This morning I rang the Co-Op bank to ask about how I close my account with them. As expected I had to write a letter on headed paper to their "Accounts Closure Team". The letter contained the usual stuff they needed to know and the following, which they didn't need to know, but I felt they ought to:
For the record I am closing my account with you purely because of the inexcusable state of your online business banking. It got to the point where it was beyond a joke. Although moving my account has taken up more of my time than I care to think about, I'm hoping that time will be saved in the future as I won't need to battle against the odds to do my day-to-day banking.
Your online business banking is quite possibly the worst online application I have ever used! And I use a lot.
If you're wondering why, it's something I mentioned recently. Since posting that I was contacted by another blogger and co-op customer who has posted on the topic quite a bit. He'd been in touch with the BBC Radio 4's Money Box programme who went on to air a feature about it. I'd offered the reporter from the Beeb some sound-bites, but they didn't, err, bite. This kind of thing can only happen on the internet.
The phone call this morning, along with writing the letter, finding the headed paper and messing about with the printer trays has taken up all of my morning so far and it's gone 10AM. Still got to walk to the post box too!
While it's given me great satisfaction closing the Co-op account it's taken up a lot of my time. Nothing is ever as simple as you'd think it should be! It's taken 3 weeks to get from applying for a new account to writing the letter to the close the old one and I've lost count of the number of phone calls I've made/received. And then there was the afternoon I spent cycling to and from my local HSBC with all the paperwork they needed. I'd say it's taken a whole day of my time to move bank account. If not more.
My hope is that the time spent moving will pay back in the future. The Co-op bank's system wouldn't allow you to setup a Standing Order, so, every month, I had to remember to go in and create three new payment requests. With HSBC I've already setup the orders and have nothing much to do each month now. Not only that but the HSBC's system is blazingly fast (in comparison) and a pleasure to use.
Good riddance co-op. I didn't want it to come to this, but your empty promises of change came to nothing.