Best alternative to Halifax with following criteria?

triadetriade Forumite
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Hi,
I've been pretty happy with Halifax for over 10 years now. Never had any problems or needed any help. Of course, as soon as I have an issue and need to speak to the fraud team, I seem to be disregarded by them. I guess I was lucky with my first phone call because I was only on hold for 20 minutes. after they cut me off though, I've now been waiting with my phone to my ear for an hour. This is no good, I can't rely on these people, there has to be better than this. I always choose services based on customer service. I need them to be there when I need them.
So I have decided to switch account based on this. I am not sure how to know which is the best fit though. I looked at the bank comparison on here, but it only focuses on rewards. I'm not really interested in that, although it's certainly nice, I need a dependable service. One other thing I value is safety from unexpected charges. Halifax doesn't charge any unpaid transaction fee. if I have misjudged something and I don't have the balance to cover a direct debit, they don't punish me for it, they just don't pay it and I can take care of it myself. I appreciate that. So I want a bank that will do the same. also, my credit rating is not amazing. it's not poor, just not amazing.

Does anyone know which bank would be a good fit for me?

Many thanks.
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Replies

  • Bridlington1Bridlington1 Forumite
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    If customer service is your priority then Nationwide's a safe bet. Their online chat service is quick, they have brilliant customer service from my experience, they offer good savings rates and will give you £125 if you switch to them. The only snag with them is you can't pay money in at the post office but barring that they're a brilliant bank and out of the main banks are probably the most ethical too. Though if you are going to do this open an account with them first then switch once the Nationwide account is set up as you'll get an extra £25 for switching into an existing account.
  • triadetriade Forumite
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    Thank you, I was taking an interest in nationwide and you confirmed it ^^
  • DaliahDaliah Forumite
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    Note that if you CASS switch your Halifax, you lose significant longevity ‘points’ on your credit referenve files. This may not matter to you but it it does, you might want to open a second Halifax account (easy to do) and switch that one. You might then have to switch any SOs and DDs manually
  • triadetriade Forumite
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    Thanks, I appreciate the heads up.
    I have been using ocean credit card to improve my score, but it's been on 'poor' for years due to a contract dispute and subsequent default.  I don't see the situation improving and I'm not willing to go crawling to some company that I feel screwed me over (my opinion, I have no legal grounds afaik). So I don't think it's worth worrying about that, but it's certainly useful to know ^^
  • Rob5342Rob5342 Forumite
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    I'm very happy with Monzo and recommend them, direct debits show up in your feed at least a day before being taken so you can make sure you have the money to cover them. My wife bought something online that was never delivered and it just took a tap in the app to report it and she had a refund the same day. They don't have branches but who uses a branch these days?


  • OberothOberoth Forumite
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    First Direct offer an interest free overdraft which is probably better than bouncing payments - even if not charged by the bank. 
  • EmmiaEmmia Forumite
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    Oberoth said:
    First Direct offer an interest free overdraft which is probably better than bouncing payments - even if not charged by the bank. 
    But, they can be fussy in terms of who is acceptable as a customer, e.g. in terms of credit score.
  • phillwphillw Forumite
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    triade said:
    Does anyone know which bank would be a good fit for me?

    Many thanks.
    I've had accounts with all the banks, I've had customer service nightmares with all of them.

    I'd complain and get some money out of them.

  • MEM62MEM62 Forumite
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    triade said:
    I can't rely on these people, there has to be better than this. I always choose services based on customer service. I need them to be there when I need them.
    Halifax have dedicated fraud teams and contact numbers.  I am surprised that you have not had a proper response.  My experience with Halifax is different.  

    triade said:
    I need a dependable service. One other thing I value is safety from unexpected charges. Halifax doesn't charge any unpaid transaction fee. if I have misjudged something and I don't have the balance to cover a direct debit, they don't punish me for it, they just don't pay it and I can take care of it myself. 
    That in itself is not an indication of dependability.  You may be better to focus on making sure that you do not sail your finances so close to the wind and eliminate such 'misjudgements' rather that rely on the goodwill of you bankers not to charge when your payments bounce.

    As for banks with good customer service, First Direct always perform well in customer satisfaction surveys.  I have not banked with them personally but a close friend of mine has for many years and he highly recommends them.     
            
  • triadetriade Forumite
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    phillw said:
    triade said:
    Does anyone know which bank would be a good fit for me?

    Many thanks.
    I've had accounts with all the banks, I've had customer service nightmares with all of them.

    I'd complain and get some money out of them.


    That certainly sounds worthwhile XD

    How would I go about that?
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