• Report: #328237

Complaint Review: ETRADE

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  • Submitted: Wed, April 23, 2008
  • Updated: Fri, September 14, 2012

  • Reported By:West Chester Pennsylvania
ETRADE
671 North Glebe Road Arlington, Virginia U.S.A.

ETRADE Believe every negative report you find on this company Arlington Virginia

*Consumer Comment: Greater Problem than just eTrade

*Consumer Comment: I am a foregin with the same problem

*Author of original report: Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

*Author of original report: Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

*Author of original report: Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

*Author of original report: Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

*Consumer Comment: Very Interesting

*Consumer Comment: But, they will pay interest

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I am currently experiencing Etrade's bogus security concern scam, but I am near the end of the process. My account has been unrestricted now, and hopefully it will only take 5 to 7 more days to get the accounts closed and my money pried out of their sticky fingers.

There's plenty of horror stories already posted on the difficulty of removing funds from E*Trade accounts. I don't think my own case is particularly unique. Telling all about it is like "gilding the lily" so to speak.

So my screed will be more educational in nature, and perhaps it will be helpful to Etrade's customers who have just stepped into the E*Trade nightmare.

It's helpful to understand what is currently going on. E*Trade has severe liquidity problems. They are attempting to hold onto their customer's assets as long as they can. This is not really about incompetent customer service. That's the charade. Poor customer service, (unintentional); caution (an overabundance of it) in matters having to do with fraud protection; and apparent stupidity in designing a ridiculous process that doesn't achieve it's stated goals. (This is not to suggest that the quality of E*Trade's customer service was ever very good. It's just that it is now intentionally being used to create plausible deniability by E*Trade executives in case the government regulators or the mainstream media ever wake up and smell the coffee burning)

However, it all makes perfect sense once you recognize its true goal: keeping customer's money as long they can get away with it without running seriously afoul of the SEC or OTS. (Note the shift in customer complaint topics over time. Prior to E*Trades liquidity problems that began in the latter half of 2007, the complaints were predominantly about unethical practices of surprising customers with outrageous fees that were added on without notification, and questionable execution of trades which left E*Trade a little better off and the Customer a little worse off. E*Trade was growing so fast that it didn't have to worry so much about liquidity and cash flow. It was all about revenue enhancement in earlier times. The current scam seems to have gotten started at the same time that E*Trades liquidity problems started.)

Here's what they do:
E*Trade places your account on "restricted" status based on their allegation of "suspicious activity" in your account. In my case, the "suspicious activity"
was my attempt to transfer some of my funds from E*Trade to another bank. They don't seem to like that.

Once your account has been restricted, they will tell you nothing, except that if you want access to your account you will have to send them a "Notarized Letter of Authorization", which according to E*Trade is the only way for them to "verify your identity". Expect to have your funds tied up for about 3-4 weeks. You will not be allowed to talk to any person at E*Trade except for a "fraud specialist". Don't count on ever talking to the same one twice, unless you make a lot of calls. Misinformation and outright falsehoods will be the order of the day. The game is to stall the process as long as possible, using any excuse possible. It may be possible to shorten the process to less than 4 weeks. Here are some useful recommendations:

If they ask you to fax a copy of your drivers license or other government ID to them, forget that. It is a dead end street that only wastes time. They will lose the fax, or your ID will not be legible enough, etc. Move immediately to sending them the Notarized Letter of Authorization. If they don't ask for that at first, ask if you can send that instead of a fax of your ID. This will save time in the long run, by eliminating one whole step in the process.

Don't get mad at the "fraud specialists" Always be friendly and polite with them. They have no authority whatsoever to make any independent decision about solving your problem. In fact, it is not their job to help you. They are typically young Philippine nationals who have been working for E*Trade from 2 to 6 months. They are working the "graveyard" shift in a call center located in Manila. They are generally clueless about what is really going on, and are only repeating canned responses that they have been given. One of their more frequent responses will be: "I'm sorry, but I am not allowed to give that information while your account is "restricted". If you ask them any questions, don't place a lot of stock in the answers you are given. Accuracy and truthfulness does not seem to have been a high priority in their training. Frequently, they don't really understand the question. Most of the time they also don't know what the truth is. They are just repeating what they have been told to say. Their proficiency with understanding spoken English has a great deal of variability as well. Speak in simple sentences. Their instructions from their supervisors are quite simple. They may not transfer your call to any other person or extension, no matter what. They are not allowed to discuss anything about your account with you, including why it was put on hold in the first place. Their only purpose is to repeat by rote, instructions as to what you are required to do in order to remove the restriction on your account. On your first time that you get transferred to a "fraud specialist", clarify that you would prefer to send them a Notarized letter of Instruction, if they have asked only for a faxed ID. Include in that letter your full name, address, ss#, E*Trade Acct #, Phone number, email address number and date of birth, and your instructions as to what you want them to do with your account. Make sure that the letter is notarized by a Notary Public and that it contains the notary's stamp and the notary's seal. I suggest that you get at least 3 originally notarized letters all at the same time. E*Trade has a great propensity for losing them or misplacing them for several days even though you send them overnight and get a tracking number.

Do not expect the fraud specialist to acknowledge receipt of your Notarized Letter until you can prove they did with a tracking number, and the name of the person who received it. You will rarely get the same person the next time you call in, so be prepared once you have confirmation of the document to insist that they have received it. Ask them to put a notation in the file with the tracking number, date, time and person who signed for its receipt. The next time you call in, be prepared for the next fraud specialist to claim that they have not received the document yet. Ask them to check the notes on the computer to verify it. In Manila, the document is not considered to be received until it has been scanned into the computer. On each successive call to a new fraud specialist, insist that they look in the computer file and verify that the tracking number, date, time, and person that received it have been entered in the notes.

When you are given instructions about sending the notarized letter, they will give you an address in Arlington Virginia for overnight, and a PO Box in Charlotte NC if you are sending it regular mail. DO NOT SEND IT OVERNIGHT TO ARLINGTON VIRGINIA. This will add 3 business days to the process. E*Trades process is to send all documents that are received in Virginia to Charlotte NC, where they will be scanned into the computer. This process, according to E*Trade takes 2 to 3 business days. At the very begining they may tell you that after the Letter has been received, it takes 24 to 48 hours for their "review team" to verify that "everything is in good order". That is misinformation. After 48 hours have passed, they will ask where did you send the document. If you say Arlington VA, they will then tell you about the 2 to 3 business days because it needs to be sent to NC. The 2 day part is also misinformation. They seem to have excellent quality assurance to guarantee that it will take no less than 3 days. In my case it took 7.

