back to article Banking in 2019: Sure, we'd recommend TSB's online, mobe banking say cowed customers

In a baffling turn of events, more than half of IT chaos bank TSB's customers said they would recommend its online and mobile banking services – y'know, the ones that were crippled for huge chunks of last year – to friends and family. TSB has become the poster child for all that is wrong with IT services in the financial …

  1. JimmyPage Silver badge
    Stop

    Flawed survey ?

    Before I start sucking TSBs dick, I'd be curious to see the survey and questions used.

    I have taken quite a few YouGov surveys where there is no correct answer to the question. Or rather they don't supply an option allowing me to express my correct feelings. From there it's trivial to misrepresent the results.

    Here's a case in hand that crops up a lot:

    Who do you think would make the best PM:

    -Theresa May

    -Jeremy Corbyn

    -Don't know.

    Now the correct answer is "neither", but I can't chose that. Moreover I can't complete the survey without submitting something. So when the results of that survey show that 60% of people preferred May to Corbyn ...

    (I once met some YG folk, punting stuff to my employer and asked them about that sort of thing. They said that they advise clients, but ultimately the survey is what the client wants.)

    1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

      Re: Flawed survey ?

      A large chunk of To Play The King is about how questions build on each other to give the result pollsters want.

      1. PerspexAvenger

        Re: Flawed survey ?

        Obligatory Yes Prime Minister: https://youtu.be/G0ZZJXw4MTA

    2. Headley_Grange Silver badge

      Re: Flawed Survey ?

      If I expect Co.X to provide shit service and it does, how should I answer the

      "How well did xxx's service meet your expections"

      question?

      Some survey companies shouldn't be allowed to run surveys.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flawed survey ?

      I work in the energy sector. A couple of years ago we were subject to one of these protracted, costly, and ultimately counterproductive CMA investigations. The team of my then-employer went in for one of the panel interviews, this one on the topic of customer service, and opened their pitch with the proud boast "as you can see from our evidence submitted earlier, we have market leading customer satisfaction, proven using the Net Promoter Score approach and conducted independently for us by <insert market research company>."

      They were taken aback when the panel looked at each other and laughed, and the lead inquisitor said something along the lines "we've spent several days quizzing your major competitors, and so far five out of six all claim to be the best in the entire industry for customer service, as proven by independent market research".

      As anybody in touch with the reality will know, major companies routinely delude themselves on the quality of their customer service. In the case of energy, all of the big 6 get a thumping 1 out of 5 on Trustpilot, and similar views from CAB, Which etc. That one star is of course un-earned, as nobody can give a zero or a negative number. As you'd expect TSB get the same Single Star of Shame on Trustpilot. I suppose all the bogus "research" that the companies refer to is simply to justify unwarranted executive bonuses.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: counterproductive CMA investigations

        Did you have to be aware of (and what to do in the event of) dawn raids ?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: counterproductive CMA investigations

          Did you have to be aware of (and what to do in the event of) dawn raids ?

          Speaking from some related experience, you wouldn't be aware of an impending CMA/SFO or other state raid. It would likely be led by local police. Staff were warned that if there were any concerns, raids were a possibility, and general guidance was passed around, which I'll sum up for you:

          1) Expect to be treated like criminal suspects, shouted at, told to drop everything, be herded into a single place and kept guard by several police officers. The ground troop police aren't used to dealing with white collar staff, so expect the treatment you see on TV in the arrest of a major non-violent fraudster or low level drug dealer who may try and destroy evidence or flee.

          2) You will have all work and personal electronic devices, notebooks ect confiscated, and if you're really lucky you might get an escorted trip to the toilet.

          3) You will be held for hours, but not under arrest, but anyone who stand on their rights, kicks up a fuss should expect to be arrested.

          4) Everybody (everybody) in the area of the raid, will have their details taken, and may be asked for statements.

          5) When they leave, expect all IT, written documents and personal or company devices to be bagged and taken away as evidence, so regular work won't be possible for days or weeks. Servers may be ripped out or secured in situ. All electronic communications (email, Lync records, texts, call data) will be at least scanned by software, any leading players may have all of theirs read by human.

          6) Advice to employees: Comply fully with all requests, don't complain, don't do anything that might be taken as disrespectful.

          7) Major players plus the legal team in the company were actually given full dress rehearsals with actors in police style uniforms.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Flawed survey ?

      Yes, the BBC has a Brexit Explainer that doesn't respond to the stream of descriptive obscenity I enter into it as terms related to.

    5. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Flawed survey ?

      Who do you think would make the best PM:

      If the survey company had a better understanding of English they would have realised that a multiple-choice question with those fixed answers should ask "Who do you think would make the better PM".

    6. dajames Silver badge

      Re: Flawed survey ?

      I have taken quite a few YouGov surveys where there is no correct answer to the question.

      These surveys are constructed to provide "feedback" that supports the conclusion that is desired by the company that commissions the survey. They're not trying to discover what people think, they're trying to demonstrate that people want/like a specific thing.

      As such, there is always a "correct" answer -- for a very specific definition of "correct" that has no basis in reality -- but there is never any entirely "incorrect" answer that the responders might inconveniently select as an alternative to the desired fiction.

      It's meant to be like that.

  2. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    What is more baffling...

    What is more baffling is that it's taken the CMA over a year to process the results of a survey that only included 2400 respondents.

