IF you’re a Santander customer who is affected by a website or app outage, we explain what to do – and whether you’re due compensation.
It comes as Santander went down yesterday, leaving thousands of customers unable to use cards, the app or mobile and telephone banking.
This meant some were unable to pay for their shopping at the till, couldn’t sort their bills or struggled to get the cash they needed.
As of today, May 16, all services are said to be working as normal and more than 130 Santander branches are open today between 10am and 12pm.
Here’s what you need to know:
How can I check if Santander is down?
Santander has a dedicated page on its website which shows if any services are affected, including mobile, online and telephone banking as well as card payments.
The bank also regularly updates its social media so Facebook and Twitter are worth checking for live updates.
You can also check websites such as DownDetector, which will tell you whether other people are experiencing problems with a particular company online.
Can you claim compensation for outages?
Unlike telecoms companies, banks do not have a fixed compensation scheme for service disruption, although depending on how much it has affected you, you may be entitled to some money back.
It is worth gathering evidence of your problems so you can make a formal complaint to Santander directly.
Try to make a note of when you were unable to access the website or app, plus any costs you incurred as a result.
If your credit rating has been affected by a service outage, because you got a late payment fee after being unable to make a transaction, for example, you should also keep a record of this.
If you spoke to anyone to try and resolve the problem, make a note of their name and when you spoke to them, as well as roughly what you discussed and what they advised you to do.
You can find out more details about how to complain to Santander on its website.
If you were affected by the May 15 outage, Santander has said it’ll share more details on how to get compensation on May 17.
What to do if you can’t access your money
If you can’t access your money and you need to urgently, here’s what to do:
- Visit your local branch as soon as you can.
- If you can’t get there, or it is closed, call your bank and ask for its guidance on what to do.
- If the bank’s phone services are also down or busy, try contacting your bank on social media to ask what to do. But remember: don’t ever share your account details over social media.
- Try to do this on the day the problem arises so you can show you made every attempt to solve the issue.
- If you still can’t access your money, begin gathering evidence for a complaint.
What happens if Santander refuses to compensate me?
If you’re unhappy with how the bank dealt with your problem, you can contact the free Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).
It is an independent body which will look at the evidence you present, and make a fair decision about the action a bank should take.
The FOS can usually get involved 15 days after you’ve raised concerns with the bank.
In the case of an IT system outage at a bank, the FOS says any compensation depends on your circumstances and whether you lost out as a result
If it thinks you did, then it has the power to tell the bank to reimburse any fees, charges or fines you were hit with, for example if you were unable to make a payment for a credit card bill or to your mortgage provider.
It could also tell a bank to pay you for any money you didn’t receive, such as interest, if you weren’t able to pay money in.
If your credit score was affected, it may tell the bank to correct your credit file.
The FOS might also tell the bank to reimburse you for any extra costs you had to make, such as phone calls or trips to your local branch, as well as a payment for any inconvenience it caused.
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Santander also suffered an outage in August, leaving thousands of customers struggling to access their accounts.
In July, Santander announced it plans to cut current account cashback rates and hike fees by up to £12 a year.
Santander has over 14.4million customers in the UK.