Update on Dozens' fixed-interest bonds and protection

Another month and a half goes by and we are no closer…plus no information from dozens again…

Very quiet all round. Time of year perhaps? R-

The quiet is clearly worrying some people.
If August was going to be quiet, it might have been better to say so!

The second bond was originally slated for before the end of the tax year, so it’s been a long wait, really

There are very many exciting things in the pipeline and these will be announced very soon.

August is a month where not only Dozens staff are travelling or on holiday (I’m writing this from a sunny seaside porch in Canada) but many customers and investors are too. As promised, we will make announcements to all customers in a way that is fair & timely to all, so expect news shortly, but probably not this week.

With regard to Seedrs comments, I believe there was a reply posted recently

#wishyouwerehere

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I think the terms fair and timely are not in the vocabulary for dozens. Announcements have been slow and not fair to all as for a lot of information it is only expressed on here and not to those that don’t access this forum. There have been huge delays in getting any information and it has been misleading all along!

Apologies but you have said that

which means you are receiving information? Dozens is a start-up and that needs to be considered at all times. They don’t have the same funding or reputation as high-street banks or as other Fintech banks such as Monzo.

This is far from the truth. Plus you have said you are receiving information. For it to be misleading Dozens would offer the investments monthly, as planned, without any guarantee and then the information would definitely be misleading and cause the customers problems. Instead of seeing things negatively, see it as a positive and that they are trying to consider the customer at all times, something many banks and companies don’t do anymore.

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I may be receiving some information because I read it here, however the majority of the customer base won’t know to look here for it…therefore a lot of customers won’t be getting any information. If you want to say they are thinking of customers then communication is key but it is very poor. If I didn’t look here I wouldn’t know anything that was going on
High street banks know not to advertise a product (5% bonds) unless they could actually deliver. Dozens have failed for months to release them despite having had an advertising campaign encouraging people to sign up to them.
Doesn’t matter that the company is start up. The problems are evident

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I think its very important lesson, if a new company can’t get communication right with only a few thousand users, imagine what its going to be like with millions. The problem is, Dozens plays on its fixed bonds and people have been asking for months about it. And for them months they get its coming, regulatory issues, and so on. When in fact the reply needs to be, we can’t do them at the moment as we are changing how we are operating them, so will relaunch in October, then you won’t get people asking every week or month what’s happening, it would be clear.

The issue isn’t going to be regulatory as there hasn’t been any new regulations that substantially change anything. So it will be whatever reason Dozens have for delaying it, and no one knows, because no one is saying anything.

Promises of updates are great, but I remember seeing that from Curve, it now probably has the worst information team ever, with promises on a near daily bases and nothing materialising.

This isn’t meant to criticise, its just pointing out some obvious flaws, that I think need to be addressed now while Dozens is small, not when its got so many customers its playing catch up.

I missed out on the bonds last time, so been eagerly waiting them for months now.

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Totally agree with this!
Communication is a basic that the end consumer needs and should rightly have
They managed to issue them once so what’s changed??
Being a startup or new is not an excuse. Own up to the issue and communicate then people will be able to understand

Thanks guys.

We do take your point about the delay, and we apologise for this again.

In retrospect, if we had known that the full delay would have been as many months, it would have been great to be able to say “coming in X”, but as I’m sure you will appreciate, things are not always that clear when you are working on it.

We stopped promoting the fixed-interest bond in our communications to avoid any confusion. I realise that many of you here joined in the very early days and were among the first 1000 or so customers, but our focus since then has been on all the other things we also offer the 15,000 customers who have joined since (plenty about features like bill-splitting, spending abroad, budgeting, etc). We are not just about the bond after all.

There have been different issues affecting the bonds. At the very beginning it was a technical matter. We worked REALLY hard to bring out the bond before April, but it was just not possible. As we had been talking about that issuance we not only apologised in writing, but paid out thousands of pounds to all customers.

However, we are also a very unusual and unique business and having raised funds through Seedrs early-on, we’ve had work to do behind the scenes on corporate matters. @AC mentioned this in some detail in posts above like this one, and also the following:

If all of this was only in our hands, we could commit to a date - but it isn’t. If we had said “coming in October” for example and completed work earlier, many customers might not have been ready, or if we had promised a date we couldn’t make, then customers would have had to cancel plans. Neither are fair, so we have not mentioned a date.

I can promise you that the work is feverish and ongoing. I do believe that in combination with other developments to the app and the business, you will find the results very exciting, but I’m afraid that I won’t make myself a liar by promising an exact date quite yet … but it really is “soon”.

There is a newsletter going out to all customers shortly with updates on all the many things that are ongoing in addition to this matter, and in the next week or so the team will be back to full-strength, rejuvenated and refreshed after the holidays, and we will have lots to say.

