EECBs are scoring direct hits on HSBC and Best Buy. Reader Chad was having the same problem with his Best Buy credit card that reader Jason wrote in about. After he saw Jason’s successful EECB he launched one of his own. Reade Chad’s letter and Best Buy’s response inside.
I read your article about the EECB sent to Best Buy about the “Account Shield” used on the Best Buy Credit Cards. I kind of dealt with this in March and April and decided to give the EECB a try.
Here’s what I wrote:
My name is Chad [redacted] I’ve been a long time customer of Best Buy.
Best Buy has always been my first choice when it comes to consumer electronics. I almost always buy my video games, music, movies, and etc at my local Best Buy.
I happen to be an active reader of The Consumerist. I recently read about a Best Buy customer that was sucked into an Account Shield service that was automatically enabled once he signed up for a Best Buy credit card. I learned that this is a type of insurance for the purchases used with the Best Buy card.
In March, I believe, I called the Best Buy customer service line to get more information on this. After getting transfered a couple times I was connected with someone and asked what this “Debt Cancellation” was. The person was explaining it and after they finished I told them that I wanted to cancel this service as I did not need it. They kept saying why I needed to keep this service only to have this explained to me why I need it. I decided I would try my luck with someone else at a later time.
In April I gave the customer service line another try and was met with the same situation from before. I had to be a little rude and interrupt the employee I was speaking with to tell them that I did not want this on my bill anymore. I was relieved to finally get that removed from my statement, but now I’ve ran into another problem.
After reading the article posted on The Consumerist I decided to take a look at the online statement for my card. I was looking over my statement and seen that the promotional rate that ended this month actually ended on May 8, 2008 and I was charged interest on my previous balance. I had just sent in $400.00 to pay off this promotional amount yesterday with an electronic check from my bank, Chase, only to see that I had already been charged because the promotion ended. What I don’t understand is why this ended on the date it did intstead of my bill’s due date. This date was before I had even received my statement.
Now, not only was Best Buy profiting off this Account Shield that cost me $20 a month which I did not sign up for, but I was just charged $75 for not paying a bill that was due 20 days before my actual due date. I estimate that Best Buy made an extra $175 off me just because I decided to sign up for their credit card and make quite a few large purchases at their stores.
Today, I spoke with Shabham through the customer service line. I was trying to get some information on my current balance and had a question about the recent purchase I made using my Best Buy card. I wasn’t sure if this Account Shield was going to come up again or not. I had a hard time understanding him. I thanked him for his help and wished him a good day.
I’ve never had a problem with Best Buy until these last few months. The in-store customer service has always been great when it come to returns which defective products. Recently, with the Account Shield problems setting me back about $100 and the random date of my promotional six months no interest ending setting me back about $75 from what I’m told, I’m not sure how I feel about Best Buy anymore.
Here was their reply:
Dear Mr. [redacted]:
I am writing in regards to your email dated May 23, that you directed to the multiple Executives of Best Buy. The Executives have referred your correspondence to my attention to investigate and respond accordingly.
I’d like to apologize on behalf of Best Buy for any difficulties you may have experienced regarding this matter, but I appreciate the time you took to voice your concerns to allow the company an opportunity to properly address them. Indeed, Best Buy values this sort of contact as it provides the corporation with important feedback to make decisions regarding its future direction.
I am sorry for any disappointment that surfaced from this situation. As you are probably aware, Best Buy’s credit cards are administered through HSBC, and you can contact the latter for any questions or concerns relating to your account via the customer service phone number referenced on your billing statements. Since I do not have direct access to your account for privacy reasons, I forwarded your complaint to my contact within HSBC upon its receipt to look into the issue. She reviewed your file and told me that HSBC’s records indicate that you first called the organization about the Debt Cancellation program on March 11, 2008. According to the documentation from that interaction, the Customer Service Agent explained the benefits of the program to you and you decided to retain the service on the account. The next note regarding the Debt Cancellation benefit was on April 5, 2008, and the coverage was cancelled at that time. As of that date, you were charged
$108.56 in Debt Cancellation fees, but my HSBC contact waived these charges and assured me that no additional fees will be assessed for this coverage since it was cancelled.
Regarding the promotion, your particular incentive expired on May 8, 2008, as you mentioned, but payments were not received to pay off this plan by that date, so finance charges of approximately $72.80 will be charged to the account on June 1 when the statement cycles. However, since you initiated a total of $400.00 to pay off the plan, my HSBC contact will make sure that this amount pays off the promotion for you and waive the finance charges as a courtesy (when they bill in June).
Thank you again for allowing Best Buy to respond to your concerns.
Please let me know if you have any further questions or concerns. [redacted]
Senior Executive Resolution Specialist
Best Buy Corporate
As you can see they pulled through and helped me out by crediting me $180. This has been my only problem with Best Buy and they fixed it for me. They have kept my business.
I want to thank Mr. Arrighi for doing everything he did.