what is your feeling about IB

Discussion in 'Retail Brokers' started by Tradesmith, Sep 19, 2003.

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  1. what is your feeling about IB
  2. average grade, and that is pushing it. I have found when I need an answer it takes too much work to get an answer. At the same time the commission schedule on the options has yet to be beat for me...at least till I have an option problem that costs me. On the future side I find it poor at best. I can get the same and better commissions elsewhere and jtrader, or TT in my eyes are better than anything I have seen for IB interface. And most definitely when there is a problem, ie an exchange screw up, or my screw up I can get ahold of someone at my future broker on 1 maybe 2 rings, at IB who knows.
  3. I wonder if all the "problems" with IB are account size related? I have used them for a few months trading a few thousand contracts a month with no problem. They seem to be the broker most people in here use.....albeit with a negative underlying tone.
  4. they have to improve on their customer support
  5. IB is the worst broker I tried (of maybe 25 brokers over the years), because they told me lies. I feel that when a broker lies to a customer that they are unethical and shouldn't be trusted with my money. And it wasn't just a low level staffer who lied, either. It was also a very high level management person at one of their offices in another country who lied, and it was such a transparent lie that any experienced trader would know it was a lie. I'll post the entire email correspondence in my next note and you can draw your own conclusions. I'll edit out names and my account number and the amount of money involved but everything else is a true and complete copy of the correspondence. I immediately tried to get my money out of there (yesterday), but I found that they keep your cash deposits for 10 business days, not just checks but also cash, under the guise of following money laundering laws. But guess what? I have active accounts at three other brokerages now and they don't seem to know about this law nor enforce it the way IB does. If I want cash deposits back, none of them make me wait ten business days. So that was another nail in the IB coffin for me. The worst was the lie, though. You'll see it unfold by reading the correspondence from bottom to top and neither def (who inhabits the boards on this service and is a high level management person in one of IB's offices in another country, and who offered to intervene in this matter) nor the customer service rep responded to the last note, which is at the top of the listed correspondence in the next post.

  6. Dear xxx (customer service rep),

    When you failed to respond to the last note I sent you, which you will find in the historical correspondence between us, copied below, I asked def to take a look at this. He had kindly offered to help out if I had problems with IB, when we happened to meet on the Internet. I am therefore including him in this correspondence at this point. He let me know that you’ve informed him of the following:

    “I heard back from xxxx (customer service rep) who originally contact [sic] you in regard to this
    trade. According to the audit trail, you sent in 4 price revisions
    (9469, 9455, 9467 and 9469) that were not sent to the exchange. We
    cannot assume which of those, if any, would have been executed had they
    been received by the exchange. As a result, we do not price adjust
    limit orders and would typically take the trade back. However, in this
    case, taking back the execution wold [sic] have left you worse off and thus
    it was decided to let you keep the trade.

    I'm not sure why xxxx (customer service rep) didn't see the last mail you sent but she
    thought the matter was resolved.”

    I’m assuming that his response, above, is an accurate report of what you had to say about this matter, xxxx (customer service rep), so I’m responding to that note as follows:

    This “bad fill” occurred on 5:03AM on 9/11/03. The order was properly indicated on my screen at a price of 9469, as it had been for some time, before the fill went through. It was green on my screen for some time at 9469, indicating the order had indeed gone through to the exchange. When I heard it fill and saw the order had left my screen, I didn’t check it right away. But when I did, about 15 minutes later, I saw it had filled at lower than my limit price and because your offices are closed at 5AM, I didn’t phone about the problem, and instead emailed you less than 20 minutes after the bad fill occurred.

    I was requesting a STATUS be done, but no one got back to me about this with a final report for four whole days. I believe your office should have phoned me about it as soon as staff arrived and that the STATUS should have and could have been done before the market opened. The trade should have been busted because the limit price had not been met, and the order to sell at 9469 could then have been reinstated. The price of 9469 was met later that day, and had my order been left alone, would have filled later that day. One might say I might have changed the order later in the day before it was filled, but that should have been my option. I have never heard of a status for a fill taking four days. The status should have been done in just hours and that would have made the problem very manageable: the trade would have been busted. At least I should have been called early that morning and given the option if you were going to decide for me whether or not to bust the trade. I don’t think I would have chosen to allow the lower fill, but if it were anyone’s “choice” why not include me?

    When you did finally find out what happened, you admitted that while my screen indicated the order had gone through, it never went through to the exchange because of an IB programming error. It seems to me at that point I should have been phoned and you should have offered to bust the trade. Once you let this go for four DAYS, you couldn’t reinstate the order and bust the trade any more, but you should have given me the $xxxx (four points), because the errors were all on IBs part, and I did the right thing about it all along. If I hadn’t notifed you, how many more orders would have been screwed up by IB? You should have thanked me for calling the problem to your attention, don’t you think? Isn’t that worth the xxxx bucks?

    Instead, you’re giving me what I believe is a lie. You’re claiming you cannot tell which of my orders would have filled, but you can tell. I can only change an order when it’s “LIVE” and cannot change a “FILLED” order. Once my order FILLED, you know I cannot have then changed it. You have the history of my changes in my order and that history has to include time stamps. But even without time stamps, you know that my changed orders cannot have been made after the order filled, but you do have the time stamps for my changes -- you did complete the status on it.

