Chip+1 transparency, bait and switch strategy?

Hi Guys,

Prior to the launch of Chip+1, there was plenty of communication about the 1.25% market-leading interest.

Chip investors received pre-launch emails which I am grateful for.
As an investor I wish for Chip to do well and not get into any trouble, I’ve put my faith and money into you. So, I’m thinking, yes Chip, way to go and launch something disruptive which will put you in demand.

I should be happy right? Well, I feel a bit let down and annoyed right now.

I’m seriously concerned about the lack of transparency and credibility of claims made by chip.

Poor Communication
Two days post-launch of Chip+1, I got an alert that I need to subscribe to ChipAI to get 1.25% on above 2k.

This didn’t appear on any of the initial communication emails, the live webpage or small print!
It’s like you magically decided to bring this in and it’s still not clearly shown online anywhere on the main webpage for https://getchip.uk/chip-plus1

Nothing on the app, emails or referral links mentions this.

It’s quite misleading and not transparent. Seems like you get people on board and then tell them by the way you need to pay x more to get the 1.25% interest on anything above £2k.

I fear this type of marketing is just going to create lots of complaints and bad experiences for new customers. This feels like a very poor bait and switch strategy to gain customers. Whilst you’re working out all the kinks and the issues with delayed payments, do we need to create more problems for the brand?

Misleading and unclear claims.
1.25% is not market-leading. Virgin and Nationwide offer 2%+ accounts (easy access account with same day transfer no waiting three days).

  1. Yes your “1.25%” is on £5k, after fees the interest works out to be 0.89%! Granted this is still high for the current market, it’s not very clear.

I’m concerned about this type of behaviour and communication can cause lots of bad press for the company and even a complaint with the ASA for unethical marketing.

I tried on the App to start a chat to communicate directly about this, but I’m unable to do so when I choose Chip+1.

The only option is “Chip+1 General Information”.

It then (un)helpfully - in this scenario - says
"Our community manager Krish as all the answer right here.

This page too doesn’t mention anything about Chip AI fees and all the communication points to poor Krish.

Some nutjob might think she’s responsible for the lack of clear communication.

Come on Chip, get it together, make the communication clearer and also fix this “3 day waiting period”.
I’ve been waiting for 4 days at the moment. Fingers crossed for tomorrow.

All the best
From an investor who still holds hope for Chip.

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Hi Naz,

Read and understood - thanks for the feedback and we appreciate it when our investors do take the time to drop comments. To clarify, for points like this, the Forum probably is the best way to air your thoughts (as you have), whereas for specific account queries it’d be the Live Chat within the app.

As you said, we’re working out the best way to communicate with our users and investors, whilst also going through a huge period of change within the app.

Hopefully you’ll agree that our new pricing page breakdown does a good job at offering clarity on what the new price plans are and how they work ; https://getchip.uk/chip-pricing

As your community manager i’ll definitely do my best to carry on posting the information I have, as I have it. The problem there is, when the state of the app changes, it might seem like there are contradictions - when in reality, what i’m posting is the state of affairs at the time i’m posting it. Your feedback is noted though, and i’ll keep this in mind when it comes to the way in which I communicate in the new year.

All the best!

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Krish,

My point was not about your direct communication, it’s about Chip as an organisation. In fact, maybe I wasn’t clear, I was defending/protecting you in my initial post.

Putting out misleading statements in the company web and email copy has nothing to do with “state of app changes”, this should have been done right from the start.


Page says: " Unlock the market’s best return on savings"

Well that’s a lie. 2% interest (Virgin & Nationwide) is better then 1.25% reward (Chip).

When a decision was made to add the £1.50 fee, this should have been clearly updated on all Chip+1 pages not just the fees page which no one can find.

It’s not rocket science to make a few small tweaks to existing pages.

I.e Add an * on the page heading of the CHIP+1 page next to 1.25 and explain further down.
Add a pricing tab on the footer.

Yes, the new pricing page is clear and good, but how would one find it?
There are no links to it from any of the pages about Chip+1




So the fees page is a hidden page, this is Chip not being transparent (as before). This isn’t your doing Krish, the company needs to do better.

It doesn’t seem to me that Chip is learning from the past about communication and it’s repeating the same mistakes all over again.

People have been complaining in the forum forever. I’ve not made any statements and observed. There was an announcement of a new product and I’m hoping lessons would have been learnt, that’s obviously not been the case.

You know that old adage “Fool me once, fool me twice…” Well, that’s what Chip is doing.

Some thinking needs to be done here by the marketing and content team here, I’m happy to have a chat and share my two cents for any future launches/changes.

Would it not be prudent for Chip to work with qualified stakeholders before pushing products and content out in some instances. Just get them to sign an NDA.

It’s now December 9 2020. I wonder how long it will take for some kind of change to the website to happen to make it clear, transparent and change misleading statements to ensure compliance.

