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Moved from Etrade to an advisor at ML, best decision ever.
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- A few months ago, my husband and I decided that it was time to open a brokerage account. We both have 401K plans with our companies, but since we are rather busy, neither of us had ever done anything with the large cash balances we had in our savings accounts. We decided to start off by opening an etrade account, starting small with $20K.

It was okay, but for an internet obsessed user like me, I just thought the experience would be a lot different, and I'd later realize investing my money on my own was a dumb idea. The customer service support was less than satisfactory. I always had issues, and I didn't feel confident with the whole experience.

I'd always shunned away from financial advisors, however I met my current advisor at a charity event for autism, and our introduction was nothing but geniune. Because of our shared interest in the cause, we talked for a while and it wasn't until I asked what she did that she told me she was a financial advisor. Maybe it was the timing of the bad experience with Etrade, but I was interested and wanted to hear more so I asked if I could come in to meet with her the following week. Some of our friends have had negative experiences with advisors, and the girl was a little younger (not the typical old male I picture when I think of a financial advisor). Everything about her was just so trusting. She made me believe that she'd understand me better than anyone else, and that she would work with my assets as if they were her own, and she has. I think she's different than most advisors because she addressed all of my concerns first. She broke down the fees, asked if I was comfortable with them. She asked what kind of relationship she wanted to have and how often she'd like me to contact her, whether I wanted to come to events with her, if I wanted her to come to my house to meet, etc.

The moral of the story, and why I've taken the time to write this is, a lot of people don't want to pay the fees for advisors. I think that's very apparent. However, the service my advisor has provided me not only has given me motivation to write this post, but I feel as if I'm not paying a fee. I am very comfortable, and everything is transparent. It's unfortunate to read reviews saying their advisors haven't provided the same service. (Not to mention, my husband and I aren't millionaires! We started off investing $100K with her, now we have about $350K).

I'm from Chicago, and I'd be glad to give her contact info to anyone out there who is interested in genuine, high quality financial service. She actually just helped out my friend refinance her mortgage:) My email is acparker674@gmail.com if you have any questions.

Good luck, and I hope people have better luck!
     
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Etrade Doesn't Know What Is Unusual About Nothing
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
CHICAGO, ILLINOIS -- So, I have some stocks and stuff and I thought, maybe I will consolidate it all to ETrade. I mean, they are cheap, good products, etc. Why not?

HA! So, I opened my account. Easy. I go online to do the online transfer and get a message: you are not authorized. Okay, so I email customer service since it is not urgent enough to call. They say to mail money or use the link to transfer. Ummm... it didn't work which is why I emailed them to begin with. SO, I replied and cut and paste the message.

Now they reply that I have to mail or fax a copy of my ID, SS Card (front and BACK) and utility bill. Okay, I get it - they want to make sure I am me. Fine. So I fax all of it in. I get a message that it is received.

Next day I login to a new message: DUE TO UNUSUAL ACTIVITY WE HAVE FROZEN YOUR ACCOUNT. Hmmm... What activity? There is NO money and NO stocks because you asked for my ID so I did that? What constitutes unusual activity? Perhaps No activity is unusual. Of course, NO ONE can explain why so I sit on hold and transfer and hold. I send another message to customer service via email for fun.

A couple a days later, they answer saying that they need to VERIFY information, but won't tell me what information. They send 16 account alerts to me on a single afternoon. Most refer to the "unusual" activity but one mentions they could not read my ID. Well, here is the thing. IDs now are designed NOT to copy well and fax them in and its worse. So I offer my US Passport which copies better but that is NOT acceptable.

So, needless to say, I give up. I am out nothing because I did NOT ever get around to transferring my securities in. Just keep that all in mind.
     
