Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Lloyds TSB - lousy business service

My bank likes to totally disregard the individual needs of my business - and treat me simply as an account number. The fact that I operate as a limited company seems to make them think that I can afford to pay the same level of charges as businesses 10 or 100 times the size of Leapfrog.

Today I received a letter charging me £100 for continuing my overdraft facility at the same level as it has been for the past six years. here's my response - I'll keep you posted on anything that comes back from Lloyds TSB......surely there's a better way...?!

Business Manager
Lloyds TSB Bank Plc.

Dear Mr J
I received your letter regarding Leapfrog’s overdraft facility this morning and was both dismayed and incensed to see your charge of £100 for setting up the facility.

I’d like to put a number of points to you:

The facility has remained unchanged for the total length of the account. So why is it necessary to make an additional charge year on year when the circumstances of the business haven't changed?

What does the bank actually do to justify making this charge? Neither you nor your colleague JU were not even around to take my call when I phoned to discuss the overdraft facility, and nor did anyone return my call.

When a cash flow issue meant I exceeded the overdraft for a week earlier this year, the bank was very helpful in extending my overdraft, and the work your team did was actually visible to me. The charge at the time was £25 – quite high for a business with a turnover of around £XXXX, but acceptable in the circumstances. Why should the charge you are applying now be four times as much?

Why is the charge also double what was charged for the same ‘service’ last year?

Why was the charge taken from my account before I even received the letter informing that it would be made?

What seems apparent to me is that I have received a standard letter and a standard charge for the facility that take absolutely no account of my individual business or its circumstances.

I’m a freelance writer/communications consultant operating as a limited company because that’s the only operating interface that large companies (my target market) recognise.

It would appear that Lloyds TSB also sees only the ‘Ltd’ after my business name and just makes the assumption that my business is just another part of the amorphous mass that gets the same bog-standard service meted out to all those others that fall into the SME tier.

That is simply not acceptable. You are now loading significant cost onto my business without me seeing any consequent improvement in service or additional benefit – the only time I hear from you is when it comes to getting this annual overdraft facility bill out! That hardly smacks of good customer service at a time when the likes of Abbey, and Alliance and Leicester are pushing hard for my business – at lower cost than what’s on offer from Lloyds TSB. Indeed all I see is another way for the bank to make easy money at the expense of its customers on the assumption that inertia will keep my account in place.

Is it not time that the bank developed a policy and fair range of costs for dealing with micro-businesses such as mine – or at least a means of segmenting my business from other, larger entities?

The approach of ‘one size fits all’ is complacent, and I look to you to provide a personalised and satisfactory response to my needs.

I would ask you to respond to the points I’ve raised overleaf and, just as importantly, to review the charge made and replace it with one rather more appropriate. I would suggest £xx.

I look forward to your response as soon as possible.


Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Mark Shanahan said...

Grrr....anonymously left useless coments like this are a pain in the arse - I have managed to save a little money it seems. I have a long letter from the bank this morning which I'll read when travelling - what it does seem to do is cut the arrangement fee in half - a step in the right direction, but what the bank really needs to do is revise its tariff of charges which are out of proportion with the amounts going through the account.