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A national newspaper recently reported that Halifax was 'about to do a Barclays'.
The article was reporting about how Halifax was heading 'for the same spectacular fall from consumer popularity that Barclays did in the late 1990s, something which the giant has never been able to shake off'. This is in reference to, or course, the amazing arrogance of the Halifax in regard to the mortgage row (don't get me started with Halifax - see my opinion on them!)
But, shock horror, I must admit that I don't have a complaint with Barclays! Maybe that's because I've only been with them for just under a year, but so far so good.
Barclays are the only High Street bank I know who have 'personal bankers' availible at any time in any branch. These people are the ones you sometimes are asked to make an appointment with to do things the cashiers cant't, such as open accounts, sort out loans, apply for a mortgage, deal with complaints etc. Whats more they have the power to get things done!
They're is, however, a ticket style system for busy periods.
I decided to go for a Barclays account after I got fed up of the distance feeling of an internet account. They may offer you good rates, but they're no good to me when it takes half an hour to find out your balance (I'm one of those people who have problems remembering a PIN number let alone 5 sets of passwords!)
The account was opened on the spot by a pleasant and smiling man (but I could tell he'd been to many a training course, you can tell when the great you in a sing song voice). My card, paying in book etc all came quickly and without problem, and for the first time ever I can actually understand my statements! (they are very clear and easy to understand)
The only problem is (but I suppose with any big company) is the feeling that they are always pushing for another sale. I've been offered 3 mortgages, 2 loans, a Barclaycard and internet banking just for paying in 2 cheques over the counter. A firm no usually does the trick though.
And yes, ATM charges have been droped!
They're website isn't perfect though, it's quite bland with bits of information here and there.
The call centre though is excellent. It's one number for EVERYTHING, and there isn't "press 3.........press hash........press 975 for banking....." The staff, again, are helpful, friendly and trained!
The one thing I find unforgivable though is the branch cull. That is unfair and crude greed at the highest level. I do think it has learnt it's lesson though.
Lovely to hear of a satisfied customer! I dont have any banking experience with Barclays..but its good to note you are quite pleased with them I bank on the internet/telephone (First Direct) though still reatin a High Street account..just in case! Its nice to get that person to person feel now and then, and speed and convenience when you dont have time to visit the branch! Great going! -CH
Cheekychicken 31.03.2002 16:42
Phew! You had me worried there having just read your Halifax op! I bank with these guys right now and haven't had a problem as yet, only been 6 months in my case though, let's hopr for our sakes they are better then the rest. Mel