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Don't open an account; you won't be able to close it
Posted by Sridhar_cheema1 on 01/24/2006
- Incoherent, buggy web-interface
- Lots of service charges
- Very poor customer service (be prepared to wait for 2 hours or more)

Here's what I went through:
- I opened an account a month back.
- I haven't been able to access the account since.
- I was charged $10 a few weeks back in a statement.
- So I decided to check again. My account still had the message "your account is temporarily unavailable. "
- So I placed a call... and started playing with the interface
- This is one of the most confusing web-pages. Most clicks take me to an 'open another account' page.
- I had to activate my service by filling a different URL. The balances seemed to show.
- I could not transfer money from my bank account (thank god)
- I could not log-in to make trades. The log-in page redirected me somewhere else.
- By this time I was frustrated. I tried to close the account, but I could do it on the web.
- And the call... it took 2 hours to talk to a customer service rep.
- He charged me another $10 to close the account.
- I told him this was ridiculous. He told me that I had to read the fine-print. He also claimed that he can not credit the account, but he can close it. And that I should take this option when I have the chance.
- I asked for the manager, and he put me on hold for another 20 minutes. The same guy picks up the phone and tells me the manager is busy.
- He claimed now that he credited the account (must have learned something new in those 20 min). The funny thing is that I still don't see the credit on my web-page.
- He then gives me a FAX number where I have to send a signed statement that I want to close my account. I did not have to do any of this when I opened an account.

eTrade is the most incompetent company I have had to deal with. Take my advice: Don't open an eTrade bank account. They are not trust-worthy people.

- Sridhar

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Posted by miketech on 2006-01-24:
WHat is a good online trading group? I have Harris Direct. When I first sighned up for online trading I quickly parlayed $500 into about $12.50 playing with penny stocks. So I gave up. I thought I'll let them sit and maybe something will gain. Well of the 5 4 went Out but one increased. It's worth about $150 no. After about a year Harris decided to enact a fine print charge per month for not trading. I'm not paying it but the account balance is still positive. Watch these online trading sharks. Anyone using a good one?
Posted by kellyz on 2006-08-12:
WOW - The same thing just happened to me. I am in the middle of it and Etrade has $20,000 of my money they won't give back. The service was horrid - so I have been trying to close my account for about a month now. I just want my money back. They say they are closing it and all will be taken care of - then a week goes by and nothing - and the whole thing starts over again.
Posted by rosmary on 2006-08-30:
I've never written to a consumer complaint bulletin board before - this is a first for me. But I've had absolutely the same experience with ETRade banking that others have described. I can testify that a two hour wait on hold is not an exaggeration. I spent at least five hours with four different reps online trying to get my brokerage and money market account linked. Each time after numerous waits on hold listening to the same Musak loop I was told it would be fixed in 24 hrs. And I believed them every time!! Finally the last time it wasn't fixed I got real tired of totally wasting my time repeating all the same information again to someone who could have cared less about my experience, and I got tough. I demanded the supervisors name and number and told them I was posting my experience on this bulletin board (which I found while being put on hold for the umpteenth time). OhmiGOd guess what!! Twenty minutes later a supervisor called back and the problem was finally fixed.

So if you also have found this bulletin board while waiting for the totally incompetent ETrade reps, perfectly described by the emails proceeding my complaint, to solve your problem go ahead any try my solution. Don't believe, like me at first, that someone is really going to work it all out if you just stay nice and reasonable. I've never written to a consumer complaint bulletin board before - this is a first for me - and hopefully my last.
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Poor Customer Service Re: Withdrawal Policies And Procedures
Posted by Jgarippo on 05/27/2008
I do not recommend doing business with this company. Their customer service is inept and their policies and procedures make doing business next to impossible. This is especially the case if you have any changes in life events like marriage or changes of address.

