PermaLink I pity da foo'10/13/2006 02:02 PM

Take my advice, don't do business with E-Trade.
I just got to spend another 20 minutes on hold with some moron from E-Shit, trying to find out why their "better way of doing business" results in it taking them more than a week and a half to transfer money from one account to another, in an era when PayPal can move money around in five minutes and my little old credit union's website can do it in four seconds.  In addition to having to listen to a loop of five of the most inane minutes of fag-jazz that ever escaped from an elevator, I had an "account representative" lie to me about their own policy of when funds are made available on their system.  Their own website (which I read to the guy) says it's three business days, and this guy insisted it was five.  I told him to find that language, print it and fax it to me, and he was unable to do so.  He was the fifth such "account representative" who was unable to do so, and since when I signed up for the account (which I was forced to do because E-Shit provides no way of paying things directly from an external account, unlike every other account I have, even my trash collection) I agreed to the online version of the customer agreement, I guess that's the one I'll believe.

Do you work for E-Shit?  I want to rip your silly head off and vomit into your exposed trachea.

I've been feeling that sort of impulse about a lot of businesses lately, you know?

By the way, the link above goes to a Google search on the phrase "E-Trade sucks."  There are 38,700 hits.  Have fun.  Put your money somewhere else.

My sleep has sort of straightened out, though this weekend should be an interesting test of whether that's really the case.  Suzanne is coming down again this weekend, which tends to either allow me to get much more sleep, or a lot less.   I've already warned this should be a "more" weekend.  I have flannel sheets in the laundry, so when I get home there should be all sorts of fluffiness waiting to be put on the bed.  The cats have behaved decently all week and no one, to my knowledge, has thrown up all week.  This is something of a record.

I still have to make another batch of beef jerky.  I found the little protein buzz I get was interesting, and handing out smoked meat tends to make you lots of friends.  I guess the primal sensation of ripping apart leathery beef with your incisors is a nice bonding experience, though having a bunch of people standing around going "nnnnnnnnNNNNRGH! "and chewing with effort isn't as elegant as a martini party.

Maybe we should have a beef jerky party at the Sphere this year.

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1. jmn466712/18/2006 09:16:52 PM

For the past seven months I have been trying to close my recently deceased father’s E*TRADE® investment account. As a co-executor of his estate, I needed to close this account and retrieve the remaining balance of $93.76.

Unfortunately, what first appeared to be a simple, mundane task ended up being one of the most frustrating and time-consuming processes my family and I have ever had to undertake.

When I contacted E*TRADE the first time, I explained the situation. At that point they promptly made his account inaccessible on-line and told me where to download the necessary forms which were required to officially close his account.

Note: What E*TRADE actually does is require you to open an account with them first. Once that has been done and all of the required documents have been processed, they will transfer the funds from the deceased's account to yours, at which point you should be able to go on-line and withdraw everything and close the account. How absurd is that?

Well, after two months had passed, I mailed in the forms for processing. However, I did not submit the Personal Account Application at that time due to the fact that I really did not want to establish a personal relationship with them. I only wanted my father’s account closed and a check sent to me for the remaining balance of $93.76.

Another month had passed without any contact from E*TRADE. So, I called them again to find out if they had received the forms I sent. After staying on hold for about 20 minutes, the service representative came back on and said they had received them and informed me of the missing Personal Account Application. First, I told the service rep that I did not want to open a new account with E*TRADE (establishing a personal relationship with them) and that all I wanted was my father’s account closed and a check sent to me for the remaining balance.

I then asked her why they did not promptly contact me about this issue. She had no response to that one and put me on hold again for another 10 minutes. When she came back on she said they could not process anything further until they received the Personal Account Application. Needless to say, I was furious at this point and terminated the conversation.

Now, six months since the original call to E*TRADE, I finally decided to go ahead and submit the Personal Account Application. I just wanted to be done with all of this! A few days later I called E*TRADE customer service once again to ensure that everything was in order this time. Of course, there were still issues and I was put on hold for 20 minutes. This time they said that the Personal Account Application (the longest of all the forms) was not completed properly. Oh, great. Can you guess how mad I was now? Well, I told the service rep that she and I were going to fill it out together this time to make sure that it was done properly. Once that was completed, I asked for their fax number so I could get this thing submitted fast.

I faxed the "new and improved" Personal Account Application that same day to the number they provided to me and added the following comment to the coversheet: "PLEASE CALL THE ABOVE PHONE NUMBER IF THERE ARE ANY ISSUES WITH THIS TRANSMISSION."

Another ten days had passed without any contact from them, but I decided to call them again anyway just to be sure everything was OK. Nope, there was now a new issue. These estate forms must be sent via mail, not fax. Now they tell me! At that point, I requested to speak with a supervisor. A customer service supervisor eventually gets on the line and asks that I mail the Personal Account Application to her personally and she would ensure that it gets processed promptly and properly. But...then I asked her if this was indeed the last remaining document they required to completely process everything. She said she would need to make a few calls but promised that she would get back to me by the end of the business day.

When the E*TRADE supervisor called me back later that day she had more bad news. This time I was told that some of the other documents I mailed to them several months prior needed updating. At that point I voiced my frustration with everything and asked if they could just close the account and keep the $93.76. What do you think she said? "Yes, I can process that request immediately." I then blurted out some choice words and terminated the conversation.

Let me tell you, E*TRADE Securities certainly makes things simple when you open up an account, and they're so quick to take YOUR money...but, at the same time, they make it nearly impossible for you to close an account and retrieve YOUR funds! Their motto should be, "E*TRADE. Give us your money so you’ll never have to deal with it again." What's more, it really amazes me at how E*TRADE (or any company) will spend enormous amounts of money on marketing and promotion then go and piss it all away by unnecessarily creating bad publicity for itself.

Here’s a link to the anti-E*TRADE web site (which details the complete story) I created recently...

2. ChangeWarrior (Deb)10/16/2006 09:25:03 PM

If you're having a beef jerky party at the 'Sphere, I'll be there.
I'm definitely a, tear, shred, mutilate...yup, that's me.
Though I prefer turkey jerky.
Hard to find, but absolutely worth it.

3. Adi10/14/2006 07:14:33 AM

There is this traditional thing in South Africa called biltong, which is the same concept as beef jerky, really, just less chewy and spicy (I suspect). Really is gross food, isn't it. Yum. I think if you give a beef jerky party, I'll have to dare you for an official "Triple R" (Red, Raw & Retired) Meatsphere Cup Contest.

4. Wild Bill10/13/2006 09:40:35 PM

mmmm. Litigous... :)

---* Bill "I've been sued before" Buchan

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