Post-digital entertainment

About 3 months ago we began trialing Revolut for Business.  In the beginning everything seemed great.  It opened doors for us, bought us flowers.  It seemed almost too good to be true.

While, we were still technically married to Barclays for at least another year.  We had a monthly loan payment that wouldn't graduate for at least another year, but we were already partially separated.

Our main reason for the switch to Revolut was their modern API.  We make a few hundred payments to our performers each month and we needed something to make this process easier.  Revolut promised to do just that.

API works great, until it doesn't

The problem is, their service only works about 90% of the time.

The first time we used their service (at scale) was an abject failure.  The API worked great.  It created and queued 120+ payments within 60-90 seconds.  It began processing them almost immediately.  The problem was 10% of the payments remained "pending" for more than 48 hours and their customer support team was unresponsive or rather unable to respond with anything other than preset statements, none of which matched our particular problem.

The only thing worse than a dozen pending payments is Revolut's customer service, or lack thereof.  You cannot call Revolut.  While they technically have a phone number, it immediately greets you saying "go online if you'd like to communicate directly with a human!" (paraphrased).

Their customer service is utterly unprepared for dealing with business clients.

To make matters weirder, 3-4 payments were erroneously assessed with a £3 fee randomly with no reason given.  All 120 payments were made within the UK to UK accounts with UK sort codes.  The Revolut customer service team could not coherently explain the random fees.  They were also not able to remove them or help in any way.  They could only dredge up the same preset replies ad-nauseam.

I would like to inform you that due to our banking partner's policy there is a limit applied to local GBP transfers. They are limited to 100 within 24 hours and 500 per week (total number of payments.) Additionally, they are limited based on the value: 100K GBP per single payment, 175K GBP per day and 1,000K GBP per week. If you exceed the limit they will go through as international SWIFT transfers.

None of these conditions applied and yet they sent this same message multiple times. Most of the pending transactions were posted with £0.20 fees, but others were applied with a £3 fee and no discernible pattern between the two.

This doesn't apply the limitations to SEPA transfers. If you want to make more transfers than it is within limitation for local GBP transfers you can send EUR SEPA transfers that will go as a local transfer. That is why fee was applied. Please let us know if you require any further clarification please come back to us again and we will be glad to respond to you immediately.

When we requested they escalate the issue to their IT dept things got weird:

We are a fully digitized e-money service...when our processor fails, our hands are tied.  This has nothing to do with our IT department.
Escalating to weird

Revolut's IT team is apparently infallible; any and fall fault lies solely with the mysterious upstream provider who could not be named or contacted.

It took Revolut more than 48 hours to finally resolve this issue.  Eventually the payments team had to step in and cancel the pending payments and we had to manually create a dozen new payments.  Finding out this basic information took 30-50+ messages from us to which they could only blankly reply with more than a dozen references to a mysterious upstream provider and it was only solved after 2 full business days.

We had a dozen performers who were calling us asking where their payments were. They were late due to Revolut and their plague of internal issues including an alleged 3rd party provider that may or may not exist and a support team that scarcely does.

When we finally were able to resolve it the only compensation we were offered after days of fielding phone calls from angry performers, dozens of messages and hours of our time wasted was a £25 statement credit and a Revolut t-shirt (I may have made up one of those two things, but they are equally useless given the disastrous nature of the situation). At no point did Revolut take into consideration the gravity of the situation.  Because of the failure of their infrastructure and the lack of a support team which could handle it, a dozen people were paid late.

Revolut is utterly unprepared to meet Business needs.  It cannot clearly communicate with Business customers and they cannot scale to meet Business demands.