I opened an etrade account in the latter part of 2001 (or so). I started getting into day trading with some friends at work. For the next couple of years I traded allot, and they made considerable trading fees from me. In the end, I was not that good at it, and lost most of the money I put in.
So, what I did is I kept a stock I like (at that time what was left was only $6-$700) and decided to just let that stock hopefully mature over the years. Which it really didn't, was pretty constant where it stood. Bt I became inactive and allowed my stock position to hopefully accrue and grow over the years. After all thats what savings is suppose to be.
About a year or so later, etrade went and sold my entire stock position, (at the time I think the value of the sale was about $3-$400) and kept all the money for themselves to pay for its 'maintenance fees'
Since having my etrade account, to my knowledge they never EVER sent me any notice that I had to pay any maintenance fees, or to send them any monies to pay for there fees. They sold my position without my authorization. When I contacted them, no one cared, and no one ever responded back to me (when I did it via email), and regular mail. They also did not tell me how much was my maintenance fees, or ever refunded any change from these sale proceeds.
When I sent this to my attorney, who had me send all the ebay agreements over, it appeared like there was interest in the case, but than kind of fizzled off and not pursued.
I know this is only a $3-$400 damage to me, and not allot of money in grander schemes, but I know that this was still improper, and to me if I still held my position, my stock that was originally closer to $600-$700 (don't really recall the exact amounts), could always turn around and become an over $1000 position or more. Won't ever happen now, its a complete total loss for me. I also don't think my account fees should be or ever be $300-$400 for 1-2 years, there should be monies still owed back to me. I could of switched easily to another brokerage account if they were going to charge that much for the little amounts I had mainted there in the end. Not to mention the huge fees they made from me the couple years prior, with all the activity I did with them trading. Something definitely was not right here.
If anyone who has experienced something similar with them, or attorney can offer some assistance with this, I would still like to go after them for this. Was seriously considering filing a small claims court suit against them, but needed a little research or education on which exact violations to pursue. I'm sure there are arbitration clauses and who knows what else in there small print.
On a side note, today I decided to get back into some trading. I opened up a Scottrade account. Etrade will never see a dime from me again. Etrade also has more customer rip off complaints and lawsuit filing announcement on internet search engines than they do about there company info. A sign of a very bad company that just does not seem to get it regarding customer service.