After 4 calls to customer service and 2 faxes w/ info sent they still insist on holding $4600 hostage.
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Posted by NRussell88 on 2008-09-24:
Call the Office of Thrift Supervision and file a complaint. They told me they have not heard too many complaints filed with them. I told them about all the online reviews and she said to have everyone start calling them. They can assist in resolving our issues and they could alterantely close this bank down for good.
Posted by DynamicD on 2013-04-27:
Heavy on lawyers, light on customer service.

Good luck getting any money OUT of an eTrade account and to your heirs should you pass away. I was in a Domestic Partnership and it was easier to stop life support when he was terminal than it has been to get the stock options from eTrade. So far, I have had to get a notary signature, gold Medallion signature, fill out multiple forms, sit on hold only to talk to someone in a foreign country who I can barely understand, pay for and consult two attorneys and because they claim they never got his faxes to put his eTrade account in our trust, I now have to go to Probate. I am the Beneficiary on his Will, I am the Beneficiary on his Trust, I was his Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare Decisions and we signed an Affidavit with his company that we were in a Domestic Partnership (28 years). Good luck for those of you in Domestic Partnerships, you will be discriminated against and NOT treated equal to a married couple.

When Corporations create an account for an employee for stock options, it should be automatic that a Beneficiary form goes out to that employee, like with Life Insurance Accounts and 401 Accounts. Not the case with eTrade.

Cancer killed my soulmate and eTrade is another cancer in my life.
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Terrible Company, Go elsewhere
Posted by JavaGrinder on 07/12/2005
Account Started: 11/8/02
Problem Started: 6/23/04
Disputed Value: $155

E-trade is a predatory company that bills more for services not rendered than for services rendered. I've been a customer for 3 years, and an active trader for two of those. Then E-trade began to bill me for account inactivity. Recently, they increased account inactivity rates from an outstanding $25/qtr to $40/qtr without any notice. This is completely outrageous as they hide these fees deep within their contract and it is easy to forget about them after 2 years of continuous trading.

It is obvious that E-trade is going to lose more from this issue by encouraging a disgruntled consumer to advertise against them than they would from simply refunding the account and encouraging more active trading in the future. But their customer service is of the lowest quality. After waiting on hold for over 30 minutes on 2 separate occasions for the "current account holders" department, I decided to call the "new accounts" department. This line only took 3 minutes before I got an answer. This means that E-trade, while overloaded with their current account volume is counter-compensating by putting even more energy into opening new accounts.

Finally, when I attempt to sever ties with the company, they freeze my funds for 72 hours waiting for the account to "settle." I have made one single trade in 12 months time and they claim it will take 72 hours for the account to settle. In those 12 months, they charged me $155 for services not rendered and the 30 cents worth of server space that my account occupied. This is absolutely a humiliating experience for me, and I wouldn't wish it upon anyone.
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Posted by hengli on 2005-07-20:
I agree with you 100%. I am also a victim. To me, they are thieves, robbers. They never clearly notify you of their changes.
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E-Trade has stolen USD 466.000 from me
Posted by Maverick26 on 07/01/2007
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- I wanted to make a third party wire. In order to make sure nothing would go wrong and no faxes would disappear I went into their affiliate in Chinatown, Manhattan. Despite standing in their affiliate with passport and driver’s license they insisted on having the wire instruction notarized. I have it notarized in Citibank. The
E-Trade computer systems are not working, so they fax the document to Costumer Service. Days go by. Nothing happens. My account becomes restricted and the balance is changed to USD 0.00.

A month has gone by. I have contacted E-Trade by letter two times, visited three different affiliates in California, Chicago and NY. I have called Customer Service over and over again wasting hours trying to get through to the Security Department to clear up whatever issues they have with my account. They have not contacted me once. They have effectively stolen USD 466,000 from me. I cannot pay my mortgage. My apartment will be sold below value.

Do never open an account at E-Trade! You have no rights! They take your property from you and will never contact you again!

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Posted by Starlord on 2007-07-01:
How does sending a fax converty to stealing $466? Something is not right here. Third party wire? fear of disappearing emails? Nope.
Posted by Maverick26 on 2007-07-02:
I have had no access to my property for one month. I have not been contacted once. That is what I call stealing. That is what is not right here!

