After logging into the site, I clicked a prominent "Add Funds" button. My choices were "Fast Transfer (about 15 minutes)", "Wire Transfer (1 business day)," and "Bank Transfer (4 business days)". I went with "Fast Transfer." There was some fine print about how this only was available to new investors, but there was still a large "Transfer Amount" input, and a "Transfer Now" button (with a paypal logo), so I figured I was still allowed to use the instant transfer option. The transfer seemed quick and easy, and the money was gone from my bank account. It did not show up in my Lending Club account in 15 minutes.
I patiently waited a whole week for the funds to show up in Lending Club. I called their support number after 7 days and Sarah (the Lending Club support person, not her real name) was unable to find my deposit in their system and suggested I contact paypal. When I told her that was unacceptable, and that I trusted paypal a lot more than Lending Club, she put me on hold to go talk to the accountant. A few minutes later, she was back and had found my transaction in their system. The fact that she had tried to just brush me off instead of doing due diligence on her side was frustrating, but she said the funds would be in my account the following day, so I just accepted it and that was that. The following day, however, the funds were not in my account.
Three days later, I send the following email:
Sarah,I received no response.
It is well past when you told me the funds would be available in my account. What is going on? If Lending Club is simply unable to process a deposit, please give me my money back.
Another week and a half passed, and another email:
Is it really possible that you all are unable to find my money *and* unable to respond to my queries?
My money was deposited on Jan 25th. On Feb 1 I spoke with you and you eventually were able to find out that my money was indeed in your system, but wouldn't be available until Feb 2. That was 13 days ago.
My money is still not in my account.
In my last (unanswered) email I requested that my money be processed or refunded. That was 10 days ago.
What is going on?
I received no response.
Two weeks passed, and I called again to speak with Sarah. What she told me about their customer service procedures I found very disturbing (as a customer). Apparently their system had misplaced my first email (despite the fact that it was sent to the same address as the others, with the same subject "Attn: Sarah"). She had gotten the second email, and forwarded it along to the accountant. She did not see any need to contact me to let me know that my request was being looked into. The accountant (according to Sarah) gave my account a cursory glance, didn't see anything wrong, and disregarded my request. He/she also did not see any need to contact me. I, of course, had no idea that my request had been silently ignored, so I ended up just waiting, with my frustration and anger growing.
Sarah told me that when the accountant was in for the day, she would speak with him about the matter. I told her I expected to hear back from her (as it is apparently not their policy). An hour later she called me back, saying that they had found my money (again), and that they weren't sure why it wasn't in my account (but at least they agreed there was a problem, unlike the accountant's first opinion). Twenty-five hours later, she called one last time to tell me the problem had been fixed, and my funds released into my account.
Personally, I won't be sending Lending Club another dime. They apparently have serious problems keeping track of their customers' money, despite the fact that that is precisely the business they are in. However, this encounter for me is less about why Lending Club sucks, and more about how not to manage customer service. The company I work for routinely gets high, unsolicited praise for its strong customer service. I always found this a little odd, because I just expect good customer service from any company I do business with (especially ones where we're dealing with potentially large sums of money). I understand that software can have bugs, and the fact that my initial transaction wasn't successful isn't what pisses me off. What really gets me are the multiple points of failure on their customer service side. If Lending Club had followed through after the first call (when they said the money would be available the next day), or if they hadn't lost my first email, or had responded to my second email, (or had responded to my tweet), this all could have gone very differently, and I would likely have remained a (reasonably) happy customer.
UPDATE March 9, 2010: I was contacted by a representative from Lending Club to tell me that it was regrettable that things went down this way, and that they will work on refactoring their process.