Hopping from the Halifax

Alliance & Leicester Premier Direct Current Account

After 12 years with Halifax, their refusal to refund £2 after a processing error caused me to look around. In today's competitive finance market, it seems they're not the best, by a long way...

A quick check on ftyourmoney.com revealed the following:

With introductory offers and cashback, shopping around brings rewards. Check out the Tesco Clubcard Card for cash back on your shopping and balance transfer offers. See our Finance page for recommended offers.

The only obstacle remaining, was the hassle of transferring, or so I thought. Setting up online with Cahoot is a breeze - you're required to post off two bits of ID, and they help get your standing orders transferred. Abbey's e-saver was equally easy - 10 minutes online, then a signature on a posted form - done and dusted in 5 days. And the Cahoot credit card is on it's way!

Many thanks go to the Halifax Customer Service Team in Cardiff, who's poor handling of a minor dispute is set to save me LOADS.

The motto - It's well worth shopping around. Banks aren't loyal to us, why be loyal to them?

Here's a fascinating example of classic customer service from the Halifax...

Halifax advised me that I should upgrade my existing Halifax card to a Platinum credit card, but I chose a different one from their range. After cancelling my original card, they declined my application, as I had failed their credit scoring procedure based on data from a credit reference agency. Worried that I may be blacklisted, I obtained a copy of my credit report, which shows me as clear. Halifax has now admitted that it made a mistake, and offered me a card... Being told you can't have credit is not fun. Here's what happened...

Nov 01 Letter from that Halifax stating that due to "computer changes" my Gold card was being withdrawn, and would I like a platinum card?
Dec 01 Closed the Gold card any applied for another Halifax card (I didn't want a flashy platinum card)
Dec 01 Letter from the Halifax. "your application has not been successful", with a reference to Experian, the credit agency used, and explaining how to get a copy of my credit record
Jan 02 Record received from Experian, price £2 - no problem with rating. Wrote to Halifax explaining this
Jan 02 Letter from the Halifax. "Sign this form for your Gold card". Confused, I've already been rejected. Wrote to Halifax for an explanation
Jan 02 Explanation from the Halifax - "application was originally declined as the address format had been keyed incorrectly"
Jan 02 Phone call from Halifax - a rare problem that has only happened once before to <name withheld>. I asked for the problem to be logged as a complaint, and to have my costs refunded.
Jan 02 Letter from Halifax to "apologise for any upset", "assure me that this is not typical customer service" and tell me that they would not refund my Experian costs, as "we did not advise you that it was necessary to obtain your file". Incidentally, the letter was a blatant cut-and-paste from their previous letter, complete with two original typos and a new one!

I've been with the Halifax for 12 years, and can't believe that after admitting their mistake, they won't refund the costs incurred. Saving to them, £2. Loss to them, one happy customer (plus his current account and savings account business) and a lot of time dealing with the paperwork. Congratulations to Mark Hamer, Head of Credit Operations at Halifax Card Services, in Cardiff - for losing Halifax thousands of pounds worth of business, over a measly £2.

The motto is, if you're declined from getting credit - don't take no for an answer... it could be a "rare mistake" by the Halifax!!

Submitted by Pete S

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