Anyway, you should send it via USPS Express Mail to the PO Box in Charlotte NC. When sending it Express Mail, DO NOT SIGN THE WAIVER for obtaining the recipient's signature. Until the document has been received in Charlotte, you probably won't have heard much about the reviewing to make sure it is in good order, once they confirm that the document has been received as evidenced by its having been scanned into the computer, there will be a further delay for the reviewing process. Although they can state precisely how long it takes to ship the document to NC, (not necessarily accurately however) the stock answer for "how much longer it will take for the reviewing to get completed?" will be "I can't give you a specific time for that." Don't bother trying. From here on, the best way to deal with getting the restriction removed is to call at least once a day for a status update. Make sure they annotate the file every time you call. Do not expect them to call you when they say they will, if they give you a specific day or time for the call back. What they will tell you is that once the document has been reviewed and found to be in good order, then someone from the fraud department will call you.

I believe that daily calls to a "fraud specialist", probably shortens the time it takes them to review the document and find it in good order, but I can't say for certain.

Once they have removed the restriction on your account, do not anticipate that they will have done anything else that you requested in the letter, such as wiring funds or closing the account, etc. You will need to pursue that as if you had never asked them to do anything in the letter other than to unrestrict your account. If you're in a hurry for your money, I recommend calling the fraud specialist at least twice a day, and always insist that they annotate the file with your most recent call. Here's where being friendly and pleasant is important. You want the fraud specialist to like you. This will probably insure they will do anything you ask that they haven't been specifically told not to do by their supervisor. You also don't want them to annotate the file with some additional comment that you were angry and hard to deal with. This may prejudice the next fraud specialist you speak with against you.

Forget about wasting your time trying to contact a manager in customer service or anyone higher up in the organization than one of the fraud specialists while your account remains in restricted mode. You can't do it. Here's why. No matter what 800 number you call, you will get routed to an automated attendant that will want you to put in your ss# or E*Trade account number. Once they know who you are, you go directly to jail, (do not pass GO, do not collect $200). If you don't give an account number or ss#, you can get to a live operator who will ask for the same information. Once your account number is known the operator's computer screen will have only limited information on your account. The operator will also have instructions on her computer screen that indicates she is to transfer this call to the fraud department without further ado. She may have a different name for it: "Dedicated accounts" department, or CSSG, for Customer Security Services Group, or the Maintenance department. Whatever they choose to call it, you will wind up in the Manila call center talking to a fraud specialist.

If you try to cheat, and tell the operator you don't have an account, you're a prospective customer, you can get transferred to an account rep, or some such title, usually located in the US, but he will not have the authority to transfer calls from non-customers to managers. So you will now have to fess up and give him your account number, and then just like with the operator, you're off to Manila. Perseverance is all that works. If you get to the 15th day after your account was restricted, file a complaint online with both OTS and the SEC. I'm not 100 percent sure, but I think that if you are proactively asking about your account on a daily basis, they will not keep your funds restricted for more that 30 days. I have heard that that's the threshold where the government regulators are willing to start slapping E*Trades hands.

There are stories about people who have their funds tied up for much longer than 30 days, but I think these are people who sat back and waited for promised return phone calls, which never came in, and checked back only every two or three weeks to find out why nothing had been done.

Keep a record of the time and date of every phone call and the name of the person you talked to. You will want to state these things in your SEC and OTS complaints if you have to make them. In some states it is legal to tape phone calls without notifying the other party as long as you are the other half of the conversation.

Good luck!

B
West Chester, Pennsylvania
U.S.A.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 04/23/2008 02:02 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/ETRADE/Arlington-Virginia/ETRADE-Believe-every-negative-report-you-find-on-this-company-Arlington-Virginia-328237. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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#1 Consumer Comment

Greater Problem than just eTrade

AUTHOR: Randal - (USA)

I am investor and I too am having trouble removing money from eTrade, but new information I received this morning suggest the problem appears to be the entire US financial system, and not just the broker dealer eTrade.  My problem started when i tried to change the registration on one of my two accounts, and transfer the account to a non-profit.  eTrade refused to transfer the account, and found that really odd. 

Subsequently I contacted Bank of New York Melon, the administrator for the international security held in the account.  In this particular case the security was Royal Bank of Scotland.  BNY Melon referred me to an Andrea in London, who never answered the phone, and has no voice mail.  Additionally she refused to respond to any emails, requesting that the security be converted from street name, to our own name.  Nor did eTrade offer to provide an explanation, or advise me that the security had to be transfered through by DRS through a company called DTCC. I then sent a ten day letter to Gerald Hassle, the CEO of BNY Melon, but he refused to respond. 

The issue has come again, and I have again asked eTrade to convert all bonds to our own name from street hame, and now eTrade indicates that the SEC prevents them from doing this.  I contacted the SEC, and this is what the SEC provided:

http://www.sec.gov/rules/sro/dtc/2008/34-59033.pdf

The DTCC also issued notices on this topic which can be viewed at:

http://www.dtcc.com/news/newsletters/dtcc/2008/dec/paper_certificates.php

http://www.dtcc.com/news/newsletters/dtcc/2009/apr/dematerialization.php

The net effect of these new rules is that the broker dealer can no longer issue certificates recorded in the name of the investor, and that the DTCC, upon the request of the broker, must transfer the certificates to the issuer or to the transfer agent/administrator.  And only the administrator can issue a certificate.  The SECs crooked rhetoric appears to indicate that the intent is to prevent the loss of paper certificates.  Howevever, I don't see it that way. 

As I see it, the intent is to make it more difficult for investors to retain control of their securities, and the reason they want to make it more difficult is so that the administrators can leverage the investors funds, without their knowing.  A few days ago, I contacted Chase Bank Palo Alto, and request information on how I can buy a bond recorded in my name, with a flat rate fee.  Chase Bank advises they don't allow this, and that they would charge a percentage of the yield, and keep the bond in street name.  The fee the Chase Bank Rep reported was 3%.  So if an investment grade bond yielded 5%, they would get 3%, and I would get 2%.

I then contacted Lou, a broker dealer at HSBC Seattle, who reported that HSBC clears through Pershing.  Lou did confirm that Pershing no longer allows investors to own bonds recorded in their own name.  I then called Interactive Broker, and they too indicated that investors are not allowed to record bonds in their name. 

