Vote for the companies you think provide the best service
Have you been tempted to buy the cheapest home insurance, only to suffer terrible customer service when you needed to make a claim? Or have you found yourself doing all the legwork when it was your bank's fault your current account was wrongly debited?
It's all too easy to get our heads turned by cheap quotes and competitive rates, but getting a good deal on your financial products isn't just about getting the best rate or lowest price. From choosing a mortgage or savings account to switching energy suppliers or banks, you also need to make sure the customer service is first class.
Now in its fifth year, the Moneywise Consumer Opinion Survey asks you to vote for the financial providers you rate most highly, based on the customer service experience you've had. More than 14,000 of you completed the survey last year. We'd like to reach the same level this year – but we need your help. We'd like to know which companies you think offer service with a smile and which have let you down the most.
The survey is live so cast your vote today. All entrants are entitled to a free copy of Moneywise and there's a £1,000 cash prize to be won.
Top of the class
Although there were a variety of winners last year, First Direct stood head and shoulders above the rest. It was voted the most trusted provider overall for the third year running.
Respondents praised the bank's "knowledgeable" and "friendly" UK-based call centre staff who continue to wow both new and longstanding customers, with many readers remarking that they hadn't yet suffered a single problem with the bank.
Is First Direct set to clean up once again this year, or are there other financial providers that have impressed you more?
Has RBS repaired its tarnished reputation
We also highlight those companies that have consistently failed to impress, and last year Royal Bank of Scotland came top of the list.
Once one of the world's biggest banks, it is now more than 80% owned by UK taxpayers after it announced a defi cit of £24.1 billion in 2008 – the biggest ever annual loss in UK corporate history.
Corporate mistakes, bad management and poor service were three of the most common complaints noted by survey respondents. "Very poor customer service" and "idiots in charge have cost me a lot of money" were some of the complaints you levelled at RBS last year.
RBS took the 'worst provider' crown long worn by Santander, which rose to fourth worst service provider in 2012.
An account opened with a clearing bank (few building societies offer current accounts) that provides the ability to draw cash (usually via a debit card) or cheques from the account. Some pay fairly minimal rates of interest if the account is in credit. Most current accounts insist your monthly income (salary or pension) is paid directly in each month and they offer a number of optional services – such as overdrafts and charge cards – which are negotiable but will incur fees.