Robinhood will not close or delete any account regardless of what they or any other website tells you.
If you follow the instructions on their website to close your account, you may think it is closed but it will still exist and will still be online. All they do is add a message at the bottom of your main screen once you log in to your account that says this account is deactivated. Anyone that can log into your account can reactivate the account at any time just by clicking a single link on that page. That is not a permanently closed account. Deactivating and closing an account are TWO different things. The only people they are fooling are blogs that write articles without verifying the information they publish is correct and review sites that are paid to write articles by the same companies they are reviewing.
We did verify. We put Robinhood to the test.
We created an account with Robinhood but never used it. We deactivated the account per their instructions and sent emails to support asking them to close the account. We were told by their customer support multiple times the account was closed. However, we went to log in to see if the account was actually closed as they claimed, NO it was not. We were able to easily log back in to that account and all our information on the account was still online like nothing had even happened. We were also able to fully reactivate that supposedly closed account on the same day. So what does that tell you, the account was never closed as they claimed.
Go ahead, try it yourself. Ask them to close your account. After it is confirmed closed, go log back in, you will have no problem. It will still exist because they never actually closed it.
Their excuse not to close it.
On their close my account page, Robinhood kind of makes it appear they are being forced to keep your account online by quoting the FINRA and SEC at the bottom of that page and this is what they tell you if you ask them about it. The TRUTH is, all regulated brokers are required to retain certain account related records for a period of time and this is for ARCHIVAL PURPOSES ONLY. This is not done online. They can do like every other broker and remove the online account but keep the information they are required to keep in their database offline and then delete it when their legal obligation is up. Simple enough for anyone to understand except for Robinhood or either they just did not develop any option to delete an account. No government organization is forcing them to keep your account online if you want it closed and deleted.
Why you should close your account if not using it
Withdrawing funds and leaving the account open and online is not a good idea. Any open account could be used fraudulently and if you never plan on using the account, you certainly would not want it kept online. Cybercrime is an issue, even Robinhood was hacked. The company is a good example of why you should always take steps to prevent activity in an account that you don’t plan to use. Closing an online account could prevent unauthorized use. Would you want your financial records kept online for an account you never plan on using after you asked the company to close your account? Of course not. What if you changed email addresses or phone numbers? If your account is still online, then someone else potentially could have access to your account and your records. Robinhood claims they take fraud seriously but unlike every other broker, they appear not to take it seriously at all.
We closed accounts at other brokers. Robinhood is the ONLY one that did not.
We opened a trading account with 3 well known brokers, no names mentioned. We requested our account closed with them. First broker closed the same day. Second broker, closed immediately. Third broker, as soon as they responded to our email, closed. We then attempted to log back in to the accounts we requested closed. We could not log back in to either of the 3 brokers. When trying to log in with our previous email or user id’s, we received messages saying the account or user id does not exist. We even tried to reset the password, it would not work. That is the definition of an actual closed account and the definition to taking security seriously. Any account information they must keep for regulatory purposes is now archived in their database and the online account is no longer accessible from the Internet or any of their apps. Is Robinhood required to follow a different set of rules than other regulated brokers, of course not.
We asked Robinhood, have you ever deleted and removed ANY account from a customer since you have been in business? They will not confirm it has actually been done. This means anyone that may have requested their account closed years ago may still have their information accessible online whether they even know it or not.
Privacy, security and no customer service
There are many reasons why a customer may want to close their account. Privacy and security is a big issue as we mentioned above. Customers have claimed their accounts have been stolen, money has been transferred out of their accounts, some claim they lost their entire savings, been locked out of their accounts and cannot get anyone at the company to respond. Robinhood has been fined millions of dollars by the SEC for misleading their customers, fined by the FINRA, class action lawsuits were filed and the list could go on. Just search around, you will find a lot of complaints from actual customers. Everyone knows about the recent experiences with GameStop GME and AMC with Robinhood customers not being able to trade and claims of selling their stocks without a their consent. Just from our own experience with a few of their customer service reps like Dan, Andres, Sadie, Frank, Anabelle, Kalie, David, Joe, Maegen, the so called Compliance Dept (if there really is such a thing) with a simple request to close an account shows customer service is something that really is lacking with them. Many just cut and pasted the same prewritten responses and it appears that is all they are allowed to do. It also appears many do not even understand the information they send you if you question it.
Something simple as changing your email address is even a security issue and still not fixed as of this posting. We changed the email address on our account to another email address. Now we can log in with both email addresses even though the old email address is listed no where on the account, the same account they claim is closed. So much for taking security seriously.
Mr. Vlad Tenev, being a tech company, why does your company still have an issue with something as basic as closing an account? Is there a reason you want to keep a customer’s account online when they want it closed and removed? There are probably many customers that no longer use their account and requested it closed and moved on yet their account is still accessible online? Can you really not understand this should be a simple issue to resolve?
If you had a bad experience with Robinhood, file a complaint with the SEC if it is something that would require immediate action.
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This article is based on our own experience, point of view and from others we have spoken to about Robinhood that share similar experiences. If anyone feels anything is incorrect, email.