As many of you are aware, BNY Melon is one the largest custodian agents in the country, and many of these clearing authorities work with them, so it looks like the bank is trying to steal investors money.  And while I have no like for eTrade, the problem does appear to be much more serious than merely one broker dealer gone bad.  The entire industry has conspired with the bank, to steal your money.  My solution to the problem is to create a Bank of the State, so that you can have something to say about such corruption.  A Bank of the State needs to directly compete in the private sector markets, such as housing, commerce, broker dealer transactions.  You will never get any help from the SEC or the federal government.  Remember the old slogan, "don't steel, the government hates competition".  The federal government is definitely not looking out for your best interest and could care less. They are there to get everything you have, whatever you make, and anyone who gets in their way will be squished and disposed off.

We should all be going door-to-door carrying petititions, to get an initiative on the ballot, for creating a Bank of the State.  It is easily one of the most important economic issue of the century because with such a petition you potentially will put an end to bank bail outs.  Did you know that the national banks are only carrying a loan loss reserve of 6%-7%?  What this means is that all of the money spent in 2008-2009 could be spent again. The horror must stop, and we must stop the banks, at whatever costs.

No country is left untouched. Most recently I started contacting attorneys, and did speak to an attorney who told me the problem of banks leveraging customers bond and stock assets has moved to a global scale. This has been my experience as well.  I contacted some of the largest banks in Hong Kong, and found out all of them will not allow you to hold the bonds in your own name, and want fees based on a percentage yield.  What this means is that the traditional bond fees of $20-$50, can be $350 or greater.  The word horrism has reached a state that to where the dictionary can not adequately describe its character.

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#2 Consumer Comment

I am a foregin with the same problem

AUTHOR: Juan M - (Spain)

I am having the same problems, I have an brokerage account with them since year 2000. I have all ready sent the fax and they lost it.. Then they asked to fax them the recipe of the fax; I told them that I do not have it, because of that I was told that I can not send them again a fax now I have to send the same documents by UPS, it will arrive next Wednesday to Virgina.
Today I tried to buy some stocks in order to use all the cash that I had on the account, I was told that only selling is permitted.

My account has been blocked since September 18th

Now I have to flight to US from Spain in order to open an brokerage account with other entity.

I would like to take some legal actions.


Juan
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#3 Author of original report

Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

The basic scam is: When you try to withdraw funds, E*Trade alleges suspicious activity on your account so it is placed on hold for security reasons. Then E*Trade insists on a ludicrous process of sending a notarized letter to them. (see ConsumerAffairs.com Post from serviceman in Iraq). This entire process is designed to insure maximum time delay. Generally it takes about 30 days to get your money if you are proactive in follow-up, otherwise, it may take longer. If you look critically at the process, you can see that its sole motivation is to create delay, not enhance security.

None of the Federal regulators (SEC and OTS in this case) get excited about a handful of customers who appear to have been treated badly by E*Trade in holding up their withdrawals for a few weeks before releasing the funds, based on E*Trades bogus security concerns of accounts being compromised. E*Trades explanation to regulators will be: Things unintentionally ran amuck with improper supervision of the lowest level employees in an offshore call center, and unintentionally poor internal coordination. E*Trade should not be criticized for an overabundance of caution when it comes to security and fraud prevention in their customers best interest.

However, given E*Trades current precarious cash flow position, suppose this was a process orchestrated by upper management to be intentionally applied to thousands of E*Trade customers, rather than by accident and incompetence to a handful of customers?

What if
an E*Trade executive devised a scheme to withhold meaningful amounts of funds from significantly more than a few hundred of its customers? First, what is a meaningful amount to a company the size of E*Trade? E*Trade claims on its website, in April 2008, to have $176 Billion in Customer assets, and 4.3 Million accounts. That is an average of $41,000 per account. In November 2007, E*Trade was on the brink of bankruptcy. Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago based hedge fund, provided an infusion of $2.5 Billion in Capital for which E*Trade paid dearly. Part of E*Trades ongoing turnaround plan is to sell off three divisions of its company, anticipating those sales will bring in $350 Million by the end of 2008. It could be argued that the threshold of a meaningful amount to E*Trade in their current situation would be in the neighborhood of $50 Million to $100 Million, which is 14 to 28 per cent of their expected proceeds from a significant component of their turnaround plan for 2008. How implausible would it be for E*Trade to obtain an additional interest free loan of $100 Million from its 4.3 million customers as unwilling lenders? [E*Trades current policy on availability of funds already gives then significant interest free funding from their customer base.] Actually, not very implausible!

Net customer withdrawals of funds from E*Trade have averaged over $14 Billion per month for the 4 month period ending 2/29/2008. Since some customers also have deposited funds during that time period, the gross amount of withdrawals had to have been even larger. From 1/1/08 to 2/29/08, E*Trade claims to have signed up 59,000 new retail accounts. [Apparently Ripoffreports.com and other similar sites are no match for E*Trades aggressive 2008 marketing plan when it comes to consumer awareness] Conservatively, let's assume $10 Billion per month as an average gross withdrawal rate going forward.

Suppose that E*Trade initiates a procedure to randomly select 1% (by dollar volume) of the requested withdrawals and temporarily restricts those accounts from being accessed by their owners based on a bogus finding of suspicious activity. Further suppose that on average, those withdrawals could be delayed by one month. If E*Trade can continue to do this each month for a random selection of 1% of its withdrawal requests, this becomes the equivalent of getting a new interest-free cash infusion of $100 Million. [Double all the quantities presented herein and the amount becomes $200,000,000. Still not an implausible proposition]

Assume that customer requests for withdrawals in the amounts ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 and averaging $25,000 are targeted for the delay process. It would take only 4,000 such requests to make up $100 Million. [4,000 is only1/10th of 1% of E*Trades total accounts.] It might be as much as 1% to 3% of the accounts seeking withdrawals in any one month. Even if E*Trade totally alienates the targeted customers, it is not unrealistic to assume they could still point statistically to a better than 95% customer satisfaction rate to their regulating agencies. One should not necessarily rely on traditional statistical measures to assure themselves that all is OK at E*Trade.

