I'm not one for naming and shaming but feel in this case it is justified.
I recently lost my dad on the 24th June, and as anyone who has gone through a similar thing will know, besides grieving for your loss there are quite a few things you have to do to sort out their affairs. One of those is dealing with banks...in my case it was Santander. My dad had a current account with below 20k in it with them and also a cash isa he’d used to save for my daughter with less than 2k in it.
I contacted Santander and was asked to send the death certificate, which I did.
About a week later I was sent a letter saying this was not satisfactory and I needed to visit a branch with it. There was a phone number on the letter which I spent nearly an hour trying to get through on. No answer! So I got childcare for my daughter, as I wanted to spare her the soul(less) joy that has become visiting town centres of late, and off I went!
At the bank the lady who dealt with me also spent an hour trying to get through to the same number I had been given. When she finally got through she returned to tell me the death certificate was fine but I would need to go through probate to access the accounts, even though both accounts were linked to my mum and all I wanted to do was put her name solely on the accounts. I told her about the accounts and what they contained and was basically told that I did know know my dad's affairs as well as I perhaps thought I did. What? I was getting nowhere so depressingly left to go home.
Literally as I walked through the door there was a letter waiting from Santander detailing all of my dad's accounts and also telling me I'd need probate.
The thing is, they sent me a list of SEVEN different accounts. Two of which were my dad's and 5 of which where not but had the same forename and christian name as my dad on them. The key difference being these other 5 accounts had a middle name on them - my dad did not have a middle name.
It did not take me long to realise Santander had my dad and another person tied up as the same person. I should point out here that Santander included the sort code, account number and balances for the other persons account - totalling over 500k.
I finally got through to them on the phone and was passed to the Bereavement team. I told them of my utter disgust at being asked to go into a branch based on them confusing my dad and another person. To then be told something that was totally false about my dad's affairs, and then to be sent extremely sensitive information about someone else's account details. After a bumbling apology I said it as not good enough and I wanted to raise a complaint. I was promised a phone call in a few days but that never came.
Yesterday I received a letter saying they were upholding my complaint, apologised for my 'inconvenience' and said they would be sending a cheque within 7 days to compensate me! They gave the reason for the mix up as a 'system error' and they would look into it. WTF!!
Now I don't care about the money but I do care about what I was put through and the way I was treated because of their mistake. Let alone the potential massive breach in data protection by them. There is the option to take this to the financial ombudsman which I've considered but to be honest I'm totally worn out by it all. The very human side of losing someone very dear to you gets overlooked in all this and it is heartbreaking!
I just want closure, but after talking with some friends they have suggested than £100 is frankly an insult and if this was taken further they could potentially be fined a lot more.
What do others think? Anyone work in the banking/legal sector could offer any advice here?
I'm not interested in financial gain, you cannot put a price on grief and frankly I would give everything I had to spend another hour with my dad. However, I'm not a fan of banks as institutions and I feel Santander have really dropped the ball here and are just basically fobbing me off.
Apologies for the long post but there was a lot to get in there.