I do not understand your comment about the fax.
Posted by Anonymous on 2007-07-02:
Another case of the worthless freaking government not doing their job of REGULATING the stupid rip-off type things.

That is one he11 of an expensive lesson to learn.

Good luck to you Maverick26 and thanks for the information.
Posted by poppapia on 2007-07-02:
Is it $466.00, or $466,000.00? There is a difference, depending on use of a period (header), or comma (later in the post). I have a hard time believing Etrade would hold $466,000 because you requested a wire. We are not getting all of the information.
Posted by Maverick26 on 2007-07-02:
USD 466,000. I have a hard time believing that as well! But that is the case. I have not done much trading in the E-Trade account. I have a brokerage account in the British West Indies. I prefer the service of that brokerage because it provides me with higher leverage and access to trading large cap equities across US, Europe and Asia.

However, that does not entitle E-Trade to freeze my funds for more than a month. I have done nothing illegal and will of course pay taxes on my capital gains. My problem is that since E-Trade prevents me from accessing my own funds I cannot hire an attorney!

I can file a complaint with the SEC. Is the SEC then required to take action? Is there any other authority that I can file a complaint with?

At the very least you would expect E-Trade to contact me and explain based on which legal warrant they feel they are entitled to freeze my account for more than a month.
Posted by poppapia on 2007-07-02:
File a complaint, and hire an attorney that specializes in this area. It may be a simple as an attorney sending a letter asking for explanation. For this amount of money, you deserve to get some answers.
Posted by Maverick26 on 2007-07-15:
My attorney has written a letter to E-Trade and I have filed a complain with NASD.
Posted by Maverick26 on 2007-07-19:
I have received my funds.
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Lies And More Lies. Be Advised Not To Use Etrade For Stocks
Posted by Webdawg on 04/06/2009
WOMELSDORF, PENNSYLVANIA -- ETrade is the GoDaddy of stock trading. All marketing with a crappy service. The customer support is a nightmare. The website is full of half truths and misleading verbiage.

First, I deposited my funds with "Quick Transfer" (more on this below) and called to confirm my free trades. They told me that because I previously had a savings account with their bank that I was considered an existing customer and did not qualify for any free trades or promotions. They suggested I read their web site as if it actually contained this information. I was so mad. The web site says nothing to this effect. If I would have selected the option not to link by trading account to my bank account I would have qualified for the promo.

Next, they proceeded to tell me that because I was a new customer they would hold my funds for 10 days (they just said I was not a new customer). So while my money sat in limbo for 10 days my stock shot up and I lost out on one of the best opportunities I ever had. To this day their web site says nothing about this type of hold. I read all the transfer information they have. You would think they would share this critical info.

I want to cancel my account now, but I am reading they are going to charge me to get my money back.

This is the worst company on the planet. They should get taken down for false advertising.
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Posted by Soaring Consumer on 2009-04-06:
This is very absurd - giving you the restrictions of an existing customer and not giving you the promotion, yet giving you the restrictions of a new customer by not allowing you to use the service for 10 days. And furthermore these restrictions are not on their website.

This is very deceptive and screwed up. I suggest that you contact your state's Office of the Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division, as either one or the other can apply, and not both, if they even were supposed to actually exist.
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Formal Complaint Policy Procedures
Posted by Idealtas on 02/05/2008
MERRIFIELD, VIRGINIA -- November/2007 By phone contact, I set up an account with E- Trade Financial Bank, thinking my account was set up after following the direction's of the Teller. I had to go and deposit from my external account B Of A, a $100 to start up a checking, and $1.00 to set up the savings, upon doing all that was requested, I was informed that I would be receiving all Check books, and Visa card within 7 working days, and those days went for more than what was stated.

After not receiving the information needed for the account, I called E- Trade Financial again, they informed me, that they needed me to fax over my personal ID in which they gave me the fax number to pass on the information, I thought I was finished, and all was completed.

