Thu, 15 Nov 07

HSBC Conclusion

I finally received a reply from HSBC to my constant nagging about a possible bug in their Internet Banking software.

Our reference : 5629320

Dear Mr Roos

Thank you for your e-mail.

As previously advised, this has been fed back to our Development Team however, we do not offer technical support for any financial packages.

Our Internet Banking terms and conditions state that we will not be held responsible for any financial management software which you choose to use in connection with the Internet Banking service.

Please be assured that all customer feedback is taken seriously, however we do receive many change requests for our electronic banking services every day.

Each request is recorded to enable us to monitor the number received, these are then assessed for suitability and prioritised accordingly.

Although your suggestion cannot be implemented immediately it will be held on our database. We do advise our customers, via an online message, when upgrades have been made to our electronic banking services.

I trust that this matter is now closed but would like to thank you for bringing this to our attention.

So I replied in order to explain my persistence.


I appreciate you getting back to me.

To start with, although this causes me some problems, it’s not big deal. The reason for my originally getting in touch was that I thought I might be able to help you guys. I found what I believed to be a bug in your OFX export and thought that by reporting it with some fairly relevant context (i.e. the section of the OFX spec that explains what the OFX export should look like) that it might help you to get it prioritised.

Your response of “we do not offer technical support for any financial packages” makes me think that you’re trying to shrug me off (I appreciate that this may not be the case). You don’t need to offer support for financial packages but I would expect that when you boast of downloads in OFX format that they would actually follow the specification.

I don’t know whether my approach is the normal approach people would take when reporting problems but I come from an open-source background where people generally help each other out. Actually, out of interest, how do you “receive many change requests for our electronic banking services every day”? Do other people submit their problems in the same way or was there a more obvious route that I missed?

I guess I feel a little unsatisfied. Because of the problems I’ve had getting in contact with anyone from the beginning I find myself not necessarily believing what you are telling me. However, I do accept that this might not be fair and that you have indeed logged my bug report into your database.

Feel completely free to ignore this suggestion but… I think you would get a lot of unexpected benefits by making it easier to give feedback about your Internet Banking site. I can’t believe that it’s just me that feels compelled to help out when they see a problem - I think you’d get an awful lot of useful feedback from others too.

Anyway, I guess that’s it for now. If there’s anything I can possibly help with then drop me an email - I’ll help out where I can.

I’m going to post this letter to my blog too[1].




I’m sure that at some point in the future, HSBC will hire some consultants. Those consultants will tell HSBC how to utilise the open source community to make the world a better place. HSBC will listen because any advice you pay for has to be true…. Right?