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BANKING ON ABBEY
Member Name: sympatic
Advantages: Branch service
Disadvantages: Phone and internet are not good
I opened the account about four years ago when I changed jobs and the opening procedure was relatively easy however I did have to provide at least three forms of identification which they were very strict over. Also I had to make an appointment to see someone to open the account as the first time I went into the branch there was no one available who knew how to open a new account which seemed a bit odd. The opening balance of the account had to be £50 and I also completed a salary mandate to get my wages paid into the account.
I received a cheque book and a guarantee card and then another card to allow me to get money out of the cash machine.
Initially everything went well and the opening of my account only took about a week.
There are a number of ways to operate the account.
You can pay in and make withdrawals in the branch and this is the easiest way to operate the account. The only problem I find is that the queues are often very long at lunch time and the staff do seem to spend a lot of time talking to each other, also the staff seem to change quite a lot and you do not often get served by the same person, they seem to have a lot of trainees in my local branch and this makes the service even slower as they have to keep asking for help especially if you want to do something other than pay in or withdraw. If you just need a balance or cash then it is easier to use the cash machines which are free and are always working ok. On the whole though the staff are very helpful and friendly most of the time.
I tried to set this up on my account but it never seemed to work at all so it is hard for me to comment but you can pay bills and transfer money using the internet as well as get balances on your account.
You can either call fro your own phone or use one of the ones in the branch however I must say that I find this very annoying as you have to press a load of buttons before you get to speak to someone and then it is likely that they are in India and it can be quite hard to make yourself understood also after you have answered all of the security questions if you get passed to someone else you sometimes have to answer the same questions again.
Most of the time I have had good service from the bank however when I wanted to arrange an overdraft I had to make a number of visits to the branch as I was declined the first time however I was approved for a switch card which combines the cheque card and cash card. This was quite annoying as I only needed the overdraft for a short period and ended up borrowing the money from family however after a couple of months they did ring me to say I now had the facility on my account.
The overdraft is pretty good as you only pay interest while you are overdrawn and there is no set up fee to pay. Iím not sure what the interest rate is but I have only ever paid a few pence each month if I do go overdrawn. They do pay interest on the account but again the rate is quite low and I hardly notice the amount they pay in each month.
Whilst Abbey have not been perfect all of the time they do provide an ok service but nothing to make them stand out from what I imagine most banks to be like. I would say that they are pretty average and worth three stars I just wish the phone banking was easier to use.
Summary: Bank Account review