I hope you’ve all had a chance to have a summer break too

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Thanks for your reply, but I think the point you are missing, is and I have literally just taken a screenshot right this minute on your front main page. It clearly is promoting the fixed bonds. That is what anyone sees who comes to the dozens website. (I can’;t upload the screenshot, some error message about aws key is incorrect, so pasted what it says)

icon

5% p.a. fixed interest bonds

Even if you’ve saved just £100 at the end of the month, you can access higher returns to keep your money growing. There’s no lock-in.

Edited to add. The app download page on Google Play at least, also shows the bonds as a feature before you even download the app.

Robert, maybe you should try going to your website…clearly linked on the home page is the following page about the bonds - https://www.dozens.com/our-5-bonds-everything-you-want-to-know/ - it doesn’t mention you can’t actually get them, instead it encourages you to get the app and bid on a bond now!
The £2 we got only covered the initial delay but it has been delayed much further than what was thought, meaning the £2 doesn’t cover it anymore. So do we get further funds to cover the never ending delay?
You may not be just about the bonds but the bonds are something that drew in (and continues to do so as you do actually continue to advertise on your website, Google play store, etc) much of the customer base, who are getting increasingly annoyed and disgruntled

true - the bonds are still mentioned on the website and the google store. These, and also our Invest shelf, are still our products and integral to the features of the app and account. Although they are not available today, they will be available to all customers, so we’ve not removed them completely from the description.

I was referring to the advertising that was mentioned above. This is what is drawing in the majority of customers. We did advertise the fixed-interest bonds before April, and that is why we tried so hard to bring them out and it was these bonds that we paid the potential interest for. When they were not immediately available, we stopped advertising them and have not done so since then.

The blog post you link above is a necessary description for existing and future bond customers, so we cannot remove it. The bonds exist - 60 or so customers have these, so although we have not been able to issue more, these are actual products that we plan to make available again as soon as we possibly can, and I have already mentioned what has changed since then to mean we have had to delay.

Hope that is clearer.

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There’s definitely frustration brewing and a startup is going to feel the heat at every slight misstep and delay…

It was a very ambitious timetable from the start, however, so maybe a few months’ delay is not that surprising.

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Not surprising at all, the lack of informed communication is the issue, not the delay.

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Absolutely. I was thinking really that the two are linked - dozens maybe set unrealistic targets, then didn’t really realise or communicate clearly how much they have had to change.

Bottom line is that dozens is still a beta product, so this kind of misalignment between user expectation and delivery is exactly what you’d expect. Cf. every other fintech startup…

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So do we have a timeframe at all? Or is it still “wait and see”? From what I understood from AC, Dozens was waiting for the “OK” from the Regulator following the crowdfund, that was how many months ago now?

I think the issue is, people invested with a promise of a bond issuance that was much larger than the original, those who joined before the crowdfund had already had a go at the bonds bidding (which was successful from Dozens own words) - it just feels like you drew people in and then forgot about it.

I appreciate that there may be a lot of other things working in the background, but maybe too much was taken on at the same time? Why not try and get the product that is your USP and that no one else really has, which would last you a year - and then you have a year to develop other things?

Its all fine and good having bill splitting, instant notifications and the like, but that isn’t a USP anymore, if anything that is the benchmark.

Hopefully now we are into September we can get a proper idea of how long it will be until the bonds are re-announced.

Hi, just thought I’d check in for any progress on the 5% bonds, and still nothing?

I concur with the comments above; 5% return on bonds was one of, if not the, key appeals to sign up to Dozens when it was marketed earlier in the year. I found out through Seedrs, but there were other means.

I’m using the saving rules I’ve set up, which are fun - rounding up, rainy day and a ‘save a quid for new trainers when I go for a run’ IFTTT rule I made with Strava - but other than that I’m just not using the card.

Besides the delay on the bonds, any news on Apple Pay?

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Another Apple fan here - still waiting. R-

If it’s too good to be true it probably is. 5% debt carries enormous risk in a low interest rate environment. These are high yield/junk credit bonds. If there is a default prepare yourself for a long process of money recovery if there is any. Banks, when lending, at least ask for collateral.

However, this current account is not covered by the Financial Services Compensation Scheme – because Dozens is not a bank.

This money is actually deposited in a client account held with Bank of Scotland, which is part of Lloyds Banking Group.
Therefore this is FSCS protected up to £85,000, but bear in mind if you’re already a Lloyds customer any money saved with Dozens will detract from the value of protection you have with other Lloyds accounts.

'If it works as intended then it will be great for consumers - especially the potential five per cent return on the bond - but this certainly isn’t a risk-free proposition.