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MSE News: Monzo pips First Direct to top our customer service poll - check how well your bank did

Challenger bank Monzo has taken the crown in our banking customer service poll, with nine out of 10 giving it top marks, knocking First Direct off its perch for the first time ever.
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'Monzo pips First Direct to top our customer service poll - check how well your bank did
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  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    More than a hint of grudge in ML's comments (or rather comments written by an MSE junior under his name presumably) about how the sainted First Direct have been knocked off the precious top spot:
    First Direct has had the crown for too long, not because we want to see it get worse, but we want to see others get better and finally that's happened with two app-only banks providing a real challenge to First Direct's customer service.

    Having said that, when you compare the overall picture, those two app-only bank's primary perk is the fact that they give you very cheap spending abroad - whereas First Direct gives you £100 of free cash, a 0% overdraft of up to £250 and a linked 5% regular savings account.

    Overall these perks, for the vast majority of people, will be far more valuable, so First Direct is probably still the complete package. But if service is all you care about, maybe you should consider going app-only.
    So it's a poll all about service and he's basically saying "ah, but there's more to it than service"!

    He's also making it sound like there's been a significant improvement in Monzo's performance, when all that's happened is that they've finally attracted enough votes to be included in MSE results - last time round they had 99 people voting but if one more had done so, Monzo would have been top then too!
  • masonicmasonic Forumite
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    Why choose, you can have both.
  • edited 12 March 2019 at 10:49PM
    No_6No_6 Forumite
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    edited 12 March 2019 at 10:49PM
    Poll's are just ?
    hardly anyone votes, just the odd few, that can be bothered.
    or are what ?? been paid ?

    always look at the results, then I despair because I did not vote !

    I am lazy 666
  • HerbalusHerbalus Forumite
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    As it’s app only, I wonder whether people with Monzo actually spend any time talking to somebody about the service, or whether they’re just voting because they like the app
  • d123d123 Forumite
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    Herbalus wrote: »
    As it’s app only, I wonder whether people with Monzo actually spend any time talking to somebody about the service, or whether they’re just voting because they like the app

    Monzo’s CS is quite dire so that’s pretty likely.

    There’s a lot of grumbling on their forums as it can take a day just to get an answer from a rep for a basic enquiry (you use the app to message CS, it’s not a live chat, it’s one where you send a message and hours later someone answers, you reply and hours later they reply again).
    ====
  • edited 13 March 2019 at 8:53AM
    ozazozaz Forumite
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    edited 13 March 2019 at 8:53AM
    Herbalus wrote: »
    As it’s app only, I wonder whether people with Monzo actually spend any time talking to somebody about the service, or whether they’re just voting because they like the app

    It’s hard to judge exactly what MSE mean by customer service.

    You could argue the provision of much more useful in-app transaction information in Monzo and Starling apps as well as detailed spending analytics (some of their key benefits over other banks) constitutes good customer service. Of course, others would just think of these as features.

    For me, the rich transaction information in particular has reduced the need for me to contact Monzo customer service compared to traditional banks where I often used to need to query transactions I didn’t recognise because of the limited information provided about each transaction on statements.

    MSE need to be more explicit in what they mean by customer service when they run this poll.
    "Having said that, when you compare the overall picture, those two app-only banks' primary perk is the fact they give you very cheap spending abroad – whereas switching to First Direct gives you £100 of free cash, a 0% overdraft of up to £250 and a linked 5% regular savings account.

    "Overall these perks, for the vast majority of people, will be far more valuable, so First Direct probably still has the complete package. But if getting the absolute best service is all you care about, maybe you should consider going app-only."

    I think this quote from the main article misses the point. I think the main benefit of Monzo and Starling when compared to other banks is their feature rich apps. Not their overseas spending perks.
  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    ozaz wrote: »
    It’s hard to judge exactly what MSE mean by customer service.

    You could argue the provision of much more useful in-app transaction information in Monzo and Starling apps as well as detailed spending analytics (some of their key benefits over other banks) constitutes good customer service. Of course, others would just think of these as features.

    For me, the rich transaction information in particular has reduced the need for me to contact Monzo customer service compared to traditional banks where I often used to need to query transactions I didn’t recognise because of the limited information provided about each transaction on statements.

    MSE need to be more explicit in what they mean by customer service when they run this poll.
    MSE's approach to this has always been fairly amateurish though, and an earlier thread on this subject referred to it as 'a bit of fun' if I recall correctly. For more considered analysis, it makes more sense to refer to the official CMA-sponsored survey, which is run according to a properly-defined methodology and includes a more granular breakdown of subjects:
    • Overall service quality
    • Online and mobile banking services
    • Overdraft services
    • Services in branches
    The CMA also obliged the FCA to mandate publication of meaningful and quantifiable service statistics, e.g. time to open an account, replace cards, etc, as well as IT/security incidents, but the approach adopted seems to have been to simply publish links to this info on each bank's own website, rather than a more useful comparative analysis:
    https://www.fca.org.uk/firms/fca-mandated-and-voluntary-information-current-account-services
  • ambrosinoambrosino Forumite
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    d123 wrote: »
    Monzo’s CS is quite dire so that’s pretty likely.

    There’s a lot of grumbling on their forums as it can take a day just to get an answer from a rep for a basic enquiry (you use the app to message CS, it’s not a live chat, it’s one where you send a message and hours later someone answers, you reply and hours later they reply again).

    I've had the opposite experience with them.

    Whenever I've needed their help they've got back to me pretty quickly. The most significant was when my card was cloned a couple of months ago. I messaged Monzo, and within a few minutes I had a response and them freezing my card. Within 10-15 mins the whole issue was sorted; stolen money replaced in my account, new card dispatched. No sitting on hold - just dealt with quickly over a few messages.

    I've been with them since summer 2018 and always found their CS pretty good.

    Also - the primary appeal for me is nothing to do with cheap spending abroad, it's the fact that - unlike any of the high street banks I'd previously used - I could track my spending in a really granular way. Make notes on transactions - get into detail about what I spent on. Loads of other little touches - the Pennies pot is useful, rounding up spending and putting the pennies in a savings pot. The fact that I can see, really reliably, every upcoming bill the day before, so if I glance at my account daily (which I do) I never ever go into overdraft - and see a list of all my bills over the month. They've thought about data manipulation and how to turn that into a valuable product. They've designed a service which, unlike their older competitors, genuinely seems geared towards making it easier for people to manage their money. I'm guessing their competitors (Starling etc) offer similar stuff - I'm really impressed with this new generation of banks and hope they can keep doing what they do.

    That said I'm also about to try First Direct as an additional account now that the nice rate on my Nationwide is about to expire... :rotfl:
  • eDickyeDicky Forumite
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    ambrosino wrote: »
    The most significant was when my card was cloned a couple of months ago. I messaged Monzo, and within a few minutes I had a response and them freezing my card.
    The first thing to do when an unrecognised transaction appears, as soon as it's made, is freeze the card in the app. If I'm not using mine I leave it freezed until I need it.

    With Starling you can also selectively switch off online transactions and ATM use of the card, then just enable them in the app when needed.
    Evolution, not revolution
  • eschatoneschaton Forumite
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    This is great news.

    I have zero interest in Monzo but at least I won’t get an email from FD telling me how great they are.
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