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  • FIRST POST
    topher
    Smile Bank Customers - Email Campaign to improve website?
    • #1
    • 12th Jan 08, 9:16 AM
    Smile Bank Customers - Email Campaign to improve website? 12th Jan 08 at 9:16 AM
    I'm a customer of Smile and I think their customer service is great. I know that their interest rates aren't brilliant but I mainly use them for my current accounts and a credit card.

    I've just emailed them to suggest that they upgrade their website to allow customers to download statements and delete money transfers that are no longer used. I'm sure others reading this have a list of things they would like doing.

    So the point of this message is to ask customers to email smile with these suggestions. I used the "talk to us" link on the website front page. Hopefully if enough people email they'll take notice.

    Anyone interested in this?

    Thanks!
    Last edited by topher; 12-01-2008 at 9:19 AM. Reason: Inability to type correctly!
Page 1
    • nick74
    • By nick74 12th Jan 08, 11:09 AM
    • 180 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    nick74
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 08, 11:09 AM
    • #2
    • 12th Jan 08, 11:09 AM
    I emailed them about this when I opened an account with them in late 2006. The reply then was;

    "At the moment smile is not directly 'downloadable' to software like Microsoft Money or Quicken. We're looking into providing this service in the future, though have no plans to incorporate it in the next few months."

    Or, it would seem, in the next 18 months!
    • Hazzanet
    • By Hazzanet 12th Jan 08, 2:01 PM
    • 1,645 Posts
    • 927 Thanks
    Hazzanet
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 08, 2:01 PM
    • #3
    • 12th Jan 08, 2:01 PM
    I've phoned and asked them to delete unused money transfers before - they're quite happy to do this over the phone and it shows immediately. I have also secure-messaged them to delete money transfers. If you do it this way it gets done in about 24 hours.

    HTH
    4358
    • nick74
    • By nick74 12th Jan 08, 5:14 PM
    • 180 Posts
    • 86 Thanks
    nick74
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 08, 5:14 PM
    • #4
    • 12th Jan 08, 5:14 PM
    In fairness I think Smile are at the mercy of the Co-Operative bank in terms of what they can and can't offer in their internet banking service.

    Smile's internet banking appears to be a slightly reworked version of the Co-Op's. I've got accounts with both and the same login details even work with both sites! Neither allow statement downloads.
    • gallygirl
    • By gallygirl 13th Jan 08, 7:48 AM
    • 16,667 Posts
    • 109,976 Thanks
    gallygirl
    • #5
    • 13th Jan 08, 7:48 AM
    • #5
    • 13th Jan 08, 7:48 AM
    TBH I'd prefer to lobby them to increase their interest rates. Am considering leaving them because of this.

    I'm not too bothered about downloading statements as I prefer to 'tick off' on a spreadsheet anyway, however it would be useful to be able to 'file' a copy.

    I too would like to be able to delete transfers, not a big issue and hadn't occurred to me to ask them to do it , so will do now!
    A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort
    Mortgage Balance = £0
    "Do what others won't early in life so you can do what others can't later in life"
    • Hazzanet
    • By Hazzanet 13th Jan 08, 9:23 AM
    • 1,645 Posts
    • 927 Thanks
    Hazzanet
    • #6
    • 13th Jan 08, 9:23 AM
    • #6
    • 13th Jan 08, 9:23 AM
    TBH I'd prefer to lobby them to increase their interest rates.
    Originally posted by ali007
    Agreed. When I joined them in 2000 the interest rates were some of the best in the market. Now, however, they're quite mediocre.

    Whilst a good proportion of people will stick with them because their customer service is better than the likes of Alliance and Leicester and Abbey, the vast majority that simply use the online banking and rarely have cause to come into contact with Smile's customer service may well be better off exploring the market.

    I think this may have been a "get em in and they'll stay" tactic, although I might just be being cynical again . Has anyone else noticed that the overdraft rate has gone up to 15.9% AER? When I joined they were somewhere between 8 & 10%. Both Nationwide and NPBS beat them on this rate.

    Such a shame really. I quite like Smile, although I couldn't care much for the vivid pink they have on the back of the debit and credit card!
    4358
    • Bernie
    • By Bernie 13th Jan 08, 10:08 AM
    • 409 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    Bernie
    • #7
    • 13th Jan 08, 10:08 AM
    • #7
    • 13th Jan 08, 10:08 AM
    We've been with Smile for 9 1/2 years (on statement 115 now). It was the service that attracted us - available via a post office anywhere on a Sat morning, postage-paid envelopes and internet access 24/7 including your DD. The free post-paid envelopes have gone but the rest is generally intact.

