I was a client of Scottrade for about ten years. I chose Scottrade over discount brokers expecting to get some modicum of service. Scottrade initially showed it was what it claimed to be but gradually and then accelerating in recent months, Scottrade showed what it claims to be as hypocritical. As an active trader, I provided Scottrade thousands of dollars in trade commissions. In my trading technique I try to get intra-day highs for sell orders and intra-day lows for buy orders. Sometimes I am able to achieve this, within a few pennies and even sometimes at the very best price possible. This flies in the face of one of Scottrade's irate employees telling me muck that I am not deserving of a fill unless I buy at the ask price and sell at the bid price. From my efforts, I even discovered trading irregularities that have to do with Scottrade's handling of my orders and/or the the trading system outside of Scottrade where I might for example well in advance choose a price for an order far away from the current price and at an obscure price at that (perhaps like 45.73) and when seeing trades happen precisely at that price and not higher (or in a similar situation of the price going BEYOND my set price and I did not at all get a fill through Scottrade showing something highly suspicious occurred) and I didn't get a fill, being likely the first in line with an order set at the particular price, it shows something happening that is suspicious. I've had to contact Scottrade about such issues as the irregularities hurt me financially. And then there's the site issues that Scottrade began to pull on clients such as forcing third party software to load. Sometimes I'd see in the lower left-hand corner of my web browser being stuck for an inordinate amount of time, the message "waiting for maxymizer.net", in addition to other third party sites. I asked to opt out of the garbage tracking programs but was met with denial. And then as you can see with my prose below exposing Scottrade in:
1) Not responding AT ALL, even when their automated emails say they would respond. This occurred repeatedly of late.
2) Employees having big character defects in talking down to clients, acting as if they are in full knowledge of a topic and then later discover they were talking forcefully and putting up a big fight against me when they were absolutely wrong and while I was correct, discovering employees were not adequately trained to provide an answer to very simple questions about their policies.
3) Per one specific Scottrade employee stating he never read the terms to one of Scottrade's offers and yet was fighting me much just prior as if he knew a sufficient amount to be holding on to a stance that was completely UNFOUNDED in fact, and then once he finally read the pertinent terms, was still not able to provide a substantive response in that he had to send an inquiry within Scottrade (what a big laugh after all the ego-manifestation displayed).
4) My branch manager releasing in error to me, an internal email filled with inflammatory remarks about myself. Being the email was not the initial one in that it was part of a chain, there would be more associated emails, possibly with more inflammatory remarks and lends itself to the possibility that emails beyond this had similar content. THIS IS NOT WHAT I EXPECTED in giving Scottrade my business and them benefiting from the thousands of dollars in trade commissions. It was my understanding that brokers are suppose to be acting in the best interest of their clients. And I still, after making 3 separate requests, have not been provided with all internal communications about myself which I would be able to use as evidence against Scottrade and which may prove useful for me to obtain a legal firm wanting to jump quickly to take on a case against Scottrade. Scottrade in not being forthcoming demonstrates how it chooses to not work for its clients' best interests."
FOR THE SEC per my complaint already on file, these are the actions I believe should be mandated of Scottrade:
1) End being the circus operation it is. Treat all clients with respect.
2) Be more careful in sending internal emails that may erroneously be sent to clients. Even more prudent is to be diligent in not making inflammatory remarks about clients to begin with. Stick to the facts and nothing but the facts!
3) No longer allow employees who are not armed with the requisite facts about anything involving the company operations to be speaking to clients as if they are sufficiently knowledgeable. When lacking the requisite knowledge, the employees of the brokerage firm should prevent causing an argument by admitting what they do not know and then informing a salient response will be forthcoming, and not be empty words for the salient response should arrive and not end up being a lie.
4) Fine generally for being the watchdog over such matters.
5) Provide for a punitive award for trying to pull Scottrade out of its circus acts.
6) Make a public statement so other brokerage firms would know it would not be wise to allow for incompetence, ignorance, and invoking ego-protecting mechanisms. Employees need to be trained or screened for pleasantness, possessing pertinent knowledge, and logic necessary to make for conducive conversation to prevent undue fighting.
Thursday March 24, 2016 update
The monkey business continues. I was left a phone message from a Scottrade representative saying there was something urgent about my account - only in obscurity, nothing specific as to what the urgency was. Well how urgent was it? I replied via email the same day stating if there was something urgent it could be told to me via email. The next day I wrote two more emails and tried calling twice, being on hold for 10 minutes and 8 minutes until I gave up. I made one more email request on Wednesday and still could not get a salient response. The most I am getting are canned messages signed by Scottrade representatives of forwarding my emails. Simply incredible. I wonder what the next circus act is in store for me.
