Published 2007-01-24 14:16:48

Banks, while never perfect corporate citizens usually at least try to behave in a reasonable maner. That is probably why I was fuming with anger at Wing Lung Bank in Hong Kong.

I have a credit card from this bank, that was given out as HKIA uses them for their membership cards, and my spouse being a member, just signed me up for it. I normally use American Express for most payments, but some shops don't accept it so having a Visa card is quite handy.

We always pay off the balance every month, I normally sit down around the 1st or 2nd of each month and clear the bills. I must have been doing this for at least 6 years, and I've had the Wing Lung card for I guess more than 3 years.

So yesterday when I got a letter from them indicateing we had not paid the bill, I was a little supprised. That turned out to be me forgetting to pay my wife's bill last month, as she doesn't use the card normally, so the is normally nothing to pay. However while checking the other bills, I noticed a finance charge, and a late payments charge. I was pretty certain that I had paid last month on time, so I checked closer, I had paid the bill on the second of the month, which was the usual date. Then I spotted the problem..

WING LUNG, THE BUNCH OF CROOKS HAD CHANGED THE PAYMENT DUE DATE!!!!

They had moved it back about 10 days, resulting in the card running up late charges.

Not only that, I started checking the older statements,and realized the had pulled this slight of hand 5 months ago, raking in a tidy sum for their criminal coffers.

By this time I was fuming, and called their hotline, my temper not subdued by their annoying 'press 2 for..' and playing adverts for their services while waiting.

After practicalling screaming at two idiots who refused to refund the money and change the payment date, and listening to them try and justify this crazy action 'your agreement states we can change the terms at any time' They promised that a manager would call back.

Of- course, this call never arrived, so today I cancelled the card, filed a complaint with our consumer council. (Hopefully at least they will issue a warning about them Changing the due dates, so other customers don't get caught out.)

From what I've been hearing, this is not the first bank to pull this scam.. Well, Wing Lung will not be one of the place's I'm going to get a mortgage from...

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Comments

This is common, but not what you think
What banks do is have a fixed 31 day billing cycle, the problem with this is not every month has 31 days so your payment day is constantly drifting a day here or a day there till all of a sudden your wacked with a late charge.

Yea its deceptive but not exactly "crooked"
#0 - Richard Thomas ( Link) on 2007-01-24 20:55:58 Delete Comment
Deliberate and Deceptive
Nope, this was not just drifting - this was a 10 day shift backwards, that they admitted to doing.

It's pretty obvious why they did it, too many customers where paying their bills on time, (eg. just after they got paid at the start of each month).

So by shifting the due date before the end of the month (without any warnings), they would likely profit from people not noticing the date change, or just bearing the cost and carrying on as before.

- Either way it's deceptive and unethical.
#1 - Alan Knowles ( Link) on 2007-01-25 08:49:34 Delete Comment
Reply to Alan Knowles
Dear Alan,

For those bank complaints , better to complaints direclty to HKMA.

Ma
#2 - Ma PP ( Link) on 2007-02-20 18:22:43 Delete Comment
same experience with ALan
The bank charges shorten the due date and never reply to customers' complaints.

Services are not 24 hours.. You cannot get help after office hours but the the customer service officer called you after office hours.
#3 - Ma ( Link) on 2007-02-20 18:28:47 Delete Comment
Unethical bank
Should report to the public for those unreasonable charge by unethical bank.
#4 - Ma ( Link) on 2007-02-21 14:59:59 Delete Comment
Update
I complained to the consumer council, who followed up with a letter outlining the complaint to Wing Lung.

Wing Lung contacted me and offered to refund the charges. However still refused to re-instate the due date, so I informed them that I would not re-enable the card, as the due date meant the card was useless to me.

I guess it pays to complain... - dont stay quiet..
#5 - Alan Knowles ( Link) on 2007-02-21 15:16:34 Delete Comment
OVERCHARGE
A few days ago I felt like selling some gold coins which I did - on checking with the counter there was a difference of HK$150 between buy and sell.
I felt this was way too much. Today I checked with Hang Seng their Buy sell diff is HK$50 ......so theres another wing lung rip off
#6 - doug ( Link) on 2007-03-06 17:02:28 Delete Comment
Platinum card
Now the Wing Lung Bank is playing the game of forced upgrade to the platinum card to future rip people off.

Even if you have called the card center NOT to upgrade your gold card in advance, they will still send you the platinum card a few weeks later, claiming that you have never called in to cancel the upgrade.



#7 - Thomas ( Link) on 2007-06-01 00:24:44 Delete Comment

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