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Author Topic: Bitstamp is bullying VERIFIED CUSTOMERS!  (Read 4088 times)
Hyena
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October 21, 2014, 01:22:20 PM
Last edit: October 21, 2014, 01:44:05 PM by Hyena
 #1

I went through the painful process of getting my account verified a year ago. It included going physically to bank to get a proof of residency paper printed out and signed on paper (in the era of digital signatures provided by the ID-card in EU, hilarious). Not only that, I had to scan in my driver's license and that proof of residency and submit it to Bitstamp and they rejected it due to poor quality! So I scanned the documents in again with higher resolution and got finally verified.

From the beginning I had problems because I had several accounts in Bitstamp due to the need to use their API in a separate account. These idiots demand different e-mail for different accounts and to make matters worse YOU CAN NEVER CHANGE YOUR E-MAIL. If you do, they require verification AGAIN. Unbelievable. But that's not the end of it.

I tested out their password recovery mechanism and entered my e-mail in the according form. I received a message from Bitstamp saying that a new account was created for me. What the hell? They create a new account when you request password recovery! Anyone who knows your e-mail can make a new account under your name and that new account is NOT VERIFIED by default.

So I got worried that they might force me to go physically to bank again just to get a piece of paper and I contacted the support and it made things even worse as they disabled my account's withdraw capabilities:
Quote from: My initial support ticket
Someone requested my account password to be reset (they must have known my e-mail address) so I received an e-mail with new login information to my e-mail. Can I just ignore it and keep using my current account as if nothing happened? I logged in once with the given login information and saw that the new account is not even verified.

Quote from: Bitstamp's reply
Nejc Srečnik
20.10.2014 14:05:49
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for notifying us.

Since you did not request password change yourself, we kindly suggest you change your email address linked to this Bitstamp account as a security precaution. Please note that additional KYC will be required should you decide to do so.

We highly recommend you enable two-factor authentication for your account. You can do that here: https://www.bitstamp.net/account/security/two-factor-authentication/ ;and help yourself with our step-by-step 2FA setup guide: https://www.bitstamp.net/s/documents/bitstamp_2_factor_authentication_guide.pdf .

Please be advised that we have also blocked virtual withdrawals for this Bitstamp account as an additional security precaution. Once you are convinced that your system is clean and you decide to unblock withdrawals, please tell us so in a reply to this ticket, so we can proceed with your request.

While we appreciate that this comes as an inconvenience we are convinced that our security precautions are in accordance with your expectations in keeping your account secure.

Should you require additional assistance, please feel free to contact us again.

Best regards,
Nejc Srečnik

So here's my reply:
Quote
What additional KYC you need when I decide to change my e-mail? I am not going to bank again just to get another proof of residency paper in order to change my e-mail.

I will not start using 2FA authentication because I dislike google and Google Authentication. You better think some other way to enable 2 factor authentication if you want to force it to your customers.

Also, I'm utterly displeased by the fact that you have blocked virtual withdraws. Why did you do that? Did I give you any permission? Your security precautions are unreasonable. A customer should be able to change their e-mail as they wish.

So here's what I ask you to do: make my account fully functional again. I cannot trust you with my money if you suddenly decide to stop withdraws so randomly.

This has gone too far. I did the painful verification process, went physically to bank just to get that proof of residency as I am not receiving any paper bills. What is more, I had to scan in my driver's license and that proof of residency and after all of that you are stopping my account because someone used my e-mail to reset my password? It is you and your business that is dysfunctional and I demand an apology.


So clearly Bitstamp is getting worse and worse over time. Just painful user experience. What other businesses offer bitcoin exchange services in Europe? (Preferrably not shady)

edit:
So I found out about https://www.bitcoin.de/en they seem to have automated verification so I'd suggest I don't need to scan in any documents, I think it's great! Also, I still cannot believe that Bitstamp morons require the user to change their e-mail address. An e-mail address is not a thing anyone would easily change. God it makes me vomit to see how stupid the Bitstamp developers are. Do you imagine if all the web services started demanding from their customers to CHANGE THEIR E-MAIL ADDRESS?! Bitstamp shold be sued for such idiocy.

