I changed to Alliance & Leicester (from the awful NatWest) after the Santander takeover and before the re-brand. i bitterly regretted that decision for years as I had numerous difficulties and issues. Customer services was a misnomer. I can't even count the number of formal complaints I registered ( I got quite a few compensation payments as well).
But over the last year or so, my perception has very significantly changed. I now have the best banking products available. My current account pays me 3% on £20k and up to 3% cashback on most household direct debits (no idea how they do that).. My Santander ISA is the best rate I could find for the terms I want. I have a linked e-saver account, also paying a good rate (and you can start a new one every year) and with instant transfers to and from other accounts. The on-line and mobile banking works brilliantly, no recent problems at all - and I use it a lot.
Customer services is massively improved. EG I sent a secure message about forthcoming trip overseas. prompt reply saying all 3 cards have been flagged so I'll be safe to use overseas, but also including lots of advice about charges for using cards overseas, opting to pay in local currency and so on i.e. exceeding my expectations.
Maybe I'm speaking too soon - and I note others' comments (though if you have to say "WTF" etc in a review, you are probably pretty difficult to deal with in person). But the last year has been pretty good, and I was pondering a 5 star rating, but some small points could be enhanced. I'd be happy recommending Santander banking now.
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