Stock trading app Robinhood goes down – yet again – on record day of trading
Popular online stock trading app Robinhood Market Inc. suffered its third major crash in a week, denying users the ability to trade on a day the Dow Jones Industrial Average suffered its single biggest point drop in history.
Robinhood suffered its first major outage on Monday, March 2, as the Nasdaq soared, followed by another outage the following day. The third time was not the charm for the startup with eventual initial public offering plans.
The service crashed once again shortly after the opening bell and services were only partially restored by 10:30 a.m. EDT. Support for all services wasn’t restored until 3:34 p.m., 26 minutes before the end of regular trading, meaning that users had limited or no access nearly all day.
Trading has been restored and Robinhood is back up and running again. Thank you for your patience as we resolved this issue.
— Robinhood Help (@AskRobinhood) March 9, 2020
The company has not commented on the cause of the latest outage. In an email following the previous two outages, founders and co-Chief Executive Officers Baiju Bhatt and Vlad Tenev apologized to subscribers, saying that Robinhood’s system had “struggled with unprecedented load” and crashed. They also said the outages were sparked by “highly volatile and historic market conditions; record volume; and record account sign-ups.”
“We take our responsibility to you and your money seriously,” the pair wrote. “We recognize that many of you have questions, and we are working to respond to them as quickly as possible.”
The pair notably said in that email that their engineering team was working on fixes to prevent further outages, but given that it happened again, the team clearly failed in the task.
You think you’re having a bad week you could be a systems engineer at Robinhood
— ฿ully (@BullyEsq) March 9, 2020
After the previous outage, Robinhood offered some customers billing credits and offered premium members three months of service for free. But with the latest outage, no amount of offering freebies is likely to appease the company’s 10 million-odd users.
Users were already talking about starting a class-action lawsuit against the company after the previous outages, a move likely to gain momentum after its latest crash. A Twitter account @ClassRobinHood has been established to coordinate plans and a petition to have the company banned by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is also being circulated.
— Daniel G™ (@TheRealDannny) March 9, 2020
Companies can recover from downtime and other service issues but whereas most outages don’t cost users a significant amount of lost money, the outage of Robinhood has. Having last raised $323 million on a $7.6 billion valuation in July, the company will be wanting to put aside some of that money to cover legal costs — and perhaps hire a new engineering team.
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