First Direct reclaims top spot in our customer service poll – see how your bank did

edited 29 August 2019 at 11:49AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
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edited 29 August 2019 at 11:49AM in Budgeting & Bank Accounts
First Direct has reclaimed the crown in our twice-yearly banking customer service poll – though its overall 'great' rating has actually reduced over the past six months.
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'First Direct reclaims top spot in our customer service poll – see how your bank did
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  • eskbankereskbanker Forumite
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    MSE_Karl wrote: »
    First Direct has reclaimed the crown in our twice-yearly banking customer service poll – though its overall 'great' rating has actually reduced over the past six months.
    ...
    Read the full story:
    'RBS and Santander ordered to fix PPI processes - after not sending proper reminders to 1,000s of customers'
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    Click reply below to discuss. If you haven’t already, join the forum to reply.
    While waiting for all the inevitable comments about how individual posters have had rubbish experiences with FD, you might want to edit the text for the link, as it's currently referring to RBS/Santander and PPI!
  • HerbymeHerbyme Forumite
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    I moved from smile (totally exasperated with their dreadful app) to FD in February this year and can honestly say it's been a seriously impressive and pleasant experience. You talk to people who get it, who are friendly and extremely well informed.

    Oddly I get the opposite from HSBC, who I deal with as I have PoA for my mum, who's banked with them for years and years. Unbelievably (almost wilfully) crap. eg we couldn't set up phone banking for her because they said we kept getting her id wrong. Turns out they had her birth year as 1666. Honestly. I could only set myself up on the app by telling them my mobile no and email address and waiting 3-4 weeks (they kept sending activation codes by post to my mum who ilves a long way away and, guess what, can't make sense of them or post them to me. Then I find they've got my email address wrong (@btinterent.com, ie can't be my mistake) so I have to wait another 3-4 weeks after them 'changing' it before I can use that on the account.

    How can the same organisation get it so wrong and so right?!?!
  • meer53meer53 Forumite
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    I moved from smile (totally exasperated with their dreadful app) to FD in February this year and can honestly say it's been a seriously impressive and pleasant experience. You talk to people who get it, who are friendly and extremely well informed.

    Oddly I get the opposite from HSBC, who I deal with as I have PoA for my mum, who's banked with them for years and years. Unbelievably (almost wilfully) crap. eg we couldn't set up phone banking for her because they said we kept getting her id wrong. Turns out they had her birth year as 1666. Honestly. I could only set myself up on the app by telling them my mobile no and email address and waiting 3-4 weeks (they kept sending activation codes by post to my mum who ilves a long way away and, guess what, can't make sense of them or post them to me. Then I find they've got my email address wrong (@btinterent.com, ie can't be my mistake) so I have to wait another 3-4 weeks after them 'changing' it before I can use that on the account.

    How can the same organisation get it so wrong and so right?!?!

    Different staff, different training, different systems, same group but completely different bank.
  • jonnygee2jonnygee2 Forumite
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    How can the same organisation get it so wrong and so right?!?!

    One problem with the larger banks like HSBC is that they have bought loads of smaller banks over time, each with their own IT systems. Things are now sitting in multiple different systems / databases, with different levels of data validation and accuracy, and the support systems around them are subsequently very complex. And, as TSB demonstrated, merging it all into one system can be a lot more complex and risky than you might think.

    First direct is a relatively new bank and as far as I know has always been a single entity, so provision of effective frontline services will be much simpler and cheaper.
  • HerbymeHerbyme Forumite
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    I agree about staff and training. But the man at FD told me they and HSBC use the same IT system so apparently that bit is the same. I guess 30 years is quite recent for a bank.
  • Rich1976Rich1976 Forumite
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    I agree about staff and training. But the man at FD told me they and HSBC use the same IT system so apparently that bit is the same. I guess 30 years is quite recent for a bank.

    Yes HSBC, First Direct and M&S I believe all use the same systems which may explain why their paper statements look virtually identical.

    Completely agree about First Direct's service. Over the years we have had accounts with a lot of the big names such as HSBC (Midland Bank before it), Nationwide, Halifax, Alliance and Leicester, Barclaycard and Santander and can honestly say First Direct has generally been the best by a mile.

    They are not perfect and their product offering is long overdue a shake up but we have rarely had any issues and when we have they have generally rectified without issue and they do get the service spot on more often than not. Unlike Nationwide who we would never use again due to endless mistakes and miscommunication.
  • HerbymeHerbyme Forumite
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    Rich1976 I too have had awful experiences with Nationwide. Both my sons have had £ compensation for the errors and slow pace of their account opening processes. I rang to complain and was given very short shrift. soon afterwards a senior customer complaints person rang me - yes I was amazed - and said their system had picked up on the word complaint in my call and she'd been horrified when she listened back to it. She was genuinely apologetic, which helped appease me.

    However the other organisation I'd praise is Barclaycard. Any problems sorted very fast, and you get a follow up call and a letter to check you're satisfied with how the issue has been resolved.

    It's rare that I'm impressed by a financial institution but FD and BC have definitely done that.

    TBH I don't expect much by way of products, it's just basic current accounts and short term flexible savings accounts I need, and nobody pays much interest on that kind of account atm, so FD suit me ok, but yes, it's a limited range.

    Now, about open banking .... havent got my head round that one yet, waiting for FD to fully launch their version, feel safer with a bank's version than elsewhere - any other views?
  • Rich1976Rich1976 Forumite
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    We had about £500 compensation over about 4 years. Truly basic stuff they got wrong.

    Barclaycard have been fine so far. The overseas support is a nuisance sometimes but they have been polite on the 2 occasions I've contacted them even if it did take a while on the phone.

    Not sure about open banking yet will probably wait a bit on that one.
  • HerbymeHerbyme Forumite
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    Rich1976 wrote: »
    We had about £500 compensation over about 4 years. Truly basic stuff they got wrong.

    Blimey they must have really screwed up to offer that much money! Well negotiated!
  • Rich1976Rich1976 Forumite
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    Blimey they must have really screwed up to offer that much money! Well negotiated!

    Haha yep. Not sending out replacement cards, charging us an exit fee on the mortgage even though it said in the contract there wasn't one. Spelling name wrong on account and failing to correct it. Mis advice over an isa transfer which also resulted in the transfer being lost in the system. Failure to acknowledge a complaint.

    Think that was all:mad:
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