I waited another week, and nothing again, So I called and asked about the account again, this time I was told that my account was denied due to me for not sending my ID as I was requested.

I let them know after getting my information and number I was given to fax the requested information to them, I did what I was asked to do, and you all should have let me know what decision you had made before you cancel the account, at least you should have given some kind of notice to me what decision was made.
This time I was told to setup the account online, and I took their advise, my Goodness, this time it went ok, up until I was trying to make a withdrawal from my account after making more than a hefty deposit in there.

It was worse than the first time, and I was told that they didn't want my service anymore, and I stated the feeling is mutual, I don't want yours, I do agree with their Security procedures, but when they create questions that you have not put down for your personal information in processing the online application, there is a big problem at that point.

I will never do any business with these people again. And I am in the process even as I write this message in attempting to retrieve my funds now at this time.

Hopefully no one else go through what I have !
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Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-05:
They must have put all of their effort into the super bowl commercial.
Posted by Anonymous on 2008-02-05:
SuperBowl, is that true?
Posted by richfirst on 2008-03-21:
Did you get your money back?
U should file complaint with USTreasury - Office of Thrift Supervision:
E*Trade Bank HQ is in Arlington, VA, so is regulated by the Southeast division of OTS.
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Watch Out for Extremely High Fees - Avoid
Posted by JCdaddy on 09/19/2009
Let me preface by saying I have had E-Trade Accounts for more than 10 Years....

E-Trade is inexpensive for trades and has some great tools BUT - they have some huge fees that can blind-side you. I( found out the hard way.

I have 1 smaller account I used for trading, about $1000 value three years ago. I held INTL shares and just thought I'd get out of trading for a while... I just logged in to my account and realized they had been charging me $40 EVERY 3 MONTHS for account fees. So in 10 quarters, they charged me $400. That's a pretty fast way tolose my investment.

I have 7 E-Trade accounts currently - all but one are retirement accounts or education savings accounts for my kids. All told, I have in excess of $25,000 invested with E-trade, a 2nd mortgage and a credit card.

I asked their customer service to waive or return some or all of the fees, because I met their requirements. They would not. Not even a little.

I know - I should have paid closer attention, but I signed up for electronic notifications, and I used a outdated email. My own fault there.

I just feel they are clearly using the huge quarterly fee to eliminate unprofitable accounts (how it's unprofitable, I don't know) - and when they are targetting a loyal and hopefully valued customer, they should express some latitude.

BTW - I sold the stock, and now to trasfer the $494 I have left to my bank account will incurr a $60 transfer fee! I'll bet, most of the fees not associated with trading (which they advertise all the time) are very high and serve as there main source of profit.

I believe there are better alternatives and unfortunately, that's where I'll be transferring the remainder of my accounts.
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Posted by Anonymous on 2009-09-19:
Takes money to make money! Services are never free.
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Posted by Etradeishalloweentown on 04/09/2010
ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA -- E*Trade's Auction Rate Security Fraud \

I am over 60 years old, and in the fall of 2007 I was lured by E*trade's ad for a JP Morgan money market fund for an IRA. In Short} I called to purchase this money market fund, (the trade could not be placed on-line) I was transferred to their "fixed-income" department and was solicited to buy Auction Rate Securities, for which the market has been frozen since Feb 2008.

E*Trade, in my opinion, knew the risk of this soon to be illiquid market, yet pawned them off on me and thousands more of their "clients=victims". They have been totally uncooperative, intransigent, rude, threatening, and unwilling to accept responsibility for their fraud and lies perpetuated by their agents back in late 2007. They offer no solution to help assist those of us caught in this mess, and they continuously deflect, deny, and defend their lack of accountability and irresponsible stance.

They have effectively stolen my 50,000 in an IRA no less and they only put up a smoke screen with low rent mafioso like attorneys. E*Trade from my experience is pure pond scum, and has zero ethics, and morality. Who on Wall Street does? They are the worst of the worst. RUN, DON'T WALK AWAY FROM E*TRADE, They will screw you over financially given the chance and are totally untrustworthy to be a custodian of any one's money.