Friday March 18, 2016 update
The double-talking "concerned" Scottrade employee called me to finally after a duration of between one to two weeks that I could in fact withdraw money appreciated in my account under their promotion. Now if this fellow could read simple language, he could have provided the verification and not have to rely on another department to apprise him of what's allowed. I read the terms and also read the pertinent terms to him just 4 days prior and he sure fought me hard about it, putting me down in the process. Well, again, he opted to pull his ego-protecting stunt in saying he knew of no one who complained about free trades! Now, who was complaining about free trades? This guy is sick in the mind for invoking one ego-protecting mechanism after another, twisting the facts. When I mentioned he was twisting the facts he automatically denied it and said he was giving the facts. What an absolute lie! Just how is asking for a verification of terms equate to complaining about free trades? This guy and many others at Scottrade need a major attitude adjustment and hopefully through the SEC and/or a lawyer who would take on this case would force this into action. I asked him why it took so long to get a response and why he and others fought me so hard. He said he never read the terms before! Well, now, how could he be speaking of the FACTS when he didn't have the facts? This guy is a piece of work. So many things he says contradicts with other things he says - all for his inflated sense of power. He even had the audacity to continue in his corrupt customer service skills speaking of my "perceived" issues with Scottrade. What is limited to perception if Scottrade promises me in emails they will respond and fail to do so? Just where is it? Where is the perception in speaking with incompetent employees not able to provide a simple verification of terms of one of its programs? Where is the perception in the incompetent employees who told me over and over again that withdrawals were not permitted per the terms of the promotion program? Where is the perception in employees choosing to fight me and invoking all sorts of choice words about myself and yet they were the ones at fault in not understanding the terms and even when they read them they were still not certain? Why can't Scottrade employees simply come clean when they are ignorant and just say, "sorry but my ignorance precedes me, I am getting a high salary for pushing around clients but in knowing things I should know about it's part of the culture here to not worry and we just hope the wealthy clients do not catch us in our incompetence...so I'll pass on your concerns to the company in a global email within the company and maybe one of us who wasn't flirting or sleeping in a meeting when we were trained on the specific issue will come to the rescue and help you out", and if not in so clear and colorful language, they could simply say "I am not sure, I will make certain you will be given the response within 30 minutes". instead the employees will act knowledgeable, provide misinformation, lie, cause arguments, and will project their inadequacies onto the client when they should be looking within their character for the adjustment. This guy continued in saying I should go with another brokerage firm. I address this in two parts. Firstly had Scottrade been diligent there would not be this huge problem. Certainly my leaving of Scottrade would cease dealing with their circus, however, the way in which Scottrade operates was the problem and therefore the logical way of dealing with this is to correct the problems of Scottrade operations. Secondly I do not understand why I would have to repeat to him what I said a couple times before in planning to do just that but I needed to shift some money around first for I do not trust Scottrade in how long they may keep my account in limbo thereby preventing open orders from being executed, and with them causing me so much stress in the past week plus, I have not been actively watching the market and missed a great trading opportunity that would have been consistent with how I trade and evidence of it is looking at my most previous sell in seeing exactly how I did it and would have been almost identical in the missed opportunity. For over a week now, I've been sleeping up to 6 hours per day more than usual, and that's dramatic. It’s as if my body has been partly shutting down from dealing with the incessant nonsense of Scottrade. I never missed an important trading day as an active trader ever before until now (referring to the Federal Reserve announcement on Wednesday March 16, 2016 when I would have made a minor change to an open order to effect a trade, just like I did for my previous sell), thanks to these ignorant, incompetent, double-talking ingrates stressing me out, and by missing the trade it would then take even longer to get my account at the new brokerage firm I am at with sufficient shares of an inverse ETF to be able to make a full transfer out of Scottrade. I already began selling out of Scottrade and buying via the other brokerage firm.
Thursday March 17, 2016
Scottrade consistently makes excuses for one thing or another, never admitting to doing anything wrong, say they will do something and do not, and can't even figure out their very own promotion, saying such divergent things about how a client abides by the terms of it. It's a complete joke. In so much of the time of my queries on the promotion, Scottrade higher-up employees gave me garbage replies, not even consistent with the terms of the promotion. Sometime after one person finally caught on to the simple scenario I brought up and which Scottrade never yet has responded via email contrary to the automatic reply of Scottrade that a response is forthcoming, it failed to make a reply. Even after catching on, there was still not absolute certainty that the simple scenario abides by the terms. Just how can a promotion be offered and the company employees be so confused, even to the point of saying there are terms to the promotion that WAS NOT WRITTEN in the terms? It's a damn circus operation.
