A protester in opposition to Robnhood and it is CEO holds indicators in San Francisco.
Lupe Mejia | CNBC
Some Robinhood merchants who cannot get in contact with customer support try one other tactic: displaying up at its entrance door.
A handful of Robinhood’s purchasers have pushed to the start-up’s headquarters in California, demanding to talk to a consultant and in some circumstances, vandalizing the property, based on police stories.
A complete of ten stories from January 28 to February 9 obtained by CNBC element frustration with the buying and selling start-up. Some clients tried to elucidate account points to safety guards exterior the one-story, nondescript constructing within the Bay Space suburb, and got a paper type to fill out. There have been no Robinhood-related police stories previous to that date this 12 months, the division stated.
A Menlo Park police spokesperson stated the incidents embrace as many as 15 individuals protesting exterior of the workplace, and a male suspect throwing a t-shirt at a safety guard. One other suspect sawed right into a sculpture on Robinhood’s property. A 3rd man threw animal feces on the entrance door, based on police.
Robinhood got here underneath fireplace from customers and lawmakers for restricting the buy-side of some trades in late January. Some accused Robinhood of defending hedge funds that had shorted shares equivalent to GameStop. Robinhood said it didn’t make these selections primarily based on the curiosity of market makers or hedge funds, and wanted to restrict trades to elevated capital necessities.
Robinhood declined to touch upon the police stories and customer support complaints.
Forty-three-year previous Rayz Rayl stated he had been utilizing the free-trading app for seven years, and advisable Robinhood to associates earlier than late January. The skilled poker participant advised CNBC that he misplaced $50,000 buying and selling Nokia — one in every of a number of shares that had been restricted on the platform as a result of volatility.
After failed makes an attempt to contact Robinhood’s customer support, he determined to drive greater than 2,400 miles from his house in Sellersburg, Indiana final Thursday to Robinhood’s headquarters to shut down his account.
“I’ve cash in my Robinhood account that I want for residing bills” Rayl, who has three youngsters, stated in an interview exterior of Robinhood’s headquarters. “My cash is at the moment held hostage by Robinhood, I am unable to get it out.”
Rayl stated he was locked out for greater than 10 days. After his interview, and a request for remark to Robinhood by CNBC, he was contacted by customer support and in a position to entry his account.
CNBC witnessed one other Robinhood shopper kicking and knocking on the entrance door of Robinhood, claiming the start-up had “$2 million of my cash on maintain,” and asking to “take my account quantity down.” The person declined to talk about his criticism.
Within the weeks since, greater than two dozen lawsuits have been filed in opposition to Robinhood from purchasers looking for damages. One other lawsuit introduced in opposition to the buying and selling app this week is from the household of Alex Kearns – a 20-year-old who dedicated suicide final 12 months after mistakenly considering he owed greater than $730,000 after buying and selling choices.
To make certain, the Menlo Park incidents solely signify a handful of Robinhood’s 13 million clients. Regardless of the backlash on-line and in Capitol Hill, the start-up appeared so as to add file accounts within the final week of January. JMP Securities estimates that Robinhood noticed 600,000 cell downloads through the week of GameStop buying and selling.
Robinhood’s consumer insurance policies define potential for losses, and restrictions on buying and selling. Customers agree that “Robinhood might, in its discretion, prohibit or prohibit the buying and selling of securities, or the substitution of securities, in any of My Accounts.”
Rayl stated he knew the chance of dropping cash when he signed up for Robinhood, and has misplaced as a lot as $20,000 in a single day in poker. To Rayl, his incapability to purchase sure shares made this stand out from different losses. He stated Robinhood limiting purchasers’ trades amounted to “pulling the rug out from underneath” purchasers.
For now, Rayz is taking hiatus from the inventory market.
“I do not belief Wall Road proper now — I am shifting all the cash to money, and taking a break,” Rayz stated. “I do not know if I am going to ever return to day buying and selling after this occurred.”