IB Unprofessional In Correcting Stock Symbol Errors

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by HoundDogOne, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. In the last 3 months...
    Of the many NYSE stock symbols that I follow and trade...
    At least 5 or 6 have been ** erroneously ** taken off the "tradeable" list...
    Making it impossible for me to trade a live, active stock on the NYSE.

    Each case has proven to be an error on IB's part...
    And the symbol was re-instated...
    But it always takes many days and many complaints, calls, and emails.

    Even though I make about 50,000 trades/year...
    Every time I call the Institutional Services Desk...
    I am treated like a 5 year old...
    And told that I don't know how to enter a stock symbol that I have traded 100s of times, etc.
    (I believe in IB parlance this is referred to as being "egalitarian"....
    Meaning you treat kids and professional traders exactly the same way.)

    No one has ever called me back on a stock symbol error...
    From the Institutional Services Desk.

    The email guys are better... and usually respond...
    But they have done nothing to re-instate this symbol...
    And have been totally confused and sent me erroneous information...
    Almost like they are competing with EBay Customer Service for last place.

    Here is a valid symbol that has not been available to trade through IB all week:

    http://www.nyse.com/about/listed/lcddata.html?ticker=AMHPR

    I have been a Thompson/ILX subscriber for 10 years...
    And it would ** unthinkable ** for an ILX symbol to be unavailable for more than a few minutes...
    Personally... in 10 years I have NEVER seen a symbol error on my ILX terminal...
    Versus an error rate as high as 0.5% at IB.

    Please just fix it.

    This one is not specifically important to me really...
    But I know that someday IB will erroneously take down a live symbol that will cost me $1000s.

    Thanks.
     
  2. OK... the security has been called for September 13, 2006...
    But, of course, will continue to trade until that date on the NYSE.

    IB has a policy of not allowing trading in "called" securities...
    In order to minimize "reorg" costs.
    That is fair enough.

    But notwithstanding the foregoing...
    No one at the Institutional Desk was able to tell me why it "AMH PR" was pulled by IB...
    And the email I got from IB was full of incorrect information and confused symbols...
    And no one ever mentioned an early call by the corporation.

    A similar incident happened to me about 2 months ago...
    And several erroneously pulled symbols were re-instated for trading after 5-6 trading days.

    There is a serious disconnect between IB's "reorg" department...
    And your Client Services...
    Leaving traders in the dark.

    Professional level service demands better.

    Full stop.
     
  3. Because the preferred stock was called, the smybol may have changed. AMH pr cl?
     
  4. alanm

    alanm

    FWIW, and without defending the time period you're rightfully complaining about, I have probs with preferred syms from every vendor/broker. The way the industry as a whole handles symbology is really abysmal, particularly for companies with multiple classes of stock.

    At the moment, the IB contract search shows that the symbols are as follows:

    "AMH" Common
    "AMH PRA" 6.25% PRIDES
    "AMH PRCL" 7.25% Preferred class A

    In this case, it seems that the company probably first issued the PRIDEs, which many vendors (incorrectly) categorized as a "preferred class A", but then issued an actual preferred class A. It would probably also help if the issuer put the darn CUSIPs on their site, which a quick search did not reveal. Giving IB the CUSIPs would probably have helped.

    (Edit) I remember AT&T as being one of the worst examples of this back in the 70s and 80s. Trying to get a quote or trade anything other than the common required the CUSIP and approval by G-d.