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Kraigmo's avatar

Ever notice that tech financial companies that are "designed for Millenials in mind".... have ZERO customer service?

Asked by Kraigmo (9061points) December 15th, 2020

Whenever I read about a techie financial company whose original news release brags they are “designed with Millenials in mind” then I try it out (such as Venmo, or Robinhood), I find the following traits:
1. Everything must be done on the smartphone app. Their actual websites do not work.
2. There is no customer service number of any kind at all.
3. The apps have very simple User Interfaces, but are full of bugs, nevertheless.
4. Whenever you are told that they emailed you a required a “verification code”, the verification code never gets sent.
5. Any support issues must be done through the app. And no one ever gets any issues resolved within 24 hours. Issues like that can take days or months.
6. Their self-help troubleshooting sections never address any real-world problem.

And so…. in addition to the main question, here are some secondary questions: Do these companies that are “designed with Millenials in mind” think Millenials are stupid? Or… are Millenials (generally) that stupid, and they are fine with all this?

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8 Answers

Hamb's avatar

7. These kids won’t get off my lawn.

stanleybmanly's avatar

Of course. They are companies designed for people who grew up with human interaction as an alien concept. Personal attention is about as familiar to these folks as reading an actual book or newspaper.

longgone's avatar

No, haven’t noticed that. However, some of your points wouldn’t trouble me at all. I would always rather not make a phone call, and I don’t need to use a website when there’s an app. As to bugs: I don’t think the existence of those imply that the startup in question thinks anyone is “stupid”. It’s much more likely that they’re overwhelmed by the complexity of programming, and just working on their code to fix things.

@stanleybmanly Millenials (usually defined as birth years 1981–1996) grew up without smartphones, and when the internet still made this sound. Pictures often took five minutes to load. I remember at age 11, I would go to the website of my local animal shelter, and then read my (physical) copy of “The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe” until the page was actually usable.

People had pagers, and kids didn’t even have that. My friends called the landline or simply rang the bell when they wanted to play.

So, your characterization is a little off. Maybe more suited to poorly parented kids born after 2000?

JLeslie's avatar

I hate when I can’t call someone for help. I often try chat online first, but if it’s not going well I want to make a phone call. That’s one thing I like about Apple they answer the phone and it’s always someone from North America. I’ve had luck with QuickBooks too.

Plenty of companies that have been around a long time have trended towards sucky customer service and more and more figure things out yourself attitude.

I didn’t associate it with millennials, but rather money hungry entrepreneurs. Start-ups I can see having limited staff for answering phone calls, but companies making millions? No excuse.

One thing that happened to me recently, and it’s not exactly what you are talking about, but it comes to mind, is I called my cardiologist Friday about a bill and the answering service picked up. I didn’t know they left the office early on Fridays. The answering service took a message! I don’t know any other doctor that their answering service takes a message, or even lets you leave a message on a machine after hours. I attribute that to the doctor not being born and raised in the United States. She looks to be in her 40’s, so I guess born in the late 70’s or 80’s.

janbb's avatar

Yes. I think everything is more and more expecting you to download the app and do everything online. It can be frustrating when one’s techie son is across the country! (I know; I’m a little old lady as one of my neighbors inadvertently called me.)

jca2's avatar

Friends have apps for everything – McDs app, Starbucks app, DD app, Walmart app. Apps make things convenient but they also keep track of your buying habits and they use up data on the phone. They lure you by offering specials (drink and food deals) to try to suck you in. I’m resistant to all of it.

JLeslie's avatar

Sometimes when I want to open a webpage it automatically switches over to the app, and I can’t find a way out of it. I hate that.

Zaku's avatar

Points 1–3 and 6 seem to be more and more common with more and more companies of all kinds for all customers, it seems to me.

Recent popular web site design in particular seems to me like an absolute disaster. Entire pages that only show some abstract image with smiling customers and a line or two of empty marketing text promoting their top product. Scroll down to other similar pages of near-zero-content ads for what they want you to buy. Almost no actual information. Almost impossible to contact anyone. Etc.

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