I have no choice but to use E*Trade in my online stock dealings. My
employer goes through them for stock option grants and the employee
stock purchase plan. I, though, have an account with another, more
friendly brokerage, where I keep my primary account.
Every time I get stock stuck in my OptionsLink (a subsidiary or
something of E*Trade) account, I have it transferred to my preferred
Normally that goes smoothly, but this time they’re taking their own
time, and it’s gotten out of hand. Thus, I present an open letter to
E*Trade, in response to their customer service representative asking
for five business days to respond to my transfer status inquiry:
As you requested up to five (5) business days to respond to me, and
today is the sixth business day, I am writing you back to follow up.
If you have not yet heard back from your transfers department, please
pass this along to help put it into perspective from a customer’s point
I currently HATE E*TRADE. I hate you guys. I hate everything about
you. If I could get away from using you at all, I would, and the only
reason I HAVE to use you is because my company has some sort of deal
with you and OptionsLink and I can’t change that.
Why, you might ask, am I so irritated? I could list any number of
reasons, but they all come down to customer service.
The E*Trade web site, from the beginning, is geared more towards the
user who actively participates in online trading, who sort of knows
something about stock trading already. (This may not be the case, but
that is my perception based on the options available and navigational
structure.) I am not a heavy trader. I have stock in my company, but I
require an entry level sort of service or guidance.
I was able to muddle through and find the transfer request information,
but you only seem to be able to transfer INTO E*Trade, not OUT. To
transfer OUT, I have to fax you - FAX! - a letter, then wait an
arbitrary number of business days for my stock to transfer - get this -
from OptionsLink to an E*Trade brokerage account, THEN from that
account to my preferred brokerage. At no point in the process am I
alerted to the state of my transfer; I am kept in limbo and have to keep
checking back and hoping the transfer has completed.
I came to discover this transfer process because I was told that a
transfer takes UP TO 5 business days. At the 10 business day level I
became concerned. I was told that “things were behind, but everything
should be done in 5 more business days.” I waited that length of time,
and it’s still not done. I contacted you via your web site. I did get a
timely response from you (which I appreciate) that told me to wait up to
ANOTHER 5 BUSINESS DAYS. I have now waited A MONTH for a simple transfer
to happen, with no status update during that time other than “WAIT.”
I am very frustrated with this whole situation. Obviously I am not in a
financial position occupationally, so I hesitate to say that a transfer
is a “simple process,” but considering that this must be a common thing
that occurs daily, I also hesitate to say I have some exceptional
circumstances which would require so much additional time.
Please let me know what the status of my transfer is and when EXACTLY I
can look forward to seeing it completed. This is beyond nuts.