These past few days I have had perhaps the worst customer experience from Monzo (one which has caused me genuine financial harm), and I want to highlight this as an issue of serious concern that they need to address to avoid this happening to others going forward. I am also very keen for a formal response from Monzo as they have remained almost silent on the issue until now. I am considering reporting this to the Financial Conduct Authority and contacting The Guardian Consumer Champions because it is completely unacceptable.
I’ve already mentioned this in another thread and was effectively accused of lying (?!) so I’ve also attached screenshots of my full conversation log with Monzo since I guess some people feel they need proof.
I attempted to buy a new PC component on eBay. They tend to run pretty expensive so I used my Flex card, with the plan to gradually pay it off over several months. Monzo flagged this as a possible fraud on my account (as many banks do), blocked the payment and sent an automated message saying they’d frozen all of my accounts (Personal, Joint and Flex) but someone would be in touch “very soon” to verify the transaction was me and unfreeze my accounts.
This contact never came and my accounts remained completely frozen for 2 days. I sent around 20 messages to Monzo support over that time and received one reply basically saying “you’re on a list and they’ll call you when they reach you”. My subsequent replies were ignored. I tried calling their number 3 times, the first time I got through and was told to be patient, the second and third times I waited over an hour on hold and couldn’t get through to anyone.
Imagine having two days where you have no access to money. You cannot buy anything, you cannot pay your bills, and you can’t speak to anyone to rectify the issue. I struggle with my mental health as it is, and this experience has been devastating.
Finally today my account was unblocked. No apology, no explanation for the delay, just an automated “we sometimes flag these payments for review, you can now re-attempt your payment”.
Why this matters:
Monzo is my primary bank - I have all my savings and disposable cash in these accounts (personal + joint), and they are the source of all of my direct debits (including mortgage payments). This has meant I’ve had genuinely no access to any money for 2 days, and all incoming and outgoing payments were frozen.
All of my direct debits yesterday were blocked - this included essential payments like my mortgage (I’m currently in the process of trying to remortgage so a missed payment could be devastating for my finances). Other blocked payments include home insurance, car insurance, council tax and many others. I am likely to incur a fee from at least some of these.
Furthermore I’ve been unable to spend any money at all - I’ve had to borrow money from friends and my partner for food, and yesterday I had to spend over 3 hours walking because I had no way to pay for public transport or parking. My partner, who wasn’t even part of this purchase, has similarly been locked out of our joint account and cannot access the money she has in there - and this account we use for almost all of our joint spending.
The only silver lining is at least this block happened whilst I was at home - if I were abroad, this could have been even more dangerous.
Monzo needs to seriously address the way they handle these scam-prevention measures. Yes it is absolutely important to ensure large transactions are not a customer being scammed, but if that process involves leaving someone with no access to any money or support for 2 days then that is unacceptable in my view.
I’ve been a loyal Monzo customer since the start - I joined when it was a pre-paid card. I bought shares during their crowdfunding round. I paid for Plus, and I now pay for Premium. But I don’t know how I can confidently remain with a bank which, at any time, could leave me in such a dangerous and vulnerable situation.
Since I’ve already been accused of lying in a separate thread, here are screenshots of the entire chat log with timestamps, proving my repeated and increasingly desperate attempts to gain access to my money and not default on my mortgage payment (and other bills).