Switching Energy provider offer in feed

Ads, recommendations, targeted “help”, whatever you want to call this… these are advertisements in my transaction feed which I did not ask for. I will be contacting support to use the opt-out clause of the T&C.

Hopefully the GDPR will make short work of this unsolicited targeted advertising for (sometimes paying) customers.

There was a time when EE used to text me with upgrade offers. I reminded them that I’d long opted out of marketing. They stated that these texts were not advertising but were “essential account information that we have to give you by law.”

When I asked them for the legislation that said they had to do this, they soon backed down.

Long and the short is that big organisations are happy to ignore the wishes of their customers as they can afford to be arrogant. They don’t care if one customer leaves. There’s plenty of others.

Monzo, a billion customers is a target to which to aspire but don’t act like big business and piss off your customers along the way, please.

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Monzo have always been transparent about their vision regarding providing relevant and useful information regarding these sort of offers. I think the bank vouching for my identity and saving me time is a useful service and if they can check that I would actually save money based on my monthly direct debit, that’s more useful to me. If I’m saving money and Monzo benefits at the same time, that’s great for both of us. There’s a line between “useful, money saving offer that I can dismiss and never see again” and “irrelevant offers that are not worth my time and border on obnoxious” in my opinion.

Given I will not use the overdraft and therefore will not be a paying customer I don’t have a problem with this. In principle I think the GDPR is useful and it’s great the opt out is there, but how would you rather help to fund the bank if not through partnerships with e.g. utility companies? This seems much more ethical than charging for a failed direct debit, or ripping off vulnerable customers with unplanned overdraft fees.

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I’ve just received a response from support which states:

it is not currently possible to opt out of partnerships, as these are a key component of the Monzo offering

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Yes, it may seem more ethical, but this is a false dichotomy: there are other alternatives: for example, you have provided crowdfunding (another way of funding the bank) and it’s always possible to offer credit (e.g. overdrafts).

Yes, the GDPR is useful and great precisely because it does not care about an organisation’s arguments for targeting.

Yeah, presumably they mean partnerships like the upcoming TransferWise integration there too.

Here’s how you opt out, once you receive the 1st of these offers.

I’d recommend taking some time to think this through though. If Monzo can see that you’re paying more than you should for your current service, why would you not want to know that?

It’s also worth mentioning that from what I hear, a lot the users who actually received the feed item gave positive feedback. I appreciate the fact that advertising is generally a poor user experience but it might be in your interest to at least wait & see what you think of Monzo’s approach first.

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It’s actually as a result of this topic in this community that Bulb appeared on my radar.

I’m due to be switching energy providers imminently as FirstUtility are not the great deal they once were. Having done some research, Bulb offers the best deal for me.

If Monzo wants to send me my current account, pronto, I’m happy they take the referral fee. I can’t say fairer than that :grinning:

That’s great, but that means I must first be targeted and receive an ad. Surely under section 16.7.4 I should be able to do that beforehand.

I’m now waiting for a working-hours response from the Monzo team to my question of whether these feed items are considered to be

[contacting me] in another way about other products and services which [Monzo] consider may interest [me]

as there’s no mentions of the marketplace, “central offering”, or partnerships in the T&Cs. I imagine they’ll get updated again soon. Let’s consider this as ironing out some of the wrinkles in the T&Cs.

Has anyone who switched to Bulb using the Mozno feed item received the £25 credit yet? I signed up that way and paid my first bill yesterday, but no sign of the credit in my account?

You are aware this is also a preview currently? The way these things are displayed is highly likely to change from feedback. So you may find there is an Offers tab in the app in the future, rather than on the feed.

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Yes, I’m aware, but the T&Cs still apply to the preview, no?

Then I hope my feedback to the Monzo team is now clear: no inline targeted ads, please. Use a separate tab, but don’t be pushy about it :slight_smile:

I genuinely believe no. When we all move over to the full CA we will accept or decline new T&Cs so the way I understand it, they are only relevant for the prepaid card currently.

