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  • FIRST POST
    • Former MSE Helen
    • By Former MSE Helen 22nd Feb 12, 9:10 AM
    • 2,324Posts
    • 971Thanks
    Former MSE Helen
    MSE News: Santander worst for bank service and First Direct best ó again
    • #1
    • 22nd Feb 12, 9:10 AM
    MSE News: Santander worst for bank service and First Direct best ó again 22nd Feb 12 at 9:10 AM
    This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

    "It's 'as you were' in a poll of MoneySavingExpert.com users on current account service ..."

Page 1
  • scorpioGB
    • #2
    • 22nd Feb 12, 10:34 AM
    • #2
    • 22nd Feb 12, 10:34 AM
    Last week I opened a new Santander account and registered for on-line banking, answered a myriad of security questions had 3 posted notifications of passwords and numbers to fill in to get access then on the first time of using the account locked me out and froze my entire account. Phoned their security department they then asked me security questions I couldn't possibly answer as I would have needed a statement in front of me to do so. Being a new account I didn't have a statement so they locked me out of my account totally. As they said that I'd failed to prove who I was to their satisfaction, they wouldn't even phone me back to identify me and wouldn't listen to my attempts to prove who I was. I went to my local branch and the branch manager took 50 minutes to recover and open my account. So I instantly took all the money out and closed the account. Their security is so good even I couldn't access my own money! What's the point of having security questions that I have no chance of answering? Why not simply have a word or phrases that only I would know? Shame, the branch staff and manager were brilliant let down by their companys officious policies. Even though I no longer have an account with them I am still receiving calls on my mobile phone and letters from their fraud department! Santander - my advice, don't touch them.
    • mattytun
    • By mattytun 22nd Feb 12, 11:01 AM
    • 13,642 Posts
    • 238,622 Thanks
    mattytun
    • #3
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:01 AM
    • #3
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:01 AM
    I had to phone Santander yesterday & i said to myself before they picked up the phone i bet i get someone from india but to my surprise the lady said "Hello welcome to satander my name is juile from sheffield" yesssssssssssssssssss at last well done santander for bringing your call centres back to UK.
    Can't sleep, quit counting sheep and talk directly to the shepherd
  • gezzs
    • #4
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:02 AM
    • #4
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:02 AM
    HAHAHAHA. That's all I've got to say as an EX-Santander customer who now banks with First Direct.
    • Rupert Bear
    • By Rupert Bear 22nd Feb 12, 11:16 AM
    • 1,267 Posts
    • 630 Thanks
    Rupert Bear
    • #5
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:16 AM
    • #5
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:16 AM
    Cahoot part of Santander are brilliant. £100 buffer and apr on overdrafts of 10.3%. Use this as a secondary account to my main account.
    • warwicktiger
    • By warwicktiger 22nd Feb 12, 11:44 AM
    • 1,014 Posts
    • 1,253 Thanks
    warwicktiger
    • #6
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:44 AM
    • #6
    • 22nd Feb 12, 11:44 AM
    I have been with First direct for 20 years, absolutely fantastic, would recommend to anyone.
  • jacksboy
    • #7
    • 22nd Feb 12, 12:03 PM
    Santander and First Direct
    • #7
    • 22nd Feb 12, 12:03 PM
    I took over as treasurer of a local club last year. Its accounts with Abbey and Alliance and Leicester were in course of transferring to Santander. What an unfortunate time to take over the job! My first task was to become a cheque signatory for the club. Fine! Obviously security was top priority but, when the months dragged on and I heard nothing, I decided to phone up to find out how my application was progressing. Bad move! After finally getting through and some background keyboard tapping noises I was told that they didn't have my name on their records. I patiently explained my reason for phoning them only to be told that they couldn't even talk to me!
    One day, at long last, I got the authority but only for the A&L account (Abbey was still not integrated even a year later). I therefore opened a new, better rate account with another bank and closed the Santander/Abbey accounts. And yes, I'm still receiving "Nil" statements for the closed accounts ..... Don't even think Santander.

