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Alliance & Leicester

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115 Reviews
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    115 Reviews
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      17.12.2011 20:37

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      Avoid unless you like spending time repeating yourself several times

      I recently closed an account with Alliance & Leicester and even that was a painfully process. I originally opened an account Alliance & Leicester when they were offering a £100 incentive if you switched to them. Even though I met all the criteria I never received the £100 although disappointing I thought never mind live and learn, if it sounds too good to be true it probably is.

      I prefer to do my banking online but the Alliance & Leicester website wasn't great for user friendliness and very chunky and old fashioned and this just became worse as they merged with Santander. There were times when I couldn't log on for days at a time and other times I'd manage to get logged on but then get kicked out in the middle of doing something.

      On more than one occasion with my bank statement I would receive a page or two of someone else's statement as well as my own and once half of my own and half of someone else's. On contacting Alliance & Leicester regarding this they told me just to bin what wasn't mine. No mention of shredding it to protect the other person's details or if it would be looked into to prevent it happening again.

      After 11 months I was fed up of near constant problems with Alliance & Leicester I decided to close my account. Went into my local branch for what I thought would be a simple process. How I was mistaken I was in branch for about 2 hours and was told by the cashier who had been going through the closure of the account it would take effect within 24 hours and I should receive no more statements. Well for 3 months after that I still received statements and had to spend another 2 hours in branch to finally get the account closed.

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      28.01.2011 08:33

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      I also had an Alliance & Leicester account (for 20 years) and am saddened by what has now happened to them since the takeover. Santander has the rudest, most arrogant customer service phone staff I have ever come across. They are apt to block your internet account for spurious "security" reasons, then you have to fight like the devil to get your account back. And all the while they act like THEY'RE doing YOU a favour by allowing you to bank with them. Advice: AVOID.

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      24.12.2010 17:22

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      mindlessly complicated and infinitly adjustable, yet useless

      One of my key business objectives is to spend as little time as possible maintaining accounts and tax returns. I want to focus on developing software and my business. Running my business requires I be able to download clear, unambiguous records of my activity for VAT and other purposes. Alliance & Leicester at every turn utterly fails.

      I made three payments for VAT, PAYE and salary. This is the very best that could be coaxed out of there system with the help of their web team. Can you tell which is which?
      08/01/2009,-3882.60,INTERCONNECT BACS 12JAN,3664341 ELECTRONIC BANKING INTERCONNECT BACS 12JAN,960 - BALANCE ADJUSTMENT - DEBIT,00xxxxxxx
      28/11/2008,-2926.69,INTERCONNECT BACS 02DEC,3664341 ELECTRONIC BANKING INTERCONNECT BACS 02DEC,960 - BALANCE ADJUSTMENT - DEBIT,00xxxxxxx
      18/12/2008,-2277.74,INTERCONNECT BACS 22DEC,3664341 ELECTRONIC BANKING INTERCONNECT BACS 22DEC,960 - BALANCE ADJUSTMENT - DEBIT,00xxxxxxx

      In general their systems are mindlessly complicated and infinity adjustable, however despite all this it is guaranteed to let you down with the umpteen trivial but essential things you need to do when running your business. In many respect it is almost as if it is not a real bank.... non-standard account number formats, odd sort code mechanisms, inability to produce proper statements.

      This is only the tip of a very big ice berg.

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      24.12.2010 17:22

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      mindlessly complicated and infinitly adjustable, yet useless

      One of my key business objectives is to spend as little time as possible maintaining accounts and tax returns. I want to focus on developing software and my business. Running my business requires I be able to download clear, unambiguous records of my activity for VAT and other purposes. Alliance & Leicester at every turn utterly fails.

