Tuesday November 18th.
Halifax Banking services / complaint. (… perhaps you would prefer me to call it ‘feedback’?)
I went to my Local branch of the Halifax in Hastings today to explain that I had received a letter from Adobe Systems (who I license my industry standard software from) to tell me that my account may have been compromised and my security and bank details harvested.
I thought I’d do the sensible thing and contact you right away.
I had to visit the branch, because after wasting quite some time trying to contact you by phone and being bounced around various electronic terminals - I was cut off. It was very difficult to work out which of the obscure options was right for me - I was about to give up anyway.
I was told by the teller not to worry, but just change my security details. I returned to work and that is what I attempted to do, online. During the process I was told that a call to my mobile would be made - the number on the screen was partially obscured so I could not check it. The call did not come through. I was then locked out of my account.
I returned to the bank and explained the problem to the woman on the information desk, she found someone to assist, however - your computers were ‘all down’ as your server had ‘blown up’ - and apparently, the staff at this branch had been complaining to ‘head office’ for some time that this might happen - clearly not a good sign…
I was lead into a room where the employee who tried to assist me was forced to go through the same tortuous telephone and keypad process that the customers need to engage in - which we are told is there to make life easier - but is actually a tiresome, counter intuitive and irritating process that puts most people off. I was surprised and a little disappointed that there are no direct numbers he could just call.
After spending some time with your representative on the phone - I was able to reset the password and memorable information using my own mobile phone, and then AFTER I HAD FINISHED, I was told that I could not access my account until I had shown a photo ID in person - which I was never asked to bring or warned about beforehand, and don’t have - I don’t drive and need a new passport. I would have been able to tell you this if I had been informed beforehand. Part of the process also includes me being asked to provide the exact cost of a hat I bought in Debenhams last week - which I couldn’t remember to the exact penny, so was not permitted - a bit farcical.
Despite the fact that I had business cards, bank cards, a National Trust Card, membership for the Tate and a National Rail card, an appointment card for a dental checkup, and I am the ONLY PERSON IN THE UNITED KINGDOM WITH MY SURNAME, and suggesting that you could just google me, I am locked out of my online banking.
I am delighted that you take my security very seriously, but clearly not as seriously as the ‘customer experience’. This is not a ‘service’, - I pay to use this account - it costs me money - and the time I spent/wasted in the bank today costs me money - because I am self employed and was supposed to be somewhere else, also the time I shall have to spend resolving this when a mythical PIN number that may, or may not, enable me to reset my banking when it potentially arrives in about 5 working days.
When I first became a Halifax customer It was a building society and the service was excellent - over the years it has gone downhill, the technology available to you now is supposed to make things better for you and us, not worse, I am left feeling that as a customer - I am an inconvenience - and not an asset. It was very little compensation to be informed that ‘my feedback will help make the service better for other customers’
However - on a positive not - this has reminded me that I really need to talk to someone about all the years I paid Mortgage protection when I had 2 mortgages with you - having been told emphatically at the branch in Brighton how it was mandatory - and only cancelling when I heard an article about miss-selling on Moneybox Live. Would you be so kind as to inform me of the correct procedure - and the direct contact details of the department that deals with this, and I shall spend some time working out how much you owe me.
Looking forward to your speedy response.
Richard de Pesando