Aug 4, 2009

A Phone Call And HSBC Waived My Late Fee

I could not imagine a late credit card payment, but nothing is impossible as they say. And when I was enjoying in Albany, NY with friends I forgot my due date was also passing-by, the next day I check my HSBC credit card account and I see a $20 late penalty. Believe me I am not that irresponsible, get this: my statement balance was $3 and I was just 1 day late. Well yeah I know thier policy is policy so they had to charge me but somewhere inside I wasn't comfortable with this whopping $20 fee for a mere $3 just a day past due and this was my first default in last three years.

I discussed this with a friend and came to know that I can get this fee waived if I call HSBC customer care and request them to consider my situation. Thus I did so, I called the HSBC customer center same day:

I said: "Hey as you can see from my account details, I am charged $20 for being a day late for payment on my card. I have been with HSBC for last three years and never missed a single payment, is there a chance to revert the late fee?"

While I anticipated a little negotiation, this is what I heard next:

The Customer Rep. replied: "We thank you for being a wonderful customer for three years. I have initiated the credit and you will see the $20 off of your account in the next few days."

Oooo man that was simple, wasn't it? Just a phone call and I saved $20 ;)

Aug 3, 2009

Grocery Shopping: Thinking Of Total Bill The Moment You Enter A Store Helps

With nothing much left to do on weekends, grocery shopping is one of my favorite activities. While I suffice the shopper in me, I also fill-up the items for the week to come and thus many of my posts deal with grocery shopping. In Quicken Reveals - II I discussed how I escalated my grocery bills by misjudging the actual needs and this time it's something different.

I usually shop with my friends and the fun part comes when we eventually go to checkout counters. Every time my question will be: "So who wins today?" I compare the total billed amount for all of us and declare the winner ;) While this sounds funny at first, this became a motivation for us after their few competitive shopping experiences with me. When you focus on your total bill from the moment you enter the grocery store, it changes the way you shop for each and every item on your list resulting in a lowered total.

I realized the importance of this seemingly funny activity of mine when I went alone to Walmart a few weeks ago to get a small list of items, four to be exact. When I go for the weekend shopping my list would be somewhere from 10-12 items and believe me for a single person that's more than enough for a week. So this time it was petty four count and I lowered my guard because I thought my friends are not with me and anyways I am getting only four items. Guess how much I paid? $12. I came home, thought about it and felt ashamed of myself for being so carelss.

Now when I said focusing on the final total bill changes the way you shop for every item, I meant that in a practical way. I would not go to get an item on my list and pick the cheapest one available on the shelve; every individual has different tastes and preferences for every other item and thus it is your prudent call which item should be picked the cheapest and which ones you would not compromise. For example, though I could get cheaper ones but I will always buy my favorite strawberry shortcake; however I had to buy a floor cleaning agent yesterday and I bought the cheapest as any one is good as far as it has detergent base.

Do you adopt any such fun yet beneficial activity when you go shopping? Do leave a comment and share your views.