IB Stop Execution failure - IB Rep??

Discussion in 'Order Execution' started by libertine, Jul 3, 2008.

  1. Well, anyone who has used IB for a while will know that customer service can be a bit hit-and-miss sometimes, and I know some IB reps (who seem to be able to get things done) frequent these boards so I'm going to post here as I need clarification on an issue which may also be of concern to other traders of US equities.

    I have an outstanding trouble ticket (ref T954290) in which I gave details of a stop order which failed to execute on 27th June. To answer the obvious questions : Yes, this was during RTH, and yes, I am talking about STP orders and not STP LMT.

    The initial response I received was :

    "The issue preventing the order from executing does not appear to be related to how the order is submitted. I am currently seeking additional detail regarding why the order did not execute. It appears that the order was triggered and was attempted to be routed for execution, however, no trade occurred."

    Followed shortly afterwards by :

    "It appears that our system was attempting to route the order to NITE during a time when they were having technical problems and did not accept the order. The issues appear to have been resolved by 11:13 est. There do not appear to be any errors with how the order was submitted."

    (11:13 est would be about 1h15 after the order should have executed).

    What this seems to be telling me is that this IB/TWS has no way of recognising if a stop order is not "accepted" at the location to which it has been routed and therefore no procedure for re-routing in such a case. In other words - any of my stops could fail to be executed at any time without warning or subsequent notification. This I find somewhat scary. Can an IB rep confirm I have understood correctly? I have asked for clarification on the trouble ticket itself but have had no update for 48 hours.
  2. What? Nobody has been gripped by my fascinating tale of incorrect order execution? I can scarcely believe it.
  3. GTS


    I'm subscribed and waiting for a reply from an IB rep.
  4. I too am gripped.
  5. I'm gripped as well.

  6. Well in that case you will be overjoyed to hear that, having contacted Def from IB via PM who must have delivered some kind of intercontinental kick up the arse, I got a further reply the next day. Here is is :

    "My sincere apologies for the delayed response.

    When the stop order was triggered, it was routed to NITE as they were displaying the best quote at the time. When the order was triggered, we were not yet aware that NITE was experiencing technical issues that would prevent them from being able to accept new orders.

    When our system saw that the order was not executed, we attempted to cancel it with the intention of re-routing the order to another exchange. When our cancel attempt was submitted, it was not being acknowledged due to the issues that were occurring. Because our system did not receive an electronic confirmation that the order was canceled, it was not re-routed to another exchange (this is by design in order to prevent multiple executions from occurring).

    If this is seen when it is occurring it is best to contact us via phone so that we can call and verbally confirm the out to address the issue. If this action is not taken our system will continue to send cancel requests to the exchange, however, for the order to be eligible to be re-routed we have to receive a cancel confirmation from the current known location."

    That's all well and good, and I understand that technical problems can and do occur through no fault of IB's. I doubt however that I am the only trader to whom it had not occurred that there is a need to monitor open positions for trading through a stop without an execution occurring - which I will need to do from here on in in case this situation occurs again.

    That's assuming, of course, that there is nothing IB can do to tighten things up at their end and handle a re-occurence of these circumstances in a way which gets the stop order executed in some kind of timely fashion. That will be my next question, I'll let you know what I get back.
  7. jonkry


    IB’s software is untrustworthy. I placed 2 stop loss trades that weren’t executed.

