As I said in the title, I've had current and savings accounts with Smile since 2001. Their website is OK, reasonably secure without being tricky to use regularly, and they've always been easy and straightforward to deal with.
One thing they could do is give the option to name accounts so when I get a message saying my "...current account statement is ready" I know which account is which. And I have two debit cards for two accounts, which look identical. Why can't we have a choice of colours?
My only real gripe though is that their savings rate interest is far too low for my liking.
I'm long term loyal customer, who moved to the Co-Op to try to put my money with a company that I could trust. Since then, they have invested nothing in their systems or customer service. I'm going to try to keep some savings with them in an ISA account, but for day-to-day banking, it's just not worth the effort any more. The bank I use in Spain has a better platform than these guys do. Tragic.
Been with Co-Op bank since 1980 - then transfered to SMILE when launched. Very happy until 2 to 3 y ago - now charges £20 quarterly for £5000 overdraft facility set up (never used) - and refuses to refund. You can't access all your old statements for tax. I'm off to First Direct - SMILE _-why did you become the bank that says NO.
I think I'm off to First Direct after more than 10 years with Smile. The land of smiles has lost its charm; its quirky and hopeful colours belie a rather grim negativity that it never had previously, and I just get the feeling that it is heavily constrained in what it can do. Grey is the new pink. Given what's going on at 't Co-op in general perhaps we shouldn't be surprised. You no longer feel as though you're getting through to the brand - in fact I'd say the brand has died leaving only a vestige of itself in the never-changing vibrancy of the website. No more slightly trying-too-hard-to-be-hip music while you wait, even, or the continuity guy who sounds like he'd be a good laugh on a Friday night. Just Nanny, now. The previous reviewer was spot on. I bank six figures each year and yet rather than trying to treat me with the flexibility of someone who in another setting might be groomed for a 'Premier Select Gold Private Banking etc etc' upsell, gets referred to the rather patronising 'Money Management' department cap-in-hand if there's ever a blip in the cashflow. Only to be given a resounding no for the smallest, weeniest lending request. I have no borrowing with them, not even the free £260 OD, but it appears that for some reason that I really can't fathom, I'm not going to get a farthing from them any time soon. There's responsible lending and there's plain meansterish inflexibility. So, new year, new bank. Sorry, but I'm not smiling any more. And shame, because for routine phone enquiries the people you speak to are uber-friendly and generally efficient. Just don't ask them for any loose change from their pockets.
I have banked with Smile.co.uk since 2002. They're not my only current account but they are my main one. Up until fairly recently I've been happy with them, their customer service has always been pretty good. However, I am in the process of doing my tax returns and I need to see statements from April 2011, I'm not asking for much... I was shocked to discover that I can not see statements more than 12 months old online and if I want access to these I need to pay £10 a statement (by the way these are not monthly!). I'm appalled because my current account with another bank lets me see statements for up to 6 years online for free and has done so for many years and this is a High Street bank. I would have assumed that if you don't post out statements, as a basic right you should be able to see these online and 12 months is simply not long enough. Smile.co.uk (though owned by the Co-op) is in itself an online-only bank so does not post out statements and never has. Other points...
- the online user interface does not look like it has changed at all in the last 10 years that I have been a customer, no seriously. It is starting to feel really outdated compared to other banks online services (and I have banked with many).
- The statements appear to be produced in an ad-hoc manner, sometimes I get them every 9 days, every 12 days, every 21 days (this is from the last 3 statements) and it is a headache to find transactions. You have to click on each statement one by one and look through it. Other banks are far more sophisticated with various search tools and at least produce regular statements!
After this tax return fiasco, where I can not see essential transactions unless I pay £100 for statements I should have access to anyway, I have decided to switch to another online-only bank who will also let me see 6 years of statements online free of charge. Smile.co.uk haven't updated their systems in the last decade which is inexcusable for an online-only bank. Customer Service is on the whole good though. It's a shame, they have good ethics, but they have let themselves down by not keeping up to date and in line with the rest of the industry on basic features.
With regards to the previous review about loans, this has not been my experience as they have tried to sell me loans and increase my overdraft in the past (last time October). But maybe they have got a lot tighter with their lending in recent years, I haven't asked for a loan from them so I couldn't say.
Have banked with Smile since 1999. Significant funds go through the account. HAve three accounts with them. They won't lend. When we needed an urgent bridging loan they told us basically to forget it. They would have taken 8 weeks they said. We asked for a 7K loan a few years back - and they just didn't respond to the request at all!
We did finally get a loan from them, but the they withdrew overdraft and credit up to 40% of the value of the loan. It was too late by that time so i had to accept.
Rule 1 with Smile. Do not expect to strike up a lending relationship. As you get older and wealthier - you will wish you had banked with someone else.
Rule 2 with Smile. Don't save with them. I don't think they have a product with interest of over 1%. Their ISA pays less than my savings account. All a total waste of time.
The customer service is good. But thats not enough for a Bank.
I've been with Smile for nearly ten years now and have found them great. The website is easy to use, and their customer service good. I've taken loans out with them without a hitch and done all my banking without any problems.
i have been banking with smile.co.uk for several years. i find their website very user-friendly, although sometimes the design does not follow industry design standards (colors, contrast, font size so that everybody can see everything easily). the services provided on the website are fast and excellent; there is good info about smile's procedures. i am less satisfied with postal services. for example when i pay a cheque into my account i have to deposit that at the post office and it takes forever to be credited to my account. moreover any request for a transaction that is less routine (international payment etc...) is dealt with very slowly. all in all, great for everyday banking.