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Computershare / Seems like a scam

1 United States Review updated:

I was interested in buying stock in a public company and the company's website referred me to Computershare. I visited Computershare's site but noticed the lack of live contact ability. There was an address in Canton MA and (I think) one in RI. I started to go through the on line purchase process but then backed out as I realised I didn't know anything about this outfit. I did a Google and Yahoo search and nothing substantial came up. Also searched under Consumer reviews and only found this Complaints Board site. Asked around the office and no-one had heard of them. I saw nothing on their site, anywhere, documenting how a person's online purchase of stock with them would be documented and recorded. I emailed Computershare twice asking for someone to contact me to verify who they are and to provide some evidence of a non-Enron/Madoff/Fannie Mae profile. I have never heard a thing. Now I suspect that this outfit is tied in to DC and a bunch of corrupt politicans who are keeping them afloat because if they were truly market based they'd be more responsive and interested in new business. This one doesn't pass the sniff test and I'm staying clear of it.

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  • Ro
      13th of Nov, 2013
    +2 Votes

    I had horrible experience with Computer Shares for the wire transfer. Initally I provided incorrect routing information and that started the downfall. It took them over 2 months to figure out what was wrong and reissue remittence. Their customer service is horrible. They have no respect to people's time and money. Even when I provided correct routing information, they took 11 days to start the transfer. What a company !! I would ask anyone to stay away from this company, if they can.

  • Cy
      20th of Nov, 2013
    +3 Votes

    I sold a bunch of stock and gave them a letter of instruction of what to do. I paid 30 bucks to overnight it and when I called them the next day they mailed it regular mail after cashing my check to cover over night fees. I will never do business with these crooked [censored]ers again. They have the worse customer service I have ever dealt with. My best advice is use caution, they will tell you one thing and turn around and do the opposite of what they told you they will do. A class action lawsuit would straight there ### out.

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @cyabyebye1 Have you manged to get your issue resolved.

  • Co
      22nd of Nov, 2013
    +2 Votes

    Why nobody in USA does a lawsuit against Computershare? They are definitively crooks and thiefs! For people living in rest of the world ( Europe for instance) it's impossible to sell their stocks! We have our account locked for over a year now, countless phone calls ended up with no positive result! It sucks, I can not understand how is possible that nobody in USA suited them untill now!!! In Europe they would have been out of the market since long time for that! There are some minimum of laws that protect citizens from this kind of situations in most of European countries, doens't USA laws work in the same way???

  • Cr
      30th of Dec, 2013
    +1 Votes


    I'm currently trying to sell my shares of whatever company. They're telling me that I have to wait every 3 months to sell on average, about 1.5 shares each transaction. I have 10 shares I don't want, so do the math.

    They also told me, that I can't sell my "class A shares", until I "convert" to "class B shares". And of course, I can't fax this confusing form in. I have to snail mail it in. And then they say they'll sit on it for "4 to 5 business days" before they'll cut me a check.

    This is stonewalling, and it's bull. It takes these companies 2.5 seconds to take money out of my account, but weeks to get it back in there. Knowing the cheap company I used to buy stocks from, I figure that this would be the broker I'd get stuck with.

  • An
      23rd of Jan, 2014
    +4 Votes

    For sure, ComputerShare is a legitimate company.

    That said, in my opinion they offer a very poor service: long waits on their phone tree to talk with a human being; customer support personnel give customers incorrect information; the company is unreliable at executing stock orders.

    I recommend you choose another company to do business with.