Viewed from a different perspective: If E*Trade were serious about implementing a plan of introducing bogus security issues to intentionally delay the transfer of customer funds, what would be required to put their plan in place. A lot of phone calls from 4,000 Irate Customers, (ICs) should be anticipated. E*Trade would need to create a process to handle that anticipated call volume. How many calls should be anticipated? If each IC averages 3 calls per week, (a little more than 1 every other business day), and the average phone call duration is hour, they would need a staff of about 120 persons. [This estimate may be conservatively high since most ICs with brokerage accounts have better things to do than to make unproductive phone calls 3 times per week.]

Implementation
Set up a special department offshore and staff it with persons known as Fraud Specialists, (FSs). Their exclusive job will be to handle phone calls from ICs, who from the ICs point of view have had their accounts restricted for no apparent reason.
Then Implement the following procedures and policies:
Inflexible and illogical bureaucratic requirements, based on Form over Substance.
Preventing ICs from ever contacting by phone any E*Trade Employee except an FS.
Hiring and Training an overseas FS staff of approximately 100, and approximately 20 in the US. Do not place any importance on accuracy or truthfulness in what is told to the IC. Polite intransigence; the ability to totally ignore an ICs question and provide a canned non-responsive answer by rote; the ability to remain calm and polite and never hang up on the IC no matter how livid this process makes the IC, all seem to be part of the FS training program. Proficiency in understanding spoken English beyond an elementary level, longevity with E*Trade, rudimentary experience or knowledge of the services that are provided to the ICs by E*Trade are apparently not a requirement to obtain employment as an FS.
Intercepting all emails from ICs and having them answered by a different staff of people who are impossible for the IC to contact by phone.
Setting up a procedure that generally will not be quickly complied with by the average IC; [i.e. asking for the original of a notarized letter of authorization which must be physically mailed].
Taking no action on any request made by the IC in any written communication received by E*Trade, no matter how benign or trivial, unless said communication is part of E*Trades specific "identity verification" process.
Making sure there is as little continuity as possible between successive phone calls from ICs by making it statistically improbable that the IC will ever talk to the same FS twice.
Never allowing any incoming call from an IC to be transferred to any other person at E*Trade. E.g. [1] the FS the IC previously spoke to; [2] Anyone in E*Trades Customer Service Department; [3] The FSs supervisor; [4] Any Employee or manager outside of the FSs department.
For "security and privacy reasons", make no information available to the IC except to detail the requirements that are being put on the IC to effectuate unrestricting the ICs account.
For "security and privacy reasons", do not respond to email communication from ICs unless it utilizes E*Trades internal secure email process. Then make sure that an IC with a restricted account has no access to the E*Trade secure email system

Introduce as much delay as possible with practices such as:
Always Leave the burden of all follow up calls on the IC [A good tactic is to promise a return phone call to the IC, and then dont make it]
The FS should never be knowledgeable of any past account history prior to the phone call he is currently handling. Let the IC start from the beginning on each successive phone call.
If the IC insists, or it becomes otherwise awkward, the FS should ask the IC if he minds being put on hold for 3 to 5 minutes while the FS researches the computer file to become knowledgeable on the past history of the account. [This is a good time for the FS to take a coffee or cigarette break. Frequent paid breaks are a good amenity to provide at offshore facilities to counter activist allegations of utilizing low-paid, offshore "sweat shop" labor]. After the break, the FC should always apologize for the delay. [Is any of this sounding familiar to graduates of the E*Trade fraud prevention program?]
Always insist on receiving original documents to insure that they cant be quickly transmitted by fax or email by the IC.
Include in the process illogical procedures such as having documents overnighted by ICs to one address, and then take 3 business days to physically transfer them to a different facility 400 miles away so that they can be electronically scanned into the computer.
Never commit to a time certain as to when the account can be unrestricted.
Never explain the full process to the IC. Only divulge the existence of the additional time delay involved in the next step of the process when you get to that step.
And on and on and on.

How to maximize the collateral value of the customers assets that E*Trade is holding hostage? Inconsistently allow the IC, (whose funds are being held hostage because his identity cannot be verified by E*Trade) to convert any security in the accounts portfolio into cash, and offer to waive the higher fee for having a broker perform the transaction over the phone. In fact, have the FS's make an unsolicited offer to immediately liquidate securities in the ICs account when the (unverified) IC calls in, being sure to point out however that the proceeds cannot be released until the restriction on the account is removed.

CONCLUSION
There is significant and convincing evidence that E*Trade has put all of the above, and much more, in place. The above patterns will sound very familiar to Etrade customers who have already posted complaints. It is very hard to believe that E*Trades Fraud Prevention procedures are justified, benign and in the best interests of their customers. Circumstantial evidence? Yes! But, what other explanation makes any sense?
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#4 Author of original report

Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

The basic scam is: When you try to withdraw funds, E*Trade alleges suspicious activity on your account so it is placed on hold for security reasons. Then E*Trade insists on a ludicrous process of sending a notarized letter to them. (see ConsumerAffairs.com Post from serviceman in Iraq). This entire process is designed to insure maximum time delay. Generally it takes about 30 days to get your money if you are proactive in follow-up, otherwise, it may take longer. If you look critically at the process, you can see that its sole motivation is to create delay, not enhance security.

None of the Federal regulators (SEC and OTS in this case) get excited about a handful of customers who appear to have been treated badly by E*Trade in holding up their withdrawals for a few weeks before releasing the funds, based on E*Trades bogus security concerns of accounts being compromised. E*Trades explanation to regulators will be: Things unintentionally ran amuck with improper supervision of the lowest level employees in an offshore call center, and unintentionally poor internal coordination. E*Trade should not be criticized for an overabundance of caution when it comes to security and fraud prevention in their customers best interest.

However, given E*Trades current precarious cash flow position, suppose this was a process orchestrated by upper management to be intentionally applied to thousands of E*Trade customers, rather than by accident and incompetence to a handful of customers?

What if
an E*Trade executive devised a scheme to withhold meaningful amounts of funds from significantly more than a few hundred of its customers? First, what is a meaningful amount to a company the size of E*Trade? E*Trade claims on its website, in April 2008, to have $176 Billion in Customer assets, and 4.3 Million accounts. That is an average of $41,000 per account. In November 2007, E*Trade was on the brink of bankruptcy. Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago based hedge fund, provided an infusion of $2.5 Billion in Capital for which E*Trade paid dearly. Part of E*Trades ongoing turnaround plan is to sell off three divisions of its company, anticipating those sales will bring in $350 Million by the end of 2008. It could be argued that the threshold of a meaningful amount to E*Trade in their current situation would be in the neighborhood of $50 Million to $100 Million, which is 14 to 28 per cent of their expected proceeds from a significant component of their turnaround plan for 2008. How implausible would it be for E*Trade to obtain an additional interest free loan of $100 Million from its 4.3 million customers as unwilling lenders? [E*Trades current policy on availability of funds already gives then significant interest free funding from their customer base.] Actually, not very implausible!