    Incidentally, I've banked First Direct since it was set up. Absolutely First Class!
    • Milarky
    • By Milarky 22nd Feb 12, 12:43 PM
    • 6,295 Posts
    • 2,210 Thanks
    Milarky
    • #8
    • 22nd Feb 12, 12:43 PM
    • #8
    • 22nd Feb 12, 12:43 PM
    Service is not the whole story in this age of 'do-it-yourself', online banking. First Direct's website is so poor (admittedly it's not as bad stylistically and bling-infected as is HSBC's) that customers* cannot even cancel their own payees once set up.

    *and neither can First Direct themselves, rendering their 'helpfulness' moot.

    [When will bank surveys be trusted? When we, the customers, get to set the questions and not just answer to them.]
    .....under construction....
  • stewil18
    • #9
    • 22nd Feb 12, 1:00 PM
    • #9
    • 22nd Feb 12, 1:00 PM
    I have a Santander account and for 99% of the time I am happy to do what i need on the internet - fine with that.

    I recently had a couple of issues over stopped and cancelled cards, then replacement cards. Both issues caused me minimal problems as I had other means available but by complaining and not accepting what they would do to resolve the matters, I received over £200 in compensation. There service may not be brilliant but if it helps to pay for part of christmas, i'll keep the account open
    • lifemagic
    • By lifemagic 22nd Feb 12, 3:17 PM
    • 118 Posts
    • 23 Thanks
    lifemagic
    Santander
    I couldn't log into my account for ages and ended up going to the branch. It turns out it had been blocked for security reasons and I had to show ID to the manager. I asked him why the site didn't tell me it's blocked rather than just keep telling me to try again later. He said it was a software issue and would be nearly impossible to fix. When I suggested it would be quite easy he got quite nasty.

    Then my Internet passwords didn't turn up. I went to a different branch to ask about why, and they basically said it will take three weeks from when the system requests a password to be sent, and it took them two weeks from me asking to them putting in 'on the system'.

    It's been OK for ages now, though I don't actually use it much. But I get phished about three times a week, and somehow the stuff comes from santander.co.uk, though it's obviously not, they can cloak the address somehow so I can't block it. I've sent every single one to phishing@santander.co.uk but never received any advice.
  • TallicadaZ
    My GF and I just opened our first mortgage with First Direct. I have to say relatively stress free and the staff have been excellent (and patient!) - Would reccomend them wholeheartedly over our current and savings account suppliers (Nationwide, Clydesdale and BoS)
    • virgo17
    • By virgo17 22nd Feb 12, 4:39 PM
    • 764 Posts
    • 284 Thanks
    virgo17
    I have been with First direct for 20 years, absolutely fantastic, would recommend to anyone.
    Originally posted by warwicktiger
    +1

    I joined when they launched in 1989, moving over from HSBC/Midland.

    I have never had a single wish to move and they have never let me down with any transaction or arrangement.

    I agree that the online pages are a bit dated and lack a few features but they cater for my personal needs. I believe the online banking facilities will be redesigned later this year.
  • TINT
    Has Santander got any better...no i don't think it has,it's just that the people who had bad service have switched banks and gone elsewhere,i moved from Santander to Nationwide and found their service to be top class,they seem to really want to help you,Santander you're just a number with Nationwide they treat you like a person.
    • PennyMoney
    • By PennyMoney 23rd Feb 12, 11:05 AM
    • 21 Posts
    • 6 Thanks
    PennyMoney
    I've never had any problem with my own Santander current account but have dealt with a local branch recently re' a deceased relative's account and have found their approach to customers to be terrible.

