Advantages Good interest rates, good customer service
Disadvantages Some transfers can be complicated, personal page a tad unclear
Around this time last year I had a small sum of money that I wanted to put somewhere - nothing risky, just somewhere where I wouldn't be tempted to use it and could save and add to it for a holiday this summer. I saw a pop-up for a Zurich bank account which offered the best interest rate, and a free case of wine if you were eligible which I was. I know quite a few Ciaoers took advantage of this, but a couple of weeks later, they published poor financial results and closed their online banking arm, giving each customer their wine and £200 good will with no strings attached. So, back to square 1, but with another £200 in the fund, I found Cahoot to be the next best interest rate and so joined them. I opened a current account and savings account - both of which will be the central focus of this review.---Applying---
Applying was fairly easy and is online only. You go to their homepage, click on apply and are taken to an interim page which informs you of their eligibility criteria, and what information they are going to need from you. It's all basic straightforward stuff. You choose a login name, password, and enter your mothers maiden name and a memorable place and a memorable year - all of which will form the basis of future logging in to your account.Once you have entered that information, you enter your address, current bank details, whether or not you want to switch your accounts over to Cahoot, and your employment details.
Stage 2 is when you choose your products that you want, ranging from current accounts and savings accounts which I chose, to loans, credit cards, mortgages, insurance and sharetrading. At this point you are given a quick decision as to whether or not you have been accepted. They point out that this decision isn't final, it's just conditional on the checks that have to be made on the information that you have given.Stage 3 is when you tailor your accounts and homepage to make it look how you want it to.
So, all straight forward and over in 5 minutes? In theory yes, but with AOL you never can tell. After stage 1 disaster strikes - AOL throws me out, and I have to log on to the Internet again. The only problem is that when I try to log in, Cahoot doesn't have me registered as a customer and when I apply again it says I am already registered - it is supposed to bring you back to the place where you left off in the event of such a situation happening. Anyway, 1 quick call to the Cahoot helpline (in which I was answered fairly quickly and was surprised at how quickly the whole thing was over with), and the guy at the other end fixed the problem. I was to attempt to apply again, choose the same login data as I had before and I should be taken to the place that I left off. All credit to him I was - first good point for Customer Services.Once that is completed, you receive an email confirming your conditional acceptance, and then the forms come through the post a couple of weeks later for you to sign. Once you have returned, you get all your debit cards, paying-in books etc within a week - quite quick really.
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