Net customer withdrawals of funds from E*Trade have averaged over $14 Billion per month for the 4 month period ending 2/29/2008. Since some customers also have deposited funds during that time period, the gross amount of withdrawals had to have been even larger. From 1/1/08 to 2/29/08, E*Trade claims to have signed up 59,000 new retail accounts. [Apparently Ripoffreports.com and other similar sites are no match for E*Trades aggressive 2008 marketing plan when it comes to consumer awareness] Conservatively, let's assume $10 Billion per month as an average gross withdrawal rate going forward.

Suppose that E*Trade initiates a procedure to randomly select 1% (by dollar volume) of the requested withdrawals and temporarily restricts those accounts from being accessed by their owners based on a bogus finding of suspicious activity. Further suppose that on average, those withdrawals could be delayed by one month. If E*Trade can continue to do this each month for a random selection of 1% of its withdrawal requests, this becomes the equivalent of getting a new interest-free cash infusion of $100 Million. [Double all the quantities presented herein and the amount becomes $200,000,000. Still not an implausible proposition]

Assume that customer requests for withdrawals in the amounts ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 and averaging $25,000 are targeted for the delay process. It would take only 4,000 such requests to make up $100 Million. [4,000 is only1/10th of 1% of E*Trades total accounts.] It might be as much as 1% to 3% of the accounts seeking withdrawals in any one month. Even if E*Trade totally alienates the targeted customers, it is not unrealistic to assume they could still point statistically to a better than 95% customer satisfaction rate to their regulating agencies. One should not necessarily rely on traditional statistical measures to assure themselves that all is OK at E*Trade.

Viewed from a different perspective: If E*Trade were serious about implementing a plan of introducing bogus security issues to intentionally delay the transfer of customer funds, what would be required to put their plan in place. A lot of phone calls from 4,000 Irate Customers, (ICs) should be anticipated. E*Trade would need to create a process to handle that anticipated call volume. How many calls should be anticipated? If each IC averages 3 calls per week, (a little more than 1 every other business day), and the average phone call duration is hour, they would need a staff of about 120 persons. [This estimate may be conservatively high since most ICs with brokerage accounts have better things to do than to make unproductive phone calls 3 times per week.]

Implementation
Set up a special department offshore and staff it with persons known as Fraud Specialists, (FSs). Their exclusive job will be to handle phone calls from ICs, who from the ICs point of view have had their accounts restricted for no apparent reason.
Then Implement the following procedures and policies:
Inflexible and illogical bureaucratic requirements, based on Form over Substance.
Preventing ICs from ever contacting by phone any E*Trade Employee except an FS.
Hiring and Training an overseas FS staff of approximately 100, and approximately 20 in the US. Do not place any importance on accuracy or truthfulness in what is told to the IC. Polite intransigence; the ability to totally ignore an ICs question and provide a canned non-responsive answer by rote; the ability to remain calm and polite and never hang up on the IC no matter how livid this process makes the IC, all seem to be part of the FS training program. Proficiency in understanding spoken English beyond an elementary level, longevity with E*Trade, rudimentary experience or knowledge of the services that are provided to the ICs by E*Trade are apparently not a requirement to obtain employment as an FS.
Intercepting all emails from ICs and having them answered by a different staff of people who are impossible for the IC to contact by phone.
Setting up a procedure that generally will not be quickly complied with by the average IC; [i.e. asking for the original of a notarized letter of authorization which must be physically mailed].
Taking no action on any request made by the IC in any written communication received by E*Trade, no matter how benign or trivial, unless said communication is part of E*Trades specific "identity verification" process.
Making sure there is as little continuity as possible between successive phone calls from ICs by making it statistically improbable that the IC will ever talk to the same FS twice.
Never allowing any incoming call from an IC to be transferred to any other person at E*Trade. E.g. [1] the FS the IC previously spoke to; [2] Anyone in E*Trades Customer Service Department; [3] The FSs supervisor; [4] Any Employee or manager outside of the FSs department.
For "security and privacy reasons", make no information available to the IC except to detail the requirements that are being put on the IC to effectuate unrestricting the ICs account.
For "security and privacy reasons", do not respond to email communication from ICs unless it utilizes E*Trades internal secure email process. Then make sure that an IC with a restricted account has no access to the E*Trade secure email system

Introduce as much delay as possible with practices such as:
Always Leave the burden of all follow up calls on the IC [A good tactic is to promise a return phone call to the IC, and then dont make it]
The FS should never be knowledgeable of any past account history prior to the phone call he is currently handling. Let the IC start from the beginning on each successive phone call.
If the IC insists, or it becomes otherwise awkward, the FS should ask the IC if he minds being put on hold for 3 to 5 minutes while the FS researches the computer file to become knowledgeable on the past history of the account. [This is a good time for the FS to take a coffee or cigarette break. Frequent paid breaks are a good amenity to provide at offshore facilities to counter activist allegations of utilizing low-paid, offshore "sweat shop" labor]. After the break, the FC should always apologize for the delay. [Is any of this sounding familiar to graduates of the E*Trade fraud prevention program?]
Always insist on receiving original documents to insure that they cant be quickly transmitted by fax or email by the IC.
Include in the process illogical procedures such as having documents overnighted by ICs to one address, and then take 3 business days to physically transfer them to a different facility 400 miles away so that they can be electronically scanned into the computer.
Never commit to a time certain as to when the account can be unrestricted.
Never explain the full process to the IC. Only divulge the existence of the additional time delay involved in the next step of the process when you get to that step.
And on and on and on.

How to maximize the collateral value of the customers assets that E*Trade is holding hostage? Inconsistently allow the IC, (whose funds are being held hostage because his identity cannot be verified by E*Trade) to convert any security in the accounts portfolio into cash, and offer to waive the higher fee for having a broker perform the transaction over the phone. In fact, have the FS's make an unsolicited offer to immediately liquidate securities in the ICs account when the (unverified) IC calls in, being sure to point out however that the proceeds cannot be released until the restriction on the account is removed.

