Threats of legal action are emerging across trading app Robinhood’s 10 million customer base, following a 17-hour outage on the day the stock market gained $1.1 trillion.
At market open Monday, customers trying to access Robinhood’s iOS, Android and web apps were locked out of their accounts and were notified at 11:30am ET that “a fix is being implemented” but were not given a timeframe for the repair.
Come 4:00pm customers were still unable to utilise the trading services.
The backlash was swift and predictable, with tensions remaining high as the Dow Jones Industrial Average reported the biggest single point-gain since 2009, following a week of heavy losses on the concern that COVID-19 would continue to spread globally.
Early reports about the cause of the outage claimed it was the result of a ‘Leap Day’ bug (since ruled out by the company) or high trading volumes given the markets’ volatility of late. Other users have speculated tht the downtime started with a glitch in a recent software update.
By Monday afternoon, a Twitter account titled ‘Robinhood Class Action’ had been formed and by time of writing had amassed almost 5,000 followers. Various tweets posted on the page purportedly show screenshots of customers’ accounts with one customer reportedly losing over $450,000.
Having gotten back online on Tuesday morning, the company suffered a second outage that lasted for around two hours before services were restored at around 12.00pm EST.
While Robinhood's customer agreement states it is not responsible for service interruptions, the unicorn is promising to work with affected customers on a case-by-case basis.