More than half of mortgage customers who have tried to get in touch with their lender during the coronavirus pandemic have struggled to get through, Which? has found.
Some 56% of borrowers who contacted or attempted to contact their lender reported having a problem, with issues including long phone queues and lenders failing to reply to messages left by phone or email.
More than a fifth (22%) of those questioned said they had contacted or attempted to contact their lender since the start of the pandemic and six in 10 (61%) of those requested a payment holiday, a survey of more than 3,600 mortgage-holders found.
While some customers have struggled to get through to their provider, Which? said it has awarded some lenders “recommended provider” status due to these companies scoring highly in both its customer satisfaction research and its analysis of the top mortgage deals.
It said that First Direct, Nationwide and Coventry Building Society have been rated the UK’s top mortgage lenders, according to its findings.
First Direct achieved excellent customer scores and was also rated highly for the transparency of its charges and keeping customers informed, Which? said.
Similarly, Nationwide and Coventry Building Society were also rated highly in the customer survey as well as the Which? analysis of lenders offering the cheapest deals, meaning that both have also been named Which? recommended providers.
At the other end of the spectrum, Chelsea Building Society was placed at the bottom by Which? of this year’s table, while specialist lender Kensington finished second from the bottom.
Which? money editor Jenny Ross said: “Choosing a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions people will ever make, and our analysis provides help for those who want to know which lenders combine the best service and cheapest rates.
“Good customer service and communication have proven particularly vital since the start of the pandemic, so prospective buyers and re-mortgagers should factor them in as two of the most important aspects of choosing a mortgage, along with getting a good deal.”
– Further information about the Which? research is at https://www.which.co.uk/mortgage-lender-reviews