Long waiting times, no chat

I used Freetrade a fair amount in 2020, took a break and came back

I’ve run into my first issue - user error with a requirement for support. Top up from the wrong Chase account. I have noticed a disingenuous chat service which says ask us anything with agents names - only to be closed off whatever topic is selected

The only option is to email, the sort of solution you’d expect if you were locked out of the app. I’ve waited over 2 days for a response, there is a fairly long automatic wait quoted but if you wished to execute a trade or it was a large sum of money you’d be having kittens at this wait.

None of it feels particularly cutting edge or ‘fintech’ - I feel this should be sorted before any further expansion?

High wait times or not I’d definitely rather sit it out in the live chat than check my inbox like it’s 2009.

Thoughts?

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This is a fair critique and good customer care is very important but, I have had nothing but great service when I contact them about something that wasn’t my fault. I get regular updates on my ISA & SIPP transfer and prompt responses.

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Just get plus and you get a direct chat service. If you pay, you get help quick. If you freeride on the company (like me haha) you need to wait for an email reply. However, email replies thus far have been quite quick.

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You’re not wrong, they struggled to scale up support with user numbers and now the chat function is a plus feature. They are normally quite quick on the email but its not the best. Tbh if you try to get help from some large companies now you get stuck in an endless FAQ maze on their website or in a 2 hour queue on the phone but it doesn’t mean its okay.

If you were temped with plus anyway I’d recommend it, the chat is great even if its not really fair.

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I’m sure the support will be good once I receive it - even if it is through a medium I’d rather not use

To get Plus in a cost effective manner (I wouldn’t pay £10 for the other features), I’d have to entrust a three figure sum and at present I’m uneasy about a 2 figure one…

I’m not a fan on all of this ‘due to staffing levels at our bank’ rationale either. I assume Freetrade are a profitable corporate banking client - 5 working days to return a payment ‘if we don’t manage to contact you’ (somewhat ironic) and then up to a 10 working day wait thereafter just isn’t acceptable. Better should be expected for customers.

It’s cash, not an investment that needs to be sold down. If you use the wrong code or account it should just bounce back right away - there must be functionality for this out there.

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You’re uneasy about £10? Freetrade is not a joke company. It’s FDA regulated.

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Uneasy in principle…

It does not bode confidence for processing larger sums of money through the platform

It’s not about getting the money back in the end - it’s about timely support being available when you want it

And also, £10 can be another man’s £1000!

I’m aware this is my fault - but a year ago I had a similar issue resolved in a day via chat…

This is very very true… But if that is the case, an emergency fund should be built before putting money into stocks

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Indeed, I’m only dipping toes really

But the funds could have been put to some other use…

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I totally understand and I think FT would concede the customer service times could be sped up but …

You don’t expect free next day delivery from Amazon without paying for prime.

It’s not uncommon for a company to operate a freemium model, paywalling certian features. Many of the proper legacy brokers would charge you £10 per trade, in and out!

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Appreciate they offer a low cost trading service!

I got a response around 4pm. Replied within the hour with what I’d like to occur - no response at 11pm

I’d have thought once the conversation was initiated it would have been maintained!

I have contacted FT many times and they got back to me rapid and sorted it straight away, I don’t have plus yet.

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Shame this isn’t my experience…

I replied within 30 minutes 20 hours ago and haven’t had a reply back. All I’m looking for is a simple confirmation of my selection (to have funds returned rather than reapplied).

Again, it’s not a big sweat but it means I’ll probably only be using Freetrade to play about rather than making any significant investments in future.

They really need to just remove the chat option for regular users if it’s just going to redirect them to email. I do agree and would much prefer that they just use the chat either way.

Having said that the timelines are clearly stated and if you feel it’s taken longer for a response then you have a right to log an official complaint.

If you wanted the process sped up then you could have paid £10 for Plus.

What have they specifically done or failed to do to make you lose faith in the company between opening your account and now?

Nothing - I pay for Plus, I have my ISA with them and transferred my SIPP over too.

Also am an investor of Freetrade so I have faith :grin:

(sorry, I know your comment wasn’t aimed at me but I was just giving my two pennies!)

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I would be more likely to pay for a more premium service if I felt I was being serviced well currently - to pay to counter average service is a bit counter intuitive imo - should be an enhancement not a patch up.

Lack of managing expectations, fine with the original quoted timescale. The chat shouldn’t be there if it’s not available. once you get a reply via email you’d expect a conversation to commence - or if this wasn’t possible due to business hours - for this to be made clear. It feels like I’ve gone to the bottom of a pile again having responded…this may not be the case but I’m not aware…

Think the plan is to have the in app chat available to all customers with some added benefits to Plus members. That is why the chat is still there.

This doesn’t help your case but as FT scales to a huge customer base (>1m registered users) things will eventually get back to providing a swift response for everyone.

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I appreciate that - but it’s not clearly signposted enough in the app currently

Similar to how yesterday I’m asked ‘how would you like to proceed’ with no expectation setting as to whether my response would be replied to/shift finishing soon etc

No one is perfect, but when you put it through the medium of email and a non functioning chat it’s just all the more frustrating

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Completely agree. The customer service journey is quite confusing for regular users

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Still no response from Saturday!

I’d rather have waited until when they can reply in conversation to have been contacted in the first place - a very poor free user experience!