Merchant Data Corrections

Because I don’t think I made it at all clear in my previous replies - I absolutely understand your annoyance.

I think why it changed is down to one of the fundamental problems of ‘crowd-sourcing’, as it were. Errors can be introduced - accidentally or otherwise - which can be hard to check against, and situations where the ultimate acquirer is ultimately the same can be hard to disambidguate.

I don’t think solutions are going to be easy, and it make take time before anything remotely robust is arrived at (at which point will it be too hard to make edits/changes?)

tr;dr, I absolutely understand your annoyance.

I agree

I meant more it seems to be an issue with how Monzo categorises/groups Slug and Lettuce transactions, meaning they all(?)/many get changed by mistake when someone else changes a different merchant that has somehow become grouped together with them

Foursquare have a superusers system which lets you do admin level edits. This is something I think would really benefit Monzo

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@glasgow Are you suggesting more work for the CC :sweat_smile:?

Google maps sometimes asks you to confirm info if it knows you’ve been to a place which is a nice touch. Could also be used here.

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Flying tiger Copenhagen

slug and lettuce

how can you get that wrong?? lol

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So let me give you all an update on where we’re at with this.

Yes, the merchant feedback system sucks. It’s time-consuming, intensive, and basically hasn’t changed in 2+ years. Stuff goes wrong, merchants get tagged wrong, they get placed in the wrong groups, there’s a bunch of stuff that’s wrong with it. There’s really no way and no point of me sugar-coating it - it’s not up to our standards. Danny isn’t wrong for pointing this out.

There’s two ways we can approach this. One would be to rewrite the merchant feedback system from scratch. In an ideal world that’s what we would do. Come up with better ways for users to help us with this through peer-reviewed changes or a set of “super-users” who earn the privilege to be able to help edit and correct the data (similar to Foursquare/Swarm).

The issue with that right now is that we simply don’t have the available resources right now to do it. We’re in the midst of a HUGE rewrite of our live chat system to bring all of the tooling in-house so that we don’t need to rely on third-party tools. It’s a massive project. Given that there’s some common ground there, it might be possible to have some of the people working on this project look into scoping out a merchant feedback re-write once the grunt work of the current project is done - but obviously that’s not my call to make - there are lots of upcoming engineering projects that I have very little visibility on, or context for the importance of. Other than making it clear that this is something that is steadily causing frustrations for customers, that’s about as much as I’m able to say.

The second thing we can do is simply throw more manpower at merchant feedback. This is something that we are actively looking into at the moment. Now, our hiring tends to happen in big waves. Late last year, we “overhired” - by that I mean, there wasn’t enough work on front-line customer support for all of our customer support team. That was great! Because it meant that folks got time to work on all different things. Some of those were things that are usually low priority - like merchant feedback tasks! Some of them were starting new projects that could turn into something really great. Some people used the time to learn specialisms and have the opportunity to work with different teams. Here on the forum, things were looking pretty rosy and we were able to respond to flags pretty quickly.

Then… because of the “overhiring” we went on a hiring freeze. Lo and behold, with our customer growth, we pretty quickly ended up back to the point where there was almost too much frontline support queries for us to handle, and so all hands went back on deck on being “interactive” (as in, dealing with support, rather than working on other projects).

Now, this is of course our fault as a business. We made incorrect projections about growth and hiring. We underestimated the impact of some new variables and overestimated the impact of others. These are hard things! We also had new people come into the business and start to assess some of these failings so they wouldn’t happen again - notably our COO, Tom Foster-Carter is someone that has made a HUGE impact on the company in the time since he started. So we’ve shuffled, built new teams, built new projections.

Right now, we’re back in the position where we need to hire - and we are doing. I believe we’re hiring maybe 20 new COps this month, or thereabouts. We also have what appear to be pretty robust predictions of how many COps we need to hire for next month, and the month after that, etc etc. So we’re going to be in a position where we simply have more people that can be working on these sort of tasks during some of their work hours.

The other thing that we are actively exploring is whether we can hire people specifically to handle these sort of tasks, who wouldn’t necessarily ever talk to customers on the frontline. With that, there’s lots of different ways we could approach it - we’d need to look at the risks, and the feasibility of that as a role - it might be a less permanent role, done on a flexible basis - perhaps suitable for students who can only work a few hours per week, or something like that? It’s something we’re looking into - do we have them working on anything that has access to any customer data, and if not, is it easier to create such a situation since we may not have to do as rigorous background checks etc?

Essentially - we know, and we’re exploring the best way to combat the issue, and taking all your thoughts on board as well. We’ll get there :grinning:

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I’ll volunteer for that :+1:

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I’d help here mate

What I don’t get though is that if it was ‘working’ in the beginning why has it now decided to go wrong?

I remember being able to submit a change and it got done in a day or two now it’s so long and when it does get done it’s only the address or the logo never both at once.

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Me too :nerd_face:

And me! :+1:

Thanks for the informative post @simonb .

I was thinking that it might be a good idea having cops posted in various regional areas that work remotely on updating the system?

After all, local knowledge is key…

I’ll volunteer to do West of Scotland, if it helps!

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A lot of COps work remotely all round the U.K. and beyond already

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I would be interested in this as I’ve mentioned before.

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I would say that it’s almost worth resourcing a role that deals with these issues. It doesn’t have to be one person doing it full time, it could be 5 people doing it for one day a week or 10 for half a day. Ultimately it adds to the polish of the product.

The impression I get from this forum is that the current system isn’t fit for purpose. There are other ways of doing it, perhaps there could be a subforum here for people to raise merchant feedback improvements?

Understand your pain got a few merchants missing logos and the other merchants just showing up as a place solely because of the location despite its a different company that manages the machines it’s annoying so hopefully this will get revamped and a lot more care and attention will be put into it.

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And meeee :sunglasses::+1:

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I think it would make sense in the short term to have a few dedicated people to the merchant data system, who can if there is no fixes to be made, transition to customer support. Once the new system for merchant data is then up and running whenever that may be, some of those staff members can then possibly migrate to customer service roles.

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This basically sums up what I was about to type. The initial problem where the system is the issue needs to be fixed rather than just throwing more people at it.
As a short term help it’s not a bad idea, unless there are some quick wins that can be made on the current system.

This does sound like the ideal solution though:

Hopefully Monzo can dedicate some time to it in the future :arrow_right:

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My (ex) manager did this when he first joined Monzo. It is not a great experience and gets really tedious for the person involved, I don’t think it would be fair to make people just do merchant feedback reviews :slight_smile:

Just to add to what Simon has said above, there are currently no plans for a “new” system. It may be something that is reworked/rebuilt after various other projects (as we know there are issues) but there hasn’t been any engineering time to even scope this out yet

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I’ve posted many times about how this system is dreadfully poor, and how Monzo should improve. Unfortunately to the users it appears to be falling on deaf ears.

I was surprised it didn’t even appear on the big list, and that the reasons we’re getting are that time is being spent on other things … as @anon72173902 pointed out, sometimes pointless things (#tags).

This - I fear - could be a failing that turns some people away from Monzo after they’ve used it. I know it’s making me open the app a lot less than I used to.

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