The Abbey hassles continue

Despite it now being a couple of months since Abbey stopped out bank accounts and several weeks since the problems were allegedly fixed, things continue to go wrong.

We received a letter from Abbey Insurance in this morning’s post, saying that our October direct debit had been missed.

I phoned Abbey Insurance and was told the payment had been missed twice, so our insurance was being cancelled.

I explained the situation to the Abbey representative and offered to make an immediate payment to bring the account up to date.

“Sorry,” I was told, “the system won’t allow that.”

The system would accept our new account details to allow a new direct debit to be set up for payment from November, but it won’t accept any form of immediate payment.

Instead, we’re expected to go to the nearest Abbey branch, in our case more than an hour away, or send a cheque by post.

However, we have a very limited time frame in which to make the payment and with a postal strike looming, we’d be foolhardy to risk sending the payment by post.

So, it looks like we’ll have to traipse into Aberdeen again and pay a visit to Abbey’s surly, unhelpful branch staff again.

We can’t wait until this is full sorted and we can move our business elsewhere.

11 Responses to “The Abbey hassles continue”

  1. This really is an absolutely disgusting way to treat you….However, having been a victim of Abbey’s ridiculous ‘systems’, I have to say that I am NOT in the least amazed by the continuing saga…….. As you say, the sooner they finish blethering and get things sorted, the sooner you’ll be able to transfer to a proper bank…..but of course, surely even Abbey realise that and they want to hang onto your account, because it looks bad if the number of customers dwindles.

    BTW, following our own ten year saga with them, and the subsequent escape from their clutches, they now keep contacting me, referring to me as a ‘valued customer’! Ha Ha Ha !…….

  2. mummys little angel Reply 17 October, 2009 at 07:52


    The Abbey need to take a leaf out of First Directs book!

    Last year I received a letter from one of my banks that I pay bills from that there were in ‘sufficient funds’. I went online to see what had happened because the funds should have been there. For some reason First Direct had not made the last two payments to them. I rang First Direct and the operative on the phone immediately accessed my account and said

    ‘oh for some reason these payments have not been passed over when we upgrade the system recently. Would you like me to make them now and set thing up again? Of course any charges you incur because of our error we will fund, so you must let us know if you get any’

    I replied yes, her answer?

    ‘that’s done for and now I will set up the payment (tick tick tick) that’s done!’

    The process took the time it takes to push a few buttons, and I was contacted a week later to ensure payment are still ok and no late charges had been incurred.

    Follow Lesley’s lead and ditch the useless bank.

  3. To make matters worse, Abbey is implementing a new security measure. I will no longer be able to access my account online unless I have a mobile phone that’s registered with them. When I carry out an online banking transaction, a code will be sent to my mobile and I’ll then have to enter it online before the transaction will be authorised.

    The problem? I don’t have a mobile phone.

    Abbey’s FAQ says that if I don’t have a mobile phone, I’ll have to go to a branch—which rather defeats the point of online banking, especially when our nearest branch is more than an hour away.

    Yet another reason to change banks.

    • mummys little angel Reply 17 October, 2009 at 10:22

      I now have a huge lump on my forehead from banging my head on the desk…….words fail me.

      Bank of Scotland send an email to say a transaction has taken place and where to contact if incorrect. My mobile phone doesn’t work at my house and I have to go and stand out in the middle of the road to use it. They also do faster payment which means the money goes straight away and doesn’t hang about in a holding account gathering the bank interest. First Direct is the same.

      Shabby Abbey they should be called!

  4. Why haven’t you already opened an account at another bank already? Its abundantly clear that Abbey is not the right bank for you …

    • Whichever new bank we choose will pull all the information across from Abbey. If we change banks before the Abbey accounts are correctly set up with all standing orders, direct debits, regular payments, etc, in place, then we’re likely to find ourselves in an even bigger mess.

  5. Can’t you approach another bank & explain to them what has happened with the history of examples? I’m sure they’d be only too happy to help…!

  6. My bank here in Australia has just upgraded their security systems too, with the same kind of sms code requirements – and I don’t have a mobile phone registered with them either.

    After a bit of a palaver, they are sending out a “token” that attatches to my keyring and generates a random code when needed so I can use that instead. I would have thought any bank would have to have a convenient backup for customers who don’t have a mobile.

    It is both hard to believe and completely unsurprising to hear Abbey are still suffing you around. What poor customer service!

  7. I feel for you, Stonehead. This useless so-called bank has ‘mislaid’ a £3,500 ISA which I stupidly transferred-in in April 2008. I’m luckier than you. Although this is a hell of lot of money to me, at least it isn’t business critical.
    When I noticed its absence from the account statement in June 2009 I embarked upon a voyage of discovery of their breathtakingly useless “Customer Service” department and their frankly obstructive Complaints department, which will be all too familiar to any other unfortunate customer who has been given cause for complaint.
    Having been through the usual channels, including the Ombudsman, I lost patience a couple of weeks ago, and began emailing the financial columns of the national media and posting on every relevant forum I can find. My blog ( is out there and, although not as eloquent as yours, is being read.
    Clearly the only way to get at this truly appalling organisation is through its pocket. Spreading the word, and getting the national press on their back, seem to be the only options open to us.
    Good luck in your battle!

  8. I suggest you get a list of their directors and send them all links to your blog. I certainly would never bank with them after your story! This bloody mobile phone nonsense… they don’t work here on the farm either. Banks (mine and B’s) cannot get their heads around this.

  9. Very pleased to have found your posts and sympathise with you all. We have just established the opening days of AN OTHER bank at New Year when we hope to move and leave Abbey and all its invented problems behind us.

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