Thursday, May 18, 2006

Why ING is Better than HSBC

I've had my ING Direct account for more than a year now and have never had any problems with them. The sign up process was painless, when I have questions their customer service is awesome and their online site is easy to use. The only reservation that I had with ING was that some of its competitors were paying higher interest rates on their savings account. For example, right now ING's rate is at 4.15% while HSBC is at 4.5%.

I decided to at least give HSBC a try. The application itself was fairly easy but unlike ING, you have to wait for them to send you your user ID and password in the mail. I signed up for my account and waited and waited and waited. Finally, after about a month of signing up I called them and asked them what the deal was. I know I could have called earlier but I am a busy lady, like most people, and just never had the time to call them. So on a Saturday afternoon I called them and the customer rep informed me that they had forgotten to put my apartment number on the mail. AGH. That was a little irritating but what was even more irritating was that he wanted me to call back on Monday to ask them to send it to me again.

This kind of thing rubs me the wrong way. I have no idea why he couldn't just do it over the phone right then. Do people who work on Monday have special mail rights that people who work on Saturday do not have?

So after wasting even more of my time to get the problem fixed they finally sent me the info I needed. BUT when I went to log into my account the password and user name did not work. Frustrated, I called the customer support and after waiting on hold for 15 minutes I tried to explain to the customer service rep that the password and user name that they sent me did not work. She said there was nothing she could do for me and that I would have to change my password online using my PIN number. I explained to her that I had not received my PIN number (and still 3 days later I have not received it) and that I couldn't do that. She said I would just have to wait for it to come and after a few minutes of me trying to explain to her that I was entering in EXACTLY the user name and password THEY sent me and that it didn't work she put me on hold. When she came back she asked me to try it again and MIRACULOUSLY it worked.

I was relieved and perturbed at the same time. She offered no explanation of why all of a sudden it worked after she told me over and over again that she couldn't help me. If I had not argued with her I would still be waiting to be able to sign into my account and access my money. Luckily I only started off with $20 for this exact reason.

After I was able to log in I noticed that there was no way to transfer money between non-HSBC accounts. I had already given them my routing number to my checking account so I thought I could easily transfer money back and forth between the two, like with ING. Noooo, that is an additional service that you have to sign up for. Transfers going into your account are free but any transfer going out of your account is charged a $3.00 processing fee. I guess I had been so spoiled with ING that this came as a shock to me.

So far, everything with HSBC has been a problem. Don't you sometimes wish that you can send people bills for the time they have wasted in your life? Instead, I'll have to pay the $3 to take my $20 and put it back into my ING account.

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Anonymous said...

Hi lpkitten,
Was wondering if you have started your new job yet or are still on holidays?
$3.00 fee? Terrible.

D said...

You will never know how much I appreciate this writing. I have been with ING for many years now, I think 6, memory fails me. Anyway it is so easy and I have referred everyone I know. Well, like you I have seen the higher rates at this "icky" bank and have been contemplating opening an account. NOT NOW.
Thank you.

Corrie J said...

Maybe you should try Capital One. They are currently paying out 4.55% on online savings accounts and they offer the transfer feature in and out at no charge. Much like HSBC, they mail new account documents but the process went well for me. Give 'em a try and good luck!

QueenOphelia said...

ING is 4.15 not 3.15

Dave said...

That must have been a while ago. HSBC no longer charge a fee for money transfers. My complaint is that it takes them 3 business days to transfer money while ING Direct takes a day.

The latest rates are:
ING Direct 4.15%
Emigrant Direct 4.50%
HSBC Direct 4.65%
GMAC Bank 4.75%

Anonymous said...

I hope that was a typo. My account at ING is paying 4.15%. :-)

I have been curious about the higher-paying accounts also, but then I run across a post like this and feel better about my ING accounts. They really are easy to bank with.

Fun blog and good job on the debt reduction!

lpkitten said...

oops! yes, i meant 4.15%. can you tell i was tired? =)

and yes, i started my new job about two weeks ago and love it so far. ill write more about it later.

i've thought about signing up with capital one but i think from what i read you have to have a checking account with them for it to be free but you have to pay for the checking account. do you know if thats still true?

Corrie J said...

Capital One Direct - 4.55%
Citibank eSavings - 4.75%

Citibank's website is marvelous. They provide all account details when the account is opened making it truly an internet account.

The Baker Family said...

There's no $3 fee--I have used HSBC for awhile now and done two transfers to my non-HSBC account, and I have never been charged. In fact, on their website under FAQs they specifically say that there's no charge from HSBC. Your bank may charge a fee, but HSBC doesn't. I know HSBC is less user-friendly than ING, but at 4.65%, I think it's worth it. I would never use it if they charged a fee.

The Baker Family said...

An amendment to a previous comment: The $3 fee is only for non-online customers. If you are an online customer, there's no fee.

Hava said...

Your experience could have been written by me!!!! Honest to Pete, that was almost scary to read. I wondered if I had somehow written this blog when I wasn't looking or something. ;)

I too am a big fan of ING, but when I saw the ad for the HSBC account with the higher interest rate, I decided to go check it out. I too started with $20, just to see how it would go, and I too had a LOT of problems trying to get the account going. (I told you the similarities were eerie!) My address was put in wrong in the system but since I have lived in the same house for years, the mailman knew where to deliver the mail to. He must have had some days that he was off or something, because some of the mail got to me, and some got returned for having an incorrect address.

So I had account numbers, but no security whatever whatevers (I don't even remember any more!) and so I called in, wanting help. I too got the "Call back on Monday" response. WHAT???!!! Why?! I did not understand that. I finally got everything (WEEKS later!) logged in (hallelujah!!) just to realize that I had to pay $3 to transfer money out of the account. No charge to transfer it in, but it cost to transfer it out. I hit the roof. I pulled my money out (all $17 at this point) and closed the account. I had nothing but problems from beginning to end with them.

I have been a happy ING customer for 3 years now, and I will never, EVER change again.

Well, thanks for your blog; it was nice to know that I wasn't the only one with this problem!


Anonymous said...

HSBC is horrible!!! i went there various times to inquire about accounts for me and my boyfriend, and i was appalled each and every time. i gave them three chances before i gave up and decided to stick with citibank. given that i went to the branch in midtown in new york, where it's a pretty intense corporate atmosphere, you'd think that they'd have better service. everyone from the customer service reps to the investment advisors were not up to par. the investment advisor was almost 15 minutes late to an appointment i had scheduled, and he didn't even offer an excuse for his tardiness.