. HSBC makes so much money in late fees that another $10 Million fine is small change to this lender. Even a $100 Million fine would be small change for HSBC.
Do you think mysterious charges will not appear on your Best Buy statement? As Calvin in Minnesota about mysterious fees:
To make a long story short, I purchased a HDTV from Best Buy and at the same time got a Best Buy credit card. I have made all my payments(thank god) to date even after becoming unemployed late last year.
Recently I discovered a recurring charge on the account (never noticed before) called debt cancellation! When I smiled and filed a claim it was denied. The reason given was “your claim was not filed within 180 days of qualifying event.” I have never seen a contract. Is this a scam?
Is what a scam Calvin? Your Best Buy account, debt cancellation, mysterious fees, late payment processing, bounced check fees, online payment fees, or all of the above? The answer is yes, according to many customers with Best Buy credit cards. All of the above.
Calvin is only one of many consumers upset by HSBC’s protection plan. One customer said:
“I have researched HSBC on the internet and found many angry ex-customers who claim that HSBC has charged protection plan payments to their accounts when in fact, they had not opted for the option. Other complaints found were like my own. A protection plan was accepted and later on activated due to job loss or other. However, the customer soon found that their debt had not been covered at all when it appeared on their credit report.”
Insurance and insurance scams can and should be investigated by insurance commissions in every state. Is this the case with HSBC insurance? Obviously not, says another customer, as abuse continues over the years:
I explained that I had paid into a protection plan and needed to contact the company who administered the plan. After much insistence, I was finally given the phone number of the company. I contacted the company, which turned out to be HSBC.
They could not find anything and stated that it was now too late for me to activate the protection plan. I argued that I had paid into the plan and had already activated it and that this was all done online and on telephone but nothing came of it and documents had been provided.
All subsequent phone calls to the credit protection plan department and Levitz proved fruitless. In the end, I refused to pay HSBC anything until they acknowledged the credit protection plan.
So, for the last couple of years, it has been sitting in my credit report doing much damage. Supposedly, HSBC closed the account in 2004 and sold the debt to Arrow Financial noting the amount at $5,826 in 2004. Yet a look at my credit report shows that they continued to add interest fees and late fees onto the account through 2009 showing a whopping debt of $11,144 for a purchase that back in 2001 that amounted to $2,500.
That is what happens when you stand your ground while facing possible HSBC fraud and abuse. The options are to accept the abuse, go to binding arbitration, or ruin your credit.
If we return to our hypothetical customer who purchased $20 of holiday music, who now has a balance of $142. More interest is added every day. Phone calls from HSBC continue, day and night, seven days a week. Your credit score is dropping every day.
Why does HSBC have a problem like those seen in this report? One former employee offers this explanation:
Household/Beneficial was full of incompetent people who were promoted into positions of which they had no idea why. Not based upon there performance or experience but because of sucking up. In the end, these people were actually believing they were special or talented and that HFC was forever. They bought nice fancy houses, new cars, with all the thrills and toys. Then, when it was all over and they were told they didn’t have a job, they were lost on why other employers weren’t seeing their talents or potential the same way. DSM’s out originating mortgages now, QAC’s can’t find a job, ISR’s finding out they really have nothing to offer in the real world. (see more)
The only division of HSBC Finance that remains open is the credit card division.
If you want to play with Best Buy and HSBC do it at your own risk. If you send us your complaint in February or March 2010 don’t say we did not warn you.