      I made three payments for VAT, PAYE and salary. This is the very best that could be coaxed out of there system with the help of their web team. Can you tell which is which?
      08/01/2009,-3882.60,INTERCONNECT BACS 12JAN,3664341 ELECTRONIC BANKING INTERCONNECT BACS 12JAN,960 - BALANCE ADJUSTMENT - DEBIT,00xxxxxxx
      28/11/2008,-2926.69,INTERCONNECT BACS 02DEC,3664341 ELECTRONIC BANKING INTERCONNECT BACS 02DEC,960 - BALANCE ADJUSTMENT - DEBIT,00xxxxxxx
      18/12/2008,-2277.74,INTERCONNECT BACS 22DEC,3664341 ELECTRONIC BANKING INTERCONNECT BACS 22DEC,960 - BALANCE ADJUSTMENT - DEBIT,00xxxxxxx

      In general their systems are mindlessly complicated and infinity adjustable, however despite all this it is guaranteed to let you down with the umpteen trivial but essential things you need to do when running your business. In many respect it is almost as if it is not a real bank.... non-standard account number formats, odd sort code mechanisms, inability to produce proper statements.

      This is only the tip of a very big ice berg.

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      20.12.2010 19:15

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      Been with them for about 35 years, since Girobank days, so they are the only bank I have dealt with.

      I can honestly say that although I was dismayed at the thought of Alliance and Leicester changing into one of the worst banks in history, so far, I have not had a problem. When I had to cancel a couple of direct debits, they did so. When my debit card got eaten by a faulty cash machine, I got a replacement within 2 weeks. When my weekly statements stopped coming, a phone call sorted it and I was refunded 3 months charge for weekly statements. My only gripe is that now when my wages go in my account I have to speak to an adviser to see how much has gone in ( I dont get my wage slip on pay day as it is posted to me) because the automated service does not cover transactions made on the day whereas it used to.
      I have always found the advisers to be courteous and helpful, as they were when they were A & L. My friend also banks with them and she is also happy with them.

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      08.12.2010 17:19

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      INCOMPETENT COMPANY PEOPLE BY IDIOTS

      In March 2010 we visited the Salisbury Branch as we wished to transfer 3 ISAs each to benefit from their 5.5% offer. To do this we had to see a so-called 'advisor' who turned out to be incompetent and living a world he has created for himself. At the beginning of the meeting we emphasised to him that we had completely separate finances but wished to echo each other in these investments. Also I wanted my partner with me to avoid being bulldozed into something I not not wish for. On several occasions during this meeting we had to re-emphasise our financial separateness as he did not seem to be taking it in. We then received in the post a single report lumping us together financially as a couple!!! The report was full of innacurasies and actual fabrication, as he reported on numerous subjects we had not discussed!!
      We bothe wrote letters of complaint to poit out all his mistakes but have never received the courtesy of replies.

      All but one of our ISAs were lost or mislaid, until I had to personally instigate it on our return to the UK in August. Meanwhile we had contacted the Complaints Department who have not resolved the problem at all.
      The 'advisor' is now wriggling and makely false accusations against us to cover up for our complaint of his 'mis-selling' due to the fact that, in his report, none of my mortage free houses or finances had been taken into account.

      Their online security system is unnecessarily convoluted and caused us great problems when trying to access our accounts from abroad. We ended up not being able to access our money as they wanted to know such things as what transaction did you do on 6th July - to the penny. We are not in the habit of travelling with our printed statements as we rely on the internet access to check our balances. But they would not allow us access as we could not remeber these details. They also said our passwords were incorrect although they were the passwords we have always used. They kept saying we had to visit our branch - why? These are supposed to be online banking accounts!! We were abroad and could not visit a branch. Impasse!!! We have now closed our current and savings accounts and will regret we cannot move our ISAs also.

      We are now taken the matter to the Obudsman, newspapers and online financial forii. We will not rest until we have had satisfaction.

      AVOID ALLIANCE & LEICESTER Aand SANTANDER LIKE THE PLAGUE especially the SALISBURY, WILTSHIRE BRANCH!!!!!

      The company is completely incompetent and should not be allowed to trade.

