Switched to FD and today found out today they forgot to tell my DD complaines so I have late fees credit file will also be affected . FD couldn't care less they don't know when my account will be sorted they can't tell me anything as they don't know !!! Admitted mistakes took them 2 weeks to sort and they didn't even realise for a week it had happened !! Just awful don't move be warned ! They
can't keep up to the new account switch service !!!
We ( my wife & I )were tempted by the £125 and set about switching from HSBC to First Direct (also part of HSBC !!!)
Tried setting up a Joint Account - What a hassle - I have read all the comments here - will stick where we are - after all most of our banking is online.
If HSBC have been happy with us having a Joint Account for 23 years why should we now have the expense of getting certified copies of passports to switch to their First Direct branch??
Cannot understand why they get a few good reviews (posted by employees??!!)
Very poor customer service - they only email you with robotic templates, don't get back to you and give you the most stupid reasons for doing all the work yourself. Their 24/7 support claim is a scam, as their own email says "Lines are open 8am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 8am to 5:30pm Saturday and 9am to 5:30pm Sunday." Had to call them each time to get a reaction and just gave up on my switching application. I am not going to a so-called "bank" that treats people like rubbish.
You call someone and the phone is answered; no waiting in queues pressing multiple options.
I've transferred over my main account, savings, credit card and even taken my mortgage with them now. All were opened with no issues. I opened the credit card from my online banking and they asked me what I wanted my limit to be and it was opened instantly; no forms.
I even got £150 for 3 referrals, put into my account : )
Cannot understand the low score, these guys are fantastic, switch was easy.
You call the phone number and wow within a couple of rings a person YES AN ACTUAL PERSON answers you call, if it is more than 3 or 4 rings they apologise for keeping you, they answer your questions, if they cannot the apologise and pass you to someone who can help.
Never heard of a high street bank with such a good set up.
HSBC staff at the branches are so helpful too.
Cannot pick a single fault with them.
Negative reviews are easy to post and when you are unhappy you moan ! Positive reviews mean you need to take time out just to say it is actually as good as the PR guy tells you it is.
Opened an account this Tuesday - no details given about switching - had to call - kept waiting on phone. Eventually got through and set up security only to be told that due to a long waiting time for switching they could call me back and was offered an appointment for Thursday 3.30pm . At 3.30pm got no call back - called again and then advised that they do not do call backs ........I asked to speak to complaints and given excuse after excuse for their basically poor service. Cancelled my account and going to Halifax. Beware
Tried to set up a simple account to pay my wages in, I need a letter from tax office and any id I use like my driving license has to be certified by a solicitor at my expense, they tell me this is normal?
15 minutes in the high street and I got my account with someone else.
UPDATE TO REVIEW ON 6th NOVEMBER
On the 5th July I left a review, which you can read below, explaining the problems we had trying to set up an switch online. At that point we gave up and thought never again. However, our current bank, HSBC are so poor - no 24hr banking unless you pay for it and call centres in India - we tried out of sheer desperation to switch again.
We ran into exactly the same problems, plus some others, but with frequent 'phone calls eventually they were sorted and we got the myriad of security details sorted. We were told the switching date and that we would receive 'phone calls to keep us updated with progress. I should point out that both my husband and myself are very experienced at online banking, purchasing etc. so if it's not easy for us......!!
First thing to arrive was the welcome pack, which we read carefully. The letter told us to 'phone to set up security details. I 'phoned to explain that we had already done this and were told that there was nothing else we had to to, it would all go ahead and the switch would go ahead on the previously agreed date.
Next to arrive was the debit card, then the PIN, and finally, on the switching date itself, the secure key arrived. We duly logged in to find the account empty. We had not received any of the promised 'phone calls, and worst suspicions were confirmed when I telephoned, on,y to be told that I had been given the wrong information, that when I 'phoned before they should have checked the name on my old account and read yet more information, terms and conditions to me. As they didn't do this, the account was not opened! We then went through all these formalities and I have been told that the account will be opened in seven working days!
The temptation to cancel was enormous, but we hate HSBC and have no love for the other banks, of which we have had experience over the years , so stuck with it. Yes, it is good that they have free 24hr banking, there are no press button menus the call centres are in the UK and when you have to hold on, often for many minutes, the switchboard keeps coming back to apologise and reassure, but the actual service is NOT efficient. I received profuse apologies and they did agree to increase the switching "reward" paid. They also said that the various 'phone calls would be listened to and training given where appropriate, but that's an awful lot of training that needs to be given!!!