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October 21, 2014, 03:49:02 PM
 #2

...

From the beginning I had problems because I had several accounts in Bitstamp due to the need to use their API in a separate account.

...

lol.
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October 21, 2014, 04:05:43 PM
 #3

Quote
kindly suggest

which means you don't have to change anything, bro.
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October 21, 2014, 05:06:20 PM
 #4

...

From the beginning I had problems because I had several accounts in Bitstamp due to the need to use their API in a separate account.

...

lol.

Why is that funny? It's best to use a different account for automated trading because if your bot screws something up you don't want to lose more than you can afford to lose, do you?


Quote
kindly suggest

which means you don't have to change anything, bro.

Yes, and I won't. However, how come some random customer support dude can stop my withdraws without asking my permission or anything? I've been wanting to change my e-mail for a year because I registered with a throwaway e-mail address and now they won't let me change the e-mail and I have to use it just to please Bitstamp. What a mess.

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October 21, 2014, 05:40:43 PM
 #5

I will not start using 2FA authentication because I dislike google and Google Authentication. You better think some other way to enable 2 factor authentication if you want to force it to your customers.

Ignoring the rest of the post, but this is a bit inaccurate. The "Google Authenticator" uses a very common open-source algorithm to determine the 2-factor-codes. The app from Google is simply the most commonly used, which is why the whole system is often named after Google. There are however alternative implementations for all kinds of platforms and the algorithm is simple enough that any semi-decent programmer can create his own personal implementation, so that you don't have to trust any third party software producer.
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October 21, 2014, 07:25:45 PM
 #6

just wait and see what happens when you hit some (invisible) volume limits with fiat deposits and withdrawals...

got my assets frozen for a week and a half while I was travelling europe. awsome experience.

but to get back to OPs issue:

They are simply scared shitless, that someone might actually steal customer funds so they are overshooting a "bit".

bitcoin.de is a great place, but it is a market place, not an exchange so that comes with its own set of issues (forget trading apis and other fancy stuff).

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October 22, 2014, 01:51:25 AM
 #7

I guess there is a problem with stamp's database or capital chain, so they are so anxious to clean up the accounts, wish it not to be gox 2.



edit: about bitcoin.de, its verification seem to be the same hard: if you're not German, you have to send them all kinds of documents to be able to buy/sell for more than 750 eur a year.

according to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=695082.0 , LakeBTC and Kraken both have sepa account, while them also need to verify, but it will be a lot easier, you can try.
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October 22, 2014, 10:30:27 AM
 #8

Just a measure to protect the customers from themselves.

It is way better than having all your coins stolen.

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October 22, 2014, 11:15:33 AM
 #9

I will never ever use Bitstamp. But on the other hand you shouldnt have made it complicated. Youre account was ok, why did you try the password recovery? You shouldve crossed the bridge when you get there.. You shoudve tried the password recovery if you really need it.

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October 22, 2014, 11:19:12 AM
 #10

This verification process is annoying I agree, but they are forced to do so.

At this point people are complaining about it's way too difficults, too much hassle....

But if they don't, and one day lose a lot btc due to a hack or fraud, then people will complain and moan about why they don't have a proper verification process.

Rules are rules, if you prefer to have an exchange with less rules, then I suggest BTC-E.
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October 24, 2014, 03:53:16 PM
 #11

First of all, I admit I was a bit overreacting myself. While Bitstamp is overreacting because they are afraid for their own butt I am overreacting because I am afraid they will make me go through the verification process AGAIN. And guess what, they did:

Quote
Nejc Srečnik
22.10.2014 06:58:59
Dear XXXXX,

While we understand that this comes as an inconvenience, we believe that our security precautions are in accordance with your expectations in keeping your account secure.

