Morgan Stanley Smith Barney / Mishandling account and excessive fees

Lutherville, MD, United States

Be very careful or you will get taken advantage of. If you are a big investor with lots of money, they may take better care of you, but if you are just a normal person with a modest savings and retirement portfolio, they won't work very hard for you. Don't expect prompt return phone calls or emails unless you constantly follow up, like 5 or 10 times.

Make sure to put everything in writing and document everything. Every conversation and every request for a transaction. That way when they ignore your request you have something to stand on.

Watch the fees charged very carefully. They charged us for 3 accounts AFTER we closed them down!

Basically, last August, the MSSB guy came to the house and was told to move money and send a prospectus of what we discussed buying. A few weeks later I still didn't get anything so I tried to get in touch with him. Since he never responded to emails, I called and he says “oh, the money’s moved but I didn’t send anything because we decided you shouldn’t buy now”. Ok…Jan 1st comes, I’m working on my taxes when I realize MSSB never moved the money in August. I called the next day and MSSB guy says “I don’t know how that could be, I’ll check it out and get back to you.” Three days go by…no phone call…so I called his boss. He doesn’t know anything about this and asks "why didn’t I tell him", -well what do you think I’m doing???? Then he has the nerve to send an email to me, ccing his legal dept, which he states what my investment strategy and motivations for moving my money are….never once does he address the issue or problem. This is now 6 days after the first phone call….and my money is still not moved. We immediately began the process of closing our MSSB accounts moving our money to any place but MSSB only to be charged for 2012 fees and transfer fees to the tune of $500. When we asked to get the 2012 fees returned (which they are not entitled to), legal wants us to sign a release making us promise to never talk about this in public!


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