I wait with fear and trepidation to see what, if anything, actually happens on the switching date, meanwhile, of course, we still feel in a kind of limbo! And as for the future........
I hope that the people who say they don't know why people have given poor reviews, and how easy it is to complain, now have a better understanding of the problems this bank creates and why we are so disenchanted. I can and do write positive reviews when and where possible, and am more than happy to do so. I sincerely wish I could have done with this bank. Time will tell of I am able to in the future.
REVIEW POSTED ON 5th. JULY
My husband and I wanted to open a current account with first direct. We were told that if we do it over the 'phone it will take 30-40 minutes each! We have therefore tried to open one online. First of all there are five different links to click on: "switch today" takes you to a second page, where you click on "apply for a joint account." This takes you back to the first page! I went on like this round and round in circles, so tried clicking on "Learn More." This takes you to a page headed 1st Account, where you click on "apply." Then you get a little pop-up, where you click on "apply for a joint account." This takes you to another pop-up page where you have to enter the characters to prove you're not a robot. Enter these and click on "proceed" and you are taken to yet another page where you are asked if you want to open a complimentary account. The click at the bottom of this page finally gets you to the application form!
Having finally negotiated all of this I began completing the application. I clicked on all the various links such as terms and conditions etc. all of which opened in a separate window - except for one near the end, which obviously didn't and which I mistakenly closed. I realised that I had closed the application.
My husband, meanwhile had immediately received an e-mail from 1st Direct giving him an application reference number, so I used this to try to get back in. It brought up my name but not much else, so I telephoned. Apparently there is no way of getting back in to an application once you leave! I was told that customer services has raised this issue before, but nothing has been done. The only way to go forward was for her to delete the existing application, which she could see onscreen, and for me to start all over again! I was assured that as I had read all the conditions etc. it wold not take so long! The time is taken by all the different figures, such as gross income, bank account no. etc. etc.
No wonder they offer you £100 to switch! Despite this and despite the 6% regular savings account they have, which is the main reason we were switching to them, we will not now be bothering.
Left Santander after years of cock ups and overdraft charges to come to first direct. Biggest selling point was free overdraft up to £250.
Been with them for over a year now and I can't rate them high enough. Service has always been top quality, singing up to them was easy and their internet banking system is one of the easiest I've used!
I find it hard to believe that this bank only score 5.1 they are the best bank ever. Having banked with several banks in the past First Direct don't just beat them they blow them away on service. When you pick up the phone you actually get to speak to a person!! The phone is generally answered within a couple of rings and they have never once not been able to answer my enquiry.
I left my high street bank (sponsor of the premier league) when I took a half day off work to go in to the branch and they were closed for staff training. Unbelievable!!
This was a long time ago and I went home that night and set up a new account with 1stD at 23:00.
Since that time I have had one or two small gripes but the overwhelming experience has been an exemplar of top quality customer service.
Some of their products are not brilliantly competitive but so don't buy them. They don't spend ages trying to sell me things and calling them is almost always a pleasurable experience. Well done them.
I have always had a good experience with the day to day side of dealing with First Direct. However, my experience has shown that if there is anything above a minor problem, you are quickly reminded that you are dealing with a cynical, irresponsible large financial organization. I had the misfortune to take out their legal expense insurance. It covers for £1,500 solicitors costs - that's all. Not the £50,000 advertised. The "warehouse claims processing" agreements they have in place for your legal issues are designed to maximize their own profits, helping you unfortunately comes third place. Even when I pointed out to them that my contractual rights under the policy had clearly been breached, what did they do? Write a letter saying "oh yes so they were - write to the financial ombudsman" The case is still waiting with the ombudsman after a year. No doubt FD think they will get away with the typical £80 fine from the ombudsman. Such a piss-take in fact that even though its a bit of a pain to change banks, I feel I have to. Do not touch their insurance with a barge pole and I hope that the only issues you have with them are around things like a £20 overdraft fee. If it really matters unfortunately you you will see their true colours - not pretty.