CONCLUSION
There is significant and convincing evidence that E*Trade has put all of the above, and much more, in place. The above patterns will sound very familiar to Etrade customers who have already posted complaints. It is very hard to believe that E*Trades Fraud Prevention procedures are justified, benign and in the best interests of their customers. Circumstantial evidence? Yes! But, what other explanation makes any sense?
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#5 Author of original report

Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

The basic scam is: When you try to withdraw funds, E*Trade alleges suspicious activity on your account so it is placed on hold for security reasons. Then E*Trade insists on a ludicrous process of sending a notarized letter to them. (see ConsumerAffairs.com Post from serviceman in Iraq). This entire process is designed to insure maximum time delay. Generally it takes about 30 days to get your money if you are proactive in follow-up, otherwise, it may take longer. If you look critically at the process, you can see that its sole motivation is to create delay, not enhance security.

None of the Federal regulators (SEC and OTS in this case) get excited about a handful of customers who appear to have been treated badly by E*Trade in holding up their withdrawals for a few weeks before releasing the funds, based on E*Trades bogus security concerns of accounts being compromised. E*Trades explanation to regulators will be: Things unintentionally ran amuck with improper supervision of the lowest level employees in an offshore call center, and unintentionally poor internal coordination. E*Trade should not be criticized for an overabundance of caution when it comes to security and fraud prevention in their customers best interest.

However, given E*Trades current precarious cash flow position, suppose this was a process orchestrated by upper management to be intentionally applied to thousands of E*Trade customers, rather than by accident and incompetence to a handful of customers?

What if
an E*Trade executive devised a scheme to withhold meaningful amounts of funds from significantly more than a few hundred of its customers? First, what is a meaningful amount to a company the size of E*Trade? E*Trade claims on its website, in April 2008, to have $176 Billion in Customer assets, and 4.3 Million accounts. That is an average of $41,000 per account. In November 2007, E*Trade was on the brink of bankruptcy. Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago based hedge fund, provided an infusion of $2.5 Billion in Capital for which E*Trade paid dearly. Part of E*Trades ongoing turnaround plan is to sell off three divisions of its company, anticipating those sales will bring in $350 Million by the end of 2008. It could be argued that the threshold of a meaningful amount to E*Trade in their current situation would be in the neighborhood of $50 Million to $100 Million, which is 14 to 28 per cent of their expected proceeds from a significant component of their turnaround plan for 2008. How implausible would it be for E*Trade to obtain an additional interest free loan of $100 Million from its 4.3 million customers as unwilling lenders? [E*Trades current policy on availability of funds already gives then significant interest free funding from their customer base.] Actually, not very implausible!

Net customer withdrawals of funds from E*Trade have averaged over $14 Billion per month for the 4 month period ending 2/29/2008. Since some customers also have deposited funds during that time period, the gross amount of withdrawals had to have been even larger. From 1/1/08 to 2/29/08, E*Trade claims to have signed up 59,000 new retail accounts. [Apparently Ripoffreports.com and other similar sites are no match for E*Trades aggressive 2008 marketing plan when it comes to consumer awareness] Conservatively, let's assume $10 Billion per month as an average gross withdrawal rate going forward.

Suppose that E*Trade initiates a procedure to randomly select 1% (by dollar volume) of the requested withdrawals and temporarily restricts those accounts from being accessed by their owners based on a bogus finding of suspicious activity. Further suppose that on average, those withdrawals could be delayed by one month. If E*Trade can continue to do this each month for a random selection of 1% of its withdrawal requests, this becomes the equivalent of getting a new interest-free cash infusion of $100 Million. [Double all the quantities presented herein and the amount becomes $200,000,000. Still not an implausible proposition]

Assume that customer requests for withdrawals in the amounts ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 and averaging $25,000 are targeted for the delay process. It would take only 4,000 such requests to make up $100 Million. [4,000 is only1/10th of 1% of E*Trades total accounts.] It might be as much as 1% to 3% of the accounts seeking withdrawals in any one month. Even if E*Trade totally alienates the targeted customers, it is not unrealistic to assume they could still point statistically to a better than 95% customer satisfaction rate to their regulating agencies. One should not necessarily rely on traditional statistical measures to assure themselves that all is OK at E*Trade.

Viewed from a different perspective: If E*Trade were serious about implementing a plan of introducing bogus security issues to intentionally delay the transfer of customer funds, what would be required to put their plan in place. A lot of phone calls from 4,000 Irate Customers, (ICs) should be anticipated. E*Trade would need to create a process to handle that anticipated call volume. How many calls should be anticipated? If each IC averages 3 calls per week, (a little more than 1 every other business day), and the average phone call duration is hour, they would need a staff of about 120 persons. [This estimate may be conservatively high since most ICs with brokerage accounts have better things to do than to make unproductive phone calls 3 times per week.]

Implementation
Set up a special department offshore and staff it with persons known as Fraud Specialists, (FSs). Their exclusive job will be to handle phone calls from ICs, who from the ICs point of view have had their accounts restricted for no apparent reason.
Then Implement the following procedures and policies:
Inflexible and illogical bureaucratic requirements, based on Form over Substance.
Preventing ICs from ever contacting by phone any E*Trade Employee except an FS.
Hiring and Training an overseas FS staff of approximately 100, and approximately 20 in the US. Do not place any importance on accuracy or truthfulness in what is told to the IC. Polite intransigence; the ability to totally ignore an ICs question and provide a canned non-responsive answer by rote; the ability to remain calm and polite and never hang up on the IC no matter how livid this process makes the IC, all seem to be part of the FS training program. Proficiency in understanding spoken English beyond an elementary level, longevity with E*Trade, rudimentary experience or knowledge of the services that are provided to the ICs by E*Trade are apparently not a requirement to obtain employment as an FS.
Intercepting all emails from ICs and having them answered by a different staff of people who are impossible for the IC to contact by phone.
Setting up a procedure that generally will not be quickly complied with by the average IC; [i.e. asking for the original of a notarized letter of authorization which must be physically mailed].
Taking no action on any request made by the IC in any written communication received by E*Trade, no matter how benign or trivial, unless said communication is part of E*Trades specific "identity verification" process.
Making sure there is as little continuity as possible between successive phone calls from ICs by making it statistically improbable that the IC will ever talk to the same FS twice.
Never allowing any incoming call from an IC to be transferred to any other person at E*Trade. E.g. [1] the FS the IC previously spoke to; [2] Anyone in E*Trades Customer Service Department; [3] The FSs supervisor; [4] Any Employee or manager outside of the FSs department.
For "security and privacy reasons", make no information available to the IC except to detail the requirements that are being put on the IC to effectuate unrestricting the ICs account.
For "security and privacy reasons", do not respond to email communication from ICs unless it utilizes E*Trades internal secure email process. Then make sure that an IC with a restricted account has no access to the E*Trade secure email system

