Advantages Great to begin with
Disadvantages They treat graduates worse than most other banks
|Efficiency of service|
|Competitiveness of charges/rates|
|Promptness of service||Good|
|Online - Content/organization of site||Good|
|Online - Reliability/speed of site||Excellent|
|Online - Ease of applying for products||Good|
It's funny. I must've originally written this opinion about 3 years ago. Back then, I had no complaints. The Halifax had treated me in an exemplary fashion. How things have changed.They were fine when I was a student. I had to make full use of the interest-free overdraft that was on offer. Ok, so it wasn't as generous as that offered by other banks, but I viewed that as a good thing - it helped me manage my debt slightly better than I might otherwise have done. And the first year after I graduated was fine too. I was in low-paid work, struggling to pay the rent in one of the most expensive parts of the country. I could still make full use of the overdraft - interest free - which was a massive help.
Now, do you know what most banks offer graduates with a lot of debt? They extend the interest free overdraft for a few years, making you pay off a few hundred quid each year until you're back in the black. The Halifax, on the other hand, write to you a year after graduation to say that they'll be applying the standard rate of interest to your overdraft. On £1000, that's quite a lot of cash. Needless to say, they don't advertise this extortion very well in their promotional materials.I've complained. And complained. And complained. I received several very polite, but completely useless responses. So you know what? I'm transferring my overdraft onto a credit card deal I've found, and moving to a bank that's clever enough to recognise the long term prospects of its customers. I'm in a good job, with excellent prospects. In a few months my overdraft will be cleared. Whe nthat happens, I don't want the Halifax to see a penny of my money because I feel I've been treated abysmally in the last few months.
Original review text:
The Halifax was not the first bank I approached about getting an account; I tried both the Co-Op bank and HSBC first. HSBC were so unhelpful that I walked out, and the Co-Op opened an account but gave me an Electron debit card even though I has specifically asked them for a VISA Delta card.From the moment I walked through the doors of the Halifax, I was made welcome. I was given a free cup of coffee while I waited for someone to assist me, and opening an account didn't take long. I was taken step by step through the account opening process. There were no forms to fill in; all I had to do was tell them my details, show some ID and sign a form. Considering how little money I had at the time, I was surprised how much they seemed to want to give me an account. My cashcard and PIN duly arrived, and everything has gone smoothly since.
Eighteen months ago (give or take) I became a university student and decided I needed an overdraft. Turning my account into a student account was painless and hassle free, and was once again accomplished over a free cup of coffe (hey, I'm easily pleased...). Though I am now £700 overdrawn, the staff have never been anything less than very helpful.Their internet banking works very well, and I have yet to experience any problems with it at all. No mistakes have been made with my account yet (I check my statements carefully). When I have dealt with them on the phone, they have been polite, courteous, and always able to answer my questions.
The only gripe I have with them is over my credit card. When I started university I applied for, and received, a Halifax VISA card. After I had started using it, I discovered there was an annual fee on it after the first year; was a little annoyed as I hadn't been told at the time. However, they abolished the fee not long after - fantastic. Unfortunately they have just announced that the card will no longer have an interest free period on it. That was the only reason I used it! Looks like I'll be changing credit card then...So there you go. I'd definitely reccommend banking with the Halifax. Just avoid their credit card, and make sure you get as much free coffee as possible.
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