On November 1 of 2010 I called Merrill Edge about my wife's IRA account. I gave the account number to the automated system
and it recognized it. It also asked for the account zip code. When I got the Merrill representative named John Abbott, and after my
wife came on the phone and answered all the questions, he asked, as part of a security question, "how much money is in your account". My answer was the amount listed on my statement. He said my answer was incorrect. After much discussion and proving who I was by answering many questions, it comes out that the account has ZERO funds in it.
I asked the individual on the phone, "Where did the money go". And he says, "I can't see that". I said, "Who can see that", he didn't know. So he put me on hold for almost 30 minutes and came back and said, "Someone would have to get back to me tomorrow". I mentioned how it says on the statement to call this number for 24 hour assistance, and he said, "Well, that doesn't mean we can tell you what happened to your account balance". By the way, no one ever called me back based on this call. And I sent in a complaint about this call at that time. I got back a form letter saying, "we understand and have taken appropriate action". That generic letter really gave me great confidence that your company had improved it's employee training problem.
So I waited a few minutes to calm down, and then I called back and got a different person, who found the account. After my wife again identified herself to the representative, I asked them how could we transfer the cash portion of this account. I was told the best way to do that was go to the branch of BofA and they'd help me.
On 11/04/2010 I went to the Newport, Oregon branch of BofA with my wife and they helped us fill out the forms. You realize, we
originally had the IRA at BofA and were just now trying to get it back to BofA after it went to Merrill Edge when BofA bought
On about 11/25/2010 we got a letter from Merrill Edge saying, "We are sending this notice after unsuccessful attempts to contact
you by phone". We only have one phone number and you have the correct phone number. Our phone registers all calls even if the
person doesn't leave a message and hangs up. No calls came to us during this period from Merrill Edge or any other unknown callers.
We were here the entire time. So was that a lie?
Then the letter said "In order to process your request we need additional information, details below" and below it said "We cannot
process your request for the below reasons" and then below that there was no reason listed. That seems very incompetent.
So my wife called 1-877-653-4732 and tried to explain to people what was going on. After being on hold for over 15 minutes, the first rep. was named Jeff. He said he had to transfer us to another division. My wife waited on the phone listening to that same loop of music over and over for 35 minutes by the clock, and then we finally gave up. Frankly neither of us could stand listening to that music over and over, and now when I call Merrill and hear that music again it just really sets me on edge (I guess that's why you call it Merrill Edge?).The second person she spoke to could find nothing about the TRANSFER request. We explained that the letter used the word "withdrawal". She said the BofA employee had sent the letter to the wrong division. I don't believe that because of what follows. When this was questioned she said the problem had now changed, it was only because of security and they just needed my wife's verbal approval (which is a very good thing, you should always do that). But then she said she had to transfer us to another person.
After being on hold again for over 20 minutes, she transferred us to someone in another division named Vipul rep. #1024512, and he said the entire problem was because an amount of the transfer had not been listed. We explained that it was to be the entire amount and as the amount can change over time we clearly stated the entire amount. He finally told us he would see that the transfer occurred! Yea!
My wife was on the phone between about 9:30 AM to about 12:15 PM, almost three hours responding to the letter Merrill Edge sent us. I've never experienced a more unprofessional, incompetent and poorly trained group of individuals. Any confidence I ever had in dealing with Merrill Edge over the phone or online has been completely destroyed.
I am trying to find a reason to continue doing business with ME, but the negatives far out weigh any advantages.