1st Uselessness: Having banked with Santander for about 8 years, we opened an online savings account to save £20,000 from an insurance policy for a few months before needing the funds on a new property.
3 months on, and only a couple of weeks before needed the money, we found the account frozen due to Santander not having properly identified us. It took 3 visits to the local branch and 10 days before they finally released our own money to us. They paid us a £50 sweetener before we closed ALL accounts.
2nd Uselessness: Upon informing them my mother had died, I was told to get a copy of the death certificate in order to collect her £6,500 savings. The bank's form needed to be witnessed by a Commissioner of Oaths which I did within an hour, only to find on my return that my cousin had helped herself to £2,500 to pay for my mother's funeral which she had arranged without me knowing. Santander didn't want to know and the matter has spent the last 12 months with the Financial Services Ombudsman.
3rd Uselessness: After buying from dfs, the 3 years 'free' credit was arranged by Santander Cards. After "misinformation" and errors with the handling of initial payments, they paid us a £71.20 "credit". After missing payments (using the "credit" in-lieu of payments) they started to harass us for non-payment. They charged us £12 several times for "late payments" not only when none were due, but due to the "credit" were actually in advance with payments!
Six months into a 3 year loan, they demanded the full outstanding amount even though it was only short by the "credit" which they had granted, yet a month later they demanded only the monthly payment and the "credit" shortfall! They also claimed the balance being £120 short for no obvious reason and haven't provided a statement or other details despite having asked for one on several occasions. The matter was referred to the Financial Service Ombudsman last month.
September 2013 - FSO ruled Santander must refund initial 'credit', refund £12 charge, pay £100 compensation and remove all negative credit rating as a result. (Note, apart from the time it takes for the FSO to deal with a case, ALWAYS opt to have the case dealt with by the Ombudsman if not satisfied with the initial adjudicator, and remember, complaining cost to the FSO costs the bank £500 anyway!)