customer respect at IB versus O-X

Discussion in 'Interactive Brokers' started by nusrat, Oct 18, 2002.

  1. nusrat


    First, a recent thread from IB's boards. [There are *lots* of people on EliteTrader's boards, and on IB's, who tell of similar experiences -- and worse.]

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:56 pm by "asdfasdf":
    Chat transcript:
    I start with a balance of $74.
    I place a SINGLE COMBO order for the following debit spread:
    buy one .QAVKU (QQQ Nov$22call, $2.30);
    sell one .QAVKW (QQQ Nov$23call, $1.60).
    I buy the spread for 0.70 ($70).

    ibhelp6: "IB will not figure this out for you"
    cust: "why not?"
    ibhelp6: "the system will automatically do this"
    cust: "well, the system is doing it wrong, that's why I'm asking"
    ibhelp6: "please send in an email"

    Posted on Thursday, October 17, 2002 - 02:57 pm by "asdfasdf":
    episode 2:
    email sent to IB:
    "what should the commission be for a 2-leg option combo (one of each contract), assuming each leg costs $1-$3?"

    IB's response:
    "Please refer to the following link."

    "That reply isn't very helpful.
    i ALREADY KNOW what *I* think the commissions are SUPPOSED to be.
    Now I'm asking for IB's interpretation.
    I asked Chat, and THEY said to email.
    So now I'd like a straight answer, please.

    IB's response: none yet.

    episode 3:
    From: <>
    Sent: Thursday, October 17, 2002 3:13 PM
    Subject: Re: Trade Issues

    Dear Trader,
    It is IB's policy not to calculate margin for traders. Here is a link to our web site that can help you:

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 10:32 am by "asdfasdf":
    As for my "shouting", it was only to draw attention to the crux of
    my question.
    Regardless, it was obviously to no avail, as several people still
    managed to miss 3 key points:
    (a) I was asking about *commissions*, *not* about margins;
    (b) I was asking, not about a legged spread,
    but about a "single combo order";
    (c) I was asking about the resulting **cash balance**,
    not about "position value".

    I *was* in fact pretty specific, right down to identifying the specific symbols.

    Exactly what useful function do the first-responders serve, if they characteristically do no more than to recite rote "canned" responses?
    This approach doesn't even effectively accomplish any "hand-holding" emotional effect which might be intended.
    It seems to me that answering a commissions question is the bare minimum which the customer should be able to expect.

    btw, I did eventually receive a responsive reply.

    Posted on Friday, October 18, 2002 - 01:08 pm by "POS":
    Again another perfect example of how pathetic IB's service is. That is their response to everything, "send an e-mail".
  2. nusrat


    Now, an example of my experience with O-X: this email was a follow-up to a chat session where O-X corrected an erroneous trade for me -- AT NO CHARGE. [Current IB customers, can you imagine IB doing this AT ALL?!]

    ----- Original Message -----
    From: <>
    Sent: Thursday, June 27, 2002 3:50 PM
    Subject: Your trade has been withdrawn.

    Dear [censored],

    The following transaction has been withdrawn by the executing exchange:
    Account Number: [censored]
    Order Number : 588460
    Symbol : .QAVGY
    Description : QQQ JUL 25 Call
    Quantity : 3 contract(s)
    Price : $1.85
    Net Amt : $540.03

    Please note that your order has been resubmitted based on its previous details.
    The executing exchange may "bust" an erroneous transaction from the time it has been reported up until the opening of the market on the following day. However, please contact the optionsXpress trading department at 1-888-280-8020 for more information on this process.
  3. What the hell's your purpose here, to promote O-X or denegrate IB?

    Enough already; you've made your point ad nauseum. Either state something useful or don't let the mouse bite you in the ass on the way out.
  4. nusrat


    IB example #2 . . .

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 11:30 AM
    Subject: why can't I "Close Position"?

    I hold one position, an equity option spread currently valued for less than $100.

    I can't "leg" out of it due to margin restrictions, and ** I understand that **.

    But I'm also being stopped from doing a combo sale on it [a single unified transaction in IB's TraderWorkStation] for any price at all, including prices way over $100 (a net credit transaction).

    ----- Original Message -----
    To: <>
    Sent: Friday, October 18, 2002 2:24 PM
    Subject: Re: STILL can't "Close Position" THREE HOURS LATER

    No response after another three hours, so let's try IB chat . . .
    17:20:08 ibhelp7 "How may I assist you?"

    17:20:13 "I've been waiting six hours for an answer from I hold only one position [etc.] . . ."

    17:21:02 ibhelp7 "One moment"
    five minutes later . . .
    17:26:06 ibhelp7 "What do you mean you are being stopped from doing a combo?"
    17:26:15 "Margin violation message"

    17:26:30 ibhelp7 "You will need to either:
    1) Place these trades with the Trade Desk to close your position, or
    2) Deposit enough funds."