  • Le
      20th of Mar, 2014
    +2 Votes

    I had a horrendous dealing with Computershare (U.S), as of two weeks ago. I have shares in a company that was listed on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX). The companies share price and trade volume were not going so well due to an illiquid market in Australia so they decided to de-list from the ASX and apply for listing in the NASDAQ. Due to this the shares were transferred from Commsec to Computershare (US). It took four weeks for me to receive my letter form computershare notifying me they were now in charge of my shares and to create an online account with them. I created the online account only to login and told I needed to wait for a pin to be posted to me and verify my account. I called them and had the account activated over the phone all well and good. I then wanted to sell my shares and they said I can only sell up to $25000 worth on the phone so I said I will update my details and do it online. I updated my details and then went to sell my shares only to get to the last step of the process and have a notification saying I have to wait for an address change letter to be sent, signed and sent back. I called them and asked why. They said it is policy and I have to wait a fortnight or for the letter to be returned. Your address cannot be verified over the phone nor can we email you forms and you sign them and email them back. I stated I was from Australia and they still wouldn't do it. So I tried to sell them over the phone again however I was only allowed to sell up to $5000 now due to the unverified address change. I thought this was a little odd. So I went to bed annoyed as there was nothing I could do. Next morning I get up, check my stocks and they have all of a sudden dropped from $18 per unit to $3 per unit. My investment down to $5200 from $32000. I thought what a uncanny coincidence and to add further insult two days later I get an email saying that I can now sell my stock as my address has been verified!!! So how is it they wouldn't allow me to sell them and the share price drops %75 and they allow me to sell them. So [censored] you computershare. There fees are also ridiculous!! $15 per sale, plus another $15 if someone does it over the phone for you, plus 15c per share sold. So I was looking at $281.85 (US) $311.80 (AUS) to sell my shares if they did sell anyway. I have now had my shares transferred from the useless pr%cks at Computershare (US) and transferred back to Commsec international trading. In short. FIND SOME ONE OTHER THAN COMPUTERSHARE (US) TO BE YOUR STOCK BROKER!

  • Co
      6th of Jun, 2014
    +4 Votes

    Have held some stock for well over 20 years. Computershare has been managing the accounts records for most of that time. I recently decided to transfer the stock to my broker to sell it. I had the stock certificated in hand; mailed them to the broker who then contacted Computershare to get them transferred. They said they were confiscated!! I have been on the phone five times over two months attempting to resolve the issue. Nothing but "it's under investigation" . I have decided to turn it over to legal counsel. They have been the worst, how are they able to remain in business?

  • Th
      10th of Jul, 2014
    +3 Votes

    I have XOM, KO, and other shares - which were all originally held directly with the companies. Which had wonderful shareholder's services departments. All were transfered to Computershares. Who are the exact opposite of wonderful. I could not access my account online - on the phone multiple times on multiple days. They insisted that their wite worked perfectly for them - using my information. So it must be something wrong with my computer. I went to the library and could access my account easily - on a PC. At home mine computers are all Mac. So I called Computershares and explained what I thought I had found. And they said (I am not making this up!):

    "Oh; we upgraded our computer system recently - it doesn't work with Apple computers any more."

    Well; I only have Apple computers. Just like 15 or 20% of the rest of the world and likely your customer base. Now what?

    "You will have to buy a Windows computer sir. That is the only way to access out system now."

    (I am not making that up! Those are exact quotes from their, so-called, customer service department.

    Oh; and they also want An Entire Year's Worth of dividends as a 'fee' to replace a lost stock certificate.

    Dealing with Computershares is madness. If you have the opportunity - run far and fast and never ever look back.

    Stephen Scott

  • Th
      10th of Jul, 2014
    0 Votes

    I see it doesn't pay to type when I'm pissed off - the above reads in parts like a two year old wrote it out.

    Stephen Scott

  • Fe
      2nd of Sep, 2014
    +1 Votes

    I was thrown into Computershare when Saralee turned into Hillshire and another foreign beverage company. Now Hillshire is bought by Tyson. I can't wait to get away from this "Company" ... something seemed fishy from the start with these guys two years ago. It's difficult to get a real person to help you. When you have a legit question they tell you they will get back to you. When you call them back a month later because they never call you back, they tell you they are still working on it. Really ? As far as getting your settlement checks. Good luck ! It seems like they are working in the 1970's. It takes forever and they cannot tell you or track it. Horrible. Stay away if you can but all the large companies are now dumping their responsibility into this poorly managed "Company"

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @fedupwiththeseguys Have you managed to get your issue resolved.