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      07.12.2010 09:54

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      Both my husband and I have on line accounts with them, we were unable to see the details for MONTHS after the transfer to Santander - I can now see my account details but my husband is still unable to view his. Have telephoned, written by post and by e mail and had letters back saying they would compensate us with cheques - that's a laugh, we are still waiting and really don't expect to ever see them. I would not recommend this shambolic organisation to my worst enemy.

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      22.11.2010 20:59

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      I feel deceived into losing this much money

      A week ago I received a letter from Santander informing me the PlusSaver account I opened with the Alliance and Leicester in June 2008 was overdrawn by £159.23 and I was required to repay this amount plus any pending charges within 9 days or action would be taken.

      Having not used my account since August 2009 when I needed to withdraw all of my savings from it and stop the £500 monthly payments into it, I was shocked to learn I had amassed such a hefty overdraft, especially as I'd only withdrawn whole pounds and left 36p in the account for fear of going overdrawn.

      When I rang the Santander helpline to ask why they had waited a year before letting me know my account was in the red, I was told I should have kept a check on my online statements for myself. When I explained that I believed this wasn't necessary because there had been no transactions made using this account for fourteen months, I was told I should have read the terms and conditions more carefully so I would know that it was because the account wasn't being used that I had accrued this overdraft. I should have contacted them direct so the account could be closed properly.

      Fearing the magnitude of further charges that might be imposed on me I rang them back a week later to pay them the money. I told the man at the call centre that Santander's customer care was extremely poor. His response was very unsympathetic; he said that there's no reason to inform customers of overdrafts if they have an internet account. In light of this insight into Santander's approach to their customers I suppose I was lucky to have been informed at all. To this man's credit he did eventually deduct November's penalty of £55 from the total to reduce the final amount to £104.23.

      I have no problem with paying a fair price for a decent service, but I feel that Santander deliberately delayed informing me of my mounting debt to them to maximise the amount they could penalise me.

      A word to the wise, make sure you read ALL the Terms and Conditions. Better still, go to another bank - one that isn't run by Santander.

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      18.11.2010 11:14

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      Avoid - even with a good savings rate they're not worth the trouble

      After 6 months of being messed about I made the switch to another bank this morning.

      A&L / Santander shouldn't be allowed to say they are part of the faster payments scheme - even with the lowest cap of £300 (the majority of the other banks have £10,000!!!) in my experience they haven't been able to make a faster payment in less than 24hrs to either another A&L account! or to external banks for 6+ months.

      I have been lied to and fobbed off about software problems, geographical problems, promised letters, phone calls back etc etc etc - the problem still exists and they will try and tell you no bank can guarantee a faster payment yet they are the only ones to automatically delay internet payments, subject them to 'fraud' checks and suggest making a £1 payment to a person which should mean all future payments will go through on time - they didn't!

      Customers shouldn't ever have to put up with a service as bad as this. Having to phone up to make sure there isn't a problem immediately after using internet banking sort of defeats the point of having internet banking.

      When you can receive payments from external banks in less then 2mins (and I have) yet your own partner who also has an A&L account can't get a payment to you in less than 24hrs, and usually 3-4 days, it says it all.

      Whoever has mismanaged the merger should be sacked.

      I've been with the A&L since the start of 2010 and i'm not prepared to put up with them any longer.

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      18.11.2010 02:07

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      Worst bank ever?

      I opened an account when they were still A&L, offering £100 to switch, they incorrectly transferred my Direct Debits, (all ones I didn't want them to have!), and neglected to sent me half the things I needed for online banking - also the most confusing thing ever, HSBC's system is so much easier! - after several phone calls and promises of things being fixed I decided to close my account, unfortunately an errant Direct Debit snuck up and it turned out I owe them a little money. I phoned them asked to cancel the Direct Debit, paid the balance and please, Miss, close my account. No dice. My account was still open, and they never cancelled the Direct Debit - another phone call, they finally cancel the Direct Debit, but I owe them money again!! I pay it off, and please, Miss, close my account this time? Again, NO. Apparently I now owe them £130. There is NO WAY I am going to pay this. I hope they take me to court!