To re-enable virtual withdrawals for your account, we kindly ask you to provide a high quality photo of your ID document with a hand written note of when the image was submitted following the example bellow:

"[date of submission] For Bitstamp Limited Only"

Please note that the ID and hand written note must be submitted as one image.

We kindly ask you to attach your image in a reply to this ticket, so we can proceed with your request.

We also kindly ask you to confirm that your system and email account are not compromised.

If you wish to change your email address, please tell us your current and your new address, so we can proceed with your request.

Also be advised that 2FA is not required or forced, however it is highly recommended, as it provides an extra layer of security for your Bitstamp account. Should we ever decide to support any other 2FA, we will make sure to let our customers know.

Should you have any additional questions, please feel free to ask.

Best regards,
Nejc Srečnik

Quote from: My answer
Here's the thing:
1. I myself submitted the password recovery form to test out the functionality.
2. My e-mail was never compromised.
3. I did not lose my password.

You overreacted:
1. You disabled my withdraws without any reason.
2. You require me to go through the verification process AGAIN.

Here's my stance:
1. I will not go to bank again to get another paper copy of my proof of residency. It's your problem not mine.
2. You have to provide me a solution that does not include me going physically to the bank again!

We live in the era of digital signatures. I have an ID-card that allows me to sign documents digitally. A compromise solution would be if you accepted a digitally signed document proving that this account belongs to me. Please understand that many people don't receive paper bills and don't have a scanner to scan physical world documents. To require me to go through this painful verification process again costs you 20 euros. Send me 20 euros worth of bitcoins to 1******************************* and I will verify my account again because that's how much my time costs. I have to go to bank (40 minutes and scan in the documents 20 minutes). 1 hour of my time costs exactly 20 euros.

By the way, your security precautions suffer a serious retardation and I would seriosuly doubt if people who designed your system's security were competent enough for the job. You cannot make a user's e-mail so critical for their access to Bitstamp because e-mails are not held in secret. A malicious person would gather the e-mails of your customers and made a bot that would submit password recovery for all of your customers. Your system is flawed as it allows an anonymous user to disrupt your whole userbase's access to the service. Thus, it is you that needs to change their system to solve this problem. I am free to change my e-mail at my free will at any time I want and you cannot demand account verification each time.


To reply to other posts in this thread:
I will not start using 2FA authentication because I dislike google and Google Authentication. You better think some other way to enable 2 factor authentication if you want to force it to your customers.

Ignoring the rest of the post, but this is a bit inaccurate. The "Google Authenticator" uses a very common open-source algorithm....

Thanks for the tip. I really did not know that but now I will look the specifics of Google Authenticator. Perhaps I could still use it even though I don't like Google.

just wait and see what happens when you hit some (invisible) volume limits with fiat deposits and withdrawals...

got my assets frozen for a week and a half while I was travelling europe. awsome experience.

but to get back to OPs issue:

They are simply scared shitless, that someone might actually steal customer funds so they are overshooting a "bit".

bitcoin.de is a great place, but it is a market place, not an exchange so that comes with its own set of issues (forget trading apis and other fancy stuff).

Exactly, that's what I'm afraid of. Once I start moving big money they might make my life miserable as they obviosuly do not care for their customers' convenience and user experience at all! Too bad bitcoin.de is not an exchange though, I was really hoping that there is some exchange in Europe that makes the verification process super easy. Come on, we have ID cards that allow signing documents digitally. Verification could be so simple yet they are stuck in the archaic way of doing things by requiring photos of physical world objects!

I guess there is a problem with stamp's database or capital chain, so they are so anxious to clean up the accounts, wish it not to be gox 2.



edit: about bitcoin.de, its verification seem to be the same hard: if you're not German, you have to send them all kinds of documents to be able to buy/sell for more than 750 eur a year.

according to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=695082.0 , LakeBTC and Kraken both have sepa account, while them also need to verify, but it will be a lot easier, you can try.

