Etrade's Global Trading system promises an "easy, online integrated platform" with "easy online access" to "fully manage your account online". Their tutorial (at (((Redacted)))) show you "everything you need" to trade online using their system.
But they do not tell one key step you must take before making every single trade. If you don't do this, you will lose money. And this step goes against the whole concept of online trading. Furthermore, it is not mentioned in the instruction, the tutorial, the trading page, or anywhere on their website. So how would you know. And if you don't, you will lose lots of money and when you complain they will blame it on you without refunding you.
This key step is that you must call Etrade before making ANY foreign trade when starting with US dollars. They don't tell you this in advance, and it means that Etrade Global Trading is using deceptive adveristing when they say their system allows you to fully manage your account online. Stay away from Etrade!!
Did they even consider that people who use Etrade to trade in foreign markets may actually be in the foreign market and it would be difficult to call the US? Even so, why wouldn't they just tell users up front: "You must call!"
So I wanted to trade in several German stocks. Per Etrade's "step-by-step instructions". I checked each security to see if they were tradable before converting Dollars to Euros. Of the 6 that I looked at, 5 let me see the quotes, but there was a message that the stock was not tradable and there was no "Buy" or "Sell" button. That's fine, I didn't expect Etrade to cover all stocks in that market. For the 6th one, however, there was a "Buy" and "Sell" button and I could preview my order, so I knew that this one was tradable. I then converted US$5000 to Euros and the Etrade system allow me to place the trade.
When I noticed that the securities didn't appear on my portfolio, I checked the status of the order and saw that it had been "Rejected". I called Etrade Customer Service and they told me that it had been rejected because they didn't trade in that security!! I asked why it would show as tradable and actually take my order, they said that I should call them before every single foreign trade to make sure a security is tradable. So sorry, too bad. I lose my currency conversions in and out. This is ridiculous as 1. they are marketing this as Easy Online Access to Fully Manage My Global Account and 2. there is no-where on the entire website that says I should call every time before making a Global Trade.
By the way, I've noticed that NOW they changed this security, and it comes up with a message saying it's not tradable if you try to place an order. Doesn't this prove that the system tells you and that my situation was a flaw in the system. At the very least, shouldn't they refund my loss and warn users "Before converting currency, you must call Etrade to verify that Etrade trades in that security." This warning does not exist.
I have emailed and talked to Customer Support reps as well as the manager Richard Ikeh and they say that somehow this is my fault. I should have known to call them before exchanging currency. Huh!?!?! If the system lets you place orders on some securities and not others, and the system is marketed as a completely online system, why would I think I need to call?? And what if I'm overseas anyway??
Now after currency exchange costs and the depreciation of the Euro, my $5000 is worth $4500. They lost a 10+ year customer with assets of $100K-$400K over a measly $500.
Thinking back at this transaction, I think about what I would have done differently and given their instructions, the way the system works, and the marketing, I don't think I would have done it any differently. But if they had warnings, correct instructions, or a system that works, this problem wouldn't have happened. So doesn't that mean that they are at fault.
Bad system, deceptive advertising, and inadequate warnings make for a bad combination. If anyone else has had a similar experience please contact me so we can talk about options.
San Francisco, California
U.S.A. Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on E-Trade CLICK here to see why Rip-off Report, as a matter of policy, deleted either a phone number, link or e-mail address from this Report.