Russell Simmons' post Def Jam career has seen him running a debit card service for people who can't access ordinary banks, Rushcard. The cards already have a faint whiff of exploitation about them - Time in 2013 pointed out that the fees piled up really quickly for users - and now the cards have locked themselves up. Users have found themselves unable to access any of the cash locked into the card for over a week.
Yes, that's right. The sort of people whose hand-to-mouth existence means they can't open everyday bank accounts have been unable to access their money for eight days.
They're blaming a problem with an upgrade to a computer system, which everyone believes because there's no way that they'd have been able to roll that back, right?
Russell Simmons, to be fair, hasn't vanished. But he's... well, he's not exactly helping, either:
Praying for this who have been and those who still are affected by the tech change at Rushcard— Russell Simmons (@UncleRUSH) October 17, 2015
Oh yes. Praying. Nothing says "the company is just experiencing a mild technical problem" like the figurehead having to call in favours from God.
The company has promised a fee holiday until the end of February, although that will only become useful if people are able to access their funds before then.