I used to Love Etrade, Now I am Ready to Toss Them
I opened an Etrade brokerage account back in 1996 and loved the lower commissions and easy access to trading. Now adays Etrade seems to have higher commissions than their competitors and I think the customer service is horrible. With my latest series of Etrade problems, I have had enough.
Back in November I logged into my Etrade brokerage account and was just reviewing my account activity and was surprised to see a line item for "Mandatory Reorg fee" for $20. It appeared to be for the exchange of 1 share of Palmsource stock for cash (as a result of a buyout of the company) that I got from the Palm spinoff. The share only netted me $18.50 in cash so I was a little mad that it somehow cost me $20 to get the $18.50 for the share.
On November 19th I submitted a help request on their web site to inquire about the "Mandatory Reorg fee" and to see if they could remove it since it seemed crazy that the fee was worth more than the stock. I immediately got the standard form email response:
Thank you for contacting E*TRADE Securities. The reference number for your inquiry is XXXXXX-XXX. Your inquiry is important to us and during this period of high volumes our goal is to respond within 1 to 3 business days. We appreciate your patience.
E*TRADE Securities LLC
P.S. This message is your confirmation that we have received your inquiry. Please do not respond, since we cannot answer messages sent to this e-mail's return address.
A second email and over ONE MONTH later I finally got a response other than an auto reply message.
After this incident I started mulling over the possibilities of changing brokerage companies. As a result I decided to cancel the DRIP enrollment for the Anheuser Busch stock in my account since you can't transfer fractional shares when you transfer your holdings to another company. The request went through ok and I received a notice confirming I was no longer in the DRIP plan. I even went on the Etrade web site and confirmed the stock in my account was no longer enrolled in the DRIP plan. However a few days later BUD paid its dividend and oddly enough it was reinvested into BUD stock.
Needless to say I have submitted another customer request, but I don't expect a reply for about another 24 days or so.
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