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      12.11.2010 15:14

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      Applied for finance and gave all the paperwork they asked for. 2 days later was called and ask for a bill of my previous address which obviously i told them could not get. Anyway i paid deposit on the car i wanted, before all this, because they said i'd get the loan and was kept on hold and never called unless i called to find out what's going on. In the end after waisting 3 weeks of my time, i cancelled the application and they gave away my money and didn't even bother to let me know about it. I had to call them and the dealer and found out the hard way that i am not getting it back. DON'T DEAL WITH THEM. I FOUND OUT THE HARD WAY!!!!

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      28.10.2010 00:06

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      AVOID

      Changed over to them 6 months ago. Address wrong (cannot cope with a flat number in a house of road numbers). 7 phone calls and one letter of complaint later address changed- still wrong but at least it doesn't get addressed to neighbour. Offered goodwill gesture of £25..

      Direct debits incorrectly changed over multiple times and keep stop working.

      Santander took over Alliance and Leicester- another way to screw everything up. Changed sort code, didn't tell me(!). Another bunch of direct debits failed. Don't want to check my credit score now, suspect getting a morgage might be difficult. Changed sort code managed to screw up linked savings account so that only money could go into the account and not be taken out. Another 3 hours on the phone trying to sort. Still haven't received a new chequebook which they initially said wasn't required. Level of customer service is pityful.

      I have never had any problems from any other bank and they're just a catalogue of errors. Would advise everybody to avoid any Santander Group product like the plague!

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      27.10.2010 22:26

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      So incompetent they even managed to screw up the resololution of the complaint at final level eg.. "I have refunded 40 today and added a further goodwill credit of 25.."Actually they refunded 40 but forgot to add the goodwill credit, Ombudsman next as that didnt even address the entire complaint anyway, worst bank in the world.

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      07.10.2010 17:08
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      Since the Santander takeover, have royally messed me and my banking around.

      I used to be entirely happy with Alliance & Leicester (online account, but with a friendly, cluefull UK based call centre), however since the takeover by Santander, things have nosedived sharply. I have now been waiting for over a week for a reply to an online secure message, when in the past I would receive a reply usually within 24 hours, but certainly never longer than 48.
      All summer long, I have been receiving letters from Alliance & Leicester / Santander telling me that nothing would change, and I could carry on using my account details as normal.
      Without warning, at the beginning of September, my mobile phone was cut off, and when I checked with my provider, they told me that Alliance & Leicester / Santander had refused the direct debit, as my account had moved branches. Since then, I have had numerous other companies contact me telling me that my direct debit had been refused, and they had been told various things by A&L/Santander, ranging from "the account has moved to another branch" to "that account is closed now".
      Utter shambles since the Santander takeover, stay well away. I'd rate zero stars if I could.

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        04.10.2010 00:23
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        not a good experience

        I no longer trust the alliance & Leicester bank to get things right, ever since they were taken over by Santander. They used to be a good bank. I have just finally closed the account after six weeks of phone calls and letters. I had a letter come through from Santander telling me my agreed over draft was being canceled and I had to pay it back within a few days. There was also going to be charges made to the account.
        So I called them up and they said it was a mistake and I was not going to have any charges so I should not worry.
        A week later I had another letter saying the charges were coming out, and so the charges did. I tried phoning the Santander bank on and off for four weeks. They cut me off when putting me though to other departments and the calls just went dead after choosing different options. I tried about six different numbers. When I finally got through to someone they said the charges would be put back and I had to call another number to cancel further charges. Another two weeks went past trying to get through to someone that could help. I finally moved to another bank after visiting another branch. What a nightmare!
        On one plus side there were a few A & L staff trying to help but they all seemed to think the problem should be sorted out with another department.

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