  • Ca
      11th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    I have read the 2 pages of complaints and agree with every one's assessment. ComputerShare sucks! I feel fortunate that I was able to pull my money out but it took 5 days from date of request. My major complaint is the lack of transparency on the on-line statement regarding detail of funds, the inability to be a able to speak to a live person and the system that will not accept your challenge questions..

    *They hold restricted shares for UPSers for 5 years and then release the shares to Merrill Lynch after the shares matures to the 6th year.
    No one can tell me what happened to my 5 years of dividends while CS had custody! So my advice to all, pull your money as soon as your plan allows and transfer to reputable banking institution. .

    *When you dial CS and you get a computer on the other end, just dial 0. That usually worked for me and it got me to a live voice. When you do speak to a live voice, take good notes and get the name of the person you are talking to.

    * The challenge question complaint, complaints about revolving passwords and user name is common with this company. My advise to all, pull you money as soon as you can. Share this complaint board with fellow employees. Perhaps CS will get the message as hard working folks react!

  • Dj
      17th of Sep, 2014
    0 Votes

    Computershare holds stock that I acquired through the IBM employee stock purchase plan. I wanted to set up my account as a TOD (transfer on death) beneficiary account with 50 percent going to each of my two children. This was very easy with my
    Fidelity, T. Rowe Price, and Vanguard mutual fund accounts and also very easy with my Charles Schwab and TD Ameritrade brokerage accounts. By very easy I mean just fill out a simple form identifying who will get what percentage and send it in.

    Not so with Computershare. Computershare can’t handle a simple percentage split like the rest of the world. In order to accomplish the 50/50 split that I wanted, I had to establish two separate accounts each with half the shares. The forms to do this required a Medallion Signature Guarantee, something no other mutual fund or brokerage required. After the new two separate accounts were set up I could not log onto them because Computershare hadn’t told me what the new account numbers were. My old account number was still active but showed zero shares with no hint of where the shares went. After I called them for the new numbers I still
    couldn’t log on because … guess what … they need me to send in yet two more forms, one W4 for each new account.

    I spent a lot of my time and used a lot of Computershare employee time trying to get this thing set up. Computershare will probably recoup their money because now if I sell shares, and want to keep the two accounts even (for my intended 50/50 split), I’ll have to sell the same number of shares from each account, resulting in Computershare getting two commissions. And their commissions are substantially higher than other stock brokers.

    Computershare seems like a company that is still in the 1970s both from an operational and web-site perspective. The people who answered the phone were pleasant enough but have no clue about how backward their company really is.

    I agree with the Sep. 2014 post that this seems to be a very “poorly managed company” and I also don’t understand why any corporation would do business with them.

  • Ji
      3rd of Oct, 2014
    +1 Votes

    Absolute crap site. I have been trying to get a record of my stock holdings and have been given the runaround by this lousy site for over a year now. Had to change my email address on file, and the result has been a nightmare. You can't send a real email to anyone in charge, just kibbitz with Penny, the online hack. Then there are the painful series of stupid security questions you need to wade through. If you fail them online, they send you a secuirty "verification" by snail mail wasting more of time. Went through this mail process once, followed the instructions, and my access still failed. I would call, but I'm sure I'd be wasting more and more of my time. Dreadful site.

  • An
      4th of Dec, 2014
    +2 Votes

    Horrible customer service! My mother has dementia and cannot sign legal docs. I had to hire an attorney to make them accept a POA signed 6 months earlier to BEGIN to sell her Boeing stock. Seems they don't know that POA's don't expire. At the end of September, I sent a signature medallion guarantee, letter of instruction, POA, and letter from Doctor, more than they finally agreed to accept from me. They sold the stock October 20, the day the stock price was the lowest it had been in months. It is now December 2 and I still don't have the check for the stock sale! Each time I call I get a different story and I'm told I have to do something else. About to pay attorney AGAIN! All this is about to cause my mom to move to a lesser quality living facility as all her money is in the stocks that these ###s, who can't think their way out of a paper sack, sold, but won't pay me for. An EASY transaction gone so awry!