USE E*TRADE AT YOUR OWN PERIL .. I worked 20 years for my IRA money, and E*Trade does not have the honor, integrity, and lacks any accountability of the smallest scintilla of nil honesty. They SOLICITED Auction Rate Securities as a safe cash equivalent investment, the same as a money market fund.

E*trade was warned and aware this market was a scam. Their former CEO a Lillien, was urging his brokers to sell the junk out of their house account. And that they did. They have committed legal theft and have been all but the last broker ( other being Schwab ) to make their investors whole. If you want high blood pressure, anxiety, frustration, rudeness, untrustworthiness... then E*trade is your broker. If you value you sanity STAY AWAY from ETrade. They, IN MY OPINION, are thieves and wolves who will eat your account alive if you give 'em a chance.
I am trying to spare others the angst and intimidation that you would incur if you have a brokerage account with them!

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Posted by idontthinkso on 2010-04-09:
While a knee-jerk reaction of "Caveat Emptor" is inevitable, you backed up your opinion with instances of abuse. The accuracy of those claims is up to the viewer to verify. Me, I'll take your word for it and give you a thumbs up while doing so.
Posted by new57 on 2010-04-10:
my advice to you is stop posting on the complaint boards and redirect your energy and hire an attorney to start the arbitration process.

it is the only way you will ever see your money.
Posted by RestaurantGuy on 2010-04-10:
I am sorry you lost your money. With that said you have to take some personal responsibility for this. It is up to the investor to do his homework and then decide for yourself where to put your money. Always get multiple opinions and do your homework when investing as the market goes up and down everyday. You run that risk when investing and always do the research
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Posted by Mneely1967 on 12/18/2006
For the past seven months I have been trying to close my recently deceased father’s E*TRADE® investment account. As a co-executor of his estate, I needed to close this account and retrieve the remaining balance of $93.76. Unfortunately, what first appeared to be a simple, mundane task ended up being one of the most frustrating and time-consuming processes my family and I have ever had to undertake.

When I contacted E*TRADE the first time, I explained the situation. At that point they promptly made his account inaccessible on-line and told me where to download the necessary forms which were required to officially close his account.

Note: What E*TRADE actually does is require you to open an account with them first. Once that has been done and all of the required documents have been processed, they will transfer the funds from the deceased's account to yours, at which point you should be able to go on-line and withdraw everything and close the account. How absurd is that?

Well, after two months had passed, I mailed in the forms for processing. However, I did not submit the Personal Account Application at that time due to the fact that I really did not want to establish a personal relationship with them. I only wanted my father’s account closed and a check sent to me for the remaining balance of $93.76.

Another month had passed without any contact from E*TRADE. So, I called them again to find out if they had received the forms I sent. After staying on hold for about 20 minutes, the service representative came back on and said they had received them and informed me of the missing Personal Account Application. First, I told the service rep that I did not want to open a new account with E*TRADE (establishing a personal relationship with them) and that all I wanted was my father’s account closed and a check sent to me for the remaining balance. I then asked her why they did not promptly contact me about this issue. She had no response to that one and put me on hold again for another 10 minutes. When she came back on she said they could not process anything further until they received the Personal Account Application. Needless to say, I was furious at this point and terminated the conversation.

Now, six months since the original call to E*TRADE, I finally decided to go ahead and submit the Personal Account Application. I just wanted to be done with all of this! A few days later I called E*TRADE customer service once again to ensure that everything was in order this time. Of course, there were still issues and I was put on hold for 20 minutes. This time they said that the Personal Account Application (the longest of all the forms) was not completed properly. Oh, great. Can you guess how mad I was now? Well, I told the service rep that she and I were going to fill it out together this time to make sure that it was done properly. Once that was completed, I asked for their fax number so I could get this thing submitted fast.

