Open Letter to Interactive Brokers

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by SideShowBob, Mar 23, 2007.

  1. I've been a loyal customer and supporter of IB over the past few years but I'm finding myself disenchanted with them lately and I will be moving some of my business over to other brokers (some will remain with IB).

    My specific issues which I have seen many postings about both here and on their own bulletin board are:

    - Data freezes in TWS. This issue appeared in TWS 865 and as of 868 does not appear to be resolved. The fact that reverting to 864 or earlier builds of TWS solves the problem is for all intents and purposes proof that this is a bug introduced in 865 and has not yet been resolved (and is not a server issue but a bug in the reconnection logic in TWS). I have not seen IB address this issue at all, let alone state they want to fix it. This is a <b><i><font color="red">HUGE</font></b></i> issue for anyone running an automated trading system, and is also a big deal for non-ATS users. IB you <u>NEED</u> to make this a priority and fix it. If you need to use a tool like Windiff and compare source files before and after verson 864 I suggest you get cracking.

    - NYBOT softs on ICE. IB first said they would implement this by the end of Feb 2007. Then they changed their minds and said they won't implement it. No reason has been given. Since IB already offers ICE contracts for energy futures I cannot see why they can't get this done unless they don't want to. If so why? IB has not been forthcoming and if there was a good reason for it I'd be disappointed but at least satisfied they addressed my concerns. But the lack of information is disturbing to say the least and I will be opening an account with another broker to get this access in the near future.

    IB you've always taken hits on the lack of customer service but as a low cost broker people seem to expect the responses of a full cost broker. However this seems to have gone downhill as well. Cynics would say it's because of the upcoming IPO ... I won't venture a guess but I don't see how it will help the IPO to piss off so many of your customers, and to get a reputation for having major major connectivity issues and not fixing them.


    P.S. I should also add I'm disturbed (although it's not a new thing) that I cannot find answers on your own bulletin board, but I get answers here on ET from IB staff. It's admirable that you are so quick to respond here -- but you should also at the very least make sure and respond on your own board, even if you just post a link to this board.
  2. just21


    No information about portfolio margining that becomes legal on April 2nd either.
  3. FYI someone from IB contacted me asking for log files. But since I'm using version 864 I don't have the problem. If someone who is still having the problem wants to PM me I'll reply and I'll pass along the IB contact info (please <u>don't</u> send me your log files!).

  4. No! This line is always used to defend IB, and while there are some that post "I can't get my router to work" bugs and demand fixes, IB is not handling *real* bug reports any better.

    I have tickets open since January where the CSR answering does not *read* the ticket, and continues to send me canned replies that have nothing to do with the actual problem. Daily P&L on electronic ags has serious problems. I've documented with screenshots more than a dozen cases. The only reply I get back? "P&L is computed by taking the market value and subtracting your cost." Thank you, but that's not really the issue.

    Creating a cheap, effective customer service department isn't as hard as IB is making it appear.

    1) You create two levels of support. Level 1 categorizes responses--if it's an issue that does not require investigation or is not an issue with IB, they handle it. Level 2 does the investigations under the assumption that the problem is real and should be addressed by IB.

    2) You continually create FAQ documents that are nicely formatted and searchable on the web site. The CSRs can search the FAQs and forward links, the customers can get questions answered without ever submitting a ticket. Just imagine how many tickets would be eliminated if they had an FAQ that said, "ICE will not be supported by IB because we have a partnership with NYMEX and ICE will not let us clear through them as a result. We are continually evaluating this situation and will provide updates as they occur." (I don't know if that's actually their reason, but it sounds plausible)

    3) You participate in your own message forum in the hopes of getting an active community to provide technical support for you.

    4) A ticket is not "closed" until the issue is resolved. If the issue needs to be forwarded to the developers--it's reassigned to them.

    Anyway, my point is that IB can remain "cheap" and does not need to provide the support of a full-service broker. They just need a new approach.
  5. Just do what I and countless others have done and leave these lame asses.
    Since switching to another broker I no longer have any of the headaches IB imposed on me on a daily basis. People are leaving them in hoardes and IMO IB are/is going to be even more reluctant to fix any costly issues because if they do it, it costs them MONEY. Who wants to spend money when you are selling (maybe)? The down side is if they don't fix it, who in their right mind would buy them out? And if they are bought out and the new owner(s) has to correct the problems to keep the ship from bleeding, guess where that cost is going to land? You got it --on the customer----YOU!

    Trading is hard enough without all the added, uneccessary ills piled on by someone who is supposed to be offering a service
    that they charge for. I call it ADE (automobile dealership economics) which is this-if you can't fix my car then I gotta bring it somewhere else and I'm never coming back.
  6. 'People are leaving them in hoardes '

    May I ask where the hoards are going?
  7. Please recommend another discount broker to me. Thanks
  8. Yeap, please recommend alternatives. It does not necessary need to be cheaper than IB. Imagine the opportunities loss from IB problems. Left too much money on the table.
  9. tef8


    (either prop or through sogoelite)
    just two ideas, search brokers on this site.
    I went to IQ Feed for data after getting tired of IB probs, now seem to have to re-login to TWS repeatedly lately - definetly not cool.
    Sector leaders change, guess leading brokers do too.
  10. Yeah IB is not perfect. No broker is.

    Here are my predictions:

    In the near future...

    - IB will *finally* get the TWS very stable and slow the upgrade cycles.

    - They will offer all the markets you could possibly trade.

    - They will keep the low costs.

    - They will catch up on, and put into place, respectible CS.

    - If you switch brokers you will be sorry. Others have problems too.

    Hey if you want to go to another broker, just do it! I like IB and I make money with them every day. Rarely do I have problems. Maybe I'm just lucky, huh?

    Good trading to all. :cool:
    #10     Mar 23, 2007