The stupidest F#@K&^! phone banking menu I have EVER come across, period. It is so INANELY AND RIDICULOUSLY IDIOTIC that it’s funny in the extreme. That a bank as large and supposedly GLOBAL as HSBC would have such an absurd dead loop is beyond me. And I once worked for them, I am bemused to say.
Not more than an hour ago:
Marketman: Opens courier delivered envelope with my new credit card. Old card not expired but cancelled by HSBC because of suspected internet fraud, and there were issues with phone banking a few days ago when I tried to call in…
Marketman: Follows instructions on letter to call 85-808 to “activate” the new card.
HSBC Premier Recording: “If you are reporting a lost or stolen card, Press 1, otherwise stay on line… so I stay on line…”
HSBC Premier Recording: lots of choices to look at accounts, credit cards, etc. but NO, ZERO, NADA OPTION for activating a card.
Marketman: Screams at phone, partially aghast as I wasted 30 minutes the other day trying to figure out how to speak to a human when there were no choices to pick for a card that was being suspended on suspicion of potential internet fraud.
HSBC Premier Recording: Keeps going and asks me to pick things I don’t need. THEY NEVER ONCE MENTION THE OPTION TO PRESS ZERO FOR A HUMAN.
Marketman: In desperation, and vaguely recalling my previous battle on the phone days ago, MM pounds on the ZERO key to no avail the first time around. It isn’t recognized as an acceptable option. Then I pound on it 3, 4, 5 times and FINALLY get transferred to a queue of several minutes waiting for a human.
HSBC Premier Phone Banker (human): “Good evening, this is Sasha, how may I help you?”
Marketman: I want to activate my card. MM then answers Sasha’s 6 questions to make sure I am real and authorized. Credit card number… Name… My birthday is… My Name of spouse… Name of child… Name of branch… My shoe size (no, I jest)… But even some of this is ridiculous, the phone system asks you to type in the card name, asks for your birthday if you don’t have a phone pin, so asking it verbally is superfluous…
HSBC Premier Phone Banker (human): “Your card is now activated.”
Marketman: “Thank you, but wait. Can you now tell me HOW WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BLOODY ACTIVATE A CARD IF YOU DON’T HAVE A SINGLE OPTION ON THE PHONE BANKING MENU TO DO SO??”
HSBC Premier Phone Banker (human): “Yes sir, I understand…. we are working on putting that option… this is a frequently encountered issue… we have had other complaints (I paraphrase, and that is not verbatim, but it is the jist of the exchange).”
Marketman: “Isn’t that just mental? Stupid? Ridiculous? You actually acknowledge that there is IN FACT NO STATED OPTION FOR ACTIVATING A CARD on the system? And that if the caller doesn’t figure out by osmosis that he or she has to pound on the zero key repeatedly that they will be cut off from the system again and again?”
HSBC Premier Phone Banker (human): “Yes, sir.”
Marketman: “Hold on, my wife Mrs. MM needs to activate her card, she just dialed up on another phone and the system cut her off. Can you at least do that for us?”
HSBC Premier Phone Banker (human): “Yes.”
Marketman and Mrs. MM: Hangs up once both cards are activated.
I’m sorry, but this is 2013. Phone banking has been in use for perhaps a decade or more. What nitwit put the current HSBC Premier Phone Banking menu in place that DOES NOT HAVE AN OPTION FOR ACTIVATING A NEW CARD WHEN THE LETTERS TELL THEM TO CALL 85-808? And on the same vein, the same phone banking system has no option to discuss a card that is suspected of internet fraud, when it is HSBC that texts the client about the issue and asks them to call 85-808? Working on it they say? For 4-5 FRIGGING DAYS? Surely this is a matter of some significance and the folks at phone banking can change or amend the script with some haste. Hundreds of irate clients calling in daily are met with the most FECKLESS sounding and acting menu of choices. UTTERLY ABSURD. INEXPLICABLY STUPID.
The person in charge of that particular phone banking script should be FRIED, oops, I meant FIRED in my personal opinion only. If they can’t write a script that is complete, that is relatively logical and easy to use, and that includes all of the likely categories of things callers are going to need, then they SCREWED UP BIG TIME. It’s not only unprofessional, it smacks of not having been vetted or reviewed by managers who were on the ball either. With dozens of people noticing this GLITCH over the past few days (that I know of, possibly weeks for all I know), you would think they could get this fixed ASAP. Or at least insert an option to tell people to press ZERO if they need to talk to a human. Imagine the angst dozens of phone bankers are going to endure as hundreds of clients point out this glitch in the system? Good grief folks, what century are you operating in???
SO THE MORAL OF THIS STORY??? When you need to get a human on the line at HSBC, pound on the zero key repeatedly. Believe it or not, they NEVER give this as an option, I just figured it out in a fit of frustration.
AND A WARNING TO ALL BANKS OUT THERE… Credit cards and their associated services (or lack of them) will be your achilles heel for premium clients… It is the weakest link in a client relationship, and the one that will get clients to move the bulk of their business to banks with real service.
P.S. If any HSBC executives out there are reading this post, and there is a high chance of that happening, I called in at around 8:30pm on Wednesday, 18 September 2013. You can check the recording for a totally accurate take on the call. You know the name of the HSBC phone banker from up above and can easily figure out which client this refers to… :)