Understanding the Best Buy HSBC debt cancellation fee

Debt cancellation really insures the store, not the consumer, who is generally dead at the rare times the policy is invoked. The store gets paid, even when the consumer is no longer in a position to care. As with credit insurance, consumers should always decline the product, says consumer advocate Birny Birnbaum, from the Center for Economic Justice.

“This does nothing for consumers,” says Birnbaum, who is the former chief economist of the Texas Department of Insurance. “It’s 99 percent profit for the companies. Just say no, no, no, no.”

There is a great article on MSNBC about same-as-cash offers like those from Best Buy and HSBC. Read it here for more details on this ‘too good to be true’ financing.

What happens if you declined debt cancellation, but now have a valid contract that forbids lawsuits and holds you to binding arbitration, only to discover a debt cancellation fee anyway? Then you have a problem, and it becomes a “he said – she said” problem with little or no proof.

The best way to protect yourself is to do your homework first. Best Buy is relying on the fact that you will not do so.