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Aha! yes, you’re right. The bank app has a different T&Cs with a separate privacy policy.

The privacy policy in the Monzo Bank app (Version 1.1 — July 27, 2017), however, also states:

Market and communicate our products and services and those of affiliated partners where we think these will be of interest to you. You can always unsubscribe from receiving these if you want to, by email and via the app.

So the ambiguity in the privacy policy is still there.

I have no intention of changing supplier. I carefully choose my providers for lots of reasons. For example - I’m with Ecotricity because I like their ethos and I like the way they’re run and their ethics. They put money directly back into building wind power, solar power and green gas - and bothering the government to push things forward. (You could compare them to Monzo in lots of ways)

They aren’t the cheapest and I know that - but I’m not changing.
My insurances are with Co-op Insurance for ethical reasons, I’m not changing that either.
I could go on.

It’s only in preview stage. We’ll have to wait (quite a while probably) to see what happens.

But my feedback, personally, is that if advertising/partnerships/help to save money whatever you want to call it, isn’t completely segregated in it’s own area or otherwise personally invited by me via an API or whatever - then I’ll be closing my account at the first sign of any ad in my feed (on the final product) that doesn’t come with an option to permanently and completely dismiss it and all future ads.

I absolutely love the product but I really strongly believe that adverts (because that’s what they are) in the transaction feed is a really really bad idea. I also think it will stop people choosing Monzo. - I don’t think people are gullible enough to fall for the ‘we’re helping you’ line either. It’ll make Monzo look cheap and unprofessional in my view.

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And what a strongly held view that apparently is…

I don’t actually disagree but I’m not that fussed about it that I’m contemplating any action at the moment. Let’s see what it looks like in practice.

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Just a quick note for transparency here, the prepaid support staff does not have an easy opt out button for these yet. All enquiries for this very early test go back to the partnerships group.

I should stress again just how early of an experiment this was, the feed item was sent to 95 people out of our 370,000+ user base. The main reason it was even in the feed was to lower the time for development using existing app infrastructure.

As for pushback against the whole concept, I should point out that this has always been one of the two key ways we planned to make money long term and we’ve made no attempt to hide it. It’s in our investment deck (slide 13). We 100% understand the desire to opt out of these though.

I can promise that the team are reading this thread and taking all feedback into consideration though.

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Perhaps spend some development time on an opt-out button or link, please :slight_smile:

These two seem at odds. The slide deck argues that this is a long-term goal. Why is early development/app effort being spent on the affiliate links rather than the shorter-term goals?

I thoroughly recommend that a privacy dashboard is developed way before any more of these experiments take place. Take inspiration from Twitter, Google, or Facebook if you must:

Great! Then I would strongly encourage you to develop an advertising preferences system well before you run another one of these experiments:

Twitter:
ad2

Google:
ad3

Facebook:
ad1

Or just don’t join the preview, which involves these sorts of tests, if you’re afraid of receiving one of these feed items before opting out ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

It’s up to Monzo to decide what to focus their resources on. If you think you can do a better job of prioritisation, you’re welcome to create your own bank.

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Hey @sigwinch thanks for providing so much feedback! Without commenting on your individual case, I’m really curious by the analogy you’re drawing here to Facebook, Twitter and Google. These are three ad-supported businesses who provide the ability to turn off targeting, but not the fact that you see ads themselves.

Would you prefer to receive untargeted content in the Monzo app? If so, how might we best avoid the perception that a lot of people have raised that these are just adverts?

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You’re quite right. I see ads on these services, though I don’t feel as though I’m being manipulated or targeted specifically because I can disable any personalisation. I think it’s creepy.

If it’s targeted vs untargeted, yes. I’ll take the untargeted.

Don’t attempt to skew people’s perceptions. They’re ads. Call them what they are.

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