eTradeCustomer service is helpless to assist!

This review was posted by
a verified customer
Verified customer

I am the treasurer for an investment club. We maintain a portfolio valued in the low 6 figures. While not large, I would think this size account would merit decent service from our broker, Etrade, but it does not. We did not choose Etrade, they acquired us when Harris merged with Etrade. During the merger we were sent information related to accessing the new website and account feature but we were not provided with or requested to complete any new account applications for our existing account. In spring of 2006, we changed officers and sent a letter of instruction and club resolution to Etrade indicating the individuals who were to be named as agents for the account. These documents included signatures of the new agents and the club’s officers. Over three months passed with no action or response from Etrade. We called to inquire about the status, we were informed that they received the letter of instruction but did not do as instructed because they need us to complete new account forms. Of course they did not inform us of this situation. We requested the forms, we completed them, had a question about a particular line on the form so I called the help line, through this call I was informed that the forms I had been sent we out of date and they would send me new ones. Pretty inconvenient, as a club, we have many members, getting the signatures of all members on an application is time consuming and difficult, to be told the three pages of signature I had were on the wrong form (which I got from Etrade) is inexcusable, but I got the new form and obtained all of the signatures again. It is by now Fall, the completed brokerage forms, along with a bank account application and a new letter of instruction requesting a transfer from the brokerage to the new bank account were sent to Etrade, all in one package. The bank account was opened, the money transferred, however they will not allow our club’s agents to access the new account or the old account because they say they never got the application (that was in the same package). So they removed money from our brokerage account and placed it into a bank account but will not tell us what the account number is or allow us to access it. And customer service is helpless to assist, they claim to have not received the package (thought they have a copy of the first sheets and acted on the last three sheets of what was in the package) and they suggested that I complete new application forms. Faa, like that is going to happen, we are closing and moving to a full service brokerage. By comparison, in one month, working with Charles Schwab, I have successfully opened three trust accounts, two college saver accounts, a Rollover IRA account transfer, a trust bank account and transferred several stock Drip account balances with only two phone calls and sending forms once.

Jim Gernand


  • Mr
    Mr.L Jun 09, 2009

    I also agree -- polite, but unhelpful (like that old joke about the plane lost in the fog circling the Microsoft campus).
    In my case, I had collected a handful of TWX certificates over a number of years (after my company was acquired and I could exercise-and-hold ISO shares for a "long-term investment" -- believing the AOLTW hype was my first mistake!). I later deposited them in my E*Trade account and had set up the exercise date and price for each lot.
    Along comes the 1-for-3 reverse split. Though all of the other (Non-Qual) shares were handled correctly, i.e. multiplying the exercise prices by 3 and dividing the shares by 3, E*Trade mis-recorded the certificate shares as a 1-for-9 reverse split! The total number of 1-for-3 shares were maintained by E*Trade creating a new lot with no exercise date or price.

    Q: "Look, you did it correctly for one set, can't you correct it for the other set?"
    A: "The information provided in the portfolio is not an official cost basis record, rather it is there for your convenience, and can be edited by you to properly reflect the correct purchase price. For liability reasons, this information will not be adjusted by E*TRADE Securities employees." (Translation: Not our problem.)
    "In order to change the information listed in your portfolio please click on the blue Edit link located on the far right of each position. You may then change any information that is incorrect or missing." (Translation: This is what our script says.)
    Q: "Really? The quantity is incorrect and I can't change it. I can't divide the new combined lot into the original exercise dates and quantities. You think the IRS isn't going to audit me after I sell these and the E*Trade tax report shows a basis that doesn't match my tax return?"
    A: "You are welcome for the information that was provided. I hope everything was handled to your satisfaction. Please let us know if there is anything else that we can help you with. Thank you." (Translation: Now go away.)

    Note that all through this Cust Service never acknowledged the original problem -- that there was a recalculation error. Does make you want to reexamine all of your E*Trade statements...

