Russell Simmons Calls RushCard Crash “One Of The Most Devastating Times In My Adult Life”

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One month after a technological transition pegged to “upgrade and improve” RushCard’s services prevented customers of the brand’s debit and credit cards from accessing their money, Russell Simmons is speaking out about the glitch that caused a total system outage. In an interview with HipHopDX, Simmons detailed and apologized for the recent shutdown that took place after the 12-year-old financial service moved to a new transaction processing company.

“It was one of the most devastating times in my adult life. I know how hard people work to get money. I know how damaging it could be if people were not able to get to their money… I’m deeply sorry,” he said. I don’t know what else to do about it but try to make good on it and try to make the people that were damaged whole. That’s all I can do.”

Simmons attempted to keep customers abreast of the company’s efforts to restore access via several video updates, and the company did so by way of constant statements. But fallout was immediate and heavy, as RushCard users bombarded Simmons and RushCard’s various social media accounts with stories of how the shutdown was affecting their abilities to survive.

RushCard holder Nicole Blackshear discussed the plights many experienced when the system crashed on Oct. 12.

“They keep lying on their Facebook page that the system is back up, and it’s not,” Blackshear told HipHopDX at the time. “People are being evicted, can’t get to work because they can’t get gas. People are needing milk and pampers for their children. People’s utilities have been disconnected. There is so much pain and suffering and no explanation.”

In the four weeks since, the Consumer’s Union has stripped RushCard of its prized gold star for service and federal regulators are looking into the company as it stands at the center of a lawsuit filed by New York State. Simmons said that because most of RushCard’s services, which include card-to-card transfer and direct deposit, are back to normal, his focus is moving forward and making amends with affected customers.

“Now I have the rebuilding process to restore trust with the community and paying back people who were damaged. I’ve announced were creating a multimillion dollar fund that will be used just for people who didn’t get their money. We’re putting a fund together that will make people whole. That’s our job. That’s one of the many things we have to do to regain trust,” he finished.

Simmons will have his work cut out for him because just days ago, some users claimed they still have not received their funds.

Read the rest of Simmons’ interview here.