    One day, I bought 5 SPY calls. I was watching the quote screen and when the options lost 20 cents, I entered a bracket order to buy another 5, and to sell 10 (both positions) if the option dropped another 10 cents, or gained 40. The system accepted the order, and I checked that the order was active on the option trading screen and general order screen. They were. The trade went against me, and I watched as nothing appeared to happen. No execution. I immediately called IB customer service to make sure that the order was being reported correctly (as a non-execution; I didn’t want to place a duplicate order.) I got through in 2 minutes, and the tech confirmed that my position wasn’t closed and that I should “manage my risk.” I closed the position while I was on the phone with him for more than double the loss I should have taken. I asked him what had happened. We went through a vebal checklist, and he couldn’t figure out what happened till he saw that I enetered one order for 5 contracts and then another order for 5 with a bracket order to sell 10. He said that the order being unbalanced had screwed things up. (Sounded hokey…no other broker does this, but OK.) I asked why the system reported the orders as being active. He didn’t know. The order log showed me entering the orders, and the system immediately deactivated the orders (without telling me, or giving an error message why), yet the orders showed as accepted and active on my screens…and even more strangely, when my stop price was hit, the log showed the orders being activated and deactivated a second time (and not executed.) The tech said he would investigate, I never heard back from him. (What a surprise.)

    Well, I got burned on that one. The IB manual hadn’t mentioned anything about not being able to do an unbalanced order, but I figured in the future I would just enter 2 identical bracket orders, so they wouldn’t be unbalanced. (I sell one order off at double the risk so I can have a free trade.)

    Nope. The same thing happened again: my orders showed as being accepted and active on TWO screens (the option trading screen and general order screen-a separate window.) This time, one order was executed, and another wasn’t. I modified the orders 3 times, and each time it reported no problems. Yet on the logs, it shows the orders accepted and immediately deactivated. If they were deactivated, how was I able to modify them? How was one identical order executed, and the other wasn’t?

    IB’s system is buggy, period. I lost confidence in their system. When I took this up with their tech, he was as dull and unhelpful as a butter knife. I told him what happened, looked at the trade logs, and he seemed unable to even see a problem. He seemed to think that they proved I had made a mistake, and I asked “Are you kidding? LOOK AT THEM. They show exactly the opposite!” (How two people can look at eactly the same thing and draw opposite conclusions…) I got the idea that whatever I pointed out about the trade in the logs made no difference to him. He was looking out for his job, and his job was to try to bamboozle customers and get rid of them, NOT help. They absolutely refused to take any responsibility. (*I* do when *I* mess up.)

    Well, he succeeded: I took my money and ran. I figure it this way:

    1. If their manual says you can do a trade and you can’t, how can I have confidence in them?
    2. Their system is screwy. How can I have confidence in it?
    3. If their customer service is so inept, how can I have confidence in them?
    4. If they absolutely refuse to take responsibility for bad trades…well, you get the idea.

    The only good thing is that these problems showed up before I lost any big money with them.
    A few good points about IB:
    1. Despite what other IB customers have claimed about waiting a long time on the phone to get through, I always got through in a few minutes, whether for account information, or for customer no-service.
    2. They have many order types-you might be able to customize the best for yourself.
    3. Aftermarket trading platforms are available, if you trust IB to execute your order.
    4. Their commissions are cheap, though if you trade a lot, you can get any broker to lower their commissions. If they screw your order up, though, it can be a very expensive way to save money.

    Hope this helps someone.
  8. I'm sympathetic to anyone who genuinly has a problem that is not their own fault. I've been with IB for years and years. I've executed many thousands of stock, option and futures trades. I've never had a single problem with executions, other than a few trade busts that weren't IB's fault.

    Maybe I'm just lucky?

    Just a FWIW.

    Good trading to all.
  9. Jander


    That trade must have come back and made you some money.. No way you would be this patient if it cost ya :D
  10. wjk


    I have also been with them for years. I did have weird stuff happen with bracket stops triggering seconds after the limit filled at or near the limit price, not the stop price. Audit trails indicated that I had adjusted the orders, which I had not. I was very careful after the first incident. This occurred about 5 or 6 times. I had recently upgraded my Java.

    I went back to an older Java (1.5.0_12) upon a tech recommendation, and have not had a problem since. I am using build 882.2. I only do stock trades. My problems were not exchange related, but a software bug. Going to stay with current Java and build as long as possible. Bug free.
    #10     Jul 23, 2008