Written on: 20/04/2012 by AliOliphant (3 reviews written)
I foolishly fell for a very slightly higher interest rate on their latest e-saver. Oh how I wish I hadn't.
Firstly, I apparently had some old accounts which I knew absolutely nothing about, into which my savings were put, bearing next to no interest. When I found out, I tried to sort this out on the phone which took literally hours of being sent from pillar to post, but was eventually resolved.
However, worse was to come, when I found out that Cahoot and Santander were under the same banking umbrella, and being concerned about Santander's massive Spanish debts, decided I should keep my savings with the group under £85,000. Easier said than done.
Firstly, there is no mention on their site about the maximum amount allowed to be withdrawn electronically per day, so I tried £10,000, which worked. I tried again intending to input a different transfer date if necessary, and was told on the screen that I should telephone a Santander number. This I did, asking what was the daily limit to the amount allowed for withdrawal. The Santander employee refused to tell me, saying that it changed every day, which is why she couldn't tell me (even for that day!). I then asked if I could withdraw the sum by phone since I couldn't do it on line, and went through their frankly very inadequate security question with no parts of password requested, but questions like "is your account a joint one?" (by saying no I probably had a 90% chance of getting that right). Anyway, I passed the simple security questions and the girl, with much leaving of the conversation to consult others, eventually said "your money will be in your bank account in 2 hours". 2 days passed and no sign of any money, so on the third day, I telephoned again to find out where it was and was referred to a very rude woman in the Fraud section (there had been no attempt to contact me by phone, SMS or email about their mistake) who said that the only way I could now get any money out of the e-saver (deliberately chosen as an on-line account) was by going into a branch! I had to make a specific appointment with Santander in Crouch End, bringing both my passport and my driver's licence. Thus, I drove to the chosen branch, arrived nearby in a thunder storm so was so utterly soaked by the time I had walked to the appointment. However, as I arrived, the only person (Iffey) that would deal with my request LEFT because she said she had to move her car!! I waited for 15 minutes past the appointment time, then went to get some shopping since appointments were quite obviously unnecessary after all, and none of the other staff would help (including the manageress). When I returned 10 minutes later, Iffey was there and she spent the next half hour continuing to prevent my access to my own money. She seemed to think that her obstructive tactics, telling me to keep my money where it was, which naturally made me increasingly scared about the safety of my money, might make me change my mind. When I eventually stated that I deemed their tactics to be something akin to theft or hostage-taking she relented and said she would give me a cheque. Even this took an age, so that by the time I finally emerged mentally beaten and exhausted, I had run up £5 in parking charges, and an hour and a half had passed. Naturally by this time I wanted nothing more to do with Santander and removed every last penny, not just that which brought my savings with the group under £85,000. I took the cheque straight to my current account bank who explained that because Santander wouldn't pay electronically, the money would not be in my account for 5 working days. This being a Friday, that means they effectively use my money for another week with no interest accruing to me. No wonder they didn't want to do an electronic transfer. The last dagger in the wound.
The only company as bad as this mob is British Gas, and I'm told that even they have improved since I last had anything to do with them.