Isn't Kraken like on the other side of the planet? I'd prefere an EU exchange but if you say LakeBTC and Kraken would work then I will definitely check them out, thank you!

Just a measure to protect the customers from themselves.

It is way better than having all your coins stolen.

I guess it's free market. You can say that it's for the customers' own good but the fact is that their security measures are inconvenient, archaic and could be done much better. People will soon simply go to other exchanges. Facebook has automatic SMS sending to improve account security. Why doesn't Bitstamp have one? I would happily receive a SMS to my mobile phone with a pin.

I will never ever use Bitstamp. But on the other hand you shouldnt have made it complicated. Youre account was ok, why did you try the password recovery? You shouldve crossed the bridge when you get there.. You shoudve tried the password recovery if you really need it.

I requested the password recovery because I did not know what e-mail belonged to what account in Bitstamp. I had 3 accounts in Bitstamp and 3 different e-mails for them as this idiotic Bitstamp does not let you register 2 accounts for the same e-mail. So I requested password reset to know which account is which. Never before I have seen a system so moronic that instead of resetting your password it creates a new account for your e-mail and requires you to go through the painful verification process again. This could be abused so bad. I could just datamine all the e-mail addresses used in the bitcointalk forum and reset everyone's password in Bitstamp and everyone would need to verify their account AGAIN. It is clearly Bitstamp's idiocy here and it has nothing to do with security precautions. From this moment I seriously distrust Bitstamp. If they make such mistakes who knows what other mistakes they have made!

This verification process is annoying I agree, but they are forced to do so.

At this point people are complaining about it's way too difficults, too much hassle....

But if they don't, and one day lose a lot btc due to a hack or fraud, then people will complain and moan about why they don't have a proper verification process.

Rules are rules, if you prefer to have an exchange with less rules, then I suggest BTC-E.

While I get your point you are wrong at one thing: users don't need to suffer due to lazy programming and bad business workflows. Does PayPal require users to verify their account like that? Scanning in some papers and so on? I doubt it. See, it can be done more easily so why hasn't Bitstamp come up with a better solution? Or perhaps they don't have enough money for these developments. The biggest exchange does not have enough money? Suspicious.

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October 28, 2014, 02:07:41 PM
Last edit: October 28, 2014, 02:35:08 PM by Hyena
 #12

I got an answer from Bitstamp saying that they will include my suggestions to the discussion of how to improve their services next time. That's all, I guess they didn't reactivate my withdraw possibilities so I'm pretty much done with Bitstamp.

However, I tested out localbitcoins for the first time last week and today I completed my first trade. I sold 10 euros worth of bitcoins to the user cortex and received the money as a SEPA transfer on the second banking day. My account in localbitcoins is Hyena by the way. So anyone who is having trouble with Bitstamp I recommend you use localbitcoins because they have made it really simple, no verification is needed. If you have used SR or BMR in past then you are already familiar with the way localbitcoins operates. The really cool thing about localbitcoins was that they have automatic SMS sending, so I actually receive an SMS immediately when my order is filled or needs my attention.

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October 29, 2014, 02:10:30 AM
 #13

I guess there is a problem with stamp's database or capital chain, so they are so anxious to clean up the accounts, wish it not to be gox 2.



edit: about bitcoin.de, its verification seem to be the same hard: if you're not German, you have to send them all kinds of documents to be able to buy/sell for more than 750 eur a year.

according to https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=695082.0 , LakeBTC and Kraken both have sepa account, while them also need to verify, but it will be a lot easier, you can try.

Why do you recommend LakeBTC too? Is it better than BTC-e?
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October 29, 2014, 03:48:23 AM
 #14

tl;dr
"Hey Bitstamp, someone is trying to hack my account!"
"Thanks for letting us know, I disabled withdrawals to keep you safe. You should think about the following to make your account more secure..."
"WTF Bitstamp, I was just messing with you. Why would you do that? How can I trust you to keep my money safe when you take me seriously when I lie to your support staff?"