I faxed the "new and improved" Personal Account Application that same day to the number they provided to me and added the following comment to the coversheet: "PLEASE CALL THE ABOVE PHONE NUMBER IF THERE ARE ANY ISSUES WITH THIS TRANSMISSION."

Another ten days had passed without any contact from them, but I decided to call them again anyway just to be sure everything was OK. Nope, there was now a new issue. These estate forms must be sent via mail, not fax. Now they tell me! At that point, I requested to speak with a supervisor. A customer service supervisor eventually gets on the line and asks that I mail the Personal Account Application to her personally and she would ensure that it gets processed promptly and properly. But…then I asked her if this was indeed the last remaining document they required to completely process everything. She said she would need to make a few calls but promised that she would get back to me by the end of the business day.

When the E*TRADE supervisor called me back later that day she had more bad news. This time I was told that some of the other documents I mailed to them several months prior needed updating. At that point I voiced my frustration with everything and asked if they could just close the account and keep the $93.76. What do you think she said? "Yes, I can process that request immediately." I then blurted out some choice words and terminated the conversation.

Let me tell you, E*TRADE Securities certainly makes things simple when you open up an account, and they're so quick to take YOUR money...but, at the same time, they make it nearly impossible for you to close an account and retrieve YOUR funds! Their motto should be, "E*TRADE. Give us your money so you’ll never have to deal with it again." What's more, it really amazes me at how E*TRADE (or any company) will spend enormous amounts of money on marketing and promotion then go and piss it all away by unnecessarily creating bad publicity for itself.

Here’s a link to the anti-E*TRADE web site (which details the complete story) I created recently…

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Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-12-18:
Sorry about your loss, but I have to ask - you have time to develop a web site and even appear on a local radio show, but you didn't have the time to simply provide all the documents they requested when they requested them? Had you done that you would most likely have your $94 by now. But you waited until it was convenient for you and then only sent the forms you wanted to send. Did you realize that ETrade is NOT a full service broker and they don't have all the support and hand-holding services that a full service broker would offer?
Posted by rhondam718732 on 2006-12-18:
Way off base Hugh in my opinion. This guy simply wanted the account closed and chek cut. They had him opening accounts and providing personal info when he had NO intention of using their services. I can hardly belive that they don't have a simple system in place when accounts get closed and money is refunded. What if I had an acct and wanted to close it and get a refund. Would I have to open a new one to close my current one??!! They need to get with it and stop making people chase their tails
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-12-18:
This was much more than someone that simply wanted to close an account - there was a death and an estate settlement involved. In this case it was $94, but if they screw up this type of account closure and transfer, the consequences could be huge. That's why it's best to simply do it their way - sign up for the account, transfer the funds, withdraw the funds, close the account - DONE. I'm not saying they couldn't develop a better system, I'm just saying it's a bit unrealistic to resist their system and then complain about it.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2006-12-18:
I must agree with the poster. If he is the executor of the estate he has the authority to close the account just as his father could have. All eTrade needed was the court document showing he is the executor, a death certifcate, and proper ID. What eTrade did to him was absolutley outrageous.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-18:
I agree with Hugh. This was more complicated than the actual owner of the account closing it. I'm sure they have their rules, even though the 'rules' are slightly complicated. Keep in mind, this was NOT the poster's account. At least E-Trade offers a way to close it out without losing any funds.

On a final note, mneely, I am very sorry for your loss.
Posted by mneely1967 on 2006-12-18:
Thanks for reading my story. I'll see if I can clear up some of the questions.

Being the executor of my father's estate was a very trying time for me. Although I am 40 years old, up to that point in my life I had never gone through so much grief, frustration and stress all at once. Although my father's Will and estate were in order, I had to contend with several things I knew nothing about, like selling his company and dealing with a grieving wife that was clueless (no disrespect intended) when it came to such matters. Basically, it was just me flying by the seat of my pants.

As for the issues I had with E-TRADE, I was really being nice and somewhat respectful on my web site. When talking to them on the phone they really seemed like they didn't care or want to close the account. But they didn't try real hard to make me want to open one up either. And what made things even more frustrating was the fact that three other brokerage firms (one of them online) were VERY helpful and only required a minimal amount of paperwork and time. I mean, things were really simple when dealing with each of them...and the account balances were significantly larger too!