    A lot of the problems could be fairly easily dealt with; for example if I have been queuing at their reception desk for a while - when a member of staff eventually wanders out of their cubicle to serve me I would like them to approach me and ask how they can help. What I don't want is for them to stand towards the back of the branch and shout out "are you alright there?"
  • nat_t
    Santander customer services
    Santander are probably the worst bank on the planet and appear to be taking over it fast. I have just switched to first direct who are awesome! I spent nearly £20 last month on phone calls to santander to try and resolve a complaint over them opening accounts I had no agreed to and moving my money into them so that I can't get it out. It is nice to see the call centres are in the UK but it takes so long to speak to someone I have nearly fell asleep twice whilst on hold! Its not hard to see why their customer service rates are so poor .
  • newriverm
    You can't bank on Santander
    Has there been a general decline in customer service by brands or is this an isolated case? After coming bottom of the moneysavingexpert.com customer service poll in 2010, Santander has once again been voted the worst bank account provider for customer service. Yesterday I experienced yet more appalling customer service from Santander, where I have had a high interest savings account for years. In case you didnít know, it is standard practice with most banks offering high interest accounts to revert to their very low, standard interest after youíve had your account for one year. Trouble is, they donít tell you Ė so it is up to you to actively transfer your funds to a new account to get the high interest rate.
    I did this last week, but when one payment from the account didnít go through I tried to log in Ė and found myself barred. So I called Customer Service and was taken through a security check and was told Iíd made a security error and I would have to be called back by the ĎSecurity departmentí within the next 4 hours. No call materialised so I called them again. Actually they said theyíd said it was 4-6hrs. No they hadnít, but I let that pass.

    Anyway, later I got the call from the ĎSecurity departmentí who told me Ė after going a basic identity check Ė that in order to unfreeze my account I would have to visit a branch. This got me rather annoyed Ė why should I have to go into a branch to do this? After all, they could just take me through a security check over the phone again, couldnít they? And my other bank doesnít have branches and they manage Ė so why canít Santander? Very sorry, they said, but you have to visit a branch.
    Santander has got a bit of Ďpreviousí with me. Last year I did my usual account shuffling. But that time they offered me an additional current account with a high interest rate and promised me I could still have my other current account with my other bank Ė so long as I kept £2000 in my Santander current account.
    But against my express wishes, they transferred all my direct debits and standing orders from my other bank to my new Santander current account. This totally messed up my financial arrangements. To cut a long story short, I eventually closed the current account and reset my direct debits with my old bank. But I also reported Santander to the Banking Ombudsman for misleading me. After many months, Santander acknowledged that they had erred and offered to pay me £100 in compensation, which I accepted.
    So following this latest event, I think itís time to call it a day with Santander. Note that I had to call them when I noticed my payment didnít go through. A decent bank would have identified a problem and contacted me.They clearly donít understand the meaning of customer service. Put simply, they are a !!!! bank. As late as November 2011 Santander admitted they still Ďhave a long way to goí. Yes you do but it wonít be with me. Goodbye Santander Ė it all went wrong when you took over the Abbey, didnít it?
    • Pugwash69
    • By Pugwash69 19th Apr 12, 2:11 PM
    • 130 Posts
    • 42 Thanks
    Pugwash69
    I still have my mortgage with Santander. I've been with them for about 16 years but only spoken to them on the phone once before. I wanted to change my repayments last month and got through to a well spoken British-sounding chap quickly. He did what I wanted and I got the confirmation in the post a few days later.

    As I had upped my payments, they also gave me a better interest rate, which was nice!

    No complaints from me.
    • andy allblack
    • By andy allblack 19th Apr 12, 4:14 PM
    • 50 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    andy allblack
    Thank god I transferred my ISA last year. What I find amazing, despite their reputation, they are being allowed to get bigger in the UK, by the purchase of Natwest Scotland and RBS in England and Wales. You couldn't make it up.
  • Tight as a Drum
    Has there been a general decline in customer service by brands or is this an isolated case? After coming bottom of the moneysavingexpert.com customer service poll in 2010, Santander has once again been voted the worst bank account provider for customer service. Yesterday I experienced yet more appalling customer service from Santander, where I have had a high interest savings account for years. In case you didnít know, it is standard practice with most banks offering high interest accounts to revert to their very low, standard interest after youíve had your account for one year. Trouble is, they donít tell you Ė so it is up to you to actively transfer your funds to a new account to get the high interest rate.
    I did this last week, but when one payment from the account didnít go through I tried to log in Ė and found myself barred. So I called Customer Service and was taken through a security check and was told Iíd made a security error and I would have to be called back by the ĎSecurity departmentí within the next 4 hours. No call materialised so I called them again. Actually they said theyíd said it was 4-6hrs. No they hadnít, but I let that pass.