Did I miss something pertinent there, or is that about it?
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October 29, 2014, 09:51:53 PM
 #15

lol.
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October 30, 2014, 06:04:58 AM
 #16

I got an answer from Bitstamp saying that they will include my suggestions to the discussion of how to improve their services next time. That's all, I guess they didn't reactivate my withdraw possibilities so I'm pretty much done with Bitstamp.

However, I tested out localbitcoins for the first time last week and today I completed my first trade. I sold 10 euros worth of bitcoins to the user cortex and received the money as a SEPA transfer on the second banking day. My account in localbitcoins is Hyena by the way. So anyone who is having trouble with Bitstamp I recommend you use localbitcoins because they have made it really simple, no verification is needed. If you have used SR or BMR in past then you are already familiar with the way localbitcoins operates. The really cool thing about localbitcoins was that they have automatic SMS sending, so I actually receive an SMS immediately when my order is filled or needs my attention.
You need to remember that LBC is full of scammers, so you will likely spend a lot of time, at the very least protecting yourself against such scams, and will probably have a lot of failed trades because of a scam attempt against you. I would say that you are essentially trading the fact that you are essentially trading off the fact that you do not need to give up your identity documents for the fact that it will take many attempt to have a successful trade

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October 31, 2014, 05:24:51 PM
 #17

tl;dr
"Hey Bitstamp, someone is trying to hack my account!"
"Thanks for letting us know, I disabled withdrawals to keep you safe. You should think about the following to make your account more secure..."
"WTF Bitstamp, I was just messing with you. Why would you do that? How can I trust you to keep my money safe when you take me seriously when I lie to your support staff?"

Did I miss something pertinent there, or is that about it?

I had a fully verified account. All was ok. Then I requested password reset and now they want me to verify my account again. What's your e-mail? I will reset your password for you and you will have to verify your account again. Then let's see if you still think I'm making fun here and this topic is not for real. Fact is that I don't tolerate going physically to bank and scanning in paper documents. I did it once and if they demand it again they lose a customer. There has to be simpler way to do business with bitcoin exchanges. If you think it's all my fault then you got it all wrong because they are making a customer's life miserable while in reality a business should make the customer's life as simple as possible.

You need to remember that LBC is full of scammers, so you will likely spend a lot of time, at the very least protecting yourself against such scams, and will probably have a lot of failed trades because of a scam attempt against you. I would say that you are essentially trading the fact that you are essentially trading off the fact that you do not need to give up your identity documents for the fact that it will take many attempt to have a successful trade

It's not that I'm going to start daytrading on LBC. I never daytrade anyway. I would have no problem using an exchange such as Bitstamp having my account verified but I will simply not tolerate it if they make me verify my account every time they feel like it. Verification should be strictly a one time procedure.

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October 31, 2014, 09:34:08 PM
 #18

I went through the painful process of getting my account verified a year ago. It included going physically to bank to get a proof of residency paper printed out and signed on paper (in the era of digital signatures provided by the ID-card in EU, hilarious). Not only that, I had to scan in my driver's license and that proof of residency and submit it to Bitstamp and they rejected it due to poor quality! So I scanned the documents in again with higher resolution and got finally verified.

From the beginning I had problems because I had several accounts in Bitstamp due to the need to use their API in a separate account. These idiots demand different e-mail for different accounts and to make matters worse YOU CAN NEVER CHANGE YOUR E-MAIL. If you do, they require verification AGAIN. Unbelievable. But that's not the end of it.

I tested out their password recovery mechanism and entered my e-mail in the according form. I received a message from Bitstamp saying that a new account was created for me. What the hell? They create a new account when you request password recovery! Anyone who knows your e-mail can make a new account under your name and that new account is NOT VERIFIED by default.

