Archive for June, 2010

Banks in Ely survey

June 17, 2010

Bank Survey

It is always difficult to believe everything you are told by the banks or by comparison sites. There is no guarantee that everything is up-to-date or that the bank is forgetting to emphasize what is in the ‘small print’.

So, I am proposing to send the letter at the end of this blog, by email or post,  to a number of banks in the Ely area.  The type of response and their terms will be interesting to compare.

Background:

I have an account with a large bank in Ely. A certain sum is taken regularly from my account and paid to a bank abroad to cover the costs of a flat. I recently went to the branch here in Ely and asked to amend the amount paid. I was told I would have to phone Head Office. I detest using phones – there is nothing in writing and more often than not, you are kept waiting for ages and you cannot guarantee that the call centre person can speak or understand English or know enough to deal with your request. You usually have to wait for a number of automated lectures that I could do without, frankly.

So I asked for a piece a paper and with account details etc, sent the request by letter.

Some days later I received a reply that said something to the effect that my request (no details – it could have been anyone’s ‘request’) could not be acted on because they couldn’t find it and that I should go to the branch.  

I don’t know about you, but I reckoned this was pretty poor service so, as I am want to do when I am put out, I drew my reactions all over the letter – e.g. poor service, that I’d been to the branch already etc. . I wrote the word COMPLAINT in big letters on the envelope and sent the letter back to Head Office.  They replied that they are looking into it – i.e. situation is not resolved.

Letter:

Dear Sir or Madam,

I would be grateful if you would send me an early reply to my questions:

  1. Do you have any special deals for opening new accounts at present?
  2. What restrictions would there be on this/these accounts?
  3. Could I make an arrangement with you to send quarterly payments from one of my accounts with you to my bank in Spain?
  4. If so, how and what charges would you make?
  5. What special deals do you have regarding savings at present?

Please answer my questions directly. Do not simply enclose current leaflets.

Yours faithfully,