Report: #856032

Complaint Review: Dwolla

  • Submitted: Mon, March 19, 2012
  • Updated: Sat, September 01, 2012
  • Reported By: Jeff — Houston Texas United States of America
  • Dwolla
    206 6th avenue, #1104
    Des Moines, Iowa
    United States of America

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I've been a DWOLLA customer for about a year, regularly making deposits of a substantial amount of money each time.  The delay in deposit from my linked bank account got annoying and one day I noticed a message after making a deposit, encouraging me to enable DWOLLA INSTANT feature for instant bank transfers.  Unfortunately, this is not exactly true.  They actually open a line of credit for you starting at a low $100 limit.

 Also, they fail to ever mention a $3.00 recurring monthly fee associated with this feature (they hide any mention of this fee deep in the terms of service - never once explicitly informing the user of any fees).  Once you enable DWOLLA INSTANT then you can't disable it again without paying the fee.  I contacted their customer support literally 5 minutes after I enabled the feature to basically be told "deal with it and pay the fee. [continued below]....
....."  I'm sorry but I expect more from a financial institution who I regularly have done business with over the past year. 

If they're so deadset on getting my $3.00 with deceitful tactics which are NOT STANDARD in their industry (usually businesses are upfront about any fees, especially recurring) then they can have it but they will not keep my business.  My advice is find a financial instution who actually has a personable customer service abd appreciates customer loyalty.  I feel like I've been scammed and can't help wonder how many other customers they've pulled this over on to get $3.00?  A few hundred thousand?
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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/19/2012 09:52 AM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 General Comment

value your clients

AUTHOR: PHILLY JACK - (United States of America)

i am starting my business, and you can bet that an eye will be keep on customer service.  customer service can kill your business.  i can see an owner standing by his people, but when they are wrong, they are wrong, and should be told so.  i hope that he would not lose a long time client over $3.00 . i'm sure he wouldn't want to do business with a company that gave him the business over $3.00.  it is stuff like this that people look at when spending their money.  i liked what i saw at your web page and was ready to give you a try, but I'll have to think about it now.  i know that where i spend my money, I want to be respected.

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#2 Consumer Comment

Dwolla reputable service

AUTHOR: Bob - (United States of America)

If your sending large sums of money from one bank to the other the fee is way higher than $3.00 per month.  If your doing lots of transactions a month it would cost you hundreds of dollars if processing thru credit card companies.  So the truth is Dwolla is a very low cost and reliable service for me.
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#3 Author of original report

Customer Satisfaction Important?

AUTHOR: jeffason - (United States of America)

The fact that your customer service rep let me leave the conversation so disgruntled over a $3.00 fee when I've been a long-time member is a testament to how much you value customer satisfaction.  Nothing more needs to be said.

Any respectable business that I've ever worked at (granted I'm not an Iowan so maybe y'all treat people different up there) would never let a long-time customer leave disgruntled over a $3.00 fee for a service they never used.

I'm not here to teach you how to run a business but the fact that your customer left a conversation with your customer service rep feeling so frustrated and upset that it propelled them to create this report (and others) then that should say something to you about the effectiveness of your customer service strategy.

Have a good day.
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#4 UPDATE Employee

Dwolla dude here: Happy to help

AUTHOR: jslampe - (United States of America)

On behalf of Dwolla, we apologize for the inconvenience you feel that you've incurred with
our product, Instant. It is NEVER our intention to create technologies, processes, or communication touch points that are misleading.

That is also why, quite frankly, we're so surprised by this report. One of the main appeals for Instant was its deviation from traditionally confusing credit card structures and fees. Instead of using alternating APY percentages, hidden fees or other ambiguous pricing models, we offered a flat $3 monthly participation fee, and a flat $5 late fee if a user slacked off on paying down their balance to $0. We believed that we made this clear in the information next to the "enable Instant" feature, which you turned on (pic below).

Furthermore, we took the time and resources to create clear and concise visuals to provide users with an easy understanding of the fee structure (pic below).  This was used in our blog when we debuted the technology.

A matter of fact, many well-respected media outlets either incorporated the visual into their reports, or wrote positively about the fair fee structure:

Mashable: Dwolla Loans Users $500 to Make Instant Payments Through Facebook and Twitter
AllThingsD: How a Tiny Des Moines Start-Up Believes It Can Beat the Credit Card Industry
Business Insider: Dwolla, The Iowa Startup That's Killing Credit Cards, Is Now Killing ATMs
The Next Web: Short on cash? Dwolla Instant will front you up to $500, no crazy fees required
GigaOm: Dwolla gives immediate access to cash with Instant feature
TechCrunch: Disruptive Payments Network Dwolla Now Provides Users With Instant Access To Cash
Forbes: Dwolla Instant: Online Credit, Loan or Cashflow for the Nextgen?
Silicon Prairie News: Dwolla unveils 'Instant," immediate access up to $500 for flat monthly fee
Des Moines Register: New "Instant" Dwolla feature will give users access to cash in real time
Payments Source: Dwolla Adds Credit Feature To Improve Funds Access For Startups Users
Mobile Payments Today: Dwolla launches feature to give users immediate access to funds
EcommerceBytes: Online Payments Service Dwolla Launches Instant Cash Feature
MyBankTracker: Dwolla Instant: A New Way to Access Your Money

And about customer support, well, I'll stand by my team. We're Iowans and disrespect just isn't in our blood. They are impeccable at their jobs (which quite frankly is pretty tough), and I'm amazed at the work they do every day. With
that said, Ill be happy to chat with them about it and figure out how to better communicate Instant with our users.

My take-a-ways:

  • Youre right, the email should remind users about the fee. Well change that today!

  • We could bold and make the information next the Enable Instant LARGER to help draw more attention to it.

  • Find a better way for our CS team to communicate Instant and its fees.
The obvious take-away here is that we can still do better. I'm taking this report to heart (and to the product team). We'll take even more pain-staking efforts to avoid this kind of confusion in the future. In the meantime, feel free to reach out
to me personally at

Id love to chat.

Hope this helps,

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