Customer disservice

We’ve got several bank accounts, the Sage and me.  There’s our personal accounts, the joint one we pay household bills from, the business one (we recently opened another of those, for reasons I’ll come on to) which is also a joint account, my family trust one (which is less interesting than it sounds) and the Sage has a few others, I don’t keep tabs on it all.  But only one of them annoys me.

It’s the one that we used for business, held with a building society that has been taken over from Santander.  It goes for a few months without being used, all the sale proceeds are paid into it and out to clients, and the profit is used occasionally, in this case to pay the Sage’s tax bill.  And this morning, I received a phone call from Santander to confirm that the cheque recently made out was a legitimate one.

Well, it was soon after 8 am, I was upstairs in the bathroom, the Sage was outside giving the chickens breakfast and I didn’t have the information to hand so put the phone down (it’s an automated call) and, no doubt, they will phone back later.  But this happens every damn time a payment is made from this account.  To start with, I assumed it was because, after a long period of it not being used, several large cheques were paid out, and this was reasonable.  But after a phone call regarding a cheque for well under £100, and not in a fallow period, I did get rather more annoyed.  The thing is, if the account is used fraudulently and it’s not our fault, the bank is liable.  So this is not customer service, it’s just putting the onus on us.  And if one day I had a phone call, knew that cheques had been made out and authorised one too many (with no prior warning and no cheque book to hand), they’d get out of their obligation because it would be my fault.

Anyway, we haven’t closed that account but will wind it down, and have opened a new account with another bank entirely.  But what I’m wondering is, does Santander contact everyone every time a cheque is made out on one of their accounts?  And does any other bank?

14 comments on “Customer disservice

  1. Blue Witch

    Santander are absolutely, totally, best avoided. Your experience is one of the better I have read about. Look at the customer (dis)service ratings they get in any survey to see that you’re not alone.

    They paid us £200 for messes they made with their credit cards which we held. As soon as the money had cleared, I immediately closed them.

    The only way to deal with Santander is to vote with your feet. Well done – most people seemingly put up with it.

  2. Marion

    A cashier at our bank has called me a couple of times when someone doing some remodeling work wanted cash for checks I had written for rather large amounts. I really appreciated that. But your bank just seems annoying rather than concerned.

  3. Alienne

    I have had maybe 3 or 4 calls (over about 6 years) from the Co-op checking whether a payment (using an internet one) was fraudulent. They were usually things like hotel bookings abroad so not something I do every day.

  4. Tim

    Wierd. I rarely write cheques nowadays, but would be disconcerted if the bank phoned me just to tell me they’d cleared one – I’d think ‘well, that’s what you do, isn’t it?’
    I only got phoned once, and that was when I used my debit card to buy a new car. I thought that was fair enough.

  5. Paff Rine

    Our business bank account was with Alliance and Leicester,(there is another “ei” Tim) which was taken over by Santander. So far, thank goodness, I haven’t noticed any difference. They have never phoned regarding cheques, in fact, they have never phoned at all. I think we must have slipped their attention, thank goodness!

  6. mig

    Nat West once phoned Barney in the middle of the night when I was in the middle of buying a camera lens on EBay with his credit card (he’s the holder of the card and I’m just an added name). I thought that was quite reassuring as it was an unusual and large purchase. Other than that I don’t think any of our banks ever phone us except to try and persuade us to use more of their services.
    I’d be outraged if they started sending us automated calls!

  7. Z

    Spelling mistakes/typos in comments don’t count, because they’re invisible until published.

    Just us then. Hmph. Thanks. Sometimes they are large cheques, mind you, I wouldn’t object to that, but it’s every damn time.

  8. Mike and Ann

    I’m with Blue Witch on this. I have no personal experience of this bank, but I am aware of two cases in my family where their behaviour has been totally unhelpful and uncaring. Best avoided.

  9. allotmentqueen

    OH can go for months without using either his current account debit card or his debit card for our joint business account. And then he’ll start building up another computer and buy several thousand pounds worth of parts over the internet from different suppliers over a few days. Barclays usually puts a stop on his card after about six transactions. We usually ring them before they ring us to confirm they are all genuine purchases and to get the stop taken off. Bit annoying, but I suppose he does look like he’s nicked the card and is on a spending spree until he gets caught.


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