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  1. BigBoat says:

    Account named Massive Interest eh?

    I had a similar problem with E*Trade a while ago, although not quite as egregious as yours. After literally 24 combined calls and emails that went nowhere, I went over to and filed a complaint. *That* got things sorted out right quick, and today I am happy and E*Trade free.

  2. CarlR says:

    This is my favorite part of the letter …

    “We also respectfully ask that you no longer look to E*Trade Financial to assist with your Financial (sic) needs.”

    I have a feeling E*Trade has already accomplished this goal.

  3. Myownheroine says:

    Something’s not right in Denmark; I don’t know if I believe that Brice is Snow White and E-trade is the evil witch.

    I’d like to hear what the other side of the story is on this one.

  4. MoCo says:

    This should be easy to resolve by submitting an online complaint to the SEC. Unlike most government agencies, the SEC is very, very responsive to citizens.

  5. Dobernala says:

    Its funny how ETrade brushes the customer off as if he is a “problem customer” for merely wanting basic customer service.

    @MoCo: AFAIK, the SEC regulates stocks and trading, not checking accounts.

  6. scoobydoo says:

    Wow. I’ve seen a lot of letters sent from companies, but never one that actually tells you to go away and never come back.

    Methinks we are missing part of this story.

  7. Mr_D says:

    Well, at least they’re honest, in a way. They say “We also respectfully ask that you no longer look to E*Trade Financial to assist with your Financial needs.” I’d say getting your money is a financial need.

    “We won’t do it if you ask, but if we’re brought to court, well…”

    @scoobydoo: The whole story is irrelevant. E*Trade is holding on to money that isn’t theirs.

  8. TurboWagon00 says:

    I think the mystery office that gets results is OTS, Office of Thrift Supervision. Sometimes that gets banks to snap to attention.

    Last summer I had about $1600 mail-in deposit to e*trade go missing for five weeks, numerous lengthy and frustrating calls required to get it sorted out. Part of the problem was that my primary account is so old (from back when they were TeleBank, hehe) that the automated systems did recognize my shorter account number, So every call put me on hold for minutes at a time, then generally to a clueless attendant, once I gave my lifes history I would get a non-commital “we’ll look into it” and unkept promise to call me back.

    So after my one CD matured, I moved it all over to Wilmington Trust. Not trying to brag, but it was over 50K, and still I was treated like a leper.

    As an exercise, call WT on their toll-free number. You’ll probably get a live, intelligent human, on the first 2-3 rings, no phone tree.

  9. bonzombiekitty says:

    @scoobydoo: That’s what I’m thinking. Companies are generally not in the habit of telling customers to go away and never come back. Especially since closing the account seems to be what he wanted to do in the first place. Thus, sending a letter like that doesn’t seem to make much sense.

    Sometimes a business has good reason to “fire” a customer. Don’t know if that’s the case here, but there has to be more to the story.

  10. TurboWagon00 says:

    Oh, the memories are flooding back. E*trade also botched me getting my cashiers check for my house closing back in 2003.

    Long story short: Their website is great, if you do only web transactions, you’ll probably never have an issue. Anything involving an “analog” process (cutting a check, mailing in a deposit, etc) will be painful to resolve if/when something goes wrong.

  11. KyleOrton says:

    What on Earth could he do to an internet investment company to make them want to cancel his account? I understand why some of your are suspicious, but I can’t even IMAGINE something he could have done to them.

    It’s not like an Arby’s where he can be kicked out for indecent exposure.

  12. Aladdyn says:

    yeah im sure there is something the OP could have done that justifies etrade to hold onto his money after they “closed” the account. Few people had a big bowl of stupid this morning is guess.

  13. NoWin says:

    @MoCo: Ditto

  14. Jeangenie says:

    Another gem in this letter is who it is from. Good old ‘Correspondence Specialist/ 25856’ with the lovely illegible signature.

    No contact information, no nothing.

    And in the quoted text from the customer’s agreemenent about ‘if the funds are not withdrawn’ that they may return funds with a check.

    Small claims court time?

  15. Buran says:

    @CarlR: Yeah. But seriously, WTF? I thought the standard text was “We urge you to keep us in mind for future needs.”

  16. Milstar says:

    I’ve used them since 98-99 and never had a problem with them. All my calls were answered correctly
    (1 incorrectly but she called back 2 days later personally and apologized even though I didn’t know otherwise) and they even helped with several forms over the phone.

  17. TurboWagon00 says:

    Why couldnt the OP just transfer the money to an external account ?

  18. sleze69 says:

    “Soon after that my account went into a lockdown.”

    What does that mean? How does an account go into lockdown? He seems to have glossed over that part.

  19. tofoomeister says:

    @sleze69: There are numerous reasons for a lockdown. I had an account with them open for three years that I could view online, make trades, etc., but when it came time to withdraw my money, suddenly the account is “on lockdown”.

    Their excuse: the form I filled out to open the account was incomplete. But that didn’t stop them from opening the account in the first place. They blamed PATRIOT, they blamed incomplete forms, they passed the buck.

    It took five phone calls and over a week to get my money when I needed it most.

    Web transactions are great. Everything else, up your phone plan’s minutes and grab some ibuprofen before you call customer service.

  20. jacksonpollock says:

    My wife opened a IRA with etrade last year for the tax breaks, but because she is not a US citizen they required extra information for “CIP verification”. We have talked to them on the phone, faxed them the information, and sent multiple certified letters containing the information, but the account is still locked pending verification. The upshot is no money in or out and no purchases of stocks. I will try some of the government agencies suggested in the thread, and maybe I can get it worked out this year.

  21. chrisexv6 says:

    Never justifying Etrades actions, but did anyone notice the amount of interest gained on this account?

    4.5% monthly, on a relatively small balance?

    I wonder if Etrade isnt giving up the $$$ because they realize no one in the rest of the world gives you 4.5% in a savings account on such a small balance?

  22. trujunglist says:

    I feel like we aren’t getting the full details here, so I guess I’ll have to reserve judgement until we get one of those “TOLD YA SO” or “OOPS WE FUCKED UP, SORRY” updates. My money right now is on OP had a questionably legal/dubious transaction.

  23. chrylis says:

    I have quite a bit of experience with E*TRADE (and am a content, if not thoroughly satisfied, customer), and I have found their online systems to be extremely flexible, easy to use, and thoughtfully designed (e.g., “” is likely to take you to the page about what it is you wanted).

    However, my uniform experience with anything non-electronic has been miserable. They routinely “lose” paperwork for weeks on end (actually, it’s in their system, but most of their reps don’t know how to find it–a handful can), and I have proof (of the mathematical sort) that they have a bug in their check/ACH clearing system routines–and the reps don’t care. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to figure out who to complain to, but as @TurboWagon suggested I think I’ll call OTS.

  24. Hoss says:

    Soup or nuts?