Abbey still causing problems

Twenty days on from stopping our bank accounts due to suspicious activity, Abbey has still not restored access to our money.

To make matters worse, people and businesses that we owe money to are increasingly suspicious that we’re making excuses for an inability to pay our bills.

I’m getting increasingly infuriated by the situation.

We have thousands of pounds in the bank, we normally pay our bills early and never late, and we can’t do a lot of things that we would normally do because Abbey won’t restore access to our money.

We can’t even change banks until they resolve the situation.

- – - – -

I’ve been using Twitter to make notes as I wade through the various bureaucracies this morning. For those of you who don’t use Twitter, here are my notes (times in GMT)…

  • Today, 08:36 AM: On the phone to #Abbey yet again. On hold for a long time. Still no access to our money after 20 days!
  • Today, 08:42 AM: #Abbey: “Please carry on waiting and I’ll put you through to someone as soon as I can”. When? The end of time?
  • Today, 08:45 AM: Finally got through to someone at #Abbey and they say the complaint will be addressed “soon”. But what about our money!!!!!
  • Today, 08:48 AM: Back on hold with #Abbey. Different call centre, different people, different advice to all that’s gone before.
  • Today, 08:50 AM: #Abbey will remove the block on our accounts, but any fraud will then be our responsibility.
  • Today, 08:51 AM: And #Abbey says it will take then two to four weeks to open new accounts. So, we won’t have money for another month!
  • Today, 09:40 AM: Contacted the Financial #Ombudsman Service about #Abbey. They can’t do anything until eight weeks from the date I complained to Abbey.
  • Today, 09:41 AM: Financial #Ombudsman Service told me to contact the #FSA (Financial Services Authority). FSA says it doesn’t handle individual complaints.
  • Today, 09:42 AM: I should be working around the croft. Instead, thanks to #Abbey, I’m wading through layers of bank and regulatory bureaucracy.
  • Today, 09:46 AM: Time to escalate the #Abbey mess. If the #Ombudsmen & regulator #FSA aren’t interested, I’ll try the media, MP and MSP. #Banks!

24 Responses to “Abbey still causing problems”

  1. Is it worth contacting a newspaper about this? I know the Guardian does a weekly column in the Saturday Money section where complaints like this are regularly handled, and I’m sure the other ones do too. Amazingly, big companies that have been totally unable to sort out some ‘computer says no’ mess of their own making for months manage to resolve the situation within hours of a national newspaper being on the line…

  2. Exactly what I was thinking ‘disgruntled’. After all, what’s the use of being a retired(?) journo, if you can’t use your sources to stir things up a bit!!!

  3. I don’t put everything on the blog. And I have an escalatory path that I follow when dealing with companies, organisations and the government.

  4. Perhaps us ‘followers’ could help? perhaps a mass email campaign to the Abbey?

  5. What happens when you go into a branch and demand your money NOW. ALL OF IT. LOUDLY. IN FRONT OF EVERYONE “ABBEY HAS STOLEN MY CASH!” etc etc. Call the police – the Abbey has nicked your gold.

  6. yeh I’m with mopsa… going into a branch seems to work wonders.

  7. Hang in there! I’d contact the media if it were me. Human interest stories like this usually get eaten up and with the “financial crisis” money is all anyone can talk about. Do you know if other bank customers are having trouble with them?

  8. I hope the OH has made arrangements for her salary to be paid into her new account at another bank. That should at least start to restore the cash flow.

    • If only it were that easy. Switching accounts is never as easy and straightforward as the banks make out. Starting one up from scratch is even worse—oodles of ID is involved, it takes a lot time and you can’t get money paid in until everything is sorted. At the moment, the time frames are about the same for starting from scratch and switching.

  9. (continued…) Or let me at them! I have a nack for getting irrate with crappy customer service people too, not something I particularly proud of as I’ve worked in the industry before but it gets the job done. I’ll put on my best Boston accent and scare the poo out of them.
    The pig idea sounds great too! I would love to see that!

