I am new to trading the NYSE and am just starting to realize that a lot of specialists are crooks and seem to, at times, engage in unfair practices to screw the average trader. I know that sometimes you will get price improvement, but I really hate it when the specialist freezes his book (it always seems to happen when the market is very volatile) and looks at all the order flow- then decides not to fill those orders that would be in the money and fills all kinds of out of the money orders and then spreads his market!! he will spread it usually like 10-40 cents so that you get filled at a shitty price and then he counts on you panicking and getting out at the bid or the offer, so that he can make a quick 10-20 cents off of you. usually i hang on and am wise to this game, but it pisses me off that some guy can decide whether or not to fill my order. then another thing i can't stand is when they back away from their quotes- they will show 20K shares on the offer, you try to NX them for 1000 and you can't get anything- you check the prints and there is nothing even traded at the price where the specialist displayed his big size- that is not honoring a quote!! I recently read an article in Traders magazine about specialists freezing the book- the magazine contacted the NYSE, who declined comment and referred them to the SEC- guess what, the SEC declined comment as well......I was talking yesterday to a trader in my office and we thought that if there was enough interest among daytraders (and we recorded instances where specialists backed away, etc) that we could be a powerful force and could bring a class action suit against certain specialists- this would be the impetus for the exchange to cut down on the bullshit that occurs and ensure a more fair and equitable market. why should the specialist have a license to steal? i understand that he assumes risk and provides liquidity and is priveleged to the most important info on wall street- order flow- but why with all of the advantages they have are they still allowed to pull their shenanigans? so, what do you guys think?? should we band together and go bust some balls?? i wonder how long it is before this thread gets crushed by the powers that be??