    0 Votes
  • Pl
    pl26 May 28, 2009

    I agree that Etrade's Customer Service is the complete opposite of the word and definition. It is ironic and shocking that they even have a Dept with this name! They do not value their customers, their time or money, nor appreciate the fact that they merely exist on the benefit of customers who hold $money/funds w/ them. They "only want" your money and never want to help you with managing, growing it nor do they want to release your money back to you when you want or need it. Furthermore, they only want to release your money back to you for additional fees (wires, processing fees, etc) and would only do so at extremely long and intricate internal operating procedures that make NO business sense. Etrade is UNfit to be called a financial services company, they do not understand business nor the advancement of available technology to service any customers that come to them. Again, Etrade does NOT understand the meaning of service, let alone "Financial serviceS" -- is this the reason for their demise in the recent credit crisis and was only able to exist through the benefit or capital infusion of a legitimate financial services company?! I wonder how long Etrade will survive on their antics of so-called customer service or financial services??? Words of advice: Seeking financial services of any kind, do yourself a favor and go anywhere but etrade!

    0 Votes
  • Vi
    Vic Nizic Feb 01, 2009

    Etrade are thieves. They closed my account two years ago but still have the $14, 700 (the value of the account when closed). If you are not a US citizen and do not live in the USA they have you over a barrel. My lawyer described them as "selective scammers" and said the short version of the contract is "If you give us your money, they you authorise us to do with it as we please".

    I still get a monthly statement through email and it shows the $14, 700 less their monthly account fees and it appears all investments and interest has stopped.

    They won't take my calls and my later advised that his cost to persue the case would be more than the account is worth. In total the fund I had started for my grandchildren is worthless, and the people who have stolen it will not speak to me, answer my letters or emails.

    I cannot believe I fought wars so these donkey's can take our money.

    0 Votes
  • Ma
    Marc Hickham Oct 17, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    My experience is similar:
    ETRADE Securities
    671 N. Glebe Road, 10th Floor
    Arlington, Va. 22203

    Re: Account:
    Attn. Mr. Donald Layton
    Mr Layton,
    To be brief:

    With the condition of the stock market, I thought that this would be a great opportunity to purchase some stock. I was looking for a expedient solution, and ETRADE looked like a viable option. I was ready to do some trades.
    I transferred $2000.00 into an ETRADE account this weekend. I did this via your online website. After making the transfer from my bank account to ETRADE (transaction complete) I found that there was a four day hold period on my funds. I wasn’t too happy about that, but it was too late.
    I contacted ETRADE today (10/08) and found out that there is an additional 7 day hold on my funds, though it was verified that you are indeed in possession of my funds as of today. In essence that gives you the use of my funds for another 7 days, and there are (to my disappointment) still no trades for me. It seems very unreasonable considering that we are in an age of electronic transfers that you would hold my funds for such a length of time.
    This is ridicules and bad business. I had hopes of doing some trades, but you guys are so hard to work with. I also spent a lot of time on the phone to your representatives trying to sort this thing out. I was put on hold for a long time. You should release my funds immediately. I wish to close this account immediately. I expect to be refunded my money immediately.
    THIS HAS BEEN A HASSLE AND A BIG DISAPPOINTMENT. I will not recommend ETRADE to any of my friends, (all who invest heavily). Close my account and refund my funds. I will file an FTC complaint. This is a bad policy that needs to be corrected.

    0 Votes
  • Gl
    Glen May 03, 2008
    This comment was posted by
    a verified customer
    Verified customer

    Etrade has locked my account.
    They said to me that they cannot tell me why because
    they are not sure that I'm me, I ask to call back me on my wired phone but they disagree.
    They ask me to send a NOLA mail only to tell me what the problem is. Account was "secured" from three months and my mail was still delivered to etrade, but they don't call me back. Etrade has to completely rewiew his policy and to radically change his customer's service.

    0 Votes

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