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trmn8r on 2012-09-01:
I doubt this is the typical experience when someone signs up. There was something unusual about your account. I don't blame you for going elsewhere, because what you describe is a PITR.
Max on 2014-01-20:
Ha, it's January 2014 and I got the same problem with sending my ID and SSN, but then even I sent in a clear copy they could not even scan it in properly and then said they could not read it!. These people all need to be fired and replaced with more intelligent people. Oh now I get it. They employ minimum wage idiots!
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BAD Customer Service Results in What Feels Like STRONG ARM ROBBERY
Posted by on
Rating: 1/51
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- I opened an Etrade account last year (2011) and set-up a regularly scheduled transfer and everything was going as planned until February (2012) when the amount of the transfer was DOUBLE the a lotted amount. I immediately called Etrade Customer Service and was SPECIFICALLY TOLD 'There was a GLITCH in the system and that this would not happen again and that they have looked into my account and if I was to have the extra money that was transferred refunded that it would have repicutions on me come tax time or for the early redemption clause on the mutual fund that I had been purchasing".

So now fast forward to May (2012) the extra money had still been being transferred into my IRA account but I was able to manage and thought "well this will only benefit me in the long run by making double the contributions I origianlly set off to make" but I had stopped all "automatic buys", and waited for money to show up in my IRA and than I would personally purchase right, this is what I was told that I can do on ANOTHER call with Etarde Customer Service, but get this here I am in May and I realize my account is in the NEGATIVE, so I call them on Monday to get this straightened out and was told that one of my AUTOMATIC TRANSFERS would clear in 2 days and that I should call back than and figure out what I need to do to keep this from happening again.

I get a call 3 days later explaining to me that I need transfer money into my account immediately to cover the cash call or Etrade will be forced to sell shares in order to cover the negative amount holding me responsible for any and all tax liabilities in the future unless I do a quick transfer. My complaint is why was this dragged out until I hit a negative amount when I origianlly called about this 3 1/2 months ago and the fact that it was their wrong doing and mis information that caused this so why I am the one being penalized for their mistakes. They should be one's who have to wait until the next transfer in order to cover the negative portion of the account.
     
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Just try to get your money
Posted by on
Unbelievable! Due to a personal emergency I needed to liquidate stock and access the funds. First of course is the joke of a $20+ 'trading fee' but then I started the process one week PLUS before I needed the funds. I get the whole SEC excuse for the 3 days to settle (although I am not sure just how entirely accurate that is) but then once the 'quick transfer' to my bank account was initiated what entailed was ridiculous. When 24 hours had passed with zero activity at my bank I called. What I was then told was it would another FOUR business days before the funds would available to my bank! What?!?!? so with a holiday in the middle and two weekends the time frame from executing a trade to actual deposit would be TWELVE DAYS. Of course they would do it sooner if I would simply 'pay' $25 dollars for a wire transfer! What happened next says it all. When the CSR offered to cancel the 'quick transfer' in order to do a wire transfer the funds were IMMEDIATELY available back in my account. So ... it takes 9 days on top of the three day settling period to have the funds available to the owner of those funds but essentially when you make a deposit INTO your account it's instaneous and instantaneously held captive by e*trade. Caveat emptor, and even though it's likely not significant to e*trade I will be liquidating ALL the funds at once and moving them to where I can actually access and use them when needed. Keep in mind I am not upset about the trading period but the idea that they hold on to funds for a week in this day and age of electronic transfers ... that's almost the same if not worse than the days of handling it all by paper. FTR, my Fidelity and Ameritrade accounts have ALWAYS posted deposit requests to my personal bank account within the SAME day. Buyer beware and do yourself a favor and simply stay away.
     
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E*TRADE BROKERAGE NOT FOR THE MEEK OR FAINT OF HEART
Posted by on
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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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.
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.
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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Watch Out for Extremely High Fees - Avoid
Posted by on
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 targeting 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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Anonymous on 2009-09-19:
Takes money to make money! Services are never free.
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Formal Complaint Policy Procedures
Posted by on
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 set up the account online, and I took their advise, my Goodness, this time it went OK, 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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Anonymous on 2008-02-05:
They must have put all of their effort into the super bowl commercial.
Anonymous on 2008-02-05:
SuperBowl, is that true?
richfirst on 2008-03-21:
Did you get your money back?
U should file complaint with USTreasury - Office of Thrift Supervision:
www.ots.treas.gov
E*Trade Bank HQ is in Arlington, VA, so is regulated by the Southeast division of OTS.
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Diabolical Customer Service and Support
Posted by on
Four weeks ago E-trade advertised a great rate for a 6 month CD. I opened an account on Jan. 3 which was quite easy, called a few days later to give them my bank details as they had instructed me to do, i.e., routing number and checking account number. After that call they told me in seven days my money would be transferred out of the my checking account and into my new CD account. It is now January 31, 2008 and they still have not transferred the money.

