IB Made an Error. Will They Fix It?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by cohenmichaela, Jul 24, 2006.

  1. To begin, I don't want to sound like I'm bashing IB. I've been a customer of theirs for 3 years and have been happy in the past. This is the first major problem I've had with them. I just felt it would be a good idea to put it out in the public. This way it gives IB the opportunity to shine and do the right thing. The alternative is that I get screwed;)

    Here's the situation.

    Last Friday, July 21st, I was long 20 JUL ES 1250 Puts and short 20 JUL ES 1245 Puts. The closing price for the SEP ES was below 1245 (1244.50 I think).

    So, obviously my 1245 strike is very close so I have some pin risk. I'm concerned about assignment because I don't want to wake up and be short 20 ES contracts. So as soon as Globex opens on Sunday night I check my account and it is flat with the expected profit from the debit spread showing as cash in my account. I then checked the official IB statement through my Account Management which shows that all 20 ES 1245 Puts were assigned and that I am indeed flat.

    Now the plot thickens. I wake up Monday morning and I find to my surprise that I am short 10 ES contracts and the ES has now moved 12.5 points away from the 1245 strike I was supposed to be assigned at. After speaking with a gentleman from customer service he informs me that they made a mistake and I was only assigned on 10 of the 20 short 1245 Puts. He then recommended that I liquidate my unexpected position (which has now lost me over 6K) and open a ticket with them through their website. He said that after reviewing it (7-10 days) they should reimburse me.

    Like I said, I'm not bashing IB. I understand mistakes will be made. I'm hoping IB will do the right thing in my mind and reimburse me for my loss. I feel this way not because I wasn't assigned on the 1245 Puts but because I was informed through my account and through my statement that I was indeed assigned and flat.

    I'm sure there will be diehard IB fans out there that will tell me that just because my account and my statement show that I'm flat, it doesn't mean that I am. I won't have any argument for this because I don't see the logic in it. All I know is that my statement said I was flat as did my account. On Monday morning IB customer service tells me that "they" made an error and that I was only assigned on half my outstanding short 1245 Puts.

    The key point here is that they made the error and therefore they should be liable for my loss in this situation. I do hope IB does the right thing because I would like to continue being a satisfied customer of theirs.
  2. If the online account statement or the platform says you are flat, we have to trust the statement, or what's the point of the account statement?

    I think you are very right in this issue. You just state the fact and the problem. The die-hard IB fans should not criticise you (if they do).

    If the platform flagged red and says the order is cancelled, but it turns out to be not. Should I or IB be liable of this transaction?

    I hope IB will fully reimburse your losses.
  3. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest

    Not a criticism but some advice for the future. Always check the audit trail found under VIEW in TWS. I'm not saying that it might make a difference in your case because if it was a reporting error (which does happen) it wouldn't show anything different from your statements, trade confirms, or account. But it gives you more details which may help you spot a potential problem.

    But have no worries, IB will in all probability reimburse you. Your case looks solid enough assuming you didn't leave out any details. It might take a while (4-6weeks) to actually get reimbursed because it has to go through a chain of approvals. But they'll probably put the request in before the week is out.
  4. 4-6weeks. A bit too long. :(
    Anyway, late is better than never. Urgh!

    ddunbar, how often do you suffer from this type of problem?
  5. Dont expect them to fix anything.
    I had an even more blatant error several months ago.

    My system put in a market order for 2000 shares of a stock in the morning.

    I didnt notice it until 3 hours later.

    The audit trail shows the order was accepted and sent to the NYSE. The transmit bar was green.

    I got no fill, none. At my exit signal, I would have made $4000 on this trade.

    I started a conversation with IB. They just kept blowing me off and making excuses until I gave up.

    This is what I expect from them. My time is too valuable to fight over $4000, but im pissed about being robbed for 4G's anyway.

    Some may argue that 3 hours is too late. Fine. But it still pisses me off.
  6. ddunbar

    ddunbar Guest

    That particular problem? Never.

    Though I had a situation in April on a Friday afternoon. They were having a quote problem with one of their liquidity providers on Idealpro which triggered an order I had on the books that was 30pips away. Once they understood what the situation was, they recified quickly. But the reimbursement took 6-7 weeks.

    Yeah, that is kind of long but it sure beats "tough noogies kiddo." A response that usually triggers arbitration.
  7. Is audit trail the only thing we should rely on?

    Apart from audit trail, what else should I check to confirm what I see is what I really get?

    I've never experienced this type of problem with my local broker.

    A big firm like IB seems to be even worse than a local broker. Urgh~! :mad:
  8. Still waiting to hear back from IB but I'll keep you all posted.

    Thanks for the support. It's nice to know I'm not going crazy here...

    As for checking TWS, there wasn't any debate on how and when orders were filled. This was an issue with options assignment at expiration. The only way for me to know what options are assigned is via my statement and my account information window. I don't think there's any entries in the audit trail regarding which options are assigned until I'm entered in a position on the underlying. In this case that didn't happen until this morning so I'd still be in the same situation I'm in now.

    I hope it doesn't take 4 - 6 weeks. I'm currently generating good percentage returns on my trading and could use that capital in my account.

    I'm sorry to hear about your experience traderdragon. It is discouraging for me to hear that they gave you the runaround. It felt the same way for me when I was speaking to customer service. I spent over an hour asking them how this happened. Finally the customer service agent said that IB made a mistake on the exercise notice for my short 1245 Puts and thats why I'm short 10 ES. Up until that point they tried to make it sound like it was my fault.

    Again, I'm not bashing IB has they have not responded yet. I'm just hoping they do the right thing.
  9. How about other reporting problem like the trade is flagged red, but is not cancelled; the trade is flagged black, but is not filled?
    Or either the account statement or execution statement report wrongly?

    Do we need to be angry or argue hard with them before they will reimburse for their mistakes?
  10. ktm



    I am one of those IB loyalists. I've had a few mishaps over the years and they have generally come through with a fair solution once the right people are on the task.

    Based on what you've written, I would agree with you completely. The statement is the ultimate authority on your positions and exposure. Given that they take until mid-day Sunday to produce it after expiration, there is no reason to think that it isn't all inclusive of actions taken - including assignment. Settlement was 1244.75. If you had noted a few extra futures positions in the account as of Sunday, I'm sure you could have closed them out shortly after the 1800 EDT open Sunday night for a negligible difference.

    I deal in the same products and rely 100% on the Sunday statement. Please keep us posted on the progess and outcome.
    #10     Jul 24, 2006