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Does HSBC really care?

I was injured when I followed the instructions to retrieve a jammed deposit envelope from the deposit machine at HSBC’s branch in St. Andrew’s.

The bank belatedly enquired about my state of recovery but certified that “… no technical problems were present on this machine”, concluding “that the likelihood of injury resulting from proper use of the machine is very unlikely” but “… formally apologise(d) for any injuries that (I) may have sustained” and offered to cover medical expenses.

HSBC was informed that amputation would have ensued had my wrist’s underside been affected and photos, together with medical certificates, evidencing a crush injury were passed on.

HSBC also erroneously contended that I had made simultaneous use of two machines, causing a timeout and that “… any abrasion (scratch!) sustained was more a result of your extracting your hand quickly out of the chute” (never mind the pain, logic demands a slow pull out).

Nonetheless, HSBC, very generously, offered to reimburse all medical expenses (capped at €400) which was declined, considering the bank’s awareness of a scheduled trauma surgeon consultation.

Sight of CCTV footage review was then requested, however, HSBC’s representative was too busy to comply and claimed that the machine had applied minimal pressure but, paradoxically, increased the bank’s offer to €500, which was similarly unacceptable and my second appeal to meet went unheeded.

Moreover, without justification, HSBC theorised about “improper use” of the machine and wrongly assumed “completeness of the recovery process”.

HSBC not only ignored my third request for a meeting (no kudos for guessing why) but, more importantly, failed to confirm that customers are now no longer at similar risk. Notwithstanding all this, HSBC customers might still be tempted to retrieve jammed deposit envelopes. I certainly will never do so again.

In conclusion, I cannot but reminisce about the time I spent working for HSBC’s local forebears, whose general managers always emphasised the importance of treating customers fairly and respectfully. However, the attempted blame-shifting, close-door tactics and lukewarm empathy displayed speaks volumes about HSBC’s reputed customer care and I sincerely hope that its CEO will take note.

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