Support wouldn't understand what I was asking

A few days ago I had quite a frustrating experience with Monzo support.
Simply put, I had some questions about business accounts and payment links (the same ones I posted here actually).
Please have a look at my questions and Monzo’s answers, and do tell me if I am not explaining myself well enough, or what other reason there is that Monzo’s agents seem to be providing random answers that have nothing to do with what I am asking and/or keep ignoring part of my questions.

First time I asked:

They transferred me to someone else, who just asked how may I help you - this shows they either don’t have access to the chat up to that point (tech failure) or they just didn’t bother reading it (human failure).

So I write:


Maybe I made it too complicated by providing unnecessary detail? Maybe I should have just pretended it’s for me to keep the language simpler?

His response:

Rrrright… I never asked anything about how to create a payment link. So I say:

And he comes back with:


At this point it’s getting really frustrating. I just reply:

That’s when he realises he can’t help and passes me onwards…:

I mean, seriously? Maybe it was a bot all along…

Finally I get someone who feels like he is human and responds in a human way:

Ok great, not only he tells me what I want to know to the best of his knowledge, but he will make sure someone who really knows can confirm or deny.

Now, my last question was “can people from Dubai pay with their Dubai-based card or not?”.

Here she is:

So I get something about an ‘easy bank transfer’ (not what I asked, nothing to do with my query), then a reply about Stripe-generated links (good to know, but I asked specifically now about Monzo links, not Stripe links), and some more stuff about IBANs that really has nothing to do with any of this.

So, more re-phrasing on my part and we are getting somewhere, but I had to extract the information from her bit by bit as she kept telling me about Stripe links but not Monzo links:

Getting to my last question, which I have to repeat as no one seems to have access to my original list of questions:

And I am passed on to yet another agent. This time the problem is either my English doesn’t make sense, or she doesn’t have access to the previous conversation (but I think, even if the last message is the only one she can see, it’s still pretty clear I am asking about countries Monzo will not accept payments from, rather than where my card will work):

Ok, so let me clarify:

And here’s what I get:

So she can see my previous messages (as I’ve not mentioned Stripe once to this agent), but makes no mention about Monzo payment links. I wanted to know about Monzo payment links, to avoid having to open a Stripe account, by the way (for context here).

Overall, this kind of thing knocks confidence. If this is how they handle a simple question about what is essentially ‘sales’/their own products, how will they handle a complaint, a chargeback, etc. Will they understand what I mean when it really matters?

As always, your comments are welcome. Am I being reasonable in finding this very very frustrating? Could I have phrased something better? Did they answer my questions and it’s actually me who doesn’t get it?


Extremely poor, not a brain cell in sight.

I think the issue is partly that stripe process these transactions on behalf of monzo (even when you don’t bring your own stripe account - the backend is actually stripe), so they (probably don’t realise what their docs are saying and) say go yourself and check stripe, but they should know the answer and explain things clearly.

Stripe will say we can’t talk to you because you don’t work for monzo.

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A properly trained large language model would do much better. Just don’t train it on actual responses because that would result in badness.

For the record, I don’t blame the customer service folk. It’s so widespread it has to be systemic. The COO (or exec responsible) needs to grip this properly.

The annual report mentions outsourcing to South Africa. I know there was already some outsourcing overseas (quietly mentioned in a previous annual report) but however Monzo configures itself, it has to be better than this.

I’m serious about an LLM btw. They’re good enough for front line support - immediate answers with tricky ones going to humans who can take more time and do empathy and stuff the robots struggle with. They’ll need to read and consider things properly, though…


I think your questions may have confused them because card payments are via Stripe.

Helpfully Stripe have this that may be of use?

If you’re wanting to avoid using Stripe, I think are easy payments not UK and EU only?


I’m sorry, but why not? When I ask one thing (very clearly, I believe) but they answer a completely different question I never asked… how is that not the fault of the person reading my question and typing… whatever it is they are typing?

