HSBC dithers on Farepak assistance

I was highly dismayed to hear yesterday that HSBC is not exactly doing the right thing over its involvement in the Farepak hamper/voucher fiasco.

Basically HSBC acted as the clearing agent for card payments for Farepak and, whilst it has the names and post codes of the 30,000-odd cardholders that made payments to the now-knackered (that's a financial term btw) company, it says it can't contact the cardholders as it doesn't have their full addresses.

It's been suggested that HSBC should contact the cardholders to advise them that, if they paid by credit card or Visa debit card, they can claim the dosh back under, respectively, the Consumer Credit Act and the Visa chargeback service.

Unfortunately HSBC doesn't seem to understand that it's very easy to surf on over to a Web site like and extrapolate full address details of cardholders quite easily.

I don't think it's a case of HSBC failing to understand what it could do. I think it's a mixture of not-our-problem-guv and a misinterpretation of the Data Protection Act.

The latter I can understand and forgive. The former I cannot, especially when we are talking about money owing to people who, quite frankly, can't afford what they've lost to Farepak.

So come on HSBC - do the right thing. Otherwise I'll have to place you in the same category as HBOS, the bankers to Farepak...