    The interest rates don't bother me, we use Smile as our main work-a-day bank and use others for better rates (our ISAs, savings and mortgage are elsewhere).

    We did suffer some fraud on our Smile Visa card account which took quite a while for them to completely correct but they got there eventually with a bit of prodding from us.

    Overall, we have enjoyed pretty good service throughout and are quite content with the status quo. We would be happy to commend Smile to others. Ten years of free banking - cannot complain at all....
    “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.

    But when I got to be twenty one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

    Mark Twain
  • tightarsey
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 08, 5:17 PM
    Smile.co.uk-AVOID-Overdraft 15.9AER,£20 annual charge(if your overdraft isn't £500)
    • #8
    • 13th Jan 08, 5:17 PM
    I've also had my Smile Account for 8 years since Oct 99, when it first opened. It hasn't changed much in terms of the interface - it hasn't needed to - its perfect, except small points mentioned above. The customer service by phone is fantastic, but slowly more and more fees have been introduced and the rates charged reduced, or increased (overdrafts). Fee's now apply for renewing your overdraft if the amount isn't the default £500. This has annoyed me somewhat as I have had an overdraft of £1500 since 1999, now I'm charged an annual fee of £20 to renew it - this is the last straw for me. A £20 fee is supposed to reflect the admin involved. What is the difference between the admin for a £500 overdraft and a £1500 overdraft? Also what admin is involved in keeping my overdraft the same as its been for 9 years without default?
    The £20 charge increases the overdraft rate between 17.23%-19.99% for the overdraft between £500 and £1500.
    The new management policy seems to be how can we completely destroy the loyal customers fanbase (who's word of mouth recommendations has saved them 1000's), introduce 'unlawful' charges for admin work that clearly doesn't take place. They obviously have a plan to go the same way Abbey National went in the late 90's and have never recovered.
    If you work for Smile in Customer Services 'jump ship' its sinking fast - customers are on the verge of a Mutiny! Its probably being a nice place to work at the glass pyramid - but the next 12 months look like good training for working for one of the big 4 - p*issed off customers and more unnecessary / 'unlawful' charges that are just impossible to justify to an educated customer base.

    Sadly - If you are thinking of opening an account look elsewhere - the only direction Smile.co.uk seems to be going is downhill - AVOID.
    ************
    If you are been asked to pay the £20 Overdraft fee, I suggest you refuse to pay it until at least September 2008, ie. they extend the overdraft until then at least so that all customers are treated equally, as before Sept 2007 people would have negotiated the next 12 months free.
    ************
    • Tirian
    • By Tirian 14th Jan 08, 12:23 PM
    • 950 Posts
    • 365 Thanks
    Tirian
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 08, 12:23 PM
    • #9
    • 14th Jan 08, 12:23 PM
    Um, this seems a bit OTT to me. A free overdraft facility is not a exactly a fundamental human right - and good luck finding somewhere else that will automatically give you a free £500 overdraft.

    And I'm sorry to inform you that there is nothing 'unlawful' about a £20 admin charge. You are confusing this with the case over penalty charges, which is an entirely different thing. Penalty charges are not supposed to be significantly greater than the cost to the bank of the activity that they penalise. If they want to set an administration charge for setting up an overdraft that is an entirely different thing, and they are within their legal rights to set it at whatever they like.

    Seems they are pretty desperate to make some money somewhere ... they offered me a £25,000 loan when I rang up to check my balance. Which is quite astonishing really, because (a) it's more than my salary (b) I don't even pay my salary into this account, so as far as they know I have no regular income at all.

    Anyway, I have no complaints about the service I've received from them at all. Oh, and although they don't provide pre-printed freepost deposit envelopes any more, there is still a Freepost address you can used to send deposits in. I just print off a few sheets of labels with the freepost address on and pop them on old envelopes as and when I need them. Saves paper, and is still free - double bonus. Well, OK there's the cost of a label and a bit of printer ink, but I think that I can probably stretch to that.
    For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also ...
    • Hazzanet
    • By Hazzanet 14th Jan 08, 9:12 PM
    • 1,645 Posts
    • 927 Thanks
    Hazzanet
    Um, this seems a bit OTT to me. A free overdraft facility is not a exactly a fundamental human right - and good luck finding somewhere else that will automatically give you a free £500 overdraft.
    Originally posted by Tirian
    I would agree with you to a point - the £500 o/d is fee free, as is one from Nationwide, however a product that was comparatively excellent value some two, maybe three years ago doesn't cut the mustard now - e.g. Nationwide @ 9.9% vs Smile @ 15.9%. Also, the credit interest is lower - 2.78% vs 4% on an account with a monthly credit of >£1,000. I think the point is that Smile sold itself on being fresh, new and cutting edge, but now lags behind the opposition with its differential solely being customer service and a vivid pink website