Training helps to teach them how the bank works and what to say when, but even if they were trained to give such unrelated answers I would hope they wouldn’t go ahead with it like that.


Next time, I’d just ask here first lol.

The answer to your question is yes.

That’s the first response you should have got, and probably would have got if the agent was actually interested in helping and not just copying and pasting the closest match from a script.

You don’t even really need to escalate it to know. You just need to use the product you’re offering support for.

Or better yet, if there’s no answer on internal docs, and you genuinely don’t know, do what Squarespace agents do. Test it yourself and report back to the customer with your findings!


Two-three possibilities here, and I can see all three playing a little part:

They’re extremely underresourced with a focus on time spent on customer queries, so reading a key word and sending a canned response and hoping that you go away and if not, escalating you is the quickest way to close tickets for yourself.

A policy requiring them to use canned responses in the first instance for a unified corporate feel.

Poor training meaning they’re just scrambling about not knowing what is what.

None of these are the COps fault who just need to put bread on the table every month. Support has been, and always will be the biggest corporate failing of Monzo.


But their approach doesn’t make sense then. If they want to minimise time spent per customer query, reading correctly and answering the query posed would result in reduced time; answering random things that only serves to prolong the time the customer spends re-phrasing and asking again can only result in longer sessions. I wouldn’t think many people would quit if they asked something and it was not answered / answered with some gibberish :face_with_raised_eyebrow:

If the canned responses are so wrong (and routinely so? how often is it that bad?), the unified corporate feel is one of incompetence, which I am sure no self-respecting business wants to convey.

They are perfectly capable to pass the query on to someone else if they don’t know the answer in the first place though, not knowing the answer is no excuse for giving some random response. In fact, we have students who sometimes act in this way as a defensive mechanism (“I don’t know the answer but I’ll answer something random and hope it makes half sense”), and we always try to change that behaviour as it never helps.

I am not sure I agree with this. At the end of the day, the agents have a job to do. However bad their training is, this job is basically reading comprehension and speaking with people. There is a lot to be said about people not doing their jobs properly these days and the bother this gets us. If they can read my question, they can answer something relevant, even if it is “sorry, I’ve never come across this issue, I will pass you to someone who knows”, or “we haven’t had any customers sending payment links to Dubai, so we can’t really say for sure, we know it’s not on any block list, so please do try and if you have any issues please do get back to us”, now how difficult would that have been as one of several ways to 100% answer to my question?

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I don’t think anyone is saying that you should expect poor service or that this isn’t Monzo’s fault. It is.

When there are isolated incidents of poor service, then yes, it’s likely that individual members of staff are to blame. But when it’s widespread and systemic you can only really blame the management.

It’s management that set the targets, it’s management that is responsible for the processes and it’s management that creates the right environment for success.

So, for me, the buck stops at the senior leader(s) who are failing to address these issues.

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Tell me you never worked in first line support without telling me you never worked in first line support. It’s a show of incompetence at the best of companies, let alone at Mozno who seem to have forgotten that their first tier support team even exists.

Most people will ask simple stuff like ‘can I delete my pot?’ for which a canned response will work, 95% of the time. So canned responses it is, but that of course leaves those with more complex queries bashing their heads against a brick wall.


Monzo lives for KPIs and SRs (saved responses).

Chats per hour vary per department but frontline was 10 CPH, finhealth 4 CPH etc.

I’d guess business is rather akin to frontline with general queries.

Monzo lives for SRs to make chats quicker to handle, there’s pretty much one for everything, and this is why at times it can look like bots have sent them, given the structure and detail of them.

Meeting KPIs are a big thing at monzo, severely impact your pay profession (not uncommon for the bulk of the floor to get a measly 2% payrise instead of 5% or 7%, should be the same for everyone like it is the main banks).

Send SR. Close chat. Move on to the next to get those stats.

So you lose professionalism and personal touch when you’re under pressure to perform at standard to avoid an insulting pay decrease in real terms (management never have cared to improve it).

Just my 2p.