Introduce as much delay as possible with practices such as:
Always Leave the burden of all follow up calls on the IC [A good tactic is to promise a return phone call to the IC, and then dont make it]
The FS should never be knowledgeable of any past account history prior to the phone call he is currently handling. Let the IC start from the beginning on each successive phone call.
If the IC insists, or it becomes otherwise awkward, the FS should ask the IC if he minds being put on hold for 3 to 5 minutes while the FS researches the computer file to become knowledgeable on the past history of the account. [This is a good time for the FS to take a coffee or cigarette break. Frequent paid breaks are a good amenity to provide at offshore facilities to counter activist allegations of utilizing low-paid, offshore "sweat shop" labor]. After the break, the FC should always apologize for the delay. [Is any of this sounding familiar to graduates of the E*Trade fraud prevention program?]
Always insist on receiving original documents to insure that they cant be quickly transmitted by fax or email by the IC.
Include in the process illogical procedures such as having documents overnighted by ICs to one address, and then take 3 business days to physically transfer them to a different facility 400 miles away so that they can be electronically scanned into the computer.
Never commit to a time certain as to when the account can be unrestricted.
Never explain the full process to the IC. Only divulge the existence of the additional time delay involved in the next step of the process when you get to that step.
And on and on and on.

How to maximize the collateral value of the customers assets that E*Trade is holding hostage? Inconsistently allow the IC, (whose funds are being held hostage because his identity cannot be verified by E*Trade) to convert any security in the accounts portfolio into cash, and offer to waive the higher fee for having a broker perform the transaction over the phone. In fact, have the FS's make an unsolicited offer to immediately liquidate securities in the ICs account when the (unverified) IC calls in, being sure to point out however that the proceeds cannot be released until the restriction on the account is removed.

CONCLUSION
There is significant and convincing evidence that E*Trade has put all of the above, and much more, in place. The above patterns will sound very familiar to Etrade customers who have already posted complaints. It is very hard to believe that E*Trades Fraud Prevention procedures are justified, benign and in the best interests of their customers. Circumstantial evidence? Yes! But, what other explanation makes any sense?
Respond to this report!
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#6 Author of original report

Etrade E*Trade E-Trade Update: Poor Customer Service may be Intentional

AUTHOR: Bob - (U.S.A.)

The basic scam is: When you try to withdraw funds, E*Trade alleges suspicious activity on your account so it is placed on hold for security reasons. Then E*Trade insists on a ludicrous process of sending a notarized letter to them. (see ConsumerAffairs.com Post from serviceman in Iraq). This entire process is designed to insure maximum time delay. Generally it takes about 30 days to get your money if you are proactive in follow-up, otherwise, it may take longer. If you look critically at the process, you can see that its sole motivation is to create delay, not enhance security.

None of the Federal regulators (SEC and OTS in this case) get excited about a handful of customers who appear to have been treated badly by E*Trade in holding up their withdrawals for a few weeks before releasing the funds, based on E*Trades bogus security concerns of accounts being compromised. E*Trades explanation to regulators will be: Things unintentionally ran amuck with improper supervision of the lowest level employees in an offshore call center, and unintentionally poor internal coordination. E*Trade should not be criticized for an overabundance of caution when it comes to security and fraud prevention in their customers best interest.

However, given E*Trades current precarious cash flow position, suppose this was a process orchestrated by upper management to be intentionally applied to thousands of E*Trade customers, rather than by accident and incompetence to a handful of customers?

What if
an E*Trade executive devised a scheme to withhold meaningful amounts of funds from significantly more than a few hundred of its customers? First, what is a meaningful amount to a company the size of E*Trade? E*Trade claims on its website, in April 2008, to have $176 Billion in Customer assets, and 4.3 Million accounts. That is an average of $41,000 per account. In November 2007, E*Trade was on the brink of bankruptcy. Citadel Investment Group, a Chicago based hedge fund, provided an infusion of $2.5 Billion in Capital for which E*Trade paid dearly. Part of E*Trades ongoing turnaround plan is to sell off three divisions of its company, anticipating those sales will bring in $350 Million by the end of 2008. It could be argued that the threshold of a meaningful amount to E*Trade in their current situation would be in the neighborhood of $50 Million to $100 Million, which is 14 to 28 per cent of their expected proceeds from a significant component of their turnaround plan for 2008. How implausible would it be for E*Trade to obtain an additional interest free loan of $100 Million from its 4.3 million customers as unwilling lenders? [E*Trades current policy on availability of funds already gives then significant interest free funding from their customer base.] Actually, not very implausible!

Net customer withdrawals of funds from E*Trade have averaged over $14 Billion per month for the 4 month period ending 2/29/2008. Since some customers also have deposited funds during that time period, the gross amount of withdrawals had to have been even larger. From 1/1/08 to 2/29/08, E*Trade claims to have signed up 59,000 new retail accounts. [Apparently Ripoffreports.com and other similar sites are no match for E*Trades aggressive 2008 marketing plan when it comes to consumer awareness] Conservatively, let's assume $10 Billion per month as an average gross withdrawal rate going forward.

Suppose that E*Trade initiates a procedure to randomly select 1% (by dollar volume) of the requested withdrawals and temporarily restricts those accounts from being accessed by their owners based on a bogus finding of suspicious activity. Further suppose that on average, those withdrawals could be delayed by one month. If E*Trade can continue to do this each month for a random selection of 1% of its withdrawal requests, this becomes the equivalent of getting a new interest-free cash infusion of $100 Million. [Double all the quantities presented herein and the amount becomes $200,000,000. Still not an implausible proposition]

Assume that customer requests for withdrawals in the amounts ranging from $10,000 to $40,000 and averaging $25,000 are targeted for the delay process. It would take only 4,000 such requests to make up $100 Million. [4,000 is only1/10th of 1% of E*Trades total accounts.] It might be as much as 1% to 3% of the accounts seeking withdrawals in any one month. Even if E*Trade totally alienates the targeted customers, it is not unrealistic to assume they could still point statistically to a better than 95% customer satisfaction rate to their regulating agencies. One should not necessarily rely on traditional statistical measures to assure themselves that all is OK at E*Trade.

