Robert Lewis was once a resident of Hong Kong. The man, while living there, opened up a bank account with HSBC Bank. However, when Mr. Lewis left Hong Kong in 2011 for Wagga Wagga, Australia (where he currently resides), he stopped using the account. Last April, though, he tried using his ATM card and realized it wasn’t working because of a security upgrade. When he tried accessing his account online to get a new one, he learned that he was not allowed to because he didn’t have an internet security device. As the South China Morning Post reports, trying to get an HSBC internet security device would lead Mr. Lewis on a very long journey.
Mr. Lewis learned that to get a device, he would have to travel to a branch to change his address in person. This meant he would have to travel to the larger city of Sydney to do so. And so, the education consultant made a 10-hour round-trip from Wagga Wagga to Sydney. When he arrived at the branch in Australia’s capital city, he filled out a change-of-address application and had it approved by two HSBC employees. At this point, Mr. Lewis thought he was good to go. He was not.
Only a couple weeks later, Mr. Lewis was informed that his change-of-address application had been rejected because his signature didn’t match the one on his Hong Kong records. This forced Mr. Lewis to fly to Hong Kong to take care of it himself. This not only meant flying to Hong Kong, but also, again, driving from Wagga Wagga to Sydney to catch his flight. While there, and after visiting more than one branch, he was finally able to change his home address and get his internet security device.
Needless to say, this 38-hour, nearly 10,000 mile journey has soured Mr. Lewis on HSBC. "This has cost me an incredible amount of time and income, inconvenience, stress and anxiety,” the Australian resident told the South China Morning Post. “It is hardly the thing you expect from an international bank." He is asking the bank to pay for his needless travel. HSBC, meanwhile, has apologized to Mr. Lewis but would not provide comment to the Post.
More info: South Morning China Post