Negligent Broker... what to do?

Discussion in 'Professional Trading' started by bangorsky, Mar 28, 2006.

  1. Hi folks,

    I'm going through one hell of a mess with my broker (Brownco). Back in January they fed me a ton of erroneous/confusing information causing me to execute a trade I didn't want. The day after the trade, after I'd wised up, I contacted them to negate the trade, but instead I got the runaround for 2 months! They've gotten rude, and now they refuse to answer all my emails. That's not very professional now is it?

    I've already filed a complaint with NASD mediation, but Brownco simply denied the process. That was a big waste of time.

    I filed a complaint with the SEC, but I'm sure that died along the way, too. No one seems to take this seriously.

    The amount of money in dispute is only ~$7000, not enough to hire a lawyer. (I've consulted 3; they all require a minimum $50k claim).

    So it seems I'm up the proverbial creek.

    Any ideas at all? Has anyone been in this situation before?
  2. Ebo


    What exactly was the "erroneous/confusing information" they fed you?

    Did they twist your arm and force you to hit the send button?
    Was a little man aiming a gun to your head to follow their research?

    Give us some more details, maybe you are entitled to interest as well as punitive damages as a result.

    I know someone at Cameltoe partners that specializes in these sorts of cases.
  3. Yeah, I didn't want to bore you guys with the details, so I kept it as generic as possible. But if you're curious...

    On Mon Jan 23 there was a restriction on my account due to a margin call. This was in error (they hadn't updated their system with options expirations the prior Friday yet). I pointed this out and asked them to refresh their accounting. For 3 days they insisted that there was a margin call on my account, and that I must meet it with cash or liquidation of securities.

    On Thu Jan 26 I started thinking, wow maybe they're right. So I sold all my long stock positions to get the restrictions removed.

    On Fri Jan 27 I realized that I had been right all along that there was never any margin call. Eventually (a month later) they would admit that the margin call didn't exist and that they "could have been clearer with their emails". But still they never reinstated the shares I sold. (Of course, immediately after the sale, the stock positions climbed, and I missed out on $7000 of gains because I was waiting for Brownco's response.)

    I have tons of documentation, and the lawyers with whom I consulted said that I have a good case, but unfortunately the amount is too low for them to entertain.

    Is Cameltoe a law firm or a regulatory agency? Will they take such a small case?
  4. Dude, you have no case! Just file it under the "lessons learned" folder, move on and don't waste your time. You have no case.

    What do you want, a discount broker to pay you for potentially "missed gains"? HaHa! That'd be nice.
  5. Ebo


  6. Yes and I could have bought MSFT for $2 a share way back when , but my evil broker would not let me. Adjusted for splits, he now owes me $125,432,754,982

    Let's make like brown co and ignore his posts! :mad:

    Mod, pls move this thread to the Chit Chat section
  7. Toronto, either you're joking or you're something of a rude ass. Remember "sarcasm is the lowest form of wit."

    Back on topic: maybe I didn't explain clearly enough. My broker told me falsely that I had a margin call. They restricted my account and would not allow me to open new positions until I liquidated stock. How many of you are willing to live with that kind of service? If you are, I suspect you're not serious about trading.
  8. You are correct in being annoyed by this, but there's simply no chance they are going to pay you for missed P/L. If the trade in question turned out to be unprofitable, you likely wouldn't be posting this query. So, it seems to me you didn't lose 7k, you lost the opportunity to make 7k. Not the same in the eyes of BrownCo - or me either.

    It sucks, but frankly, it's just too bad. Close your account and move on. And maybe don't swingtrade a retail account on margin next time.
  9. Ebo


    Bangors and Mash:

    Do yourself a favor, start over.
    DO NOT post under this name again, and get a new broker.

    You might actually make back the $7K that YOU LOST with YOUR OWN WILL.
  10. I agree that my claim is tricky because it sounds like a case of "shoulda coulda woulda", but it's not:

    All I wanted was for them to negate the trade and return the securities to my account. Easy enough, right? Since the trade hadn't even finalized when I made the complaint. Instead, they strung me along for over a week ("your case is being forwarded to our chief officer... bla bla bla") until finally I got the thumbs down on Fri Jan 31.

    So my calculation of damages is for the week they delayed action Jan 25-31 (during which I was not at liberty to buy the stock back myself). I consulted with a lawyer, and he said that this is a fair assessment, but, as I said earlier he won't take the case because it's too low.

    Anyway, to the serious replies: thanks for your input folks, but you're not going to convince me I'm wrong, because I've been told by 3 reputable lawyers that it's a good case. (Now you see why I wanted to keep this "generic"! I didn't want a bunch of smartarses injecting their rude opinions) Basically I'm just asking you experts: what recourse does an individual investor have against a broker in small matters like this, if a lawyer is not an option?
    #10     Mar 28, 2006