eTrade — Customer service is helpless to assist!
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line on the form so I called the help line, through this call I was informed that the forms I had been sent we out of date and they would send me new ones.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.
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