The TSB Crisis: A Quick Survival Guide
23rd April 2018
Even if you're not a TSB customer yourself, you've probably heard the ongoing echoes and aftershocks of the electronic crisis it's been struggling with. While a fair amount of progress has been made toward clearing it all up, the bank's been left with a lot of angry clients and some very awkward questions to answer. Here's a quick breakdown of where we are and how we got here.
After years of planning and preparation, TSB shut down its online services on the 20th of April, for what was supposed to be a 2 day “migration” to a new IT system. To put that in perspective, we're talking about shifting well over a billion customer records here. Even so, they were pretty sure they'd done their homework and got it right.
However, when they turned the lights back on two days later, things got weird in a hurry. People started reporting a wide range of errors and unexpected behaviours from the new system. Some were being presented with wildly wrong balances – or even other people's accounts altogether. Since then, despite TSB's most frantic efforts, their customers have continued to suffer account access problems, the inability to make payments and other madness.
So, yes – it's been kind of a disaster, and TSB's gone into high gear limiting the damage. For one thing, they've upped their Classic Plus account interest rate to 5% AER and waived all overdraft fees for retail and small business customers. They've also reportedly started paying out compensation to cover late payment charges and the general inconvenience of it all. Complaints are being handled case-by-case, though. You'll have to argue yours to get anything out of them, and with about 2 million people hit by the meltdown, you'll probably have to get in line. Don't expect to get rich this way, either. One customer from Glasgow got stung for £15 in interest for a delayed credit card payment. After kicking up the required amount of fuss, she was eventually presented with £40 in compensation.
Bottom line: if the crisis left you directly out of pocket, you should be able to get something back. Indirect costs, like phone time spent sorting it out, could also qualify for compensation. If fact, even the sheer inconvenience of it all might still be worth complaining about. Expect to be asked for proof, obviously. There's no point trying to fight your corner if you haven't genuinely lost out.
Most importantly, keep in mind that there are some crooked people out there on the internet. All this talk of technical glitches is sure to bring them out of the woodwork. If you find yourself with an email claiming to be from TSB, think twice before clicking anything. The real bank will never ask you for security details this way, so keep your PIN and password to yourself. If you're in any doubt, check the Take Five website for some crucial tips on staying safe: https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/
With a bit of luck, this will all be over soon and TSB's new system will be fully on its feet. In the meantime, though, you can find their official complaints page here: https://www.tsb.co.uk/help/complaints
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