    I wouldn’t have written you if I’d only JUST changed the order and it was filled because I understand issues like orders not getting through in time -- being changed too late. But I placed the changed order to 9469 LONG before the fill took place, and there was no doubt in my mind that the order had filled at 9469, so I was really amazed when I checked it several minutes later and found it had been filled at a lower price, and that’s why I wrote you about it in the first place.

    So, I think, based on years of trading experience and a few other times I’ve had orders statused, that I’m being told a lie when I’m being told you can’t tell which of my orders would have executed. All were placed prior to the fill and NONE would have been at that time, because the 9469 price wasn’t met. It was met later in the day.

    I can live with the kind of ineptitude that requires four DAYS to status a bad fill, even though I don’t like it at all. If there would have been a “next time” I’d know not to rely on a timely response to an email and would have followed the email with a dreaded phone call to Customer Service to insist the status be done promptly and the matter be resolved. I might also have lived with your giving me some factual “rule” that would allow you to keep my $x. What I cannot live with is my broker making up a lie in order to keep my $x (you can’t tell which order would have filled and you can’t make good on a bad fill). I figure if a firm will lie over $x, leaving what would have been x dollars with you isn’t very smart of me. I was still funding the account but I’d already brought it up to over $xK.

    So, this is a long explanation of why I’m requesting that you return my account balance (which seems to be $x), to me, by the fastest FREE method you have. I just don’t feel I can trust you with my money. You keep the $x but you lose the account. I feel lucky to have found out early.


    on 9/21/03 5:41 PM, xxx penned:

    From: xxx
    Date: Mon, 15 Sep 2003 09:59:51 -0400
    To: <help@interactivebrokers.com>
    Subject: Re: Incorrect fill

    Dear xxx (customer service rep),

    Thanks for explaining what went wrong on your end. Yet, you did’t mention crediting my account for the error, a matter of $x. I’d appreciate that credit, since it wasn’t my error but an error at IB.



    On 9/15/03 9:53 AM, "help@interactivebrokers.com" <help@interactivebrokers.com> wrote:

    Dear Trader,

    Thank you once again for your patience. The programming department has determined that there was a technical issue that affected modifications on GTC orders. The issue has since been addressed and corrected, and we do apologize for the inconvenience.

    You are correct in that a limit order should be executed no worse than the limit price; however, in this instance, due to the technical issue, the multiple revisions were never properly received and thus were not processed as transmitted. Unfortunately, with full electronic systems, there are occasionally technical issues which result in improper transmission, which is what occurred in this instance. Again, the situation has been addressed and corrected.

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact us again.


    IB Customer Service

    email address 09/12/2003 11:10 AM





    Re: Incorrect fill

    Account No:xxx
    Email: xxx

    Hi, xxx (customer service rep),

    I appreciate your diligence in pursuing this. The order did appear on my screen to have been transmitted, in that it was green. So, I don’t think I should be held responsible for the error. It’s just a small amount of money, but with Limit orders, they are required to be filled at their price or above, yes?

    Thanks again, and I’ll be looking forward to hearing from you again with regard to the final resolution.


    on 9/12/03 10:47 AM, help@interactivebrokers.com at help@interactivebrokers.com penned:

    Dear Trader,

    Thank you for your patience while we continue to investigate the issue. It appears that the revisions that you attempted to submit on 9/4 were never received by the exchange; thus, the last working price was your revision on 9/3 to 9465. Hence, this was the execution price. Our programmers are looking into the details regarding this issue, and we will forward this information to you as soon as it is received.

    Once again, we apologize for the delay in responding to your e-mail and thank you for your patience. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact IB Customer Service.


    IB Customer Service

    email address 09/11/2003 04:20 AM




    Incorrect fill

    > Account No: xxx
    > Email: xxx

    I had an order in to sell x contract(s) YM Sept 03, for 9469, but it was
    filled at 9465. This was at 5:03:26 this morning. Can your people check this
    fill, please.


  7. oh pleeeease..

    god help the broker you're now with
  8. Exactly. IB is professional in every way. In the last month I've had to call twice for tech help. In both instances the phone was answered in 4 rings and my q's were handled quickly by caring people.

    I originally hesitated going with IB 3 years ago because of the occaisional trash bandied about here on elite. I went ahead anyway, and now would not consider moving, even with the incentive of lower commissions.
  9. Traded small orders with IB for two years. Currently trading futures one order every day. Market orders only. Never a problem with excessive slippage (I get slightly better than theoretical slippage). Never an accounting problem. Consequently have no experience with customer support. The low commission is critical making my crappy system profitable.
  10. As far as I can tell, OnTheEdge's story checks out perfectly, so I can see no other way to read his experience as anything but terrible customer 'service'.
    Very, very poor indeed. OnTheEdge, I fully agree with you that I wouldn't trust a firm that would behave like that.

    I understand that IB is manna from heaven for the small fries and 'size traders' -- whose trading methods apparently rely on the 'edge' of ever smaller commissions -- so I suppose IB will never be without a target market. As for myself, an experience such as OnTheEdge's (and others') is enough to make me seriously reconsider my choice of broker, probably to the point where I'll be leaving them as soon as I find one more suitable.

    And Bundlemaker, regarding what you said on another thread, it does seem to me that you'd apparently have us resign ourselves to the fate that we are going to get screwed over by our brokers every now and then so rather than 'complaining' and 'whining' (read: trying to resolve the situation) we just just 'accept responsibility' (whatever that's supposed to mean in this context) and everything will be fine, right?
    #10     Sep 23, 2003
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