Is it me, or does IB's e-mail technical support treat everyone like an doofus?

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by stock_punter, Nov 6, 2001.

  1. Hi Everyone,

    Just wondering if everyone has had similar experiences with IB's technical support, or if I'm just overly sensitive.

    I've reported various problems with IB's system to IB's help desk, such as with the Quicken export feature and with the restore order function, and each time they send me a reply it appears as if they (1) do not first verify if the problem exists or not and (2) assume that the problem is a user error or a user installation error.

    I have pointed out this "doofus-until-proven-otherwise" mentality to the IB service desk each time as well, and of course nothing changes.

    This really irritates the heck out of me, plus I find it a bit insulting that they treat me like someone who is clueless.

    Does anyone else have this experience? Or am I just being overly sensitive?

    -- Punter
  2. Grabbit


    Try Datek's support and you'll be more than happy with IB support for the rest of your life. :D

    No, seriously, at IB it very much depends on who is answering you. That's because they work with actually existing people. With Datek however you get the impression that you are directly connected to their word processor or whatever. Sort of an Eliza for investors....

    The best thing you can do is to ask the same question again and hope it's answered by someone else. Or just wait till they get so many complaints that they begin to understand that there is really a problem.
  3. Turok


    I much prefer IB to my Etrade experiences.

    With the exception of Def (who is a company treasure) I prefer the service of my other broker (MB) to IB.

  4. In comparison, I found Schwab's support to be much much better relative to IB.

    My old-fashion telephone broker Yamner was even better: almost all issues were resolved on the phone at the moment.

    True, commissions were higher at both Schwab and Yamner. You do get what you pay for.

    -- Punter
  5. agent99


    I often find dealing with their help support staff infuriating. I can't tell you how many times I have sent email to the help desk, and received an idiotic canned response from a support rep in return, clearly indicating that they hadn't even read or understood the question. It usually takes 3, 4 or more back and forth emails to get the matter settled, which I find pretty pathetic because they're time consuming to deal with, and by the end of the process my blood is usually boiling. The most recent bout with their support dolts is fresh in my mind, as it happened only yesterday. I don't know if it's lack of training, lack of curiousity about trading issues that they should want to get answers to but are too lazy to do so, or just plain stupidity, but whatever it is, it's my biggest beef with IB. It's their weakest link.

    Note: my beef does not include the trading support staff, who have always done a great job at fixing those kinds of support issues and on occasion even saved my butt. :)

  6. Anyone that has ever worked in technical assistance knows that, given a finite number of possibilities of where the problem is - and an infinite number of complaints, 90% of your typical problem will have the same answer.

    This isn’t the stone age where a punch card being partially folded will throw off the entire database and so on. What I am driving at is this: most "bugs" aren't bugs. A lot of the time it is something configured wrong, something crashed, or the documentation wasn't properly interpreted.

    With regards to Quicken; I wasn't aware IB was doing support for an intuit coded product. That could get expensive. As far as I've seen, if you update your financial institution, your software is installed properly and you know how to use it, 2001 and 2002 work fine. Beyond that, I wouldn't expect that if I called my bank on Money or Quicken and it was installed wrong that they could even tell me that it was an improper installation. I KNOW that my bank's support of quicken and money is virtually non-existent yet it comes in those formats.

    As for calling/writing tech support; if you get to the right department and with the right information (with any company) the experience is almost always decent. I'm sure IB's page has e-mail addresses for the proper department (I wouldn't send an installation problem to management or a request to add new exchanges to tech support etc.).

    Think about it - when you call up your ISP, what do they want to know? Account data (who you are) hardware (system specs) and software versions (operating system etc). When they ask me what e-mail client I'm using or how fast my computer is I don't think they're dummies for asking for something I don't think is involved, it just prevents them from having to ask later.

    Think about it this way, if someone asks you how much money you have in your account or what your system specifications are, answering “Enough” or “That’s not it” gets you nowhere. If you say I have X dollars, or they’re this, then the person will see that they’re fine. The key (for both sides) to find and resolve the issue before either of you get frustrated.

    Just my 2 cents (free advice is worth what you pay for it).
  7. _punter

    No it's definitely not just you. I had an issue several months ago that could have escalated into a big problem. I spent over a week e-mailing customer support and getting the same useless responses. Like you, I am pretty sure they could not have read my letter given that their responses were so off-base. Maybe they don't speak english.

    As much as I didn't want to, I played the 'def' card. Someone who knew what they were talking about contacted me within a day or so and got it taken care of.

    It is amazing the impact that one knowlegable and motivated person can have. There is a reason def's name comes up so often in this forum (to the chagrin of Barron) He gets results. And it's not even his job! He just does it to be helpful.
  8. so is doofus plural? So, should one be a doofi, and two be doofis, and many be doofus? How would be pluralize many doofi? doofuses?


    Tech support is a hard service to quantify. What you're going up against is the fact that those hired know computers, software and their systems (hopefully). Generally, these young ones, know nothing about risking money on trades and the significance and intricacies of brokerage / SEC laws. Hence, somewheres in that paradigm is the cause/source of your complaints.

    Try to bring them along, with your problem in your description of the errors or conditions being reached. Understand, that generally, they aren't at your level (no offense intended). Consider paying for more expensive brokerage services where they pay better, train better and retain their employees. The costs of commissions are not all profit centers, many times they are actually used by the company on improving their services....
  9. Trader01


    Call your phone company for help. Call ATT or Sprint and see how long you wait on hold. It's life. It's the way it is.

    IB is no worse than the rest of the world. Do you really think a tech support person is going to be up on the Quicken option? I doubt it.

    You have to learn to figure out things on your own. Why not put your export questions here or keep trying on your own?

    I hate this whining.
  10. For those of you who have replied but are not familiar with IB's software:

    IB recently provided an export to Quicken feature. It is advertised on IB's home page. This feature does not work properly. Their technical support, after many back and forth e-mails, is working on this problem.

    I also reported this problem on EliteTrader. Do a search and you'll find it.

    Clearly those who have dealt with IB's technical support know exactly what I am talking about as evident in their postings.

    I bet the ones who are defending IB's technical support has either never dealt with them, or do not use IB as their broker.

    -- Punter
    #10     Nov 7, 2001