  • On
      1st of Jan, 2015
    0 Votes

    I just received a "Form W-9 Request for Taxpayer Identification Number and Certification". Needless to say, I've never had an account with this company, despite their threats that my "account may be subject to backup withholding at the applicable tax rate on all dividends and sale proceeds" and various other faux legal language.

    It's too obviously a SCAM to do anything but trash it. I just checked online to see if the DoJ or FBI were collecting information on them. Obviously, these people need to be shut down pronto.

  • Jp
      12th of Jan, 2015
    +3 Votes

    Computershare is difficult at best to work with. That said it is a very cheap way to accumulate stocks with small investments over time. Certainly should not think of this company as a brokerage, nor use them with the idea of selling until you want to move out of a position as you have no timing and the cost will be 2-3 times what you would pay your online broker to sell.
    Most surprising is the lack of current software interface to Quicken or even a functional onboard software. I am curious, what US government agency would control them? The SEC?
    If so I bet there are a lot of complaints

  • Bi
      14th of Feb, 2015
    +3 Votes

    I have recently written to this company after the death of my brother in law who had shares held by Computershare (Jersey)Ltd. Although the share value is only £300 they advised that there was an oustanding payment due of £50. It might still seem worthwhile but then they stated that if the estate was below £10k formalities could be dispensed with by applying for a Jersey Grant of Probate. I then had two options. 1/ If i applied for a Grant of Representation I would need to send the original Grant bearing the impressed seal of the court or a certified copy. The certified copy needs to be stamped and certified in ink by a solicitor. Also, their Statutory Declaration also needed to be completed by the Executors and also verified by a solicitor and a £47.50 fee. Their second option was equally impossible and required the payment of a £128 fee. This is totally absurd for a £300 investment! I can only conclude that this company does not want to release these funds and is putting as many barriers in the way to prevent the release of these funds. I have dealt with other companies with far larger sums of invested money and had not had to jump through so many hoops while balancing a pint glass on my head! I will not be proceeding any further with this and certainly will not be investing any of my own hard earned cash with this company. That is unless I am proved wrong, in which case I will gladly write to correct the above observations.

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Bill EVANS You are absolutely correct about them...did you ever manage to get your issue resolved.

  • Za
      25th of Feb, 2015
    +1 Votes

    I too, have a story of woe in dealing with computershare.

    I acquired some shares through a staff acquisition program, and so they sat for a few years accumulating. Upon leaving my employer, i contacted computershare and they said i needed to create an online account before anything could happen. I did this, but the online setup insisted the password had to be sent to my work email, that the company had registered with them - an email address i can no longer access as I've left said company. Anyway, I had to ring the UK (from Australia) to get the account opened. I went to log in some 3 - 4 weeks later once i received my holding statement from them in the mail, with the intention of selling my shares. However, my account had been deleted, despite receiving the holing update (my address changed when i changed jobs, so i knew that had worked!). Anyway, i still haven't managed to sell the shares, and like everyone else, attempts to speak to anyone have been met with utter frustration at the blinding incompetence on the other end. Their phone and internet faq systems spiral into repeating loops, which make them utterly hopeless. Most of my friends are professionals, and like me hold a broad range of shares. I will be very strongly encouraging them to run a mile if the name computershare comes up.

  • Ec
      26th of Feb, 2015
    +1 Votes

    Just stumbled on this site today and am not surprised to hear there are others who despise Computershare as much as me.

    I've been an active DRIP trader in several stocks since 2003. I've used just about every transfer agent out there and Computershare is BY FAR the WORST. Not only is their customer service (if you can even call it that) essentially non-existent. But their website is a hack and full of bugs. For example, and this has happened many times, I will make a purchase online in my individual account but the shares will appear a few days later in my joint account! Come on, seriously?! This is an agency controlling hundreds of millions of dollars and they can't even keep the accounts straight! SCARY!!!

    In September of 2013 I decided to make a serious effort to contact them about fixing this blatant bug on their website. After many hours and days on the phone fighting my way through their Filipino call center, where hardly anybody speaks English and all are devoid of critical thinking and logical deduction, I decided to change tactics. I made a formal email complaint with the Investor Services department at one of the stocks I hold at Computershare, in this case it was Health Care REIT. The very next day I received an email response from Computershare.