    This is a shame as most of us look for the "best deal", and I for one would accept less from them if they were relatively comparable with other offerings. Sadly, they don't just come close A rate nearer the 4% at Nationwide and 9.9% o/d rate would entice me to move my main current account back to them, instead of me leaving an account open which has a monthly turnover of £50 and costs them money to run.

    And I'm sorry to inform you that there is nothing 'unlawful' about a £20 admin charge. You are confusing this with the case over penalty charges, which is an entirely different thing. Penalty charges are not supposed to be significantly greater than the cost to the bank of the activity that they penalise. If they want to set an administration charge for setting up an overdraft that is an entirely different thing, and they are within their legal rights to set it at whatever they like.
    Originally posted by Tirian
    Again, I agree, but at the same time they've priced themselves out of the equation. They're already charging a higher APR on their o/d than some others (Nationwide, NPBS and the like) AND if you have a higher limit than the bog standard £500, they want an extra £20 a year off you. Whilst there's nothing illegal/unlawful about providing this service (it annoys me when people shout unlawful at any old charge they don't like!) I would say that this is a bad business decision. I have the bog standard £500 with them, but if I needed more I wouldn't be inclined to ask them. There's better value elsewhere

    Seems they are pretty desperate to make some money somewhere ... they offered me a £25,000 loan when I rang up to check my balance. Which is quite astonishing really, because (a) it's more than my salary (b) I don't even pay my salary into this account, so as far as they know I have no regular income at all.
    Originally posted by Tirian
    And this is one of the reasons I'm not behind the reclaiming bank charges campaign. Smile is now just a shadow of its former self, and it's a shame that it would appear to be struggling to compete in such a cut-throat market. It should still be a market leader.

    Anyway, I have no complaints about the service I've received from them at all. Oh, and although they don't provide pre-printed freepost deposit envelopes any more, there is still a Freepost address you can used to send deposits in. I just print off a few sheets of labels with the freepost address on and pop them on old envelopes as and when I need them. Saves paper, and is still free - double bonus. Well, OK there's the cost of a label and a bit of printer ink, but I think that I can probably stretch to that.
    Originally posted by Tirian
    I've had several issues with their service in the past, but where things have gone wrong they've admitted that they messed up, apologised quickly and put things right with the minimum of fuss. As for freepost envelopes? I'm happy to drop cheques into the local co-op bank, and the local co-op supermarket will also take them for me.

    My gripe is with their value to me as a customer of theirs, and that alone
    4358
    • Bernie
    • By Bernie 14th Jan 08, 9:27 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    Bernie
    Oh, and although they don't provide pre-printed freepost deposit envelopes any more, there is still a Freepost address you can used to send deposits in. I just print off a few sheets of labels with the freepost address on and pop them on old envelopes as and when I need them. Saves paper, and is still free - double bonus. Well, OK there's the cost of a label and a bit of printer ink, but I think that I can probably stretch to that.
    Originally posted by Tirian
    Thanks for that snippet - I had not noted that and have just used the last of my stock of pre-printed, postage-paid envelopes.

    Have to agree that the service has slipped - I've just had to question an interest charge on our Smile Visa card - the balance is cleared every month by DD on the matching Smile Current Account. This arrangement has been in place for years so I look forward to their explanation.

    “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.

    But when I got to be twenty one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

    Mark Twain
  • meester
    Um, this seems a bit OTT to me. A free overdraft facility is not a exactly a fundamental human right - and good luck finding somewhere else that will automatically give you a free £500 overdraft.
    Originally posted by Tirian
    Lloyds will match any bank's overdraft, or they did when I opened my account. They also put it up to £3250 last week when my account accidentally went overdrawn by that much - permanently, and with no charge.

