I bank with Santander – the re-branded Abbey, let’s just say the systems and level of service leave much to be desired. My biggest gripe is that their security system is completely over-zealous and blocks my card every week on average. This is a business account and each time it happens it has a significant knock on effect and costs me money and time. I’ve tried repeatedly to get Santander to loosen the security on my account so that I don’t have to keep their number on speed-dial, however, it’s a gargantuan organisation with thousands of people and nobody knows where to direct you, I’d be surprised if you visited their offices in Glasgow and they knew where the toilet was.
Occasionally, I’ll speak to someone in security who will go through ten transactions of the last six months and I’ll have to verify each company. Sometimes, they will ask me about transactions that haven’t hit my account yet for really random amounts for example £31.57 – I mean, how on earth I am supposed to know who that was for? I can’t see it on my bank statement and the business has dozens of automated transactions a day. If you can’t verify, you can’t unlock your account. Nice.
Other problems have included:
1. “Forgetting” to send a CHAPS payment
2. Sending amounts of money abroad in the wrong currency – this was a huge error and the difference was massive – Then taking four weeks to claw it back.
3. Not setting up Direct Debits
4. Duplicating Payments
5. Not cancelling Duplicate payments.
6. Terrible customer Service.
7. Questions go unanswered and no less than five follow-ups are usually required.
The list goes on, I’ve only been with them for a year and it’s been rather exciting. I guess I should thank them for keeping me on my toes each time I need to pay for something as it’s a bit of a game as to whether I’m actually going to be-able to complete the transaction or not.
If you are considering a move to Santander because of the free banking or some other reason, I suggest you re-think the move as it probably isn’t worth the hassle and heartache you’ll go through.