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Quick summary: Robinhood has dramatically expanded their customer phone support operations after years of taking heat from customers and the media about a lack of live phone support. While calling their listed number, (650) 294-4858, still directs customers back to other means of support, you can now request a call back through the app, which should come in about 30 minutes after you make the request.
Robinhood Financial is as much a tech company as an investment brokerage. As a result, for years the company was light on customer service staff and relied heavily on a well-documented help section and email support, which for many customers facing the prospect of outages during trading hours and the potential for lost money was simply inadequate.
Even after negative media attention swirled around the company for lacking any means of talking to a human customer service representative, the company continued to resist offering a phone number for customers to call to work through problems.
This all changed in 2021 as the company approached its IPO and realized scrutiny on its customer service would only rise along with the profile of the company. Now, the company offers a 30 minute call back feature through the help section on the app or if you are logged in to the desktop version.
How to Request a Call Back From Robinhood Customer Service
Robinhood still tries to incentivize customers to resolve most problems through its help section documentation or through email. The reality is many Robinhood users are first-time investors and likely have basic questions that can be easily answered in an FAQ style approach. It’s also an expensive investment to hire and train thousands of customer service representatives, as Robinhood has finally done in 2021.
However, the argument can easily be made that because Robinhood has so many novice investors, there should be a means for them to reach a person to talk things through, especially if something goes wrong with the app or a trade. Luckily, now Robinhood appreciates the need to provide live phone support, however only in certain cases.
Here’s how to initiate a call back with Robinhood’s customer service:
Step 1. Identify your problem – This is important because currently Robinhood prioritizes phone support around options trading, account security, banking issues, and equity trading restrictions. If your issue is outside of these areas, you will likely be guided towards resolving it through either their help documentation or email support. Even something as serious as reporting a scam only warrants email support from Robinhood at the time of writing.
Step 2. Ensure you are logged into the app or desktop version of Robinhood – Without being logged in, you will not be able to access the call back feature for account issues and would have to rely on other means of support such as emailing email@example.com or contacting the Ask Robinhood Twitter account, which only offers limited support.
Step 3. Access Robinhood’s help section in the app – This can be done by first selecting the symbol for your profile in the far bottom right of the screen, followed by selecting the pull down menu in the upper right of the screen and then finally scrolling down and selecting “Help”, which should be the second to last option you are presented with.
Step 4. Select “Contact Us”– The fastest way to get to the call back request feature is to select “contact us.” You’ll then be presented with a short list of common questions and also the option to ask a different question. If you have questions on your bank account status, funds transfer, account security, or certain investing questions related to stocks or options you can click through to select the question that most resembles yours.
Step 5. Select Your Question – Once you have settled on the question that most resembles your issue, click through various follow-up questions and you will ultimately be presented with a screen that provides some basic information and tips on your issue, as well as the option to “Contact Us” at the bottom of the screen.
Step 6. Select “Contact Us” – When you click contact us, you will see two options for support if you have a priority issue, one for phone support and one for email support. If you only have an option for email support, that means Robinhood is not offering phone support for your particular issue. If you feel phone support is critical, go back a few screens and select a different option to see if phone support is offered. Remember that Robinhood is only offering the call back feature for certain account security issues.
Step 7. Select “Phone” – When you select the phone option as your preferred method of support, you’ll be prompted to review your phone number to ensure a representative can reach you. If the number is incorrect, there is an option for you to edit it before initiating the call.
Step 8. Select “Request a call” – At the bottom of the screen there is a large green button to request a call. Press that button and you will have initiated a call back from Robinhood. The company typically states that you should receive a call back within 30 minutes, but wait times can vary based on if a large issue is prompting a high volume of calls.
Below we review how we got to Robinhood Financial offering some form of live phone support and how live phone support could be made even better.
Inability to Call Robinhood Customer Service: Criticisms
For years, Robinhood offered no phone support whatsoever. The company was at one time a technology startup and like many similar firms, over- invested in creating high-quality FAQ documentation and resolved other issues by email, sometimes quickly but other times with long wait times.
While many customer issues could be resolved easily this way, a number of challenging events forced the company to expand its customer service operations to now include phone support. These included a number of high-profile outages during times of major market volatility, allegedly leading to customers losing money on open trades that they couldn’t manage or close. The complexity of offering options trading also led to a higher volume of advanced level questions and issues with these trades. Finally, the growing retail investor frenzy around Gamestop and other “meme stocks” and Robinhood’s (among other brokers’) temporary freeze on the ability to trade in these shares brought further major scrutiny on the company from its customers, the media and even Congress.
Two excellent recent articles from Bloomberg and The Wall Street Journal do a good job of summing up the historical issues with Robinhood’s customer service, which we excerpt below:
Robinhood, founded seven years ago and based in Menlo Park, California, has exploded in popularity this year as millions of Americans stuck at home — including throngs of millennials — look to make some money during a pandemic that has sent stock prices swinging. But the no-fee brokerage app has also attracted consumer complaints, with novice investors confused by the vagaries of stock options and margin loans. Now, even though the firm said this year that it has more than doubled its customer-service team, clients complain they’re struggling to get quick help when their funds are disappearing. “They don’t have a customer service line, which I’m quite shocked about,” Bagheri said.
A more recent article from The Wall Street Journal highlighted continued customer service issues as the company approached its IPO and anticipated many of the changes the company has made to adjust, by adding more customer service representatives and eventually, live phone support.
Robinhood opened more new accounts last year than any other do-it-yourself brokerage yet scored lower than Vanguard Group, Charles Schwab Corp. and T. Rowe Price Group in a J.D. Power investor-satisfaction study. Robinhood’s “strength in digital channels and value for fees was offset by poor performance on trust, people and problem resolution,” J.D. Power said.
Robinhood’s Response to Customer Service Issues
Since the criticisms reached a crescendo in early 2021, Robinhood has made a number of communications to customers articulating the company’s beefed up customer service capabilities.
You can read their note to customers from February 2021, which announced phone support for options and account security issues here.
A follow-up note from June 2021 announced further expansion of the customer service team and more scenarios where customers could receive live phone support, which can be read here.
Alternatives to Calling Robinhood Customer Service
While Robinhood has rightly been called on the mat for a lack of live phone support and even now, the phone support does not cover all areas, it should be commended for addressing this issue in some form. Likewise, its help documentation, AI support and email support is typically pretty solid in our experience.
If you have additional questions or concerns about using Robinhood, you can also check out the Robinhood sub-Reddit on popular message board Reddit. Use the search feature and you will likely find many similar questions answered by fellow customers which could get you the info more quickly than waiting for Robinhood’s call or email back to you.
While Robinhood now offers some form of live phone support, it will be nice to see them expand this option to all tiers of questions in the near future. Even better, would be an option to initiate a call directly.