When I looked at the Monzo help pages after seeing the OP’s earlier thread, it says that a Stripe account will be opened for you and cancelling Monzo Business won’t cancel the Stripe account (and vice versa), so however it’s approached the Business customer will end up with their own Stripe account.

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What a wonderful way to run your business to the ground (at least in the estimation of customers). Achieve these artificial KPIs set by (apparently) people with no idea what they’re doing, who cares if you’re actually answering people’s questions. Wow. I had no idea Monzo was run like this.

Actually I ran a business. An infinitely smaller business than Monzo, of course. We had a total of 25 employees, 3 in full-time customer service and order processing/management. The two directors (one of whom was me) were also taking customer calls and dealing with customer service issues when not doing other tasks.
When training a new customer service employee, we took them on a tour of the factory and showed them how every part of the business worked. We then talked to them about the order lifecycle. Then we gave them time to familiarise themselves with customer service calls (by being present when existing employees handled calls) and emails (by going through old emails to see how they had been handled).
We trained them on the phone system to know how to pass on a call to a more experienced person when needed.
The focus was always to give the customer the correct information, as that would result in a) a sale and b) lower chance of a return & refund (as we maximised the chance of the customer ordering the right thing for their needs).

It’s ok to have canned responses (indeed, later on we added some of these ourselves to our GSuite emails), but always need to make sure whatever canned response you send is answering what the customer actually asked, and you can edit a canned response too to add information and make it more relevant.

For more complex queries, of course we didn’t have a canned response. We typed emails.

I cannot for the life of me comprehend how there are managers or directors earning hundreds of thousands managing a customer service in this apalling way.

But they are not closing the chat. They either leave it as is (waiting for a response) or they ask “is there anything else I can help you with?”. So the chat is not closed, the KPI not achieved. And any manager/director who purposefully runs that place with the intention that a canned response that has nothing to do with the customer’s query is a good thing for Monzo as a business, is not acting in the best interest of the business and shouldn’t be working there.

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To be fair that’s literally every contact centre in the UK. They all live for it. Which is wrong.

Proper templates, training and increasingly better self serve are the way forward.

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Agreed however a lot will ask if they have resolved your issue or if there are any further questions before closing the chat completely to avoid being shut down and simply passed on again and again.

I rarely have issues with contact centres, including Monzo, but it’s very very very Monzo to be passed to and fro and not really get answers in good time or that makes sense to the question being asked. Noticeably Monzo.


Not to my experience. They may all be about KPIs, but they all do it in very different ways. There are good, medium and bad ones all round.
Starling - knew what I was asking, gave me the right answers first time, job done.

BT - they follow a script if it’s first line, but the script does make sense, and know to forward to 2nd line when you ask them and know what you’re talking about or when 1st line script is through.

Every power utility I’ve ever had to call about a billing issue (I’ve not had major ones) - understood me, did what I asked, even if the company policies meant taking time to get things sorted.

I’ve literally never ever experienced a whole team of support agents giving me irrelevant answers to my simple questions, not once but repeatedly.

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Whilst I can agree in most departments, financial health and fraud etc not so get the numbers in, as they can be pretty complex by experience.


You must be lucky. I’m in no way defending Monzo and it’s poor CS standard - it’s one of the reasons I no longer bank with them.

But, having worked in CS for a number of years before finding the exit I can absolutely guarantee a number of agents generally (and there are many who don’t do this for balance) look to close the ticket in the quickest way possible to get the numbers.

Asking for details even if they been provided is a one such way to quickly close a ticket or passing it onto a “specialist” i.e. just another CS agent who has to pick it up.

I have to say it really annoyed me as an agent when I came across these as it then meant I had to spent time fixing it in the first place


Perhaps there needs to be a better metric to judge performance alongside the number of enquires ‘closed’.

Asking for a star rating after chat: ‘How was I at helping you today’ would surely highlight those agents who purely chase the numbers and churn through chats with minimal effort.


That would be too sensible and not focused enough on the bottom line!