“Tried to switch a joint account to a fuss free first direct account. Not fuss free needs three passwords for Internet and three different pass words for telephone banking. You cannot switch a joint account on line. Apparently they want you to set up two accounts and then join them together. Decided not to switch as building society I was with for over 20 years was much more customer friendly. First direct has ruined my credit score by not deleting there hard search and calling me wilful. According to trustpilot other potential customers have had the same problems. The CEO and his team were no use. It certainly was not fuss free, quite the opposite. 69% bad feedback on trustpilot.”
“I was a loyal customer of FD for over 30 years but recently received the most appalling customer service and sadly have moved banks. Their people first and continous PR about excellent customer service are just empty words and promises. Just treated like a number and FD didn't even say they were sorry to see me go after 30 years. Clearly loyal customers mean nothing to them.”
“Used to be known for great service - now it’s only scraping ok service. When things go wrong - there’s no ownership and conflicting information given. First direct is a good bank, until things go wrong”
“Impossible to contact them by phone. Web chat is ineffective and usually have to wait for a live person to chat for 10 min plus. I have had problems with contactless not working sporadically, and fraud issues supposedly. Impossible to contact fraud department to speak with them when alerted, takes at least half an hour of hanging on. They used to be fantastic bank, as I have been with them for well over 15 years, however, they are now absolutely dreadful and to be avoided.”
“As someone who helped launch FD in 1989 and worked in Customer Services for 15 years, I was always very proud of the standard of Customer Services the Bank achieved and maintained. Yesterday all that changed as I needed to speak to the Visa team about a transaction that had appeared on my account even though the order in question had been cancelled within I hour of being placed. I was appalled at the patronising, condescending and domineering way the people I spoke to spoke to me. They were all as thick as two short planks but thought they knew it all. They told me that unless I could provide proof that the order had been cancelled, they wouldn’t refund the money. As the order had been cancelled verbally I had no proof and it seems that the fact that I am a totally honest person of impeccable character with a long history of honest dealing, that was not good enough for them, my word carried no weight at all.
I told them to cancel the DD so the payment couldn’t be taken and cancelled the card. The stupid woman said in a really clever tone of voice that leaving the amount unpaid would damage my credit rating which I know to be untrue. Today I rang the retailer and asked them if they would issue a refund or whatever it is they do when an order is cancelled and they immediately agreed to do so. Had I been advised to do that when I first rang to stop the payment, I could have saved myself all the hassle but no one ever suggested doing it. It is such a shame to see such a rapid decline in standards which can only be due to poor recruitment and/or poor training. It is to be hoped that the company soon realises that they have a massive problem in these areas and even their most loyal customers are getting fed up of being insulted and treated like nuisances. The current policy on Visa refunds is actually benefitting the scammers and fraudsters who plague us daily and FD customers face an uphill struggle in trying to get their money back without the benefit of having the Bank working for them as oppose to working against them. It’s a scandal that needs resolving quickly.”
“I’ve been with FD since their beginning. They were great until a few years ago when they upgraded their security features and website and it’s difficult to use. I never used to get locked out of my account but do now. Today I can’t spend £3.50 on a train ticket because they insist this needs a one time code which their system won’t send. Utterly rubbish service.”
“The online service remains abysmal. Records of payees appear to have been excised from my account, and I can't pay people.
The revamped website pages are unclear...the robot hasn't helped and the human to whom I was transferred timed out as I was typing...presumably because I responded to the robot advising I needn't stay logged on, and someone answered whilst I was logged off!
A shambles of the first order, and after 30 years, I'm off as soon I get round to it.”
“absolutely appalling. for 4 days now impossible to contact FD, including making a formal complaint - no response - and asking the fraud department to contact me urgently since they are not answering my call. I have also used the application on my phone who say they can't help. so far 40 transactions have been made on my account without my authorisation and 3000 pounds. this is breath taking incompetence and total disregard of customer care”
“HSBC closed their branch in my town and then the branch I used to pay in to on my way to work also closed. I haven't had a satisfactory call with FD customer service the last three times. Staff appear willing and helpful but can't seem to resolve an issue. Spent several hours trying to transfer funds to another financial entity yesterday and FD kept blocking it for no reason. The fraud department seems to be overseas now and when transferred to them I was just told 'tomorrow, tomorrow', meaning that they couldn't resolve it and just wanted me to go away. I still can't resolve it and nobody will investigate and call you back. I accept that sometimes things don't go according to plan but it's how an issue is resolved that really matters with online banking. Oh, and I didn't like the hard sell for banking by App either. I'll be switching, as soon as I can find a suitable alternative.”
“I have been a long-standing customer of FD. It used to have great customer service. I should have seen the warning signs when the staff started ‘instructing’ me how to use online banking when I did not want to do this. Their attempts to get me to use the app instead got more insistent with them ignoring me saying I didn’t want to use it and offering to guide me through it in a patronising way. I guess they had been told to get customers to use the app at all costs and before the big change.
The big change appears to be much longer waiting times when calling them (they are always receiving more calls than usual) and now I have found that payments I set up with my FD debit card are not renewing automatically because the card has been switched from Visa to MasterCard. When I was sent the odd-looking new card, I did not realise that my payments for car insurance and the AA were going to be declined because of this change. The car insurance firm has charged me £20 for the ‘unsuccessful payment’. I doubt FD are going to refund this.
All in all, everything has gone downhill and it is worrying. I never wanted to change banks but it looks like I need to find one that is more customer friendly and isn’t going to spring nasty surprises on me like this. There is nothing that makes FD stand out as ‘better’ now and it’s such a shame because they were brilliant.”
“Used to the best.. Now a joke.. Being forced to use their app over everything and forgetting what made them so good-excellent customer service. Been with them about 15 yrs.. I'm in the process of leaving I'm that dusgusted. And as for phoning for help.. A joke.. Avoid like the plague”
“After wasting nearly two hours over this last week trying to call First Direct, I finally got through late last night. I was on the phone for fifty minutes, being transferred to a number of different people with long sessions 'on hold' in between. Eventually I was told they could not resolve my problem and I would have to ring again tomorrow. I objected , pointing out that it was impossible for me to contact them as they never answered the phone, and that therefore they should ring me. I was then informed that a call back would take four weeks . What is going in here?”
“I have tried 4 times today 10 mins each call, this bank has gone from bringing the best to what now must be the worst customer service out there. I think it is now time to move on and certainly stop recommending them to anyone out there”
“After 3 previous attempts of ~15 mins each and not getting through, this morning got through after 10min...phew!
I was told more people being trained and should start to get back to normal in a months time. I have my fingers x'd as I've been a customer for >20 years. The online model only works if you can quickly speak to a person when needed whether in the UK or overseas.”
“I think it's simple. They used to be brilliant, independent of their parent, (HSBC) and soo much better. Recently they have become more and more like HSBC and that is not a good thing. I think I've had enough, time to move on.”