solution to IB's customer service

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by deviltrader, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. ok, there's a lot of bashing about IB's customer service, or lack thereof, but no one offers a solution.

    I don't know if anyone has proposed this, but what if they offer a "premium" level of support? You qualify by buying the support plan for $x per month, or spending $y dollars in commissions, or carry a minimum balance of $z. I know someone's gonna complain that the little guy will be left out, but frankly, IB doesn't cater to the little guy and even if they did, someone who has a $11k account and spends $25 per year on commissions isn't paying their fair share to deserve high-qualify support anyway.

    If you need top-quality support, you pay for it. If you don't-- and some people here get by fine with their current support -- then you don't pay for it. IB won't need to raise their commissions. Everyone's happy no?
  2. On the face of it a good idea.

    But in the 90s there was a good book that looked at business models and concluded that a "customer support" type organization couldn't also be a "lowest cost provider" type organization.

    I suspect that you could only add the "super customer support" by shoving a bunch of people on the front and the cost of doing that would far exceed the revenue it could gain from those who thought they should pay for it.

    Could be wrong ... but ... :)
  3. Kiwi has a valid point, the low commissions means something has to be taken from elsewhere. If you want to be the low cost producer it has to permeate every corner of the company* - horrible companies to work in by the way.

    I think one low cost solution to a serious issue is to install a separate DEDICATED DEALING LINE that has priority over customer support so if you have to call to get out of a position you at least get priority in terms of pickup, if not get straight through to a dealer, and don't wait on hold while someone explains/fends off how to set up Woodies CCI in pink and purple to the person ahead of you.

    What would that cost? Duplication of phone overhead for hands on support staff and and the tradedesk. Banks have dealerboards for a reason, coz if customers cant get though when they need to they go elsewhere. Anyone calling the dealing line with a Woodies CCI colouration request should be told "This is the dealing line" click out.

    *(except the executive suites of course which invariably remains an oasis of no expense spared, uncapped budgets, and extravagance and waste)
  4. It's totally Logical. Look at the tech market. Cheaper the software crappier the service. SO you, as a buyer, hope and pray the software works fairly well, and that they take your comments (whether they tell you or not) and improve the software. My Main Audio DAW platform is one of the least expensive around (for the feature set) and the tech support can be non existent at times. As they have added more products to their portfolio, the same is true.

    Just like IB Salvatore, they peruse the various forums and post help..... But on the phone, you WILL wait for up to an Hour or a day to get a tech to call you back.....

    Great CS = more expensive product... Hence the companies who make their money off the SERVICE plan and not so much the initial software installation.
  5. The premier support plan can co-exist with low-commissions. If you pay for the plan, you gain access to the dedicated phone support line where there are no hold times and maybe the reps are more experienced.

    There are software packages that work like this. For the regular software purchase price, you get the normal support (usually crummy if it's low-cost software). If you pay extra, you get some premier support plan.

    This is akin to first class versus coach. Different levels of service can co-exist without affecting the overall cost structure.
  6. MuseT


    I sincerely hope IB won't introduce anything proposed here. It's too common of an 'experience' that in the minute there's a premium service, the standard's quality goes down the tubes. It is only natural because the company is trying to funnel all of its customers into better-paying ones.

    I am with IB because of their low commissions. There's nothing else going for them, but I don't need my broker kissing my ass. I have a girlfriend for that, and its considerably more pleasant. IB IS for experienced and serious traders, hand-holding would only drive them away. I agree with the separate cancellation line, though.
  7. And depending upon the PREMIER support price plan, Low commissions go out the window (as a total cost)

    Yes Software Pkgs do this. I have one package that charges $250/month. Now divide that cost by the number of trades per month and there is your "additional" commission cost...

    So they cant co-exist..... (except in your mind) I consider my platform fees and data fees a "fixed commission cost"