Thanks, it’s good to know I’m covered but - for the benefit of other readers - having read through the FOS website it looks like customers don’t need a final response if the complaint has been dragging on for more than a couple of months. I am hoping to get it sorted without this escalation to an external body though!
I thought it was interesting that my query about this was a great example of the typical problems with Starling.
- The query was caused initially by Starling not following the industry norms so causing a customer pain point (in this case not following regulations by not telling me about the Ombudsman service when I complained)
- The query was answered really quickly (<30 mins) by someone who was helpful, friendly and clear - and was able to tell me the basics (yes, we are covered and we will write up a summary of the situation)
- The query didn’t actually cover off my query. I’d only asked if Starling were covered by the FOS (yes!), but said I was prepared to continue using Starling as my main account if we could get this switch resolved and my inconvenience compensated. Starling inferred that I was escalating the issue next week regardless and said they would no longer work to fix the outstanding problems.
I think we all understand that things go wrong from time to time, but communication is key - especially as Starling customers are early adopters who are presumably people who are prepared to switch bank accounts for good service. My case is not the simplest (Starling have been let down by BACS and CASS) but Starling also made a mistake when they passed the wrong details to my suppliers and sneakily wouldn’t share the information with me for a long time.
My last financial problem was with Transferwise 5 years ago when they lost everyone’s transfers made on a particular day. They responded with a lot of updates and proactively offered free transfers for life as compensation. I was much more impressed with this than if they’d just bunged me £300 - and indeed I continue to recommend them to friends.
Starling should consider some other form of compensation rather than a lump sum of cash in cases where they’ve inconvenienced customers. I don’t know what this could be though - something that’s more than just a nominal token, maybe an HSBC Premier-style account with faster service / named agents always dealing with you, or a metallic bank card, or future fee waiving if cashpoint or FX fees are introduced or… any other ideas? Or does everyone else just prefer hard cash