Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Santander screws up yet again!

Just why is Santander, the former Abbey National, so completely incompetent?

Over the past few days, I have transferred various sums from my Santander accounts to pay my builder. All within the bank's limits and all confirmed by their much publicised OTP fraud protection scheme. This entails sending a special code to your mobile to make sure that the person carrying out the transaction is authorised to do so. I did that, all was well and the transfers were sorted out to happen.

Today, my builder queried why one of the transactions had gone into his account but had been recalled by my bank. I go online to find that my entire Santander account has been suspended.

I ring Santander and, after entering all my card number and my date of birth, was connected with a call centre in Bangalore. The woman there was useless, ploughed on through her script, unable to deviate in any sense or form from what she had been programmed to do. However, she did reveal that the bank had tried to contact me - on old numbers.

I gave up on the call and rang again. What a difference. An Irish voice this time, helpful, sympathetic and responsive. I get back online quickly. As I do, he explained that the bank's fraud protection department had tried to call me to query the large amounts going out of my account.

It transpires that, although my contact numbers are all up to date, the fraud department, supposedly at the forefront of protecting my interests, only has my old details. But, I asked, why did they cancel a transaction which had been authorised by their OTP system?

My man at the bank could only hold up his hands and apologise.

Why does the fraud department not have the current details?

Again, he could only express sympathy and understanding.

But, I can now do the transfers, he guarantees that they will go through.

All very well, but Santander's uselessly antiquated systems means that I have to enter each transfer individually and spread out the payments over three days.

Very bad show.

Thus, I am to be contacted tomorrow by 'someone senior'.

Let's hope that Santander's systems allow him access to my current contact numbers.

Because as soon as I have spent the last penny in all of my Santander accounts, they are being closed.

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