The Federal Reserve had its announcement yesterday about interest rates. Normally I am up well before regular trading hours and in such important days, I stay up until 3am when extended hours trading is available to me. I have been enduring nonsense time and time again with Scottrade over the past week that it's affecting me profoundly. Since I bought 50 shares of a particular ETF in an account at another brokerage firm at a relatively low price a week prior, I would have been able to easily sell in the Scottrade account the same number of shares PLUS 15 shares of the same ETF of which I bought at a higher price (it's a mathematically sound way in dealing with a market going against an investor, buy 50 shares at 47.15, choosing which purchase or purchases that were made at a [usually] higher price to "take-out" and in my case I could have chosen any of 30 shares at 53.38 and/or 45 shares at 50.10 to do this and while at the same time assuring a net profit, and in this present scenario the sell price could have been at $50 or possibly more as I do not know what happened in the pre-market and noting I did have a GTC order at Scottrade to sell 75 shares at $51.00 which I customarily reduce per market conditions to effect a significant account improvement, if choosing to mesh with the shares bought at 53.38, as that's about what the ETF opened at on Wednesday morning) to then be up about $1,000 in cash and representing an effective gain of about $250 being I just purchased 50 shares again but at $45.65 in the other brokerage account (before the additional purchase the net gain would have effectively been around $50 and with a cash position increase of around $3,250) just today when I happened to glance at the market for the first time in days (never was I so out of focus like this) at about 12:30pm Pacific Time, near closing time of the regular session. I made a buy and sell quite similar to this about a week earlier, buying 45 shares at a relatively low price and taking out 15 shares purchased at a higher price. This is my method and I would not have let the opportunity go by if I wasn't laid-out from the incessant garbage, lies, wishy-washy replies, ego-manifestation cover-ups, and especially the branch manager making his untoward remarks about me in an apparent internal email. Oh but, Scottrade gives me the run-around and causing me extreme stress. I find myself perplexed night and day, ruminating about the nonsense Scottrade pushes on me.
It was only a week ago that I discovered my branch manager of Scottrade, apparently in sending to many internal departments, happened to have sent me a copy of the email at the same time. It was filled with unprofessional character insults. To think that stock brokers are suppose to have the best interest of their clients. Well, not with Scottrade. Upon a subpoena, I'd love to find out what else the branch manager said about me as the email was evidently a continuance of prior communications within the company. Heck, maybe even Scottrade employees make a habit about far more clients for which a prudent investigation may be warranted for if it's done to one person, what's to say it doesn't happen to others?
To get back to the topic of the promotion, Scottrade pointed me to a way I could receive 50 free trades. And so I read the terms and in not wanting Scottrade to play games with me I presented one simple scenario and all the time I spent trying to get a salient response was incredible. I do not understand the hiring procedure at Scottrade - perhaps they make certain their employees do not understand the word "sum". To abide by the terms, I would have to maintain, discounting market losses, a particular balance that represented the sum of two components, the balance of my account at the time of accepting the promotion and the amount of money deposited which was a minimum of $10K. So many times I was told I wouldn't be allowed to withdraw any funds else face punitive actions even though there was no wording stating withdrawals were forbidden! I am just so amazed at how Scottrade performs its circus act. Just how could four different employees I dealt with could be so ignorant of the terms? At least one of the four used some reasoning soon into the conversation but was short of being explicit. It's not just the ignorance involved, it's the FIGHTING with me over the terms and telling me I was wrong and they were right and saying such things as they do not want to debate me even though they were the ones giving misinformation and as it turned out they were later proven to INCOMPETENT?! And this does not include all those whom saw my request for verification of the terms per a simple scenario I mentioned via email! Now, how could there be a debate if the employees actually had the capacity to understand simple language? It is clear that a good many of Scottrade employees need an attitude adjustment. They should stop making me the scapegoat for their lack of intelligence and in causing big problems. They need to be fully aware of their own policies and not have me assist them in understanding the policies!
