Over a year ago I had my first visit to 247Exchange and it didn’t end well. Today I’ve revisited the exchange to see if anything has changed since. This review has been kept in tact as it was originally written, any updates made on my current visit are described throughout the review, enjoy!
In this post, although I will cover how to buy Bitcoins using a credit card with 247Exchange, I’m also going to describe my own personal experience with them.
What does a guy have to do to get some Bitcoins around here?
It all started about a week and a half ago, when I decided to check out 247Exchange’s services. Following my Bitcoin scam test principles, I first checked out other reviews online (e.g. TrustPilot, SiteJabber, etc.) and saw that it was getting some pretty good ratings.
I opened up a free account and verified my email, pretty standard up to here. Then I decided to buy some Bitcoins with my credit card. I entered my information as followed:
As you can see the nice thing about 247Exchange is that:
- The user interface is pretty simple to understand
- It discloses all fees in advance
I would wish that they would show the aggregated fees as well (credit card fees + transaction fees), but I guess this is already way better than the alternatives out there.
Moving forward I clicked “Make Order” and found that I needed to verify my address and phone number in order to be able to buy BTC with my credit card. Phone verification was pretty straightforward: to verify your phone you need to input a code sent by text message. Easy peasy.
Identity verification requires a government ID. I don’t usually like sending these documents online to strangers but I gave it a shot. Unfortunately, I entered my passport number incorrectly and had to wait until the verification was denied to re-enter it (it added one more day to the process).
The address verification requires some sort of a utility bill, which I didn’t have next to me at the time. But once I got home I submitted it and it went smoothly.
September 2016 update: The process is still easy and very straight forward. The only difference is that now you need to supply a utility in English or have the document translated. 247Exchange’s team is international, so they can understand at least a few languages but if your language isn’t on the list that might be an issue.
So until now everything looks pretty dandy and all that’s left is to buy the card. Unfortunately, here is where it gets complicated. Even though the user interface for buying Bitcoins on 247Exchange is pretty good, the ‘Add a Credit Card’ process is pretty cumbersome. Let me explain.
When you first add a card, 247Exchange will perform a test payment, which you will need to verify on your credit card statement. Following this process, I waited patiently for two days and didn’t see any verification charge.
September 2016 update: I tried again, this time with another card, and still couldn’t see the test payment on my credit statement. Not sure if this is a 247Exchange issue or of the credit company. I have contacted support again and was told that if I have a 3DS credit card I can buy without verification. I went ahead, completed my transaction and the Bitcoins were sent instantly.
I then contacted the exchange’s support (which answered pretty quickly). They told me that the charge probably wasn’t made and that I needed to delete my card and add it again. The only issue is that I can’t do that using the website interface. Finally, the support rep told me they would delete my card and I would then be able to add it later on. He also mentioned I would get an email about this.
So I waited a while longer and after another two days with no email I decided to check what had happened. A new support rep answered, telling me that they could see that a charge was actually made on my card for $2.04. Now here’s my issue with this:
- Why wasn’t I emailed about this? It seems that there is no follow-up process with the support on 247Exchange.
- The verification amount was given to me without any need to identify myself, which was pretty odd. Meaning, I could have just been some hacker requesting to know the verification amount, so I would be able to use the card on file and the support rep decided to just hand it out (take a look below for the chat transcript).
One may argue that since I was logged in this means that I have the password for this account, but from my experience with other services it’s standard protocol to usually ask for some more identifying information.
Leaving all of that behind me, I went and approved my card. I was finally getting close to my goal – getting my coins. However, when I tried to purchase with my newly approved card I was not allowed to use it for some reason.
Contacting support again, I was told to delete my card and re-add it. At this point I got stuck with the 3D-secure service verification and decided to give up all together. All in all it took me a week and a half to finally give up without purchasing the coins.
247Exchange has great potential, but it needs polishing on the user experience
It seems to me that 247Exchange is one of those companies that can give tremendous service to Bitcoin customers, but they fail to do so because of their buying process. It is known that the Achilles heal of all Bitcoin buying processes is verification – and 247Exchange hasn’t solved this part efficiently yet.