So I got worried that they might force me to go physically to bank again just to get a piece of paper and I contacted the support and it made things even worse as they disabled my account's withdraw capabilities:
Quote from: My initial support ticket
Someone requested my account password to be reset (they must have known my e-mail address) so I received an e-mail with new login information to my e-mail. Can I just ignore it and keep using my current account as if nothing happened? I logged in once with the given login information and saw that the new account is not even verified.

Quote from: Bitstamp's reply
Nejc Srečnik
20.10.2014 14:05:49
Dear XXXXX,

Thank you for notifying us.

Since you did not request password change yourself, we kindly suggest you change your email address linked to this Bitstamp account as a security precaution. Please note that additional KYC will be required should you decide to do so.

We highly recommend you enable two-factor authentication for your account. You can do that here: https://www.bitstamp.net/account/security/two-factor-authentication/ ;and help yourself with our step-by-step 2FA setup guide: https://www.bitstamp.net/s/documents/bitstamp_2_factor_authentication_guide.pdf .

Please be advised that we have also blocked virtual withdrawals for this Bitstamp account as an additional security precaution. Once you are convinced that your system is clean and you decide to unblock withdrawals, please tell us so in a reply to this ticket, so we can proceed with your request.

While we appreciate that this comes as an inconvenience we are convinced that our security precautions are in accordance with your expectations in keeping your account secure.

Should you require additional assistance, please feel free to contact us again.

Best regards,
Nejc Srečnik

So here's my reply:
Quote
What additional KYC you need when I decide to change my e-mail? I am not going to bank again just to get another proof of residency paper in order to change my e-mail.

I will not start using 2FA authentication because I dislike google and Google Authentication. You better think some other way to enable 2 factor authentication if you want to force it to your customers.

Also, I'm utterly displeased by the fact that you have blocked virtual withdraws. Why did you do that? Did I give you any permission? Your security precautions are unreasonable. A customer should be able to change their e-mail as they wish.

So here's what I ask you to do: make my account fully functional again. I cannot trust you with my money if you suddenly decide to stop withdraws so randomly.

This has gone too far. I did the painful verification process, went physically to bank just to get that proof of residency as I am not receiving any paper bills. What is more, I had to scan in my driver's license and that proof of residency and after all of that you are stopping my account because someone used my e-mail to reset my password? It is you and your business that is dysfunctional and I demand an apology.


So clearly Bitstamp is getting worse and worse over time. Just painful user experience. What other businesses offer bitcoin exchange services in Europe? (Preferrably not shady)

edit:
So I found out about https://www.bitcoin.de/en they seem to have automated verification so I'd suggest I don't need to scan in any documents, I think it's great! Also, I still cannot believe that Bitstamp morons require the user to change their e-mail address. An e-mail address is not a thing anyone would easily change. God it makes me vomit to see how stupid the Bitstamp developers are. Do you imagine if all the web services started demanding from their customers to CHANGE THEIR E-MAIL ADDRESS?! Bitstamp shold be sued for such idiocy.

it's worth having an account there if you have big amounts to exchange...

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October 31, 2014, 10:29:09 PM
Last edit: November 04, 2014, 09:30:42 AM by Hyena
 #19

it's worth having an account there if you have big amounts to exchange...

You are right and that's why it's so painful for me to actually stop relations with Bitstamp. I wish there was some other legit Bitcoin exchange in Europe. I would gladly use that one instead and even go through the painful verification process again. I just cannot accept the fact that the same Bitcoin exchange company would ask me to verify my account twice. It's just unacceptable. They are doomed to lose customers this way.

edit:
For the record, things are getting better now as I received this answer from the support:
Quote
Please note that we do not require you to provide another proof of residence document. We do kindly ask you however to attach a high quality photo of your ID document with a hand written note of when the image was submitted following the example bellow:

"[date of submission] For Bitstamp Limited Only"

Please note that the ID and hand written note must be submitted as one image.

Please attach the file in a reply to this ticket so we can proceed with changing your email address and re-enabling virtual withdrawals.

Their offer satisfies my interests because I can scan in ID, no problem. I just have a humongous problem getting a proof of residency.

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