Anyway, like I said on my web site, I did eventually get around to filling out and submitting the remaining forms that were required. But, issues still arose one after another. I really did feel as though they just didn't want to give me the money. Believe me, it was that bad.

The web site I created was easy since I do that professionally and the radio show is local and hosted by a few guys I met through my father several years ago. Neither was a big deal for me to accomplish. Now, going around the web and finding places to post MY STORY is a bit more time consuming.

Doing what I am doing now is the only way I know to fight back without being out more money. It's all a matter of principle at this point. IN MY OPINION, E-TRADE IS NOT WORTH DOING BUISNESS WITH AND I'M JUST TELLING ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE.

Thanks again. :-)
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-18:
tnchuck is absolutely right and really nothing more to add. This whole story is bizarre but E*Trade is crud so it doesn't surprise me.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-18:
So hugh I guess if they wanted the poster to stand on his head, drink sewer water and stab his foot with a fork then that would be okay because as you said "I'm just saying it's a bit unrealistic to resist their system and then complain about it. ". Believe it or not the company/big business isn't always right and people should complain loudly when confronted with such silly absurdities so the rest of us can avoid these scourges.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-19:
I also agree with tnchuck on this one and only to add mneely1967 I'm sorry for the crap they put you through.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2006-12-19:
I sent this email to them.

To: tellmemore@etrade.com

Subject: Poor customer relations

To whomever may be interested,

I was considering opening a E*TRADE account. However, I do my research first. I came across a complaint filed on My3Cents.com. This individual's father had passed away. He needed to close his E*TRADE account. What you people put him through, in my opinion, was absolutely outrageous. Then, to finally, in effect, steal his money.

The corporate greed today is disgraceful. I am so thankful I found out what kind of organization you are before I made the mistake of signing up.

I am only one person to actually tell you this. You can bet there are another 200 people out there who you did not get as a customer because of this who won't tell you.

Enjoy the money you stole from him. I am sure it helped your corporate profit margin tremendously.