    Anyway, later I got the call from the ĎSecurity departmentí who told me Ė after going a basic identity check Ė that in order to unfreeze my account I would have to visit a branch. This got me rather annoyed Ė why should I have to go into a branch to do this? After all, they could just take me through a security check over the phone again, couldnít they? And my other bank doesnít have branches and they manage Ė so why canít Santander? Very sorry, they said, but you have to visit a branch.
    Santander has got a bit of Ďpreviousí with me. Last year I did my usual account shuffling. But that time they offered me an additional current account with a high interest rate and promised me I could still have my other current account with my other bank Ė so long as I kept £2000 in my Santander current account.
    But against my express wishes, they transferred all my direct debits and standing orders from my other bank to my new Santander current account. This totally messed up my financial arrangements. To cut a long story short, I eventually closed the current account and reset my direct debits with my old bank. But I also reported Santander to the Banking Ombudsman for misleading me. After many months, Santander acknowledged that they had erred and offered to pay me £100 in compensation, which I accepted.
    So following this latest event, I think itís time to call it a day with Santander. Note that I had to call them when I noticed my payment didnít go through. A decent bank would have identified a problem and contacted me.They clearly donít understand the meaning of customer service. Put simply, they are a !!!! bank. As late as November 2011 Santander admitted they still Ďhave a long way to goí. Yes you do but it wonít be with me. Goodbye Santander Ė it all went wrong when you took over the Abbey, didnít it?
    Originally posted by newriverm

    Why did they have your bank details for the other bank?
    If you're going through hell, keep going - Winston Churchill
  • meusli88
    Never, ever again
    I was an Alliance and Leicester account holder from opening my very first bank account aged about 10, and had no problems with them for a good 12 years. Last October I received a spam 'phishing' e-mail claiming to be from Santander (and had received a few before), I did NOT open it or click on any links but merely forwarded it to Santanders phishing e-mail service. Coincidently, or not, my account was frozen a few days later. My first gripe...I had to discover this myself by checking my account online to find I couldn't access it - how long had it been closed down? I hadn't used my card for maybe 2 days, was I expected to find this out when I went to pay for some shopping or petrol?
    So, I went to the Santander website to find a number to call. Gripe 2...where the fudge is their security/fraud dept telephone number? Good luck finding it when you're in a major panic like I was...
    Finally after unearthing some kind of number I got through to someone I though was going to prove helpful who said my account had been comprimised over the phone and would be reopened now I had spoken to them, once I had recieved new internet log in details. Fine, fairly straight forward, sigh of relief, thank you very much.
    But NO! To cut a VERY long story a little shorter, I must have phoned Santander about 27 times over the next 4ish weeks, trying to unlock my account after being told 'after this date', 'go into branch with ID' etc etc. I followed all instructions to the letter, wanting my account open ASAP (At this point I was only able to access my money by visiting a branch with 2 forms of ID and limited to £250 per day...great when you work full time.)
    It seems the fate of my account was in the hands of some mystery fraud dept, who had taken it upon themselves to close my account (rightly so) but gave me NO power to open it back up again. My absolute biggest annoyance was the every single time I phoned Santander, I was told a different piece of information or another action to take.
    I made two complaints for which I was compensated £60 each time (ironic when I couldn't access my money). During one of which I got so frustrated and heated with the operator (he said 'now I do understand' more than I care to remember) I was actually transfered to the mystery fraud dept...huzzah! Only to be told by the poor blokey that was feeling my wrath to visit a cash machine in 48hrs and my account should be unlocked...blah blah blah. Of course, I did this, and of course I couldn't access my account.
    I phoned again to be told by yet another representative that I would actually have to open an entire new account and that the fraud dept had decided that mine was too comprimised to continue using. I asked when the fraud dept had made this decision...2 days after the inital hack of my account!! Needless to say I was wholly unimpressed that it had taken nearly a month of multiple members of staff, multiple phone calls and multiple visits to branches for someone to tell me this.
    With that I marched into my nearest Lloyds, opened an account and had all my money and savings moved from Santander (luckily not £250 at a time...I don't think anyone was going to argue with me at that point!)
    I strongly suggest that anyone considering it does not bank with Santander - their customer service is beyond poor, it appears you are unable to make desicions about your own money and they move at a glacial pace whilst keeping all your funds at arms length.
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