My final verdict is that if you wish to try your luck with 247Exchange go ahead, as all signs show that it’s a legit business with good support. I just hope you don’t get frustrated and stuck in the process as I did.
Make sure to read the continued updates on this post below since some things have changed since this review was initially written.
August 2016 UPADTE: It took them a year but they got back to me!
This review was originally published on July 2015, on August 10th 2016 I received an email from Anton the founder of InterMoney Exchange, operator of 247Exchange. Basically he refers to all of the issues I’ve dealt with when trying to buy Bitcoins with 247Exchange.
I must say while it’s admirable that Anton took the time to address my each and every pain point in detail, here’s 247Exchange’s response to this post:
Credit/Debit Card Verification – We did a lot of improvements here. I can’t recall any similar case during last 6 months (at least) when the client’s card was not charged for unknown reason and the client had to wait for nothing, to ask staff to delete card etc.
This procedure became non-obligatory for most of the users (we require it just for non-secured cards, ones without support of Verified by VISA or MC SecureCode). We already have better techniques; besides, the identification process in general will become much easier during the next months.
Additionally you’ve mentioned the following:
1. “Why wasn’t I emailed about this?” (no follow-up process with the support): You are right, when the problem resolves, you should know that at least. When client faces any trouble, our support (and in some cases the system itself) is creating the ticket to relevant department (IT, finance, administration, compliance etc.) and the customer receives follow up replies and notifications. Our Customer Care is much better now and we are constantly working on further improvements.
2. “The verification amount was given to me without any need to identify myself”: I agree that this was not the safest decision, so when the client needs to clarify some information that might being theoretically used by identity thieves etc., our staff would not reveal anything without making sure the client is asking himself. Our staff was checking IP addresses to make sure of that and now we made some other improvements in the process.
3. Processing issues. I’m feeling embarrassed reading how you struggled trying to make the purchase. To speak the truth, we had few technical issues with the order processing when you were using our website, our software was far from perfect (but over 90% clients had no such issues even that time). Our IT department worked a lot on these and now it would be very very hard to even imagine such a number of issues with a single order. Although there a couple of things we’ll further improve (and we are working on it), some issues are out of our direct control. For example, if the Issuer is blocking transaction as “suspicious”, we can do nothing other than asking the client to call/write to the Issuer and to “whitelist” our MID. Besides our staff, our Payment Processor, Gateway Provider and Acquirer are doing everything they can to make the process flawless in 100% cases. We have also done the integration with new Gateway/Acquirer in Europe that’s already live and we are working on automatic change of billing option if any errors occur using the usual processing scheme. The new processing scheme (currently works for EUR, DKK, JPY, NOK, NZD, SEK, TRY currencies) has better card acceptance and less errors; in few weeks we’ll make it available for USD, AUD, GBP, CAD if the “old” processing scheme fails to charge the card.Also (like I mentioned before) even is rare cases when there are some issues, there is no need for the client to delete cards etc. We did a lot to improve the order processing and although issues may (rarely) happen, we resolve it quickly.Finally, regarding the CONS in your conclusion:Verification process take too long: resolved, most of clients are now verified in an hour or few hours, usually even faster (a lot of people pass all the identification in 5-15 minutes). Our Compliance and Risk Management staff works 24/7 and is reacting very quickly.Slow offline support response: resolved, we hired additional staff and did a lot of other improvements described aboveNo followup process on support cases: resolved (see point 1.)
September 2016 update:
It seems that 247Exchange took my review pretty seriously. This time I didn’t have that much trouble at all buying my coins, except for the fact that I wasn’t aware I didn’t need to wait for verification with my card.
What I loved about the process is that throughout the way I got instant support whenever I need it and I think that’s perhaps one of the more important things an online business can provide. So I am now changing my verdict – 247Exchange has a good buying experience and I hope they continue and improve their website as time goes by. My main concern now would be the user interface which makes the process a but hard to navigate through, but more on that in a later post…
If you’d like to share your experience with them leave a comment below.