Wirex Review: CAREFUL - they froze my account with £10k in it | ICORating


The Wirex crypto-friendly wallet.

CAREFUL - they froze my account with £10k in it

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CAREFUL: Wirex locked me out of my account and wouldn't let me access £10,000 of funds I held until I lodged a complaint with the FCA.Background story: I got my account verified after 5 days of trying. In their documentation they ask for 1 proof of ID (I used my passport) and 1 proof of address (I used my utility bill). For 4 days they refused to accept my utility bill, but they wouldn't say why. They asked me for more bills and I explained that was the only bill I got at my address because I have the same supplier for electricity and gas, my council tax is included and everything else is either paperless or pay-as-you go. I also just recently moved in and utilities are quarterly so I didn't have an older bill. It wasn't until I had it escalated to the verification team and made a complaint that they manually reviewed and verified my account.I was stranded abroad due to covid so a couple of days later I transferred £10,000 in my account to pay for my expenses (wirex has better rates than my "proper" bank for foreign transactions). My wirex account got immediately locked and I was asked to do the verification again. I uploaded the same bill they had already verified but they rejected it again. When I pointed out to them they had already manually checked it and verified it they told me I couldn't use it again and I needed something else - which they knew I didn't have from our previous communication at the time of opening the account. I pointed this out to them but their stance was that they wouldn't be reinstating my account or releasing my funds to me unless I provided them with a different proof of address - which was materially impossible.At this point I was stranded abroad with no access to my money and they wouldn't reply to my emails anymore, so in my next email I copied the body of all of our previous exchanges and copied the consumer complaints department of the FCA so they could see what their response had been to my ticket. The next morning I had an email from Wirex confirming my account had been verified and I could now access my funds. I wish it hadn't taken involving the FCA for them to release my money. I'm not sure if that was a tactic to set me up for failure, but they did accept my documents, verified me and let me deposit funds - then locked me out and asked me to provide a different proof of address which they knew from the beginning I couldn't actually get because it doesn't exist.During the whole process there was no transparency as they would not give a reason for their actions. Not reassuring when you have £10k locked in some virtual bank without a real branch.If you are only looking for a bank account I would 100% only go for a real brick and mortar bank or building society like Halifax or Nationwide, neither of which I have ever had problems with in 20 years. If you're looking for an app-based alternative there are better options out there like Revolut, Starling, Monzo, N26 and Monese. Wirex is only a good option if you're hedging large amounts between currencies or buying crypto, both of which are invalidated by the fact that there's always the chance they'll close down your account and keep all your money without explaining why or offering a feasible solution to regain access to it - other than reporting them to the FCA. Looking at other negative reviews they'll likely reply with a generic copy+paste email asking to email them. The next time I'll be emailing them is with claim in the small claims court.Ticket # 1360719REPLY TO WIREX'S RESPONSE TO MY REVIEW:I never stated I found your verification process complicated. The actual process would be very straightforward if it had worked. I found it shady and unprofessional. I completed all the steps you asked for but everytime I jumped through a hoop you asked for something else instead of clearly stating from the get-go what documentation was required. This practice can easily be abused (as you did) by keeping asking a client to provide more documentation until it becomes impossible for them to produce any more, resulting in you withholding their money without a feasible solution to retrieve it. It seemed like no coincidence that hours after I copied the FCA in my reply to you with our entire communication thread copied you completed my verification and unlocked my account. Make no mistake, this is not a case of me having trouble using the service, it is about shady and illegal business practices which why you have collected a myriad of 1* reviews from people whose funds you have appropriated. No one in their right mind is going to trust you with their money.
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26 Apr 2020 by Trustpilot

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