If you are looking for a bank account, mortgage or credit cards that are right for you, there is a world of options out there to choose from. Choosing the right one is just a few carefully considered steps away, so take your time to look at the options and you could save yourself a headache later!
First of all, think about what you want from a bank. It may seem obvious and straightforward but it is easy to get swayed by tempting offers, hard nose sales techniques and banking jargon. What you require from a bank account is personal to you and you have the right to make the final decision.
Once you have decided your criteria, don’t get persuaded by flashy deals and offers under any circumstances. After all, the bank may offer the very best in air miles deals, placing the world on a plate but if you don’t have a passport and you are afraid of flying, it’s doubtful that you will ever get your money’s worth.
You may be looking for a first bank account, in which case your criteria could be pretty straightforward. You will need an account to have wages paid into and a branch or cash point on your local high street to withdraw your money.
However, you may want to hold your current account and credit card at the same bank for your convenience and you should look at the deals and offers from the various providers.
Often, banks that perhaps have fantastic deals on current accounts are not so good on savings or mortgages. It would be wise to research the best deals for your circumstances rather than throw all your accounts into the proverbial one basket for convenience.
You could end up losing out and in the age of Internet banks and financial services, transfers and financial transactions are easily completed online without the need to visit the branch.
If you have been a loyal customer with your bank or credit card for some time, what do you do when things go wrong? How do you complain and get the matter resolved without having to switch to another bank? Here are a few points to make sure you are heard.
Decide what you want, the nature of your complaint and the action that you require. Get your information and details of account numbers etc. and talk to your provider.
From talking to the bank or call centre, follow up in writing with all the facts including who you spoke to and when and include copies of documents if necessary.
At all times, despite the frustration of being put through from one department to another, stay calm and keep to the point.
Do not start adding in other complaints that were not on your original complaint. Also, keep records of names, times and details of any conversation.
From the outset, make it clear what you would like a resolution to the issue. Do you want compensation, refunds or merely an apology for the mistakes and problem? If you are looking for compensation, keep the amount realistic. If you chase for too much your complaint will not be taken seriously.
If your issue is unsolved after eight weeks you can then take it to the ombudsman who will deal with complaints for banks, building societies, credit cards and other financial providers.
Lastly, if you have followed the appropriate procedures to no avail, know when to give up! If the ombudsman rejects your claim, you will never succeed.
In this case, we go back to the start of the process and perhaps your best option is to change your bank account and look for a provider that can offer what you need from an account.