Coinbase, a cryptocurrency exchange that now claims 10 million registered users and has struggled with customer service issues as it has posted rapid growth, has announced live phone support for its customers. Dan Romero, the company’s vice president of operations, posted a blog on the company’s website announcing the feature.
Customers can contact the company’s customer support at 888-908-7930.
Phone support will initially be available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific time. Agents will be available to help with safety issues such as the ability to lock down accounts in cases where customers suspect their information might have been compromised.
Phone agents will also assist customers with ID verification issues and limit increases to their accounts.
Phone agents will not be able to help with account specific inquiries such as the status of specific purchases or the sale of digital currency. The agents will not answer questions about a specific withdrawal or deposit of digital currency, or with questions about customer account history.
Coinbase has deployed a support bot for customers to pose questions to.
For questions about verification, the customer support bot will take questions about customer ID cards, the ID questionnaire for U.S. customers, not receiving SMS or text messages, credit and debit cards, billing addresses, U.S bank accounts and EU bank accounts.
The company recently pledged to devote the third quarter of this year to focusing on operational excellence, scaling, and an improved customer experience, having struggled to scale its business operations as fast as it has gained users, resulting in multiple outages throughout the year during periods of extreme market volatility.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) has received a 4,700% more complaints about Coinbase so far in 2017 than it did in all of 2016, the most for any cryptocurrency exchange.
Many of the complaints stemmed from the chronic outages the exchange experienced earlier this year during periods of intense market volatility. The outages coincided with dramatic declines in the bitcoin and Ethereum prices, and Coinbase attributed them to high traffic levels. The exchange has seen a surge in consumer demand, and it has sometimes struggled to scale quickly enough.
The Bitcoin Cash hard fork also created a public relations headache for the exchange. At first, Coinbase said it would not support Bitcoin Cash, and that users must withdraw their coins before the fork if they wanted to receive a BCH air drop. However, some users complained they were unable to withdraw their coins in time, and others threatened to sue the company for the Bitcoin Cash.
Eventually, the company reversed its decision and said it will integrate Bitcoin Cash support by January 2018, but some users continue to balk at having to wait that long to receive their coins.
Users have also complained that the company does not always respond to support tickets in a timely manner.
CEO Brian Armstrong said the company has committed to using part of the $100 million it raised during its latest funding round to expand its customer support team. Last month, Armstrong announced that the company raised $100 million during its latest funding round, giving the company a valuation of $1 billion to make it first “bitcoin unicorn.”
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