When you call to tell them of the problem, which I did as soon as I saw that it was over 7 days and my money is still sitting in a non earning interest checking account they told me they would have to open a work flow number and it would take 2 business days. I called on a Thursday and asked them if they could tell me why the money could not be transferred before the weekend? The pleasant, but very scripted and robotics customer service person keep repeating the policy. I told her I needed to know that my "guaranteed" rate will still take effect.. and the unknown delays would not impact it, she said... oh no, I can't guarantee that.. told me to wait until I received a letter in the mail after the transfer was completed, and if it was not the rate I signed on for then I can call back and dispute it!!!! I asked to speak to a manager, however, I was transferer to "a more experience representative." Who repeated exactly what the other person already told. And, was not overly sympathetic to MY problem.

I called back on the Monday (they do not give customer's call backs.. even under the circumstanes ..I had to call them) only to be told that I had to wait until Tuesday (mind you this is 3 weeks later from the time I called to have the money transferred), because I called late in the day back on Thursday so that did not really count!!! I called today, only to be told the same thing.. that my money still did not transfer over and that they did not know why so they would have to open another work flow research application and let me know in two to three business days.. I again asked to speak with a manager, only to have the customer service rep get back on and say...oh my supervisor is on another call.. I said OH I AM SURE SHE IS... so she continued to apologize to me about how sorry she was.. I told her I felt bad for her that she is working for such a poorly managed company who puts them on the front line with no support or back up. She continued to shovel me niceties hoping I'd go away. I told her that I want the rate I was promised.. and that I want the manager to call me not in 3 more days but the next day...ha-ha.. I have a better chance of single-handedly pulling the troops out of Iraq!!

It occurred to me that E-trade reps are trained to handle unhappy customers.. because they are so prepared to take bullets and ranting.. they all stay calm and just apologize and repeat over and over the procedures (which obviously don't work) I work for a 60 Billion dollar company and no one had to train me on how to handle an unhappy customer, they teach me how to make darn sure the customer is happy and treat them how I would want to be treated if I was that person on the other end of the phone. E-trade folks have no sense of urgency or passion.. I say it must come from the top down.

As of today, I have lost money and so has E-trade. I want my rate as a matter of principle but I may have to cut my already great loses and move on and leave E-trade where they belong.. in the dust!

Its sad to see a company that could have so much potential throw it away due to lack of genuine care for the most important parts of their organization...
#1 their customers and #2 their employees.
     
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Principissa on 2008-01-31:
Honestly, after the second time of them telling you two days and it still not happening I would have canceled the account. There are a lot of other places that will appreciate your business.
Anonymous on 2008-01-31:
Our local credit union is paying much higher rates than what eTrade can offer. See if you have one around you.

Princi, right on, Best Answer.
Jo29306 on 2008-03-17:
If you are smart you will run in the other direction. Once they get your money it is almost impossible to get it back. We have had to fight every time. I have been trying to get my CD since last year. Was even willing to pay the penalty for early withdrawal just to get out of E*Trade's clutches. It matured in early February and after numerous emails, telephone calls and faxes I got a thank you not renewing the CD. Not only did they "illegally" renew it they renewed it at half the rate as the year before and it was suspose to always renew at the previous year's rate.
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AN EXAMPLE OF HOW NOT TO INVEST YOUR MONEY
Posted by on
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 because 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…

http://www.e-tradesucks.com/
     
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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?
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 believe 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
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.
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.
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.
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 BUSINESS WITH AND I'M JUST TELLING ABOUT MY EXPERIENCE.

Thanks again. :-)
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.
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.
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.
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,
Chuck

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 through 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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
tnchuck100 on 2006-12-19:
Just a little common sense is all that would have been needed. They could have attempted to contact their deceased client through their 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 its 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!
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.
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.
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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Don't open an account; you won't be able to close it
Posted by on
Summary:
- 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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User Replies:

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?
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.
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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