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Hi Naz,

Apologies - I wasn’t hoping to come across defensive, I was actually really appreciative of your post and grateful you’d taken the time to write it. This is all helpful, and learnings when it comes to moving forward to utmost transparency in play.

It takes time for website changes to be made, the website is going to be easier to navigate and this is something we’re actively working on. Q1 is going to have a lot of changes made, based on growth and the team growing to accommodate for more agile movement in all parts of the company.

I’ll be keeping investors in the loop through places like the Investor Forum, as will other members of the team.

1 Like

Krish,

You’re doing a great job responding with what resources (I imagine) you have control of.

I accept I’m ignorant on the time frames and layers of personnel one would have to go through (in Chip) to gain approval and amend a branding/marketing message. I do consult in the marketing & web agency space, so I do know how little time it takes for web pages to be updated.

And with the issue being raised, is one of non-compliance with ASA.
I’m going to be monitoring the time it takes for the web content to be updated.

I hope the “powers above” take on this feedback and don’t fall asleep by either updating the web or supporting you to present a responseb here , specific to the compliance concerns.

I could be wrong about Non-Compliance with ASA, and if so I’m happy to be corrected.

Either way, good luck to all of us!

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Hello
I have shared my Chip +1 code with my wife who has now saved over £100 but can’t seem to work out why I am stuck on the waiting to unlock message. What do we need to do. She is also saving without accessing the 1.25% interest rate.
Many thanks
Stephen

Was she a chip user before you shared your code or totally new to the app?

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From another investor and user:
Everything that @naz says is 100% correct. There is no excuse to not add a link to the pricing page in the top menu and in the map with links at the bottom. Before I even opened this forum, I was looking for a Pricing page on the website and could not find it.
You can do this now in 5 minutes.

I also think that from now on you could try to pilot some of these new experiments with users like @naz to get an objective point of view.

With regards to telling people to sign up for the Chip+1 only to realize that they need the paid tier to take advantage of the 5k amount, I think its obvious its not a nice experience.

What is also not nice, is putting people by default on the ChipAI when you rolled out the new pricing tiers without a single email notification.
[Update]
I cannot exactly remember if I received an in-app notification about the being put on ChipAI by default, but definitely no email.

I actually think the 2 pricing tiers are completely fine and very clearly displayed side-by-side and most people do not mind paying for the ChipAI, but you need to be transparent, not sneaky.

Whatever growth you are getting out of this, it is not worth it. Trust and transparency are more important long term.

The user relationship with the app is not sticky like a current account on a brick and mortar bank, you know better than me how easily is switch to a competitor application, so please do the right thing.

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I also am in complete agreement with the sentiments posted here. Working in Financial Services for nearly 20 years myself, I’d be even more concerned of the dim view the FCA may take regarding these practices. They certainly won’t accept excuses regarding the internal difficulties in updating customer webpages.

I’m an investor and very much have a stake in the success of Chip. Chip would do very well to heed the comments made here and take immediate actions to remedy the situation and be totally transparent in their marketing and communications going forwards.

6 Likes

Another investor here to say I completely agree with the OP and other comments about this whole +1 launch and taking away autosave from non-paying users has been a bad move IMHO. I know chip has to make money to survive but I wouldn’t like to think that they have to intentionally or unintentionally deceive the users to make money.

Come clean, put the pricing on all the relevant places and do not auto-subscribe without prior communication.

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I have disabled auto-saves and am contemplating leaving Chip altogether as they were great to start with but are going downhill. I also agree with Naz. Getting someone else to sign up for a non-compliant company (their interest account is not regulatory-approved) is very difficult. No one is an idiot.

I am an investor with Chip, but if they keep going like this, our shares will not be worth the bytes of space on my device (;-))

Taher

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What they said. The MSE write up was factual and transparent. There’s no excuse for Chip not to be the same.

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Hello
I have shared my Chip +1 code with my wife who has now saved over £100 but can’t seem to work out why I am stuck on the waiting to unlock message. What do we need to do. She is also saving without accessing the 1.25% interest rate.
Many thanks
Stephen

Sort of in-between. She signed up a week or so earlier but hadn’t quite set the banking link although they did start taking money out.

As an investor I feel completely misled

Has the FCA had anything to say ?

3 Likes

Raise it asap via the in-app chat/support.

I find Chip to be possibly the most confusing savings app I have ever used.
I have moved £5,000 into the 1.25% saving section (I think) using the code given to me, but I gather from this I am going to pay a fee of £1.50. Definitely didn’t see that coming and at 0.89% total there are other places that my £5,000 that can earn (a little) more.
So, I have tried to turn everything off that I can but I actually have no idea whether I will get this 1.25% on the whole £5k or not. If not, what is the “free” maximum (I have heard £2,000). If it is 2K, I need to move £3k out and earning. As a pensioner on a fixed income I need my money working for me.

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What plan are you on?
Profile > Your Plan

Absolutely No idea … does this help?

Tap the profile button (bottom right), then “your plan”.

What does it then say toward the the top of the page? Is a trial mentioned?