Hayley (kayleighraven) wrote in bad_service,

It used to be that HSBC helpdesks were run by competant, well-spoken, efficient people who were a pleasure to talk to. But it seems as though they've been taking lessons from NTHell.

I've logged into my internet banking page a couple of times today. I needed to look at my transactions between two specific dates. The way I have always done this (since I started using internet banking over 4 years ago) is input these dates into the little boxes at the bottom of the screen. There has always been an earliest viewable transaction date above this - usually a year ago. But today the earliest viewable transaction date read 9th June 2005 which seemed to indicate I couldn't view my transactions last month! I first realised this morning but thought it must be a technical hitch so I waited a couple of hours and tried again. Same thing. So I call the Internet Banking Helpline.

My call was answered by a woman with an extremely thick indian* accent. I told her exactly what I was trying to do and what my screen said. She told me there is an option in the menu (which I hadn't noticed before) to "see my statement" and this lets me view each statement by month. I check this out while still on the phone and see that each statement only shows from the beginning of the given month to the end. There was no way to view 2 statements side by side and no way to switch easily from one month to the next. I told her I needed to view transactions from the middle of may to the middle of june and described the way I had always done this. She told me to go to the menu and select "see my statement" (exactly what I had just done). I tried again - "I need to be able to view transactions from the middle of may to the middle of june and I was always able to do this before..." then I explained my method again.

We went back and forth like this for about 5 minutes before she gave a large sigh and informed me she would put me on hold and "check my details". When she came back we started the whole thing again but this time she seemed to grasp the concept.

Woman: Close down all applications and try again in a while.
Me: *having given up hope of getting any help with the issue* Ok...
Me: Hello? (I could still hear someone on the line)
Me: ...
Woman: Close down all applications and try again in a while.
Me: ...how long am I supposed to wait?
Woman: Try again now.


So I log in again. Same thing. Then she spouted a big long garble of words. I managed to pick out "monthly statement", "statement date" and "function" and I'm fairly sure the rest was English but I have no idea. I told her I didn't understand what she was saying. She didn't repeat what she'd just said, she put me on hold "to check my details" again. When she came back she tells me -

Woman: No transactions are showing up over 9p. It's technical"
Me: Er.. is this problem was being worked on?
Woman: You have to wait a couple of days.
Me: A couple of days??
Woman: Yes.
Me: Ok..
Woman: Have you tried again?
Me: No... you told me to wait a couple of days
Woman: Yes. Have you tried again?
Me: *wtf??* You told me to wait a couple of days
Woman: No I said please enter a couple of dates into the box closer to each other but before the 9th of June.
Me: Uh... ok...

So I put in the dates 30th May 2005 - 2nd June 2005 and get an error telling me to make sure I didn't input dates before the earliest viewable...
Then she suggested I "close down all applications and try again in a while". I knew she was going in circles then so I told her I would try again tomorrow and went to hang up (this was costing me money after all!) and she said "is there anything else I can help you with?" I told her I didn't think there was and hung up.

WTF? Ok, there was a misunderstanding with the words "days" and "dates" but what the hell has gone wrong with HSBC? The whole issue wasn't that important - I just wanted to be able to view my transactions between specific dates. When she mentioned the technical error I was willing to accept that. Why did it take over 20 minutes to get to that point?

*note - I use the word "indian" here to describe an accent that was probably pakistani but I can't tell a pakistani accent from any other accent in and around india.

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