1. Did not receive my debit card - had to call in
2. Have not received my PIN
3. Failed to remember my telephone banking password when I called
4. Resulted in locking of my internet bank login
5. Can' access my internet banking or cash in that account
6. MUST CALL FROM MY HOME LANDLINE TO VERIFY SECURITY
How ARCHAIC is that? The phone operator can't help me unless I call from my home 'registered' number. If I had known about this, I would've used my work number as I always do my banking from the office. Can't even close my account - HAVE TO CALL FROM HOME LANDLINE.
First Direct - despite being able to speak to a human voice is very welcomed on each call, your ridiculous and dictating rules make you a frustration to deal with. I'd rather do all my banking online.
No wonder you have to entice new customer with £100. It was certainly a factor to join - but am regretting it now with the amount of hassle it is taking to even close my account.
If you consider this bank for the ease and speed of handling things online, you might want to consider it again. If you are tempted by the £100 bribe they pay you to change bank, be there most likely is a condition you don't meet, so they don't have to pay you.
Opening an account took more than a month, and cost out-of-pocket money. Unlike a physical bank, everything needs to be sent by post, and a copy of your passport therefore needs to be certified by a solicitor, which you need to pay for yourself. I had the passport cerified by a HSBC branch (the bank is owned by HSBC), but they did not accept this, even though the copy had been signed and stamped by the HSBC manager. Be aware that every you send something that they for some reason can't accept, it means another 1-2 weeks delay in opening the account.
Every time you need to talk to them, you need to go through a 5-minute process of telling your name, address, postal code, and a telephone password which has to be different from your internet passsword, making it easy to forget. (You need a total of three seperate passwords just for doing your daily banking). Only after going through that process you can get a reply to even the simplest question - for example be told that a department is closed at this time, and that you need to call back tomorrow.
After having had the bank account for 6 month with a constant positive balance in the 4 or 5 digits, I attempted to open a joint account with my wife. After spending about a month, again providing the bank with all the certified documents required, and being on the phone with about 6 times for a combined couple of hours, it turned out that they did not want to open the account as we "did not fullfill the criteria". This was after getting 2 other completely different explanations of why the account wasn't initially opened, and only 1 day after receiving a letter, asking my wife to call back in order to "continue the process" of opening the account. Nobody could tell us any explanation, and honestly - with all the different explanations we got - it is a likely that the rejection was due to process error as anything else. Nobody in one department knew anything about what people in other departments was doing.
I would not recommend this bank to anybody.
My account has a £100 overdraft limit. Just found out ive been charged £200 for going over this amount by small amounts , at £25 a time. Rather than refuse the transactions, or just charge a one off, or monthly fee, they allow all the transactions then charge £25 a time . For what ?? after 30 mins of surfing between operators i got to The Rude One , spoke over everything i tried to say , and claimed i should be thankful they used this system as charging me £200 wouldnt affect my credit score. Oh Thanks so much !!! Do not use
Have been with First Direct for about 4 years now and have never had any issues at all. I had only heard good things before joining and this has proved to be the case.
The one thing that impresses me most is the helpfulness of the staff. A UK call centre certainly makes a good impression and seems to understand your needs better. As far as I can recall, every time I have called them they have resolved whatever needed to be done, in a helpful and courteous manner.
Have been with this bank since the year dot. 14 years of earning a good solid salary, no debts, exemplary customer. I then started my own business. Explained to FD what I was doing, have kept them informed all the way, have been no more than a week late with any payment and have informed them when I will be late and paid exactly when I said I would.....five years on.......they are still telling me how I'm in serious debt (I'm not). The only debt I have is £900 of FIRST DIRECT CHARGES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm sick of being patronised, I'm sick of being charged when I've tried to do the right thing. They don't listen and just spout at you from their little 'tick' sheet as to what box you should fit in for them to consider you a worthwhile customer. I am currently writing to the ombudsmen about these jokers. AVOID AT ALL COST. Santander, thank goodness, understand what it is to set up a business and now I'm back earning a decent salary and back to being my exemplary self, I shall be banking with them for everything in the future. FD can go spit!!!! Thanks for the support....NOT!
I moved to first direct from HSBC in December as they offered a £100 joining incentive and also where the provider of my mortgage.
I cannot rate them highly enough, its basically a more personal and friendly subsidiarity of HSBC.
