Abbey / Santander - Same Dubious Practice

Different name, same dubious spots!

The Same Spots: Leopards can change their names, but they can't change their spots it seems. Eight years on and Santander are still operating on the same devious and dodgy basis that was considered an 'acceptable' code of practice by the Abbey!

Low Standard Of Service: Despite many complaints over many years, Santander still refuse to have the decency to send out advance warning of end of mortgage period. This means that customers who expect to be notified and who, as with any other industry, rely on this standard of service as routine, will be somewhat disappointed. Not only will they be disappointed, they will be financially punished. It turns out that Santander deliberately do not notify its customers when mortgage deals are coming to an end because they can then charge them more money for the time it takes to change over the mortgage package to a new deal. How much do they make like this? Quite a lot it seems!

No Obligation & No Morals: In this recent episode, I received a letter on 10th November notifying me that my mortgage deal had come to an end and that my payments would going up. It was dated and apparently sent out on the 3rd November, which was the actual day my mortgage deal ended. Even by second class post it's hard to imagine it would take a week to arrive, but that's what happened. My mortgage is fairly low at a £470.00 per month. The payment then jumped to £591.00, meaning I was out of pocket to the tune of £121.00, and Santander had made a nice little earner. When put on spot, Santander try and justify this by saying there is no obligation to send out advanced warning and it is up to the customer to be aware. Well, I supposed if you expect such a poor standard of what amounts to devious and underhanded behaviour from so-called reputable companies, then perhaps we will have to make more of an effort to be so. However, other building societies do give advance warning and so does everyone else, from the taxman, to DVLC, to the power and insurance companies. Therefore one naturally would expect it as a matter of routine. After all, Santander are always sending me emails and statements. Even though I have been caught out with this before, I was still of the mindset that I would receive suitable notification from my mortgage provider.

Sticking It Up Their Customers: It is easy nowadays to notify customers, either by hard copy or email, it's all automated and so there are no justifiable excuses. I actually thought that Santander had corrected this element of immoral behaviour. After all, when I wrote to the Abbey National in 2008, before they were taken over by Santander, I was told that this issue had been raised before and was in hand with upper management. So, after customers and frontline staff raising the issue on many an occasion, it was in hand with upper management in 2008. It is now 2015 and they've still done nothing about it. There can only be one reason why this issue hasn't been addressed in all that time, obviously, they like sticking it up their customers!

Too Much To Ask: I am always receiving letters and emails from Santander. Statement notification, credit card info, etc, and they don't hesitate to get touch when they want to promote something. It would be nice to think that such companies can have a little bit of consideration for their customers, but in some instances, it seems that fair play, courtesy and common decency are a little too much to ask!

Change Of Regulations: Santander go to great lengths to point out they are doing everything they are required to do within the current regulations. In other words the minimum they can get away with. We have gone to great lengths to point out that we don't feel that this is sufficient enough, as their behaviour still falls below a moral threshhold. It seems that they are not prepared to change their spots, despite the overwhelming customer demand, we will therefore be pursuing this issue further and will be looking for a change in the law. If companies such as Santander don't know right from wrong and still can't do the right thing even when it has been pointed out to them time and time again, we will have to get it enshrined in law and then they will have no choice! However, for now, the moral of this story for Santander customers is "Keep an eye on your backside and keep yourself covered, because if you don't, Santander will..." well, I'll leave the rest to your imagination!