Attacked for Poor Service, Robinhood Adds 24/7 Support
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Attacked for Poor Service, Robinhood Adds 24/7 Support

8 months ago

The stock and cryptocurrency trading platform is addressing widespread customer service problems in a year that began with a damaging scandal.

Attacked for Poor Service, Robinhood Adds 24/7 Support

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Stock and crypto brokerage firm Robinhood has rolled out around-the-clock telephone support — aiming to shore up its customer service in a year when it has faced intense criticism over treatment of clients.

The company wasted little time in noting that it is the first crypto platform to offer a 24/7 service. Robinhood went public in July — despite the IPO being overshadowed by a scandal that saw it accused of putting the needs of a lucrative hedge fund ahead of its customers.

Support service starts with a request on the Robinhood app, which will generate a notification when the customer is next in line for a callback from the support team. This will include the number that the call will be coming from to help customers differentiate it from spam, the company announced. It will likely provide a line of defense against phishing attacks.

Nor will a missed or dropped call push users to the back of the line, the company said, promising a callback message with a notification about how to jump back into the queue.

The support service will not just be limited to technical issues, Robinhood said, adding: 

“You can get answers any time you need on anything from how to request shares for an upcoming IPO to questions about a recent crypto purchase.”

The company also promised that service reps trained in specific areas of Robinhood’s business will be available, recommending that customers seeking a support call be as specific as possible when making the in-app request. It explained:

“For example, if you reach out with a question about options, you’ll get a call directly from a registered representative to help you.” 

Robinhood added that it has doubled its customer service staff this year, and is continuing to enlarge it. 

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Seeking Redemption

It hasn’t been a good year for Robinhood when it comes to customer service. 

Robinhood’s 2021 began disastrously, when the firm was the target of widespread outrage from customers, criticism from elected officials and a record $70 million fine by regulators after it cut off trading on Gamestop, AMC and a number of other stocks. That was while a Reddit campaign to lift the video game and movie chain’s stocks — and cripple short-selling hedge funds, including one that was a major partner — was in full swing and very successful. 
In February, CNBC reported that the Federal Trade Commission had received a flurry of complaints by customers saying they were unable to liquidate and close their accounts.
And in April, a Wall Street Journal article about its customer service problems began: 

“Trading on Robinhood Markets Inc. takes seconds. Getting an account problem fixed can take weeks.”

That said, the company continued to prosper, attracting six million new customers in the first quarter. Its IPO in July raised $2.1 billion and resulted in a valuation of nearly $32 billion.
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