A long time customer says good bye to IB

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by hpex1, Dec 4, 2003.

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  1. hpex1


    Sometimes I get so pissed off at IB, I am tempted to just trade elsewhere, today is one of those times.

    First a little background, I have been an IB customer since they first started offering their product on the internet, my original account number was one of the first accounts, apparently fewer digits then most, any way.... not only am I long term customer, but not a squeaky wheel, I don't complain about things, I have been trading for over 20 years, I understand the game and I understand the IB platform and I live with the good and the bad, I think they balance out.

    My average activity is about 30,000 shares a day and has been for years. I would think this would make me an account they may want to keep, but noooooooooo, not at IB, we are all just a number, with customer service levels that put very little value on customer retention.

    In October I decided to take a couple of months off at the end of the year and do some traveling, so around the end of October I wired all the funds out of my account with the exception of about $50.00 just to keep my account open, the intention was to fund the account again when I came back to work after the first of the year I did not want money in the account if I was not going to be able to check balances daily, as I am still not entirely comfortable with online security issues.

    Yesterday I get an email that IB has closed my account because the balance was under $100.00, I had forgotten that this was their policy. I immediately called customer service, explained the situation and was informed the account had already been closed and basically told tough luck buddy.

    One would think a phone call or an email to along term good customer would have been in order prior to closing the account, NOW WAY!!! not at IB, this type of treatment is typical of the customer is always wrong attitude one can expect at IB.

    This was the final nail in the coffin for a long term good customer, if Iam going to have to fill out a new application for a new account it wont be at IB. There are many good competitors out there now with competitive pricing to IB.

    For all of the regulars on this board, you rarely see me post anything, but I just had to share this story, I guess Iam really pissed this time....
  2. pspr


    Customer service is definitely not "Job 1" at IB.

    Some time ago I had an ES stop (simulated so sitting on IB's servers) that was executed even though the actual price never came within 5 points of the stop. The problem was an erroneous price sent to IB by Globex that triggered the stop on IB.

    After talking to the IB customer service I was told that Globex is not breaking any trades because of stop execution resulting from their erroneous bad quotes and so IB wasn't going to either.

    Now I only use native stop-limit orders because of this.
  3. Ive been with IB for quite awhile, too. Its kind of a typical progression. Someone comes up with a great product or service, word gets around and they grow exponentially. They grow too fast and the intrastructure cannot keep up with demand. If they were smart they would stop taking on new accounts and allow attrition to reduce the load to a point they can handle.
  4. My only complaint is that the gd damn TWS turns off all the time and that is a very serious matter with me. I'm scared to scalp on the site and that is the only trading that I do. I'm beginning to think that they turn the servers off on purpose so you have to call in and close your order. I started a thread like this yesterday but it never saw the light of day and I don't know who is responsible for that move
  5. hpex1


    Def relpied to my post that was also posted in the "I love IB thread" I did not want to reply in that thread for obvious reasons.

    Def said:
    Interactive Brokers

    Registered: Dec 1999
    Posts: 2507

    12-04-03 05:53 AM


    while I can understand your frustration, i hope you can understand that the process is automated and that probably 99.9% of accounts that withdraw funds and leave balances under $100 intend to close their accounts. The idea of closing accounts with balances under $100 is an attempt to remove many accounts that were piggy backing off a cheap and fast data service.



    Your customers are not computers, they are people.

    Your claim that 99% are piggybacking for free data may or may not be the case, but as long as you guys are so good at automating things, why not automate to screen for prior activity before pulling a bonehead move like this.

    30,000 share a day x .75 average = $225.00 daily revenue to IB x 20 trading days= $4500.00 per month x 12= $54,000 year

    I would suggest you guys pay more attention to who is "piggybacking" and who your good customers are or in this case were.

    Totally unprofessional and unacceptable business pratices in my opinion, my only recourse is to take my business else where which I am in the process of doing.
  6. def

    def Sponsor

    that is the issue, the process is automated and I agree that you should have been flagged for a phone call and/or an e-mail. I thought that was coded in but obviously something went wrong. the best I can say is that we learn from and fix our mistakes and i hope you give us another shot.
  7. you just said you understand that much of process is automated and you just said you know that you inadvertantly breached $100 threshold so what's your problem?? so what open another account and stop thinking your so special. just my opinion.
  8. hpex1


    Thanks Def I appreciate your attitude but this is not the prevailing attitude when one calls IB customer service.

    In my phone call to customer service after receiving the email, I was informed the account has been closed but if I wanted to call funds and banking maybe they could do something. I told the rep, it took me 10 minutes on hold to get thru to him, and if they have any intrest in retiaining a customer, to please sort it out and get back me. Obviously this was falling on deaf ears and the IB famous customer is always wrong, get rid of them attitude and go on to the next call once again prevailed.
  9. Quah


    Why, since you are such a good IB customer, did you "forget" their policy? I don't understand your complaint - rules are rules - what makes you exempt from them just because you trade 30,000 shares a day? Good grief. You messed up - big deal - you obviously liked IB before you messed up, so just open another account.
  10. DHOHHI


    Any business why truly values their GOOD customers would make things right. In this case if IB chooses to not do what would seem to be logical and obvious then they lose a good client who generated a good revenue (i.e. commission) stream. Secondly, in this day and age their are a zillion database tools where they could have easily checked for the "dormant" type account that they expect will be closed. If they see an account with a LOT of activity then that in itself should raise a flag that maybe this is an exception case. Technology (automation) is a double edged sword. In this case it seems that they (IB) failed because of the lack of personal interaction. Although you made a mistake in failing to adhere to the $100 minimum it seems it will cost them a LOT more in lost commissions in the long run.
    #10     Dec 4, 2003
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