Moneywise Customer Service Awards 2016: Worst companies
As well as highlighting the companies that go the extra mile to satisfy customers, the Customer Service Awards gives readers a chance to warn fellow consumers about the firms that have been letting people down.
Readers were hacked off by poor rates, particularly when existing products were pared back or had key features removed.
For example, one person said they’d taken a credit card with Nationwide specifically so they wouldn’t be charged to use their card abroad. The customer hasn’t left, but he’s not happy: “I should have dumped them when they reneged on the foreign currency benefits.”
Also see the Moneywise Awards winners and runner-ups for:
In terms of worst offenders, readers scored RBS lower than any other bank for trust. Many readers criticised the rates on offer, and poor levels of service.
Some RBS clients aren’t happy about the way the government-owned bank is being broken up either. As one reader says: “I’ve had severe problems and am being changed to Williams & Glynn. No idea where the account is based. Utter mess.”
What do RBS customers actually want then? It doesn’t seem like much – fair rates, and good service. One reader was delighted to report: “I actually met my bank manager!”
But if they lay it on too thick that doesn’t go down well either. “RBS employees often engage in fake friendliness and it’s irritating,” warns one disgruntled customer.
Vanquis Bank, which primarily sells credit cards in the UK, scored worst of all the plastic providers. It caters for ‘near prime’ borrowers, which means the bank won’t be able to offer the best rates in the market, but from what readers are saying, the interest it charges is extremely high.
“I no longer use this card although they still send me monthly statements,” one reader shared. “Their interest was so completely out of hand that I ended up contacting the ombudsman who ruled in my favour and ordered them to return over £1,000 worth of charges.”
If you’ve have a complaint about a financial service product you have bought but the company you bought it from refuses to resolve your problem after eight weeks, the Ombudsman can help. The Ombudsman will investigate and resolve the matter. The Ombudsman is independent and its service is free to consumers. The Ombudsman may find in the company’s favour but consumers don’t have accept its decision and are always free to go to court instead. But if they do accept an Ombudsman’s decision, it is binding both on them and on the business.
Used by the holder to buy goods and services, credit cards also have a monthly or annual spending limit, which may be raised or lowered depending on the creditworthiness of the cardholder. But unlike charge cards, borrowers aren’t forced to pay the balance off in full every month and, as long as they make a stated minimum payment, can carry a balance from one month to the next, generating compound interest. As the issuing company is effectively giving you a short-term loan, most credit cards have variable and relatively high interest rates. Allowing the interest to compound for too long may result in dire financial straits.