How Santander Faces the music


Just before Christmas, Santander worked out how to clear its Facebook page of all the unhelpful comments that usually disfigure it. The bank offered a hamper as a prize for ‘liking’ the page and posting a complimentary comment.

As you’d expect, the page was then flooded with testimonials from satisfied customers reporting that Santander was the finest organisation that they’d ever had the pleasure of dealing with, or that their lives had been immeasurably changed for the better as soon as they had opened a 123 Current Account.

You could be forgiven for thinking that Santander had suddenly developed a degree of competence, or discovered the concept of customer service.

Of course, the traditional flow of complaints from customers who had had important transfers fail, or their mortgage payment taken twice, or money stolen from their account, continued as normal. The difference now was that these were vastly outnumbered by those offering unbounded praise.

A good result for Santander, then, but it will only be a temporary one. Things will soon return to normal. What will the poor bank do then?

Don’t worry, Santander has recently developed a new technique. If a customer’s comment shows the bank in a particularly bad light, it is simply removed. So, the more that you have been damaged by Santander, the more difficult it is to make the fact known. It’s a sort of inversion of natural justice.

I’ve managed to rescue one of these deleted comments, so that I can show you what I mean. It dates from mid December, and concerns some money that Santander has lost on behalf of a customer. The customer went into a branch to organise an international transfer and the money was paid into an incorrect account.

I think that I need to clarify this. The customer gave the bank employee the correct bank account details, and then the money was transferred in error to the wrong account.

Santander, predictably, has washed its hands of the whole thing. It acknowledges that the money has gone astray, but is refusing to tell the customer where it is. She will have to wait until the bank gets around to an investigation, in its own good time.

As she had been unable to resolve the matter, in desperation she posted a comment on Santander’s page. It was promptly deleted. Bizarrely, the comment had received a cursory reply first.

So that you can judge for yourself how defamatory, threatening and obscene her comment was, I’ve provided a link to it under ‘Related Articles’.

What’s the moral of this story? Santander is immune to feelings of common decency, even at Christmas.


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