  10. I agree with Anne A if we all emailed the Abbey (not once but several times a day) asking them why they are pi**ing you about and and not sorting the problem out they might decide to get there finger out and do something.
    Its times like this that the idea of keeping your money at home in the bed base seems a better option.

    (If it was me Stoney I would be down the local cop shop …… not complaining but locked up because by now I would have decked one of the smug baskets in a branch).

  11. Santander has responded to my complaints about Abbey, saying that it’s nothing to do with them as Santander and Abbey are separate companies. I find that a little peculiar as Abbey’s website is clearly labelled as being part of the Santander group, while Abbey branches are covered in posters proclaiming their change of identity from Abbey to Santander.

  12. permacultureinbrittany Reply 3 September, 2009 at 07:45

    I’ve been with First Direct for years and always been really impressed. When Gabrielle joined me in France, she encountered several problems with Abbey, which never got fully resolved and, getting increasingly frustrated with hearing about her problems, I suggested she change to First Direct. She did and is as impressed as me. I don’t know what the problem is that caused you account to be frozen but we’ve found FD extremely alert to potential fraud, calling me on my mobile when they detected strange spending patterns (on a visit to the UK, stocking up on stuff, so using my UK cards more than normal) and for a real and scary attempt on Gabrielle’s Visa card. During this episode, they refunded the money that had gone out of her card, stopped an attempted purchase of a computer and transatlantic flight, promised that that would be refunded in the event that they couldn’t stop it, issued a new card immediately and the account remained live, for Gabrielle to access, throughout. Thoroughly recommended!

    • mummys little angel Reply 3 September, 2009 at 17:00

      Yep same with the fraudulent transaction on my account some time back…total time no access to account from me contacting them and new account/card? 3 days, but a phone call from a bank in town would allow me to get cash

      All transactions checked over the phone and any dodgy one refunded there and then. I didn’t even have to report it to the police, that done via another operator whilst I was on the phone sorting out the transactions.

      Total hassle to me? ZERO!

      Abbey could learn a lesson or two from First Direct!!!!

  13. The keywords “Abbey bank” are starting to get results on Twitter. Abbey is aware of it, too, so the more people that tweet what they think, including those key words, the better for us.

  14. wot you need is a shotgun and balaclava

    not only will they give you your own money

    they will give you everyone elses too

    • Better still, get a suit, a silk tie, a BMW and a masters in business management, then they’ll give you everyone’s money as bonuses, the government’s money to bail you out, and the shareholder’s money to ease your early retirement. And it won’t involve prison time either.

  15. Well, the inevitable has happened. One of our suppliers is getting stroppy and wants cash on delivery next week. I’ve explained the situation to them, as I have to many other businesses, but despite doing business with them for several years they clearly think we’re being dodgy.

    The bank that provides our emergency credit card has been fine. Our feed merchant has been fine. ANM, the auctioneers, have been fine. Our vet has been fine. And the list goes on.

    The one supplier that has a problem has always been paid in full before delivery, but now they want cash on delivery and we can’t do that. I a short, terse email from them late tonight—after spending a long day working my butt off—and started explaining the situation all over again. I gave them our named contact at the Abbey and then thought, sod it, I don’t need this. There are other suppliers, so I’ll go elsewhere.

    • mummys little angel Reply 4 September, 2009 at 22:11

      I can see both side of the problem with you and your supplier but ultimately the problems lies solely at Abbey’s feet but you and your creditors are paying the price.

      I would be sending that email to your Abbey contact with a note stating clearly that this is just one of many to come thanks to their incompetency!

      If you are having problem getting food go for a Crisis Loan

      I hope that Abbey are organising a compensation package for you!

      • We have oodles of food—all our fruit, veg, preserves, chutneys, three pigs, cockerels, eggs, etc etc. We are also bringing in enough cash from pig/pork/eggs to to scrape by and pay some bills in part. Normally, we pay for everything in advance or at the point of sale so we have a very good credit history going back years. But if people are going to get narky and difficult because we’ve told them our problem in advance, then they can forget our business in future.

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