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HSBC let me down after cruise company collapsed

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Miles Brignall
·2 min read
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<span>Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA</span>
Photograph: Andy Rain/EPA

HSBC’s template response to cruise collapse refund

In 2019 I booked a cruise for my wife and I with Cruise and Maritime Voyages (CMV), and last March I added a second booking. I paid CMV for both in a series of four payments totalling £3,342, using my HSBC credit card. The first trip was cancelled and, before we were able to get away, CMV collapsed. I contacted HSBC in July to explain what had happened and asked to be reimbursed via a section 75 claim.

It eventually contacted me in September with pre-filled forms that did not include the first payments I made to CMV. I added the details and returned the forms.

In January, and having heard nothing, I complained through the bank’s proper channels and got a template email response which, in so many words, said: “We’re busy. You can complain to the Financial Ombudsman, but do it quickly.”

Seven months on I have no idea when, or even if, HSBC intends to deal with the matter. Having been a customer for almost 60 years, I’m starting to think it’s time for a change.

MB, Sheffield

This is not the first complaint we have received about HSBC not dealing with section 75 complaints properly, and, if our postbag is representative of the wider customer base, there are also problems in the bank’s department that provides credit card services for John Lewis and M&S.

Happily your case has now been resolved.

HSBC says: “Like others in the financial services industry, we have seen an increase in disputes that have arisen as a result of the pandemic. While this was a complex case, whereby the claim also covered items that were not purchased on the credit card, we apologise that we weren’t able to respond to MB sooner.

“We have now completed our review of the case and an offer of £3,342 has been accepted by the customer in full and final settlement.”

We welcome letters but cannot answer individually. Email us at consumer.champions@theguardian.com. Please include a daytime phone number. Submission and publication of all letters is subject to our terms and conditions