Viewed from a different perspective: If E*Trade were serious about implementing a plan of introducing bogus security issues to intentionally delay the transfer of customer funds, what would be required to put their plan in place. A lot of phone calls from 4,000 Irate Customers, (ICs) should be anticipated. E*Trade would need to create a process to handle that anticipated call volume. How many calls should be anticipated? If each IC averages 3 calls per week, (a little more than 1 every other business day), and the average phone call duration is hour, they would need a staff of about 120 persons. [This estimate may be conservatively high since most ICs with brokerage accounts have better things to do than to make unproductive phone calls 3 times per week.]

Implementation
Set up a special department offshore and staff it with persons known as Fraud Specialists, (FSs). Their exclusive job will be to handle phone calls from ICs, who from the ICs point of view have had their accounts restricted for no apparent reason.
Then Implement the following procedures and policies:
Inflexible and illogical bureaucratic requirements, based on Form over Substance.
Preventing ICs from ever contacting by phone any E*Trade Employee except an FS.
Hiring and Training an overseas FS staff of approximately 100, and approximately 20 in the US. Do not place any importance on accuracy or truthfulness in what is told to the IC. Polite intransigence; the ability to totally ignore an ICs question and provide a canned non-responsive answer by rote; the ability to remain calm and polite and never hang up on the IC no matter how livid this process makes the IC, all seem to be part of the FS training program. Proficiency in understanding spoken English beyond an elementary level, longevity with E*Trade, rudimentary experience or knowledge of the services that are provided to the ICs by E*Trade are apparently not a requirement to obtain employment as an FS.
Intercepting all emails from ICs and having them answered by a different staff of people who are impossible for the IC to contact by phone.
Setting up a procedure that generally will not be quickly complied with by the average IC; [i.e. asking for the original of a notarized letter of authorization which must be physically mailed].
Taking no action on any request made by the IC in any written communication received by E*Trade, no matter how benign or trivial, unless said communication is part of E*Trades specific "identity verification" process.
Making sure there is as little continuity as possible between successive phone calls from ICs by making it statistically improbable that the IC will ever talk to the same FS twice.
Never allowing any incoming call from an IC to be transferred to any other person at E*Trade. E.g. [1] the FS the IC previously spoke to; [2] Anyone in E*Trades Customer Service Department; [3] The FSs supervisor; [4] Any Employee or manager outside of the FSs department.
For "security and privacy reasons", make no information available to the IC except to detail the requirements that are being put on the IC to effectuate unrestricting the ICs account.
For "security and privacy reasons", do not respond to email communication from ICs unless it utilizes E*Trades internal secure email process. Then make sure that an IC with a restricted account has no access to the E*Trade secure email system

Introduce as much delay as possible with practices such as:
Always Leave the burden of all follow up calls on the IC [A good tactic is to promise a return phone call to the IC, and then dont make it]
The FS should never be knowledgeable of any past account history prior to the phone call he is currently handling. Let the IC start from the beginning on each successive phone call.
If the IC insists, or it becomes otherwise awkward, the FS should ask the IC if he minds being put on hold for 3 to 5 minutes while the FS researches the computer file to become knowledgeable on the past history of the account. [This is a good time for the FS to take a coffee or cigarette break. Frequent paid breaks are a good amenity to provide at offshore facilities to counter activist allegations of utilizing low-paid, offshore "sweat shop" labor]. After the break, the FC should always apologize for the delay. [Is any of this sounding familiar to graduates of the E*Trade fraud prevention program?]
Always insist on receiving original documents to insure that they cant be quickly transmitted by fax or email by the IC.
Include in the process illogical procedures such as having documents overnighted by ICs to one address, and then take 3 business days to physically transfer them to a different facility 400 miles away so that they can be electronically scanned into the computer.
Never commit to a time certain as to when the account can be unrestricted.
Never explain the full process to the IC. Only divulge the existence of the additional time delay involved in the next step of the process when you get to that step.
And on and on and on.

How to maximize the collateral value of the customers assets that E*Trade is holding hostage? Inconsistently allow the IC, (whose funds are being held hostage because his identity cannot be verified by E*Trade) to convert any security in the accounts portfolio into cash, and offer to waive the higher fee for having a broker perform the transaction over the phone. In fact, have the FS's make an unsolicited offer to immediately liquidate securities in the ICs account when the (unverified) IC calls in, being sure to point out however that the proceeds cannot be released until the restriction on the account is removed.

CONCLUSION
There is significant and convincing evidence that E*Trade has put all of the above, and much more, in place. The above patterns will sound very familiar to Etrade customers who have already posted complaints. It is very hard to believe that E*Trades Fraud Prevention procedures are justified, benign and in the best interests of their customers. Circumstantial evidence? Yes! But, what other explanation makes any sense?
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#7 Consumer Comment

Very Interesting

AUTHOR: Lee Ving - (U.S.A.)

Oddly enough, about an hour after my conversation with E*TRADE regarding their "security" measures, my 5K became avaiilable.

My guess is that these buttholes freeze your money until you complain and threaten to report them to the SEC.

Do not bank with these crooks.
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#8 Consumer Comment

But, they will pay interest

AUTHOR: Lee Ving - (U.S.A.)

Yes, that's E*TRADE.

I just got off the phone with an E*TARD from E*TRADE to find out where the 5K I transferred from Wells-Fargo on 4/18 went. After answering 159 questions, I was told that it was being held by E*TRADE for my security until 4/29, but I would be paid interest.

Just a few weeks ago I made a transfer of 10K from HSBC Direct, it took 9 days, again it was for 'security' purposes. And again they told me that they would pay interest while it was restricted.

Both of the external accounts were verified by E*TRADES own verfication process, and I also use their digital security token for extra protection.

Ironically, E*TRADE calls it "Quick Transfer".

The only security these jackasses care about is their own financial security, and they try to ensure it by freezing customer accounts.

Here's there policy regarding external transfers right from their website:

External account to E*TRADE Bank deposit account On the evening of the 3rd business day after the day of deposit

However, they get around this by 'freezing' the account, for your protection of course.

I guess an internet bank is suspicious of Bank-to-Bank transfers.

I think we need to start complaining to the SEC regarding E*TRADES deceptive and fraudulent practices.
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