My $17 Is Stuck With Sharebuilder Forever Thanks To Stupid Fees

Chip wanted to take the money in his Sharebuilder account elsewhere. He had rolled over a 401(k), but not a very big one. Whether he didn’t have it long or the one security in it had lost value, he didn’t say, but the balance is only $17. The thing is, he needs to add another $73 in order to move the account anywhere. Sharebuilder’s fees to move your account to another institution are $75 per account (he has multiple accounts) and $15 per security. He asked whether the $75, at least, could be waived in the case of an account with such a tiny balance. They said no.

He writes:

Capital One owns Sharebuilder. I have several retirement accounts with Sharebuilder. Because I am scared that Capital One might lose my money, (and is run by Vikings, apparently) I am transferring my accounts to TD Ameritrade.

Sharebuilder has a fee schedule for transferring accounts. $75 for the whole account, $15 for each security if you are doing a partial account transfer.

I have an IRA that was rolled over from an old 401(k) with exactly one security in it, and about $17 lonely little dollars. When the transfer didn’t go through, they kindly informed me I would have to add more money to my account to cover the fee, or sell part of my security (and experience both a $9.99 commission, on top of a capital gains tax hit.)

I asked them to charge me the $15 fee, since it was only one security. They declined. For some reason, this made me disproportionately sad. I guess I feel like it is an anti-customer thing to do, so I figured they’d waive the $75 fee and let me slide with paying $15.

While I was typing up a nasty gram complaining about the customer-unfriendliness of it all, I realized that my lone voice in the wilderness wasn’t going to do much. Thank goodness for sites like The Consumerist.

Have a nice night, and thank you for allowing me to share my story.