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Communications Catastrophe

Technology can be a wonderful thing.  It makes our lives easier, washing machines, dishwashers, mobile phones, internet banking.  They’re fantastic things to have in our lives but only when they work.

This afternoon I tried to log in to internet banking.  After typing in a sixteen digit card number, an eight and another five digit passwords I was greeted with this message:

 

Abbey_online_banking

 

I tried the above a few times in case it was an internet glitch.  I tried it on the home broadband and on my mobile phone.  Neither worked.

Tonight I’ve tried to register for text/email alerts with my bank.  I’ve seen other banks use the service for some time and the feedback from the customers I’ve spoken to has been very positive.  I updated my details with my bank when I last moved house, something that appears only to have been successful with their marketing department as only their junk mail was reaching me.

I’ve now learned that the phone number I supplied them with 1½ years ago hasn’t been updated and after the fiasco with their insurance department (which is still unresolved) I’ve done it myself and updated it online.

So, now they have my new details but when it comes to signing up to the service it appears they’re unwilling to implement them properly.  My new email address is showing but despite going through the update process twice tonight, and a screen showing confirmation, they still show an old phone number on the alerts sign-up screen.  

Perhaps their computer’s reluctance to update details is why their communication is so appalling and why customers end up paying hundreds of pounds unnecessarily?

No doubt they’ll offer an excuse along the lines of a digital service which gives instant confirmation (on some screens) requiring 24 hours to update.  After over 14 years with Santander/Abbey National I’ve heard most of their excuses.  This time could be different, I’m not sure they can blame someone else this time.

Scamtander?

As many of you know in January 2011 we moved house.  A letter was sent to all of the necessary companies, gas, water, bank etc. to notify them.  One of those letters was sent to my home insurance company, Santander.  Today I learned that when they updated my address they did so only on the system responsible for mailshots and not on the policy itself.  Given the fact that I’ve experienced their levels of incompetence I know in hindsight I should have checked this was done but it’s not something I thought about given the levels of stress involved with a house move.

This means that I’ve been paying buildings insurance on a house I no longer own.  I could have been paying a fraction of the amount I’ve paid, but the change was never made.

After an accident with a TV and a laptop used for streaming I decided to claim on my policy.  I’ve now been told that I can’t claim at my new address and I must take out a new policy if I wish to be covered.  When I asked to speak to a manager to register a complaint I was cut off.

I’m outraged at the attitude of Santander’s staff!  I’ve a feeling my complaint will fall on deaf ears so I’m preparing a letter to the ombudsman.  I’m not prepared to accept that there’s nothing I can do about 16 months of payments (totalling nearly £650) have been taken incorrectly.