    17:27:36 "Will the Trade Desk cost me extra?"
    17:28:46 ibhelp7 "Yes, it's normally $60, but i may be possible that the manager will allow only $30 charge."

    17:29:11 "Deposit enough funds for *what*? it's a CREDIT transaction!"
    17:29:58 ibhelp7 "To buy back the short option first."

    17:30:28 "I don't want to leg-out. I want to close the same way I opened, as a single ISE combo order. I do it all the time, why can't I now?"
    17:30:57 ibhelp7 "If you can't do this on TWS,
    You will need to either:
    1) Place these trades with the Trade Desk to close your position, or
    2) Deposit enough funds."

    17:31:49 "Please refer me to someone who knows what I mean by 'combo'. It's a single transaction that *adds* money to my acct. TWS allows this all the time. Again, I'm asking for someone to tell me why it suddenly doesn't work now."

    17:33:00 ibhelp7 "Combo is a spread, straddle, etc."

    17:33:20 "No, it's not just a spread. It's an order that's entered with a SINGLE market data line on TWS."
    17:33:29 ibhelp7 "I've spoken with a manager regarding this. This is what was stated to me."

    17:33:59 "Fine, how do I contact them?"
    17:34:05 ibhelp7 "877-442-2757"

    17:34:39 "What will IB do if I just let it expire in-the-money? Then they'll HAVE to credit me, right?"
    17:36:29 ibhelp7 "We will abide by OCC rules."

    17:36:38 "Which means what?"
    17:40:11 ibhelp7 "It depends on how much in-the-money."

    customer give up on chat and calls IB . . .

    Recorded message: ". . . The current waiting time is at least ten minutes . . . This call may be recorded for quality purposes . . ."
    IB: "This is John."
    BEEP sound is heard, indicating that IB is recording.

    customer: "By the way, that reminds me, I need to tell you that I too am recording the call, in case you'd rather pass the call to someone else."

    customer: "Uh, you're *already* recording this, aren't you?"
  5. nusrat


    I'm not trying to promote anything except a reasonable level of consideration for customers. I'm citing O-X only because that's the only basis I have for comparison -- and a pretty telling one, at that. I've never seen anyone making the kinds of complaints about O-X that you see on IB's own boards.

    Perhaps it would serve you better to focus on the substance of what I'm saying. People are entitled to know what kind of treatment they can expect to receive from IB.

    This forum *is* about retail brokers, after all.

    OTOH, you're perfectly welcome to ignore my posts. It's a free country.
  6. nusrat


    btw, fyi, it's
    "den-I-grate", and
    "ad nause-A-m". :eek: :D :p
  7. Htrader

    Htrader Guest

    I know IB has its share of problems. But there is not any other broker I would consider. None match IB's price/speed/selection. The only reason there is so much talk about IB on elitetrader is because its just so popular. And its popular for a reason.
  8. nusrat


    I've said nothing to dispute that, and wouldn't. After all, there are reasons I too became a customer. There are legitimate criticisms to be made of the trading experience at IB, but I don't think anyone complains about the costs or the fills.

    But that's not what I've been posting about in this thread. The fact remains that a lot of IB customers feel mistreated, and this phenomenon also exists "for a reason".

    At some point, for some people, the trade-offs start to become less and less of a clear-cut "no-brainer", and some may legitimately begin to wonder if the $ benefits are
    (a) really all that large, and
    (b) worth the grief.

    I've been a customer at both places, and the gap between my trading needs and O-X's costs and benefits is gradually narrowing. And since this forum is about retail brokers, I think current and prospective customers are entitled to be exposed to a different perspective about the very stark contrasts between IB and other brokers --
    especially so, now that IB is changing their stand on the applicability of Pattern Day Trading regs to equity options.

    I've no interest in vengefully or petulantly trashing IB. My fondest wish in this regard is to see the "invisible hand of the marketplace" -- i.e., the choices made by informed traders -- start to have a dramatic effect on IB's attitudes.

    Such a response would simply constitute enlightened self-interest on IB's part. But I sincerely believe that such an outcome isn't likely until unhappy IB customers shift,
    FROM unfocused pot-shot flaming and grousing,
    TO repeated, continuous, detailed and specific expression and documentation of their dissatisfactions and frustrations.

    And to voting with their feet, as may be appropriate. At the moment, I know of no better alternative for trading futures, currency, and non-U.S. securities. But I'm keeping my eyes open. And my equity options business is going back to O-X in the meantime.
  9. nusrat, with these low commish, how would you want to equip
    you trading help desk with a competent real traders staff,
    if one of these guys costs always > 100k/year ??

    my experience: with IB, try figure out yourself, find another
    way to work around a bug, or let it be. it is only the electronics,
    the software and you.
  10. If you do a lot of trading with options, why not move your account to O-X ? Their company name implies to me that they might have better knowledge about options and option exchanges (like ISE, CBOE, PHLX, PSE).
    #10     Oct 19, 2002