Luno is one of the significant players in the crypto-currency based companies working in South Africa. But recently users have accused Luno of blocking their accounts without providing any satisfactory reasons. Based in London and operating in more than 40 companies worldwide, Luno was founded six years ago and has 2.7 million customers.
ITWeb reports a specific incident where one account holder, having invested an amount of R200, 000, faced this issue when his account was “locked” for security reasons. After much persuasion from his end, he was returned R100, 000. Further exchange of communication went on for a month but he is still not aware about the exact reason for this incident and when he will get back the rest of his money. Since bitcoin prices have fallen in this period, any payment he receives will be of lower value.
Multiple users have also expressed their complaints through the website Hello Peter. One user says, “It’s been more than three weeks with my account blocked, I cannot be able to do any further. They asked me for proof of payments and I immediately sent them the documents. But their response has been extremely long.” Another user said that in spite of many interactions with the support team at Luno, his account remains locked even after 11 days. This being his first involvement with the world of bitcoin, the experience has been extremely frustrating. While Luno maintains that the users are being protected from being scammed, the account holders feel that delay in returning the money is illegal. Many frustrated account holders are planning to report the incident to the authorities.
In addition, the account holders are also being targeted for scams using SMS. One such message read: “Dear Luno User, Update your Luno account on the 3 D Server to avoid termination. Tap –> http://bit.ly/2****** to validate your wallet.” The users are also dissatisfied with Luno’s customer response as it supports only email and chat without any numbers for connecting a direct call. The response time is extremely long and it does not offer a positive experience for the customers.
When contacted, Marius Reitz, Luno’s general manager for Africa said that Luno takes the necessary preventive measures to ensure that the customer accounts are well protected from any fraud attempts by impersonators. “It’s in our customers’ best interest that we have preventative measures in place to ensure we’re not dealing with impersonators”, he added. Once an account has been locked, the customer has to contact the Luno’s customer success team which will go through the necessary protocol to unlock the account. He also said that all notification emails send by Luno contains a “self-lock” feature which can be activated by the customer if there is any doubt regarding the safety of their account.