I use Venmo between family and friends on a regular basis, and it has been a staple when it comes to instantly splitting costs and paying people back. I really enjoy that it’s seamless and fee-free when you link a checking account to the app.
If you don’t already know, you can pretty much input whatever you want in the description box, and it’s funny seeing what other people are sending money for when I scroll through the Venmo public feed.
Of course most of it is done to be funny and playful, but just a word of caution – be careful about what you put in the description, because it could result in someone having a frozen account.
How do I know this? Well first of all, in one instance, a friend told me that her account became frozen when she used the description “Cuba” in a totally harmless way (she was sending her share of an Airbnb to the friend who made the original booking).
Venmo immediately flagged the transaction under the assumption that she was illegally sending money to Cuba, but she was able to have her account unfrozen after a few calls and emails explaining that she really was paying a portion of an Airbnb stay.
Just recently, I experienced something similar when I was the cause of my best friend’s account suspension. I owed her some money, so I put “sexy time” or something along those lines in the description box, and a few hours later, my friend’s account was frozen under the reason that she was selling “professional services” (!!).
Of course, it was clearly a [bad] joke on my end, and I felt so terrible that my stupidity resulted in her locked account. What was even worse was the fact that she had a balance of $510 sitting in her Venmo account that she was not entirely sure she would ever see again!
It was 100% my fault, and I knew this was upsetting to her, so I decided to step forward and write a letter on her behalf, saying this:
[I really did include a candid selfie of us]
To my surprise, it worked – my friend received this back:
Due to this evidence, we have repealed your suspension and unfrozen your account. Please keep in mind that the state of your account can be revised if your transaction history raises flags on our system in the future.
Also, Angelina sounds like a good friend to have. :)
Let me know if you need anything else.
Account Specialist | Venmo
I strongly believe in the human component in the customer service industry, and sometimes it’s worth pursuing something a few times before taking no as a final answer. After all, in the miles and points world we are really good at HUCA, right?
And besides the obvious lesson learned here being to be more mindful of what you write in the transaction description box, the more important lesson I learned was to always transfer my Venmo balance into my checking account immediately.
Have you ever had an issue using Venmo before? If so, share your experiences here.