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Trust the black horse
Member Name: lellagrace
Date: 20/09/07, updated on 20/09/07 (1013 review reads)
Advantages: Sort out problems satisfactorily
Disadvantages: Had some ups and downs in the past
I have been a customer of Lloyds TSB for over thirty years and have to admit that I have had my ups and downs with them.
When I first opened my account with Lloyds it was because my husband had his account there so we opened a new joint one together. At that time we were both known by all the staff in our local branch, and if the manager was around he would take time for a chat. In short, we were treated as individuals and known personally to the staff.
This continued for several years, then the bank merged with other branches and instead of being account holders at our branch, our finances were handled by a central office.
JOINT ACCOUNT CLOSED
After my husband died I notified the bank and changed the account into my own name. Unfortunately statements still arrived addressed to both of us and I found this upsetting. Despite several calls to the central office this continued so one day I insisted they put me through to my local branch. Not only was the manager upset at what had happened, he actually came to see me at home and brought with him a colleague who had been appointed to deal with my finances personally.
From then onwards everything was fine, but staff leave and that is what happened. One day I went into the branch to withdraw some money and I was asked for proof of signature etc. There was some confusion as they said they didn't have my signature on file. I stood my ground and when I persisted the assistant fetched the file. To say I was shocked and upset is an understatement. On the file card was the signature of my late husband, not mine.
To me, a signature is a very personal thing and to see my late husband's handwriting - three years after his death - upset me greatly. So much so that I left the branch without a word and took myself off to their central bank where all local accounts are dealt with. I have to say that once again the staff were most apologetic, they could see how upset I was and couldn't understand why my late husband's signature was still on file.
I decided enough was enough and told them I was going to change to a different bank. However, the manager contacted me personally and assured me that once again a colleague would be allocated to my account who would deal with future transactions for me. So I stayed with them.
For some years everything went smoothly and if I had any queries I was able to ring my local branch and once again, the staff knew who I was.
Then they changed their number and I had to ring the call centre if I needed to discuss anything. Initially this was okay as they would put me through to the branch, but then the calls were handled by an overseas call centre. When I could understand what the operator was saying, I did ask to be put through to my own branch. This was not done until I had explained what my query was.
Needless to say, after one call when I was neither able to understand what the operator was saying, nor she was able to understand me, I paid a visit to the branch and told them of my dissatisfaction.
Yes, you have guessed it, once again a member of staff was allocated to my account.
THREE YEARS LATER
Thankfully three years on this same lady is still working there and I have to say she is brilliant. In fact had it not been for her help I would certainly have changed banks.
If I have a query I can ring the branch - she has given me their direct number - and know it will be dealt with.
There have still been one or two minor hiccups, for example when I went to pay in an overseas cheque recently the clerk insisted I had not completed the paperwork correctly. I pointed out that this was the way I always completed it but she was adamant it was not acceptable. Rather than argue with her at a busy time I asked to speak to "my" assistant and the problem was sorted out.
I received a leaflet this week notifying me of changes to various charges. I cannot say I am too bothered about this as they do not seem to affect me too much and I am sure Lloyds TSB are in line with other banks regards charges.
I have to say that I do not like the fact that they charge me a fee when I use my bank card overseas, but having checked it seems most banks do this.
On a couple of occasions there have been attempts by others to use my own and my family's accounts by fraudelant means.
The first time this happened was several years ago when it came to light when I tried to use the cash machine. Some inconvenience was caused as my details had to be changed, but Lloyds were very helpful.
On another occasion we got a phone call one evening to say someone had tried to use my son's visa card. As he had had this for some time and not used it, the bank were checking it was a legit transaction. It was, but we were glad the bank had spotted what could have been a problem.
I now have an online account and use this to check my balance, set up standing orders and direct debits, pay into other accounts etc.
Paper statements are still available but I have opted not to receive them as I can check online. Why waste paper and postage?
I now have a lot more confidence in Lloyds Bank, almost like the old days. I am sure they went through a period of upheaval when they merged with the TSB and no doubt it was nightmarish for the staff as well as customers.
I truly believe that Lloyds listens to its customers and tries to improve its services and products to their satisfaction.
It was with some reluctance that I changed to a joint account all those years ago when I got married. Lloyds was not my bank and I did keep my own account at my old one.
However, I have to say that over the years that the services offered by the bank where I had my own account, deteriorated. Eventually I closed my account there and opened another with Lloyds.
When our children were born we opened accounts for them at Lloyds and they were helped through uni by the student facilities offered by Lloyds. Now they are all adults with good careers I am happy to say they have stayed loyal to Lloyds.
Yes, Lloyds TSB may have caused me problems over the years, but they have been sorted out.
When I hear of anyone complaining about Lloyds TSB I suggest they stop moaning to me and make the bank staff aware of their dissatisfaction.
Despite what we hear about major high street banks, I hope Lloyds TSB will continue to deal with my finances for many years to come.
The staff are polite and helpful and really try to do their best. Last week in my local branch there was a foreign young man who was having difficulty in making himself understood. I was proud of my bank when an assistant was called over to help him as she was able to speak his own language.
The young man was trying hard to speak English, but some of the bank jargon was confusing to him, so it was good that they were able to help.
If queues are lengthy, the assistants always apologise for the delay.
In my opinion, Lloyds TSB is the bank that goes that extra mile to help its customers.
Summary: A bank I trust