Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ditched Helicopter award to Santander

We have a submission for a Ditched Helicopter Award from Kerrie Allman:

"Morning Roger,

I have a candidate for your ditched helicopter award, Santander business banking. I opened an account with them in May this year and all seemed fairly straightforward until it came to actually paying anyone from the account. I discovered that they didn't subscribe to the faster payment system so if I wanted to send a same day payment over the value of £200 (staff salaries anyone?) I would have to use CHAPS. It is not possible to send a CHAPS payment online so a form has to be completed, signed and faxed / emailed to the CHAPS department for them to send. Hassle for a small business owner who already doesn't have enough hours in their day.

On the last working day in May I duly completed their form for my 24 staff, filled in all the details, accepted that for that month I would have to pay the £20 per staff member CHAPS fee (I have since amended contracts to state that payments will be made on the last working day of the month but will not clear until 5th so that they can be sent by BACS) sent the form off and waited. I received a security phone call from Santander and thought that was all taken care of. The money left my account that day.

3 days later the first staff member asked me when they would be paid. A quick survey found that nobody had had their wages credited to their account despite the money and the fees having left my account on the last day in May. Phone calls to Santander were useless as all they could tell me was that it should have been in my staffs accounts when clearly it wasn't. The next working day someone from Santander's fraud team rang me back to tell me that all of the funds were in a holding account as they had been marked as fraud. This was due to the amount of the transaction and the fact that it was the first one that I had made from the new account, despite the fact that I followed their processes and answered their security call and had more than enough funds in the account.

All of the funds were returned to my account and payments were made again to staff and received by staff that day, Monday 6th June.

However the story doesnt end there. 1 of the payments were actually unable to be credited back to my account and bounced back to the fraud teams holding pot on Tuesday 7th June. This payment was to a member of staff who had a Santander account, we had to go into a branch with my bank details and their bank details in order to release the money. They were then paid twice for some reason so 7 days after their salary was due it was credited twice to them. Santander couldn't retrieve the money so the staff member had to manually transfer it back to me. It seems odd that all of the Natwest, Barclays accounts seemed to have a smoother process than another Santander account!

I complained bitterly about this as you can expect and had to ask for my CHAPS fees to be returned to me as the standard response was that they had made the payments same day so the charges still stood. After many calls and complaints and emails I was finally sent a bunch of flowers by Santander with a card saying sorry for the small problem with my account. After a phone call where I accused them of sexism (would they have sent a male company owner a bunch of flowers and a sorry?!) I finally got my CHAPS fees refunded.

Big fail for Santander as my business turnover is a not insignificant £80,000 a month."

I think that's a very strong submission - so a Ditched Helicopter Award goes to Santander Business Banking

About Me

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Roger Harrop, The CEO Expert, has spent over 25 years leading international business at the highest level, ultimately a plc, putting him in a unique position to deal with contemporary business challenges. He is ranked in the top 10 of Management and Strategy Speakers worldwide by Speaker Wiki and twice voted by the members of The Academy for Chief Executives 'Speaker of the Year' He is an, Oxford, UK based, international motivational business growth speaker who inspires and entertains his audiences with his acclaimed Staying in the Helicopter® programmess. Over 20000 CEOs, business leaders in 40 countries have achieved transformational change through his thought provoking and entertaining talks laced with real-life stories, anecdotes and humour. Roger is an author, accredited SME business advisor, mentor, and independent director and has run businesses for major multi-national corporations. He is a Past-President of The Professional Speakers Association, a former Vice-President of The Institution of Mechanical Engineers, and a Liveryman with The Worshipful Company of Marketers.