Last Friday an employee said he would have my account information transferred to another office. Well that was a lie. I found out just last Monday that another employee stepped in and caused for the promised action to not come true. This other employee appeared to play the "concerned" figure to act like the company is not a circus but the actions soon after demonstrated it was a facade, just like the branch manager in acting like he was concerned about some trading and site issues I had in the past. This other employee said he would have my records transferred, but who knows what the truth is? With Scottrade you could be told one thing and discover later it was just a lie! And taking us closer to today's date, this "concerned" employee said he'd get back with me the next morning. It was then one excuse after another yet again, consistent with Scottrade in his failure to follow-through. Even asking yesterday for an email to be sent to me to cease the Scottrade circus act, it didn't stop it, for the response never materialized.
I aimed to take out all my money from Scottrade but then came the promotion that was sent to me by Scottrade and this wonderful employee who played the role of a concerned employee. I then figured I could add $10K to one of my Scottrade accounts and have money in two brokerage firms. Perhaps Scottrade wants to now play such a horrible game in lying about getting a response that they figure I'll leave faster. Who knows, for I have a mind of an adult and childish games are so far in the past for me. I would have already transferred out my money from Scottrade just prior to the promotion notification but the one thing stopping me is how long they may hold my account in limbo and not be able to sell any of my positions. And so I opted to buy in a new brokerage account and sell at Scottrade, convert the proceeds to cash then move the cash to the new brokerage firm for just a few of such instances before a full transfer is made so I wouldn't have to face some long undo holding of my account. It's become quite evident that Scottrade LIES, is INCONSISTENT with what they say they will do, and their games have super-sized in the past some-odd days.
It was just 2-3 weeks prior to today that prompted me to seek another brokerage company and this was BEFORE discovering the branch manager's character insults in an internal email. This is what occurred: With few opportunities to be able to sell an inverse ETF while the market is well beyond fundamental support (I do demonstrate in articles how the real GDP growth upon proper accounting of deficit spending as well as monetary and population inflation rates have been deeply negative for each of the past eight years and coupled with PE values pre-massive stock market inflows due to the inception of retirement account, the market could be considered as 2-3X overpriced) I was in a relatively rare position at near the end of the regular trading session to make a sell yet in the last couple of minutes my effort to change an open order gave me pop-up windows saying there was a web error. I then was in the after-hour session and strangely compared to all other brokerage firms I was at, Scottrade prevents trading in the first 2 minutes of the extended hours thereby taking away some of the best prices to a customer and yet I tried to live with it for many years now. To enable trading in the extended hours, an active trading window will NOT automatically revert to being able to make an extended hours order so I clicked the market side pull-down menu and changed market sides until which time Scottrade would reflect extended hours in the window and then I proceeded to create and order and just when trying to submit it, the Scottrader streamer program gave the message that it had to shut down! SO PREPOSTEROUS! It's as if I was suddenly been monitored and toyed with! I was able to modify an open order earlier in the day with no hassle but apparently right when I really felt the price was decent enough to lower an order to around the then present price, I was prevented from doing so. This is just a guess as it could simply be coincidental, however the timing is magnificent. I wrote in an email this occurrence (with of course Scottrade saying it would respond WHICH IT DID NOT) and as well mentioned it in a phone message with my character insulting (I was unaware of his untoward actions at the time) local branch manager and he didn't address the issue either. I figured enough is enough dealing with nonsense from Scottrade but what held me on just a bit longer was a Scottrade representative in an email stating that the branch manager inquired about how to retain me which was NOT TRUE. I took it that it was just a matter of policy that a branch manager would do such a thing and then another Scottrade employee would assume this to state what he/she did. When prompted for what Scottrade could do to keep me around I said offer me $200 and $4.95 trades like what another brokerage firm was offering me, however, I added that Scottrade would probably provide monetary incentives only to new clients. It was at that point I was apprised of Scottrade's promotion for present account holders and that sure opened up a new big can of worms with how, from Scottrade employees so emphatic about wanting to invoke terms of the promotion that were not disclosed. Simply incredible things go on at Scottrade!
For quite some time earlier this year, someone at Scottrade thought it was a good idea to have a long harangue about tax forms get in the way of contacting the trading desk at the direct phone number. I can see if the harangue would be forced onto those calling the main number, but to have it for the trading desk when there may be highly time-sensitive issues? It's unreal. Because of this undue interference, it makes dealing with Scottrade even more problematic. I brought this to their attention several times. Scottrade did eventually decide to end the nonsense while still earlier than the tax form deadline, but it's anyone's guess as to what prompted them. The management and everything below management at Scottrade is continues to operate under "the big tent".
AMAZING! It's as if Scottrade, with its center in Saint Louis that presents circuses, it tries to make its brokerage operation a circus as well! What a coincidence!