    I just wish there were some sort of high performance data analysis and analytics tooling or something out there in the market to make short work of this sort of thing. If not, someone should invent it...

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Coat

      Re: What is more baffling...

      I just wish there were some sort of high performance data analysis and analytics tooling or something out there in the market to make short work of this sort of thing. If not, someone should invent it...

      Calling Mike Lynch, calling Mike Lynch. Or Watson.

  3. Killing Time

    Personally

    It was not being swayed by the public outcry, the extension of the five percent interest deal on the current account and the absolutely zero impact on my banking throughout the incident that retained my business.

    That will remain the case until either I find a better deal or they have an issue that affects me.

    Simples.....

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Personally

      "or they have an issue that affects me"

      That's how I felt about the Halifax. Been with them for nearly thirty years with no complaints until last year when their customer service and staff competence took a nose-dive regarding our joint account. Besides two major staff incompetence related mistakes which I won't go in to, they couldn't even handle our change of address. Something so basic that you would imagine to be a regular occurrence with customers. After raising three successive complaints for the same problem over several months with the Halifax, all of which were upheld by their own complaints department, we closed our account of thirty years and switched to another bank with purportedly better customer service. So far so good. And no, it wasn't to the TSB, their reputation was mud by then.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Personally

        Been with them for nearly thirty years with no complaints until last year when their customer service and staff competence took a nose-dive

        Even for truly dreadful companies it is usually the case that most people don't see customer service problems. But when something does go wrong, that's when you understand how good they are. Take any major energy company - loads of complaints, appalling reputation, but by the numbers the vast majority of customers are billed correctly and on time, and the payment processes work smoothly. However, if you need to change something, or something does go wrong, then getting it fixed can be painfully protracted and annoying, and you find that the company don't actually give a stuff about you.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Personally

          Like say moving supply from a building to a welfare unit in preparation for a build project.

          they sent a team to remove the old meter. Haven't even arranged for the new meter yet. I was using that power :(

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Gimp

    Survey only available to...

    People who also use Talk Talk, PlusNet or Vodaphone; and get all their energy needs from British Gas.

    Oh, and who regularly fly with RyanAir.

    The icon is self explanatory.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Weird thing about the brands

    Yorkshire Bank at 5th, Clydesdale Bank at 15th

    Same bank, different brands

    1. Gene Cash Silver badge

      Re: Weird thing about the brands

      Sure, but perhaps one section is competent and the other is not?

      I've seen this a lot in national chains in the US... one store couldn't find a bomb if it blew their foot off, and the other one is polite, knows what's in stock and where it is, and can make intelligent recommendations.

      Usually the better store is then closed.

      1. Aladdin Sane Silver badge

        Re: Weird thing about the brands

        Look at HSBC vs First Direct vs John Lewis Partnership Card.

  6. K.o.R

    5% on £1,500 is a good motivator.

    Just wish they'd use a PIN Sentry or whatever equivalent on their online banking.

    1. d3vy Silver badge

      They had a hardware key generator for business accounts... But got rid of them last year.

  7. David Roberts

    Is the software useable?

    Tough call, but if I had to chose between a bank with user friendly software but occasional bouts of poor reliabilty or a bank with rock solid reliability and software which had me screaming at the screen every time i tried to use it then I'd probably suck up the unreliability and focus on the good UI.

    Lookig at you, HSBC.

  8. DCFusor Silver badge

    Push poll

    Surprised no one has mentioned this. It's quite possible - and widely done for political reasons at least in the US, to construct a poll in which not only the wording of the questions, but also their order, are designed not to gather information, but to convince whoever is taking the poll of a particular viewpoint. This can be obvious if poorly done (most of the phone polls I get around elections) or so slick you have to look carefully, but that sort of manipulation is almost always there, the only thing that really varies is how skillful it is in assumptions (unstated, but meant to be accepted) and conclusions (likewise).

    We have a description for it here, see title. It's one of two reasons I always hang up on these guys and gals.

    The other is the ridiculous attempt to shoehorn complex topics into drop down lists (forget which computer co patented that one, may they see time in hell).

    Live isn't like that, as evidenced by one of the ridiculous examples given above. And nope, they don't want to hear detailed discussion or any nuance, though sometimes the volunteer will listen, and than task "so, should I put down you prefer disembowelment while live, or being slowly burned to death after watching your family mutilated" only to later come out with "people want their guts cut out".

    You could even make people say they like windows update with tricks like that. (I'm a penguin myself, but I hear the horror stories).

  9. TheBodger

    TSB Online Banking still borked 10 months later

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that some things that TSB broke back in April '18 are still broken today.

    For example, while I can see the current balance of my mortgage online, it is still impossible to see the history of the account, interest accrued or when payments were made, 10 months later.

    I would have moved elsewhere, but I'm effectively locked - in until my fixed rate mortgage deal expires...

  10. TheBodger

    TSB Online Banking still borked 10 months later

    I'm surprised that nobody has mentioned that some things that TSB broke back in April '18 are still broken today.

    For example, while I can see the current balance of my mortgage online it is still impossible to see the history of the account, interest accrued or when payments were made, 10 months later.

    I would like to move to a bank that is more competent, but I'm effectively locked - in until my fixed rate mortgage deal expires... Also, I'm honestly not sure where I could move to; at least their web interface is easier to navigate than Natwest's was and - unlike my credit card provider - they haven't managed to stick the wrong credit card to the wrong letterhead and post them out to customers... yet.

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