Halifax insist on talking to account holder – who is a baby

7 October 2013

A clueless call centre operator at the Halifax is going to get pelted with rusks and rattles when he turns up for work today: or maybe he’ll just get the sack. The bank made an error on the current account of little Harry Nicholls, but when his parents called about it, the operator insisted on speaking to the account holder – despite the fact that he’s six months old and can only say ‘ahhh’ and ‘waaaah.’


His mum, Jenny, phoned the bank last week after a Direct Debit failed to go into baby Harry’s nest egg account. When the operator asked ‘Is that Mr Harry Nicholls?’, his mother explained that as he was a baby he couldn’t talk yet so it was probably better to go through her.

But the operator wouldn’t budge until he spoke to the account holder. ‘I thought it was a joke at first and then he would notice it was a child’s account, but he was being serious.’ said Jenny.
The operator said she should go into a branch and they’d deal with it, but who can be arsed to take a pram into town and deal with these morons? Instead, his mum closed the account in disgust.

‘We’re very sorry for Mrs Nicholls’ experience and it is clear that a mistake was made.’ Said the Halifax. ‘Our Kids Regular Saver account cannot be managed over the phone and Mrs Nicholls should have been advised of this as soon as she called us. We’ll look into this to determine what went wrong.”

(Er, you employ complete idiots?)

Harry was unavailable for comment, because he was too busy dribbling and working on a big poo.

TOPICS:   Banking   Complaints


  • Richard
    Woman phones up to manage childs account. Operator asks to speak to account holder, not realising its a childs account. Operator realises account is childs account and, correctly, tells woman she can't manage this over the phone and needs to go into branch. Woman seeks undeserved attention by going to twitter/newspaper/whatever she did to make this public... It's a non-story
  • Nik
    To Richard above. I completely disagree with your accusation that this lady wanted "attention". Put this into perspective. The Halifax should of advised the women at the time of setting this account up that she would either have to come into a branch, or if possible (I don't know because I don't have one, but as data protection goes, this is the drill) be a named person on the account so she can deal with it over the phone. Secondly I think that the Halifax either need to further training it's employees, not only so they can inform their customer better, but also better customer service (my personal opinion). Thirdly, this is outrageous! They can only sort this out in a branch? I suppose they haven't thought outside the box on this one, that's all very well for the people who live in suburbia or a city centre, but what about the people who live in the country? The remote area's? The people who have phobias of going outside, or even the people who have no way of getting about, e.g no car, no public transport. Some places in the UK don't even have public transport, & then add that to a person who doesn't drive then you're pretty much stuck. They should implement a system where customer's are able to deal with their products more easily without going to a branch. All in all, I think this is a very article on how c*** the Halifax are. The customer service is useless, the online system awful & the worst part is that I used to be with the Halifax, I went a 1p overdrawn & they decided to charge me a overdrawn fee of £20. Yes all the banks are the same but no one is as bad as the Halifax.
  • Grammar N.
    @ Nik If it is an account that cannot be operated by telephone then she presumably will have (yes, the word is "have" not "of") opened it in branch. There is nothing in the story to suggest that she has mobility issues, or that the branch was particularly far away, just that the bank would not deal with her by telephone so she would have to go to the branch. What's the big deal about that?
  • Clunge
    Halifax last week insisted my husband provide ID to pay a cheque, in his name, into his account. He had the sort code and account number, just not the card. Stupid girl wouldn't accept the cheque until he'd run back out to the car for his wallet. We regularly pay money in with just the account number and sort code, but clearly this member of staff isn't aware that you only need ID in order to make an enquiry or withdrawal, and anybody can pay money into an account whether it's their own account or not. Similar thing... Halifax staff don't know their arse from their elbow in this regard. @ Grammar Nazi, I'm sure you could of haved made the same mistake you'rself.
  • Russ
    Halifax are pillocks, needed to pay a shed load of change into my account, but they refused point blank, saying they'd have to see the cash to prove that I needed the bags and to bring it into branch. That was after I had given account details and answered security questions I went down Natwest a few doors down, who I don't have an account with. They gave me the bags no questions asked. I complained to Halifax and got £25 compo, which was a nice bonus
  • Grammar N.
    @ Clunge - no, I know the difference between "of" and "have". It's the same sort of "mistake" that gives rise to incorrect use of "bought" and "brought", "their" and "they're", and so on.
  • bob c.
    Isn't it usually their and there that get mixed up. And no-one ever mixes up bought and brought, they are totally dissimilar. Threw and through or wether and weather on the other hand, what a nightmare.....
  • Grammar S.
    I've been racking my brains over these very things.
  • ipeters345
    I would have pretended to put the child on and then just wind them up ah..ooh. gurgle, gurgle, halidax are poo poo pants etc etc
  • hotmail r.
    Nic rhymes with dick... that's funny because he is talking bollox.
  • Tim
    So if they refused to let her manage the account because she isn't the account holder, how exactly did she close the account in disgust?
  • Mr M.
    @Grammar Nazi : The new fucktard mistake has shurely got to be those that loose all they're money?
  • Dr T.
    So what would Bitter Wallet's advice be to potential new bank customers concerning this example of customer service ?
  • Old G.
    @bob carolgees I frequently say brought instead of bought and vice versa. I've had to revert to saying brung and buyed but that just makes me sound like a chav. Whatever happened to chavs anyway?

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