They offer a local rate telephone number which I think is pretty much 24hour and brilliant products that I think are always cost effective. Their website is easy to use and best of all they have a really well developed mobile banking app for iPhone users. 10/10 and recommend to friends all the time!
I've been a first direct customer for years and i've never had a problem. If you need a branch service you can use HSBC but 99.99% is done over the phone. You get to speak to real human beings (who are in the Uk, not in India) and they know their jobs. I would recommend First Direct to anyone.
I have been banking with Firstdirect almost since they started with telephone banking. The service has always been good, I seldom use the phone now the online systems are so good but if ever I have to phone I get through quickly to a competent member of staff.
Firstdirect introduced fast payment promptly and have continued to improve this. The site is looking a bit old now but it works well and efficiently.
They haven't introduced (yet!) those annoying little keypads that HSBC and Nationwide use.
I notice most of the complaints are about fees rather than service. They caught me once in the last couple of years; but agreed to refund half a fee! I think all the banks are getting tighter over fees, I'm not sure Firstdirect are any worse than the others.
I have bought expensive items likes a car using my debit card and I have withdrawn large amounts of cash through HSBC branches and I have found Firstdirect very efficient in arranging these transactions while applying a good level of security.
I also run a Nationwide account, their technology is not as good, they don't offer telephone banking as backup but their interest rates and there international transactions fees beat Firstdirect hands-down
Started to bank with them just over a year ago, what a mistake, should have stayed with co-op bank but that's another story.
At first everything seemed ok, but gradually I noticed they were delaying payments into clumps so that it is harder to keep track of how much I was in credit. Before I knew I was tipping over my overdraft by a few pounds due to their own monthly charge. Then they charged me another £60.00 the following month.
When I pulled em up they denied it of course, sure enough this became a regular thing so am really watching carefully to avoid the delayed payment trap. needless to say, I'm looking to transfer back to my old bank who didn't use uncrupulous methods. Try co-op better ethos all round.
Great service from people who take time to care. Transfer of account from Barclays was seamless and trouble free.
Have been with them for several months now, and wonder why I ever thought I'd need a local branch, this is the future of banking.
I have been with Abbey & Natwest both i hated i could never get help and when i called i ended up speaking to someone who's english was rubbish with first direct you always get a english person and better still they are so nice and helpful
once my card got stuck in a cashmachine in chelmsford ( i live in southend) and i only had £10 cash i thought i would be stuck in the streets all night but i called FD and got through to them (about 1am) they cancelled my card and then helped me transfer £50 to a taxo driver to take me home :)
i would say to everyone and anyone THIS IS THE BEST BANK IN THE WORLD
I phoned my bank to ask if there were any debit transactions pending. This was 2 weeks after I used my debit card. They said no. Due to that it sent me overdrawn and they have refused to refund the debit interest. I'm going to close my account down - terrible the way they handled that. - DB
John found this review useful
I am constantly frustrated by the service of many companies but I have to say that First Direct Bank are absolutely brilliant. You phone them and a real person answers very quickly and there are no annoying menus to have have to go through. The people that answer are very polite, very efficient and generally can deal with you without having to put you throughto someone else. Their call centre is in the UK and so they can easily be understood. Thier online banking is great also. I have banked with them for about 20 years and for someone like me to say that I have never had any problems with them is quite amazing. I have baked with about 4 banks in my life plus about 10 building societies and First Direct are easily the best by far.
Have been with first direct since 1992, and have not (and will not) consider moving elsewhere.
The call centre and customer service staff members are always polite, well informed and courteous. Most products are in line with the industry standards (as far as interest rates etc go), however they just shine so brightly on their levels of service.
I've recommended them to many friends, and those that have moved across have all acknowledged their satisfaction with the way they operate.
A lot of other companies (not just banks) would do well to emulate the way they work.
The staff on the First Direct telephone banking really take the trouble to make it a personal banking service and in the five years I have had my First Direct accounts I have been very impressed with the service, which I highly recommend
Having been with First Direct for many years I have had many queries and questions relating to money matters. EVERY time I have contacted them, I have had such excellent customer service, and staff are so friendly, professional and actually care about what happens to you. My wife recently joined and the transfer service was carried out without a single hitch. Thank you to all the staff.
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