After many years as a loyal customer, I got fed up with Smile and the whole Coop Bank fiasco. So I decided to switch to First Direct, based on the many plaudits it has received. However, so far I am singularly unimpressed. Having spoken to them, I explained that I bank mainly online and like to deposit cheques by post, I was assured all would be well. My concerns about the actual transfer were assuaged, with many guarantees, etc., etc.
OK, so my account was set up, but the money I agreed to seed it with from my Smile account was never requested, so I transferred some funds manually. Then there was a total black hole, there was no communication of the DDs being set up or much else, until I phoned them. I felt decidedly uneasy. Then, for an online account, requested online, I had to stay on the line for 10 minutes whilst they "activated" the account and gave me a password for online access! I also had to request a paying-in book and envelopes because none had been supplied (despite my previous conversation with them).
The actual switch appears to have happened (but I'm yet to use it in anger or see if incoming funds arrive correctly), all funds have been transferred from my existing account, but my ISP did not draw against the new account via a DD and used my credit-card, charging me for the privilege (another thread, methinks).
I then set up the online access and....... it is possibly the worst I have seen and obviously just an adjunct to their telephone service. To access my account, I have to go to their main page and request online access. Then I get a separate quarter-screen secure intermediate window (for no apparent reason) followed by another tiny screen in it's own window with all browser functions disabled. This screen shows my balance, if I actually want to see or do more, I have to request it. Total garbage - I think I'll be changing bank again soon at this rate......