Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Don't @CashApp $gdotIRL 'Cause I (Prolly) Can't Touch The Funds, Or A @CashSupport Nightmare!

I am so deep into e-cash that I can't recall the last time I held paper money. (Well, perhaps I can ...some years ago now, I found a $5.00 bill while out walking my dog. The image of Lincoln on this bill was so huge, that I actually thought it was play money. Sometime later I showed it to my sister, saying something along the lines of I'd found some "Monopoly money." My sister pointed out that it was actually a redesigned $5.00 bill and genuine legal tender. In disbelief of how fake it looked, I pulled out my phone and searched for images of the "new $5.00 bill" and shook my head in amazement when the returned images matched the bill I'd found. Shows you how far out of the paper money loop I've been. But I digress...)

I love my digital wallet and seldom carry more than my smartphone when I head out to stores or restaurants because the places I tend to frequent all take e-payments. In spite of having gone digital a long time ago, I've seldom had occasion to need a peer to peer (P2P) payment platform. I'm mainly remitting monies to businesses or to an individual via a business conduit like eBay, so while I've had a PayPal account forever it seems, I've largely ignored targeted P2P services like Venmo (PayPal) and Cash (Square) until quite recently.

All of this is preface to say that I decided to try out the Cash app on a lark. I setup an account, ordered its attached debit card and promptly did nothing with it. About a week ago, I noticed someone mention using his Cash app on Twitter, recalled I'd installed it and opened the app to laugh at my zero balance. (Because Cash has limited funding methods and I didn't trust the platform yet, I hadn't bothered to put any money into my new account.) Then I noticed something odd. My Cash Card was listed as "not enabled" on its image icon, but the toggle switch to enable the card was still switched to the on position. As I had activated the card when it arrived and hadn't touched the account since, I assumed this was a glitch. Was there server lag? I thought that refreshing the card's status by toggling the setting to disable, then back to enable might correct the problem. Boy, was I wrong.

I slid the switch to (temporarily) disable the card, verified that the card's icon still said it was "not enabled" and then slid the button back across to re-enable the card. I was asked to confirm my Cash PIN, which I did, only to be asked to confirm my Cash PIN, again. Had I entered the wrong PIN? Nope. (I tested this by entering an incorrect PIN on purpose and the app told me as much.) Did my PIN somehow get garbled on the server-side, so that the system was in effect trying to match a "null set" when I input the PIN? As this event should have also matched an incorrect PIN rule, it's not likely, but to be certain I reset my PIN and tried entering the new one. The app continued to ask me to confirm my Cash PIN in order to re-enable my Cash Card. I went so far as to disable the PIN requirement thinking this was the issue, but the app only sputtered and returned an error message when I attempted to re-enable my Cash Card. I was stuck in a true glitch loop. Being able to temporarily disable one's Cash Card is a supposed feature of the service. It wasn't working as advertised.

Thus, I contacted customer support. It should be noted that as part of the "contact us" process it specifically asks if your request is related to a transaction and mine was not. I filled out the form and described my issue, then waited for a response. The first support email that I received was obviously automatically generated template that asked me to provide data about the transaction in question so that my problem could be investigated further. WTF?

As the issue I'd described had not concerned a transaction and as I'd already gone through the very same text which was quoted verbatim in the response email in order to reach the "another issue" contact form, it was obvious that 1) Cash app's own customer support process employs a formulaic autoresponder/s as a first salvo which served only to waste a customer's time, and 2) no human had actually bothered to read my request. I said as much in my response and repeated my issue. 

The second reply was worse. It came from a support agent named Jose. The agent apologized then offered to correct an issue that I wasn't experiencing: "I took a look at your account, and see that there were multiple unsuccessful PIN reset attempts. When this happens, the PIN is automatically locked for 24 hours. To remove this lock, please provide the following information..." First, I wasn't having problems resetting my PIN. I had successfully reset it ONCE (and received email confirmation of this fact). My PIN was not locked. I simply could not get the system to re-enable my Cash Card. My reply was nonplussed as I pointed out that Jose seemed to be having difficulty comprehending the issue with which I'd requested help.

Though Jose's next response again missed the mark, this time he at least was in the ball park. "You are absolutely right!! It looks like your last payment was declined because your Cash Card isn't enabled. To enable your Cash Card..." Once again, transactions seem to be the MAIN thing on Jose's mind, but he did finally recognize that my Cash Card was disabled. I replied by saying that THIS was the rub. My card had already been activated, but I had temporarily disabled it (as was supposed to be an option) and now it would not RE-ENABLE. This was obviously a system glitch. I also pointed out that I had been repeating this same issue back & forth across 6 emails now only to be given responses each time that were merely stabs in the dark

I guess Jose finally recognized that he was out of his depth as the fourth email I received was from another customer support agent altogether (under the aegis of Square Cash Support instead of plain Cash Support), whose name was given as Carl. His email stated that the problem I described was a "known issue" with no timeline to be fixed! Well, thank you very much. NOT! I replied by saying that while I appreciated finally getting a response that was in regard to the actual problem I experienced, it should not have taken a back & forth exchange across 8 emails merely to be told "tough luck." I was not amused.

I wish I could say that my Cash app customer service experience was outlier; unfortunately however, this is the new normal. Is it any wonder customers don't trust companies with their data in the modern age? Cash app definitely needs to get its act together. But so do a lot of other "bleeding edge" tech companies. If yours is a tech company with a clunky poorly functioning product, you have failed, bigly. Cash app is a nice idea, but the actual product leaves much to be desired. To reiterate, your customer support is a joke, Cash app, but the fact that your app malfunctions is a worse affront. Fix it!

I'm certainly not linking my Cash app account to my bank account anytime soon. If my Cash app account ever ends up with a balance it will be due to some techie peer sending me money, but considering Cash service's poor track record I'd be lucky IF I could access the funds. So don't cash.me/$gdotIRL, as this would be a needlessly cruel act. Apparently, the joke is on me.

No comments:

Post a Comment