    I received a response from:
    Judy Hsu
    Vice President > Relationship Management
    300 Galleria Parkway
    Suite 1020
    Atlanta, GA. 30339
    T +1 770 818 1153
    C +1 404 234 9123
    F +1 770 818 1160

    I immediately began an email correspondence with her and she agreed to getting the website bug resolved. As I'm sure you guessed, after 1.5 years and dozens of emails back and forth with Judy, Computershare has STILL NOT FIXED this bug on their website. I just emailed her again today.

    Another discouraging trend is that more and more companies are moving their transfer agent needs to Computershare - likely lured over by reduced costs. And Computershare is buying the few remaining reliable transfer agents. (Apparently a company can become quite cash rich by cutting costs in every aspect of their business and ripping off their customers with absurd fees.) The latest acquisition victim was Registrar Transfer & Trust Co. All of the accounts I held there are now at Computershare through no choice of my own! Nightmare!

    But there is a solution!
    If enough people complain we can make a difference. We can either get Computershare to fix their website and customer service and remove their stupid fees. Or, we can persuade companies to leave Computershare and move to another transfer agent. In my 12 years experience dealing with transfer agent, the best, hands down, is Wells Fargo Shareowner Services.

    I am more in favor of option 2 and ridding my life of Computershare forever. I am asking everyone who has commented to this post to contact the Investor Relations department at each stock they own that is held at Computershare. Explain to them how HORRIBLE Computershare is and that you will no longer invest in their company unless they switch to Wells Fargo. Include a link to all of these posts so they can read for themselves.

    If you would like to vent your frustrations with Computershare or need a question answered - go ahead and contact Judy Hsu above! Maybe if we fill her email inbox and voicemail inbox with enough complaints something will be done, but very doubtful, right?

    Never Give Up!

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @ECSurfer There seems to be endless complaints and no solutions have been forth coming. Did you manage to get your issue resolved.

  • No
      15th of May, 2015
    +2 Votes

    I just found this site, and for years I have despised Computershare. I inherited stocks from my late husband from companies that had chosen Computershare as their transfer agent. Suffice to say that dealing with this company was an absolute nightmare! It is the most negligent and corrupt organization employed with mind-numbingly incompetent ###s. Computershare never transferred the stocks to me after my attorney sent in the estate documents and all of the other paperwork required to satisfy the arcane procedures regarding stock transfers. Despite repeated attempts calling and speaking with idiots, resubmitting the same documentation over and over, Computershare only transferred one of the seven stock accounts into my name. More attempts and frustration ensued. When the one company's stock that they had transferred was bought by another company and I was told to send in the certificate for a replacement (which I did by certified mail and got a receipt), I never received the new certificate. Again and again, I sent correspondence regarding this and the other accounts they still had not transferred to my name, and again and again I was sent a form letter for replacement of lost certificate and was instructed to pay a large bond and processing fees. They had the certificate, so why should I pay to replace a certificate that wasn't missing?! When I got remarried and submitted documentation (numerous times) for name change, Computershare never complied. I spent years trying to get these jerks to do their job. All in all, it took SEVEN years for this negligent company just to transfer the other 6 stock accounts to me but only after intervention and assistance from my investment broker's legal department. By this time (2009) two of the stock accounts that contained hundreds of shares had tanked drastically in value so I lost tens of thousands of dollars during the time that Computershare screwed around and failed to transfer the stocks into my name. I immediately had the stocks transferred away from Computershare to my investment account and vowed never to deal with Computershare again. It is disheartening to discover that more and more corporations are using Computershare's "services" and the shareholder does not have a choice. This is especially so because I recently received a notice about a stock owned by my late husband that has been dormant, and now I am being instructed to claim my assets through Computershare. I think I will just wait the years until they send the assets to the unclaimed property division of my state where it is easier (and free) to claim your property, which is what I finally did with all of the money from the dividend checks that could not be negotiated during the seven year period that Computershare held my stocks hostage.

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @NolaGurl There are endless complaints and nothing has changed. Are there still unresolved issues from your side.

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