I'm not sure how many stars to give as the HSBC branch I'm in is very nice, and they're allowing me to sit in the Premier area and write this rather negative review about them. And the staff member who met me was very friendly, and equally exasperated about their stupid systems that make communicating with them so hard.
The problem with this bank is getting through to anyone. I have an account with them that I haven't used in ages and don't have all the right numbers to get through on the phone. So I can't call them.
And when I walked in the charming Polish woman who greeted me said I would have to wait two hours before being able to meet anyone. I then asked her if I could make an appointment and she said "yes, but you still have to wait two hours as they'll need ot verify your identity and account."
What? Why do they need to verify me before speaking to me? What's wrong with these people? Do they actually want clients who are ordinary folk or are they content to deal with corporations and their nefarious tax avoidance tactics? Is their phone system just a means of keeping the general public out?
I've actually been trying to speak to one of their business reps since I opened my account in Liverpool several years ago, with a really nice bloke called Kartik. But then I moved away, and so did he, and I was then told to address the automatic systems that seem designed to keep me out.
On the branding front this doesn't make sense. They promote themselves as being cool and friendly and invest millions in creating awesome branches, and yet getting through to the (nice) people on the inside is so difficult.