A would have been customer,

Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-12-19:
Well, I figured my view would not be popular. But what you are missing is that ETrade simply doesn't have enough employees to offer the kind of service you are all demanding of them. If you want that kind of one on one service, there are hundreds of full service brokers out there. This reminds me of people that buy airline tickets thru Priceline and expect all the goodies that come from a full service travel agent. ETrade just isn't set up to do what you are asking of them, that's why I don't think it's unreasonable to follow their instructions.
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2006-12-19:
Hugh, He was not asking for "goodies", special service, advice, or special trades. Closing an account should be simple. One competent CSR and one fax machine should have been able to handle the task.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-12-19:
Well - we will have to agree to disagree. Closing an account for a deceased person, verifying the documents, filing the proper forms with the courts and the IRS isn't a simple matter. What if someone is claiming a death and is trying to use forged documents to clean out an account? Who's liable if their "competent CSR" just sends a check to whoever calls and faxes? They owed a fiduciary duty to their customer - the deceased person - and they are carrying it out. Their duty is not to the survivor.
Posted by Anonymous on 2006-12-19:
Hugh, I can agree with you on the agree to disagree. Sometimes it's just best to let go of the shovel.
Posted by Hugh_Jorgen on 2006-12-19:
Yep, I've dug my hole deep enough. Now let's see some reports on returns without a receipt or undercooked chicken!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2006-12-19:
Just a little common sense is all that would have been needed. They could have attempted to contact thier deceased client through thier own information and determined that he was, in fact, deceased. It checks out. Close the account and send the refund. As for the fact they do not have enough employees - they expended far more man-hours jerking him around than they would have by applying the common sense I just described.
Posted by mneely1967 on 2006-12-19:
Wow...Hugh does make some good points, but in my case I really don't think they apply. In the beginning, I sent them the documents they requested (except for the one that is basically an application for me to open an account). I also sent them a certified copy of the death cert. which they didn't require as well as a "notorized" letter of instruction with my signature and my stepmother's signature. I just can't understand why they would need more than what I provided to them. To make matters worse, during my last conversation with then they told me that the Will (which was notorized) needed to be sent through probate first. My lawyer said that was totally bogus.
Posted by bill on 2006-12-19:
I agree with Hugh that the proper procedures needed to be foolowed, especially in today's world of idnetity theft and lawsuits. But I also feel for the poster. He was going through a tough time and E Trade should have responded to him earlier and walked him through the process to help him.
Posted by Noneill on 2006-12-19:
That is BS. All a person should have to do is send in a certified copy of the death certificate and letter requesting a refund. I know of no other company that expects more. I am betting once a new account is set up there will be "new account" fees, "transfer" fees. etc. which would have eaten up the $93.00 that was left.
Posted by Ponie on 2006-12-19:
'All a person should have to do is send in a certified copy of the death certificate...' Not necessarily so, Noneill. Births, deaths, etc., are all matters of public record. Anyone can obtain a certified copy of anyone's death certificate as long as it's paid for. When I lost my spouse several years ago (and most of our assets were joint tenancy), it took me a little more than a year to get these affairs straightened out. It was frustrating I agree, but each entity has its own rules and regulations. At the time I didn't have the hours nor inclination to start a website for complaints but I should have in one instance. Covering the 9 days of hospitalization prior to my spouse's death, the hospital refused to release the medical records to me. This almost resulted in a physical confrontation--I won!
Posted by tnchuck100 on 2006-12-21:
I just received a response to the email I sent to e*Trade. (See above 12/19/2006). They thanked me for my interest in becoming a e*Trade customer and are looking forward to serving my needs. It was obvious they did not read what I sent.
Posted by NAZZDACK on 2007-03-25:
Those procedures are the same with all discount brokerage firms. And yes it does not matter whether the account is $.01 for $20 million, those procedures are required to protect the firm and most importantly the client and his intentional beneficiaries. What we do not see here are the slim cases of people when the loved ones are dead are photoshopping and forging whatever document necessary to gain control of the estate.
Posted by Alaskagriz on 2007-10-31:
I have also been screwed by E*Trade .... to the extent of $800+. I will never use their services again and suggest that nobody else use their services. Above all, do not believe a word they tell you. I have first hand experience that they LIE.
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StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty StarEmpty Star
Heavy on Lawyers, Light on Customer Service.
Posted by Dynamic Dee on 04/27/2013
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA -- Heavy on lawyers, light on customer service.

Good luck getting any money OUT of an eTrade account and to your heirs should you pass away. I was in a Domestic Partnership and it was easier to stop life support when he was terminal than it has been to get the stock options from eTrade. So far, I have had to get a notary signature, gold Medallion signature, fill out multiple forms, sit on hold only to talk to someone in a foreign country who I can barely understand, pay for and consult two attorneys and because they claim they never got his faxes to put his eTrade account in our trust, I now have to go to Probate. I am the Beneficiary on his Will, I am the Beneficiary on his Trust, I was his Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care Decisions and we signed an Affidavit with his company that we were in a Domestic Partnership (28 years). Good luck for those of you in Domestic Partnerships, you will be discriminated against and NOT treated equal to a married couple.

When Corporations create an account for an employee for stock options, it should be automatic that a Beneficiary form goes out to that employee, like with Life Insurance Accounts and 401 Accounts. Not the case with eTrade.

Cancer killed my soul mate and eTrade is another cancer in my life.
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Posted by trmn8r on 2013-04-27:
This sounds like a case where something was missed along the way, despite attempts to set things up properly.

If they didn't receive forms to place an account in a trust, that is a different matter than whether domestic partnerships are treated the same as marriages.

I'm sorry for your loss, but this matter should be able to be resolved ultimately. Comparing your partner's illness to the issue you now face seems a bit extreme.
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