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'I can’t contact Barclays because I’m deaf. Can you help?'

Which? outlines your rights when dealing with companies if you have a disability.

Do you have an issue you need putting right? Which? is here to help get your consumer problems sorted. 

Dear Which?,

I wanted to transfer my stocks and shares Isa from Barclays Smart Investor to Interactive Investor

The process was supposed to be completed within six weeks, and all but two of the remaining funds and stocks were transferred by then. 

I’ve had no communication regarding the delay moving the two funds and I’ve found it almost impossible to get help from Barclays because I can't make voice calls. Can you assist?

Stan Sutcliffe, Halifax

Put to rights

Mike Croxford, Which? Money Helpline adviser, says:

Your experience starkly illustrates how technology can inadvertently exclude customers who have disabilities.

Barclays didn’t provide an email address and its mobile app chat system was painfully slow: you had to wait 10 minutes for each response and the system kept logging you out. The only option left to you seemed to be to get in touch by post. 

Financial firms, like other service providers, are required by the Equality Act 2010 to make 'reasonable adjustments' when a customer is disadvantaged by disability.

Interactive Investor had been sending weekly updates and emphasised that it was contacting Barclays to progress this on numerous occasions. We helped you to contact Barclays and it was investigated.

The transfer was eventually completed, with Barclays refunding you four months of fees and £250 as compensation. Barclays apologised for the delay, adding: ‘We’re committed to ensuring that all of our customers are able to access our products and services with ease, and always looking for ways we can make banking more accessible for everyone.’ 

The bank’s SignVideo service can assist deaf customers who use British Sign Language.

When it comes to investing, you can find the highest-rated investment platforms for customer service using our ratings. 

If you're looking for a bank with a good record for serving people with disabilities, see our special report on banking and accessibility.

Need to know

  • Most banks offer the SignVideo service and can accept Relay UK (text to speech app) calls
  • Firms are required by law to make reasonable adjustments for disabled customers under the Equality Act 2010
  • Contact the Financial Ombudsman Service if a financial firm isn't responding to your complaints

Get in touch. If you've got a consumer rights problem you need put right, email us at yourstory@which.co.uk. 

Please be aware that we cannot help with, or respond to, every email that we receive. The inbox is monitored periodically during office hours, Monday-Friday 9am-5pm. 

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