Newest Review: ... relatively stress free. This has been the only time I have had to be in contact with Santander in the three years that I have been banking... more
I have never known a more incompetent organisation!
Member Name: MsRachF
Advantages: I can't think of a single one
I was reminded today how utterly frustrating and useless Santander are.
I have had my account for 10 years. The major mess up was 5 years ago, when 1 year after I moved house, a year during which all of my statements and communications from then Abbey National had been sent to my new address they sent my new debit card to my old address! I found out about this mistake after a number of phone calls to the telephone banking service, during the first call an member of staff in a foreign call centre told me my card had been cancelled because they had been informed I was no longer living! Yes he told me they thought I was dead! After a visit to the branch where I opened the account where the member of staff I spoke to was baffled because apparently a card would not be stopped until a death certificate was produced, I eventually spoke to a member of staff in Glasgow call centre who was actually polite and competent and understood the computer system and was able to tell me what actually happened was my new card was sent to my old address the person living there rang the bank and told them I was no longer living...at that address! The first person hadn't opened the note on my account and read the whole message.
So once we worked out what had happened and why the card I had (which was still in date) wasn't working the man they sent out another card and also a new PIN number. However, unbelievably after reassuring me they definitely had my new address (well not really new, remember I had been living and receiving bank statements there for a year) updated on the account they sent these two separate envelopes, one containing the card, one containing the PIN number to my old address again! Giving the person living there full access to my account.
I discovered this when I went to meet with assistant manager of my local branch to complain about the first incident and being told they thought I was dead. She read out the balance of my account, it was £350 less than it should be, when I questioned this she read from her screen that I had withdrawn it a couple of days before, I quickly pointed out that I didn't have access to my account via ATM at the moment due to them cancelling my card. She told me the fraud team would initiate an investigation.
In the meanwhile I was worried being unable to pay my rent (I was a student and a single parent, £350 was a lot of money!), they wouldn't extend my overdraft while they investigated because I was already at their approved limit. I rang the branch where I met with the assistant manager a few times to try and hurry things along as my rent was now due, she started to avoid my phone calls. So then I went to the branch and she refused to see me, instead I met with manager who refused to admit the bank was at fault or to apologise. She did agree to speak to my landlord though to explain that they were investigating fraud on my account and prior to that activity I did have the available funds to pay my rent, I rang him explained and said "so I'm going to hand you over to X the branch manager who will confirm this and apologise for the delay in you getting your rent. Ha!
Anyway, it did get sorted, the money was returned to my account and a new debit card was sent to the branch. I switched my main account to RBS, paid off my overdraft and downgraded the account to a basic one with a cash card only which I use for holiday savings.
I had a number of things I wanted to do with the account today
1. Change my address again, uh oh!
2. Update the phone number linked to my Internet banking so I could receive a OTP via text allowing my to set up a new payment (to my RBS account to pay for a flight) online. I couldn't update the phone number over the phone because I couldn't remember the old one. I couldn't set up the payment over the phone because I didn't have a telephone banking number (I had to speak to 3 people to ascertain this).
3. Set up the above payment and transfer the money for the flight.
So I went into the branch today for the first time in years, hopeful that things might have improved. I went to the cashier, produced my bank card and told her I wanted t change my address, "oh we'll you need to fill in a form," she said, "is there no-one at reception?" there wasn't, she gave me the form and a pen and photocopied my ID (note at RBS I went to the cashier, put my card in the machine, entered my PIN and she changed my address, hassle free). I told her I also wanted to update the number linked to my Internet banking so I could receive OTPs and asked if the same form would allow me to do this, she told me yes, they would sort that out at reception. I asked how long it would take to change the details as I was wanting to transfer some money, she said they would do it straight away, or if not within 24hours. I said I'd like to set up the payment now then, so I could transfer the money straight away, after much deliberation and discussing with her colleague about what I wanted and whether she could do it (she even suggested I do it online, despite the conversation moments beforehand) she eventually did what I asked, after again asking to see my ID when I told her the amount I wanted to transfer.
So after this I filled in the form to change my address and handed in to the member of staff now at reception, I reiterated that I wanted to change the mobile number linked to my mobile banking do that I could receive OTPs, turns out they wouldn't have automatically done it from the form, he made a separate note. I asked how long it would take before this was updated and I could use this facility, he said "oh I think 5 working days"!
It's almost laughable how completely clueless and incompetent they all seem to be, if it wasn't for the fact they have my money! I plan on closing the account and just using RBS for my banking, I have no doubt that all high street banks have their faults, but at least the staff at RBS are able to carry out simple administrative tasks quickly and easily, and have a basic understanding of how things work and how long they take (I use words like 'simple' and 'basic' not to imply this is all the staff at RBS are capable of but to highlight what the staff at Santander at not! I've never wanted anything complicated or complex from them, just straightforward presumably everyday things and they can't even get that right).
Summary: Go elsewhere! They get one star because I can't give 0.
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