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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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  • Jo
      2nd of Jun, 2010
    +7 Votes

    Their web site sucks big time. It's like the web sites that were developed in early ages of internet. Anyway here is more info about ComputerShare and I agree with you, they should have better customer support.

  • Co
      7th of Jun, 2012
    Best Best Advice +7 Votes

    Computershare is a company used by legitimate companies who may or may not know any better to manage their customer's directly purchased stocks at (presumably) discount rates, including paying dividends to shareholders, etc. It has the worst customer service I have ever encountered. They insist on mailing you information to confirm your identity after you have already verified your DOB, SS#, and god knows what else if you want to change anything. The company's business model seems to be essentially... make it cheap for companies to hire us, make it insanely difficult for customers to leave. F*#$ THAT!

    I am getting my money. I just graduated from college and don't have the luxury of donating my 1k in KO stock to their incompetency. I will hound them.

    Note to person above, it is actually possible to get a "live" person on the phone through their automated system, but you need to trick it. I told it I needed help filing out an account ownership transfer form. The person seemed half-dead and was perhaps less helpful than the computer, but it was technically a person.

    This company is decidedly not a pyramid scheme. They lack the requisite flashiness. They would never make it far using that kind of model. Instead, they are more like quicksand. Your money goes in and doesn't come out. It just gathers at the bottom where you can see it and perhaps poke it with a stick but not really get to it without investing huge amount of time and/or paying stupidly large fees for a discount brokerage.

    There are a number of decent discount brokerages online. Many have free accounts with no minimum balance. Buy your stocks through one of these. They are reviewed annually in Smart Money magazine and elsewhere. Just search "discount brokerage rankings" and you should find what you are looking for (an easy way to buy and manage your stocks cheaply and conveniently).

    I, myself, am currently switching to Fidelity for a variety of reasons.

    One thing to say in computershare's favor. They have a program where you can redeem dividend checks that you forgot to cash by having them reissued electronically into your account. I haven't seen a similar program on any of the other investment sites. Though, I think they all use electronic deposits into a central account or dividend reinvestment so having your dividend checks expire may be a non-issue for them.

    You, of course, must go through several obnoxious account verification steps to reach the point where you can use this feature, including that aforementioned 10 day waiting period for something they sent by snail mail.. The most aggravating part of this whole process is that the delay gives you plenty of time to forget what you needed to do and push it to the back burner.

    The whole point of the company's design seems to be to increase customer inertia so they give up, like Hokievandal and leave their money where it is.

  • Do
      28th of Oct, 2012
    +6 Votes

    Computershare is horrible.

    I had the "fortune" of my employer's stock purchase plan being transferred to this joke of a company. My company probably saved a few dollars, and it's clear why Computershare's bid was lower.

    Their website is something that looks like it came from 1995. When you want to sell your stock, it asks for things that are completely irrelevant or country-specific. E.g. it requires you to enter a zip code in a UK format... even if you live in the US. And it won't even tell you what is wrong - it simply refuses the continue to the next page with no explanation.

    They will send you letters that they are "merging your holdings, " and go on to state there are four possible reasons for that, but then they neglect to say which is the case for you. Oh did I mention I never gave an order to do so, leaving me to wonder what the heck is going on and if my account has been hacked.

    Their letters will instruct you to call a certain phone number for help, but that number won't match what's printed on the letterhead. Oh, did I mention they have no US toll-free number? Because clearly the customer base in the US isn't large enough to warrant it... so enjoy calling the UK at 2 dollars a minute. Oh, and if you live on the west coast (or god forbid, Alaska or Hawaii), that just means you'll have to get up at 2 in the morning)

    When you complain to them, they don't respond to your emails. When you complain again and use stronger language, they contact your employer to ### about you, breaking

    Avoid this pond-### at all cost.

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @doejohn Have you managed to get your issue resolved. They have no right to call your company and complain.

  • Do
      27th of Jun, 2011
    +6 Votes

    Computershare is a RIP OFF...I was rifted from my company in April 2009. I had them sell my stock shares immediately. There was one left over somehow. Today it's value is $73.10 and after all the fees associated with them I am going to get a check for $37.98...Give me a break. They say they send you certificates. I never received one. That is $20 right there, and a $15.12 selling fee. There is no reason one share should have been left in there. SCAM BEWARE!!!

  • Ho
      12th of Feb, 2012
    +5 Votes

    Computershare is horrible. I've about given up on ever getting the $2, 000 worth of shares I own (company put stock with Comptershare). Impossible to reach. Impossible to access from the web. May not be a scam but not far from it. I've given a 'donation' to Computershare and warn all from getting mixed up with this bogus company. Yes... it does seem like a scam.

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    +1 Votes

    @Hokievandal You are still within the time limit to recover your money. Time to act is now.

  • Sm
      13th of Jul, 2011
    +4 Votes


  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @SMWEMBIA Did you manage to get your issue resolved as we have seen this before.

  • Ti
      6th of Jul, 2013
    +4 Votes

    UPS started using ComputerShare for stock purchases, transfers, etc. First thing I noticed was my old password didn't work. Then after getting numerous temporary passwords sent to me via email, I was still unable to access my information. There was a message that my security questions were required and invalid? Figure that out. After getting the security questions to finally work, I never got past the account password re-set. Not sure why, there was no info provided except that my " password had expired". Even the online chat agent "Penny", was pre-programmed with useless responses. The acronym POS fits this company's service behavior.

  • Ch
      8th of Aug, 2013
    +4 Votes

    Seems like a scam to me. We've been MetLife customers for 20 years and have been receiving dividend checks for years. Now we've received a "Verify your SSN" form from CS which says if we don't mail them our SSN then they'll hold our checks and we'll get fined by the IRS. So if we've been customers receiving checks for all these years, why just now ask us for SSNs? MetLife had our SSNs years ago. Smells like a phishing scam to me.

  • Ze
      3rd of Mar, 2018
    0 Votes

    @Chris in Orlando Did you manage to get your issues resolved.

  • 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?

  • 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 fuc%kers 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.

  • Si
      18th of Oct, 2010
    +3 Votes

    they are in mass? good catholics huh

  • An
      23rd of Jan, 2014
    +3 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.

  • 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

  • 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.

  • Me
      4th of Dec, 2015
    +3 Votes

    I have been trying for 5 months to remove my dead husband's name from our joint account and sell the stock (worth only about $1k). I have sent letters, filled out forms, talked (with difficulty) to them on the phone. Each time they say I have to fill out another form. I have had forms notarized; I have sent the death certificate; I have sent the obituary; I have sent affidavit of domicile and heaven knows what else. I have never encountered such poor service in my life. Did I forget to mention that I've already sent them more than $80? If they ever get around to selling my stock, they'll collect another $15 or so. This has to be the worst company ever.

  • Vi
      7th of Mar, 2016
    +3 Votes

    Oshkosh uses these crooks for employee stock purchases as well.. Everything seems fine until you want to sell and that's when they really stick it to you. Aside from that, there is a $35 dollar fee to withdraw money via check/wire and I paid about $100+ in fees selling $1000 worth of shares that took 3-4 days after I sold them to finally go through. That's outrageous and also your dividends get fees as well. For the $1.53 I got in dividends $1 was charged in fees Thanks Computer Share you really know how to f$#k me when I try to leave you!!

  • No
      6th of Jul, 2016
    +3 Votes

    Agree 10000% with the person who said they're horrible in the event of a death. I'm my dad's executor and they are doing exactly what he said...burying me in requests for more documents. Often the same ones multiple times. Either their heads are fully up their @sses or they're the evil spawn of Satan. AVOID.

  • 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???

  • 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.

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