RBS and its network of banks were hit by a catalogue of disasters last week. Not only did systems of RBS, NatWest and Ulster Bank go down on Cyber Monday – touted as being the busiest day for online shopping in the year – leaving angry shoppers in the lurch as their cards were declined in-store and online, but a separate cyber attack on NatWest's site on Friday left the online banking facility unusable.
This is after incidents earlier in the year when "glitches" again left people unable to access their online accounts or use mobile apps, and a further issue the previous year when some 16 million customers were unable to access their accounts for a week – and in some cases they went a full month without any form of banking service.
The fact that the latest issues hit during the festive shopping period sparked even more outrage, particularly as it meant shoppers couldn't take advantage of Cyber Monday discounts, but those who had payments and even standing orders declined are likely to feel particularly irate – especially if they were charged as a result.
In a statement RBS has apologised for the latest spate of "technical issues" and for any inconvenience caused, and has assured its 24 million customers that if anyone was left out of pocket the bank will put things right.
They've promised to reimburse those who were hit by charges or fees, such as if a payment was late or a direct debit declined, and have told affected customers to get in touch with their bank to claim a refund. They can do this by visiting their local branch or calling 0800 151 0404 (NatWest customers), 0800 151 0405 (RBS) or 0800 046 5486 Ulster, and although they've said additional compensation isn't being offered at this stage they'll handle each complaint on a case-by-case basis.
If customers still aren't happy with the outcome they can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service, or in the meantime why not consider switching accounts? If you've been affected by the issues you might want to look elsewhere, and with the Switch Guarantee Service in full swing there's never been a better time to do so.
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