I wrote the following letter to the Santander CEO towards the end of June and hoped it would sort things out.
Ms Ana Patricia Botin-Sanz de Sautuola O'Shea
Chief Executive Officer,
PO Box 1125
Bradford BD1 9PG
Dear Ms Botin,
I have attached a letter of complaint which the very able Ms McManus at my Finchley branch is looking into. However, since I wrote that letter the Santander Fraud Office has blocked three attempted to pay a £1400 amount, initiated by me to the Bank of America. In addition to this, he has blocked an attempt from my wife on her card as well.
I am becoming convinced that the tiresome person I mentioned is carrying on a vendetta because I complained at his stupidity – details in the attached letter.
My wife suffers from High Anxiety Syndrome and I do tend to become very protective where she is concerned.
I am not sure of the exact amount I have in Santander, but am pretty sure it is below £100,000 at present.
If this problem persists, I shall consider closing the account and moving my money to one of my other banks.
Knowing you received your degree at Harvard, and having lived for many years in the USA myself, I feel sure you will take my complaint more seriously than someone who has only worked in the UK. It is because of this that I am not, in this instance, contacting the Banking Ombudsman.
I received a letter from their Executive Complaints manager and you can see from my fax to him in reply, that, as usual when writing to “Corporates”, they never really get it:
Russell Mistry-Preston Esq.
Executive Complaints Manager.
Dear Mr Mistry-Preston,
Thank you for your letter dated 2nd July 2014.
It seems you have misunderstood the real reason for my anger.
The major part of my complaint was when your silly employee in the Fraud Office asked me if I had used chip and pin over the last ten days and I answered “No, the last time I used it was the 6th of June”. He said the answer should have been none and said I'd have to ring back. On reflection I guess he was not bright enough to take the “'no' part of my statement as his answer. If you read my previous correspondence again you might see this.
However, we have both spent long enough on this matter so I am content to let it rest.
But a little while later I sent a second fax to the Executive Complaints Manager, as they had bounced a request to send £11,880 to my stock brokers. A little later I tried again and they bounced it again!
Dear Mr Mistry-Preston,
They have done it again!
I called for another £11,880 from my stock brokers.
I filled in the red Santander form at the end of the transaction.
It wouldn't accept the password which I had written in my password book. So I clicked on forgot password. Filled in the new form correctly, and it bounced.
I checked. Everything was correct. I asked my wife to check everything, then it bounced again.
I retyped the info and asked my wife to check it, it bounced again then locked me out.
Apart from leaving Santander, which I am now thinking about, can you suggest an alternative action I might take???
Yours sincerely,I am sure, dear reader, that you won't be surprised that Mr Mistry-Preston has completely ignored my fax.
Since then the Fraud Office have blocked my credit card on two occasions but never consecutively, and for small amounts under £99.
I have stopped using my Santander credit card as I have a Barclaycard Visa, an Amex Card an Amazon Card and a Nationwide card. I shall keep the Santander account topped up so I get the maximum 3% interest, and return to one of my other banks.
I certainly will not keep more than £20k in that account.
Alas, Ms Ana Patricia Botin-Sanz de Sautuola O'Shea may be the Chief Executive, but it is evident she has no authority over her bank's Fraud Office.