Robinhood’s founders have apologised for its users being unable to tap into their accounts. But angry users snapped back that it’s too little, too late to say sorry.
Earlier in March, the stock trading app’s users were unable to access their accounts or to trade over two days. Robinhood blamed the outage on stress on the company’s infrastructure, which the founders said led to it struggling “with unprecedented load.”
In a public apology, founders and co-CEOs Baiju Bhatt and Vladimir Tenev stated that the system overload led to a “thundering herd” effect that triggered a failure on Robinhood’s DNS systems.
“When it comes to your money, we know how important it is for you to have answers,” Bhatt and Tenev stated. “The outages you have experienced over the last two days are not acceptable and we want to share an update on the current situation.”
They claimed that multiple factors had contributed to the services going down. Those factors, they said, included “highly volatile and historic market conditions, record volume and record account sign-ups.”
The founders added that the Robinhood team was working on improving the systems to ensure it can cope with future overloads and to reduce the interdependencies in the FinTech unicorn’s overall infrastructure.
While they said that the systems now seemed to be up and running normally, they warned that the updates may result in additional “brief outages” in the future. The founders said the team was now better prepared at dealing with those outages.
“We take our responsibility to you and your money seriously,” Bhatt and Tenev said. “We recognise that many of you have questions and we’re working to respond to them as quickly as possible. Many of you depend on Robinhood for your investments and we’re personally committed to doing all we can to operate a stable service that’s available when you need it the most.”
Some replied to the apology with a measure of understanding.
“I’m going to ride it out with you,” one customer said. “Chalk it up as a learning curve [and] charge it to the game. Did it hurt, yes, did it destroy me, no. Show me [you] want me to stay.”
However, it seems as if other users were left unsatisfied with the Robinhood founders’ apology.
“Thank you for being honest and making us aware of your limitations and expected upcoming outages,” one user tweeted. “I hope you learn from this and build on. But I will take my money to those that chose to make the right decisions with their money on protecting their customers. Webull here I come!”
Others responded with outrage. Among the users responding to the apology with GIFs of animals defecating, South Park memes and a vast number of GIFs, there were calls for legal action against Robinhood.
Some stated that Robinhood should expect complaints being filed with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, and the Financial Regulatory Authority. Others argued that there should be a class action lawsuit for people who lost money in the outage.
“Thousands lost. Thousands. Because of your service that I relied on. Be better than this blog post. Please,” one user tweeted.
A second said, “Stress on our infrastructure? Learn to scale. You’re on AWS! This is not a proper postmortem users expect from an event like this. Do better.”
Several others announced that they would abandon Robinhood for other services, to which one individual utilising the soubriquet Howlin’ Fantods stated, “The max exodus of users should help with the server load.”
Another tweeted, “I just sold all my funds, transferring to Fidelity which I should have done long time ago. I guess I would use [Robinhood] only for crypto.”
One user tapped out of the service by thanking Robinhood “for revolutionising no commission trades.” They added, “You are like the Napster of brokerages.”
To which another user replied, “Except Napster didn’t screw its users out of millions of dollars then charge them $75 to download LimeWire instead.”
Robinhood is looking to launch its services in the UK, where regulators are looking to strengthening the laws regarding digital service outages to make more responsible financial services firms and FinTech when customers cannot access their services.
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