Robinhood adds 24/7 support lines as regulators probe poor communications with customers

abdelaziz Fathi

Robinhood is expanding its live support service and doubling the number of representatives to ensure its clients are always a phone call away to resolve immediate inquiries.

After the no-fee app’s lack of customer assistance came under fire, Robinhood rolled out round-the-clock client service to help with a broader range of issues, including cryptocurrency trading. The move came on the heels of a recruiting spree of financial advisers turned full-time registered representatives in order to offer a live customer phone line and other support features.

The California-based trading app was keen to highlight that its 24/7 hotline is available to its growing cryptocurrency users, noting that it’s the first digital-asset platform to assist users 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

In a blog post Wednesday, Robinhood further explains:

“Start by requesting a call in the Robinhood app. We’ll send you a notification when you’re next in line for a call. We’ll also give you the exact phone number we’ll call you from, so you know it’s not spam. And if you miss our call or get disconnected our customer support team will call you back and leave a message and notification for an easy way to get back in line.”

A surge in retail investing drove millions to the Robinhood platform, having added more than six million accounts to its cryptocurrency service alone this year. Overall, Robinhood reported 21.3 million cumulative funded accounts and active monthly users in the second quarter, up from 18 million users the company claimed in the first quarter.

Even as the pandemic slowed, or completely halted hiring elsewhere, the commission-free investment platform was expanding the team of registered financial representatives. Explaining the rationale behind that, Robinhood said it is moving forward with adding new employees in order to reduce response times, as well as building more self-service tools, and enhancing its education resources to enable more informed investment decisions.

Robinhood was one of the most anticipated IPOs of the year even as the upstart brokerage firm faces regulatory scrutiny on multiple fronts. Most recently, its billionaire co founders, Vladimir Tenev and Baiju Bhatt, came under the regulators’ hammer as they are not licensed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

In a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the no-fee app also revealed that the SEC alongside FINRA are also probing its service outages, and separately, the suicide of an amateur options trader.

The investigation, which audited Robinhood’s poor communications with its customers, has resulted in a settlement agreement to resolve claims for “wrongful death, negligent infliction of emotional distress and unfair business practices.”

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