    And I'm sorry to inform you that there is nothing 'unlawful' about a £20 admin charge. You are confusing this with the case over penalty charges, which is an entirely different thing. Penalty charges are not supposed to be significantly greater than the cost to the bank of the activity that they penalise. If they want to set an administration charge for setting up an overdraft that is an entirely different thing, and they are within their legal rights to set it at whatever they like.
    It has already been set up. The overdraft I had with them dated back to 2000. They sent me a message saying they will take £20 from my account to pay for this unless I informed them otherwise, which is charging by inertia, and is wrong. I almost closed my account in protest.

    They have whacked numerous other charges up, including credit card interest rates, overdraft rates, have started charging payments to online casinos as cash advance, even though these establishments pay the highest fees and are highly profitable, etc.

    Their interest rates are pathetic and they are basically living on their marketing done 7-8 years ago.

    Seems they are pretty desperate to make some money somewhere
    Perhaps they should stop giving so much money to the Labour party then.
    • realaledrinker
    • By realaledrinker 14th Jan 08, 11:35 PM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    realaledrinker
    Perhaps they should stop giving so much money to the Labour party then.
    Originally posted by meester
    Neither smile nor the Co-operative Bank make any political donations.
    Ethical moneysaver
    • bubblesbonbon
    • By bubblesbonbon 15th Jan 08, 6:50 AM
    • 763 Posts
    • 1,886 Thanks
    bubblesbonbon
    I am also a long standing smile customer and I agree that their rates are no longer competitive but I have found that their customer service is still very good. They are polite, efficient and grammatically understandable.

    Although the freepost envelopes are now a thing of the past, they still supply Post Office Cheque post envelopes so that cheque deposits can still be made at P.O's (if you still have one!)

    It may be coincidence but these rates seem to have suffered since the introduction of the Cooperative Membership Scheme whereby you get a "divi" depending on how much you save or lend from them.
    My advice is to join the scheme if only for the banking benefits.
    Details are at the bottom of the smile home page but if you want to go directly then go here

    http://www.smile.co.uk/servlet/Satellite?pagename=Smile/NCView&c=Page&cid=1157094906092
  • CopperPlate
    Of course, what they giveth with one hand, they taketh away with the other...
  • CopperPlate
    Neither smile nor the Co-operative Bank make any political donations.
    Originally posted by realaledrinker
    From the Co-operative Group Annual Report 2006, page 43 - available from, http://www.co-operative.co.uk/en/corporate/reportsandpublications/:

    In 2006, the Group made a contribution of £464,900
    (2005: £501,000) to the Co-operative Party in respect of the
    annual subscription to the Party and support for Party Councils.
    Miscellaneous political expenditure in support of the Labour
    Party was also incurred through regional activity, amounting
    to £4,523. In addition, the sum of £64,000 was incurred to
    fund the Group’s corporate presence at Party conferences
    held by the Labour Party, the Conservative Party and the
    Liberal Democrat Party, the majority of which was incurred
    at the Labour Party Conference held in Manchester. Details of
    charitable donations are given in the Sustainable development
    section on page 30.

    The Co-Operative Party has VERY close affiliations with the Labour Party. Check it out.
    • Bernie
    • By Bernie 15th Jan 08, 6:19 PM
    • 409 Posts
    • 188 Thanks
    Bernie
    Smile Customer Service...
    ...has been excellent again!

    They have resolved the DD issue completely including refunding the interest charged.

    Still first-class service.

    “When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.

    But when I got to be twenty one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.”

    Mark Twain
    • realaledrinker
    • By realaledrinker 15th Jan 08, 10:49 PM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    realaledrinker
    Like I said, neither smile nor the Co-operative Bank make any political donations.... their ultimate parent might do, I grant you!
    Ethical moneysaver
    • realaledrinker
    • By realaledrinker 15th Jan 08, 11:04 PM
    • 1,603 Posts
    • 552 Thanks
    realaledrinker
    It may be coincidence but these rates seem to have suffered since the introduction of the Cooperative Membership Scheme
    Originally posted by bubblesbonbon
    In my view rates went downhill when the small, efficent and profitable Co-operative Bank was forced into an 'arranged marriage' with the bloated, inefficent dinosaur that is CIS.
    Ethical moneysaver
    • oldagetraveller
    • By oldagetraveller 16th Jan 08, 9:02 AM
    • 3,185 Posts
    • 1,689 Thanks
    oldagetraveller
    Like I said, neither smile nor the Co-operative Bank make any political donations.... their ultimate parent might do, I grant you!
    Originally posted by realaledrinker
    This of course refers to the £3m + "loan" from the Co-Op Bank to the Labour Party which still has to be paid back??
    Did you hear about the politician who had a backside transplant? It rejected him.
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