Fintech Hypergrowth gone bad: 6 days without access to N26 account

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I found that article a bit difficult to read - possibly because the writer’s original language isn’t English? - and thought it seemed to be mixing up a couple of different issues.

There’s the issue of how it is difficult to contact customer support when they don’t answer phones. That’s a fair point to be made.

But the problem with the account in the first place? I’m not sure that is actually N26’s fault.

Although on first read I thought “Is this related to Anti Money Laundering regulations?”, it didn’t quite stack up, and on re-reading, this paragraph jumped out:

Once back home he double checked his account. To his surprise he was locked out again! Shortly after N26 customer services called. The gist: There seems to be fraudulent action on his account. Had he been in Eastern Europe recently? No he has not, nor did he use the card online. Did he want a new Mastercard sent? Yes please. Ok, the new Mastercard will be through FedEx (at a charge of 20 euros) and delivered on Tuesday. Access to his account will be restored by the next day (Sunday).

No bank, suspecting fraudlent activity on a card, would charge for it. Some banks charge for (unecessary) replacements requested by the customer, though. This should’ve been a red flag to the customer, being asked to pay.

Only after twigging to this part, and reading back a third time, did the most important part of the article register:

Shortly after N26 customer services called.

He got scammed by people masquerading as the bank. He lost control of his account because he handed details over during this phone call that allowed the scammer to access the account, change the email, and replace the card. That part isn’t N26’s fault, it’s the fault of the customer not following the golden rules of avoiding being scammed.

If the writer had framed the article in the form of “My husband got scammed and N26 aren’t responding to his trying to resolve the issue”, that would’ve been a much better article than one saying “N26 are awful and cut my husband off and now won’t talk to him” without actually being clear as to what has happened.

Certainly, the headline is - if not wrong - entirely misleading. As writing, this is customer decision-making gone bad, not fintech hypergrowth.

tl;dr, badly written article misstates and muddles issues, fails to land valid blows as a result.