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TD Ameritrade - Nightmare Customer Service

I've had absolutely the worst customer service experience with Ameritrade. In early December I tried to withdraw money from my account to pay my college tuition. I spent an hour on the phone with them trying to figure out the best way to transfer money. They finally decided to expedite a check to the nearest branch, which is 40 minutes away. When I got to the branch the check was written to both me and my dad, who was supposed to have been taken off the account the previous year when I turned 21. Since the check was in two names my Dad, who lives 4 hours away, also needed to be there to pick it up and deposit it. My tuition was due the following day, but they said that they would expedite processing the form to take my dad off the account and send a new check within 2 business days. They also said that this check could be sent to the billing address on the account (for some reason they couldn't mail it to the address I actually live at) but we said this would be alright since my parents could deposit it into my account. I don't know why they insisted that they could only send checks to branch locations and then changed their mind for the second check. I was very clear on the phone that in addition to needing to expedite the process for my tuition, I was also leaving the country in a few days, so I would not be able to call in or deal with anything after the following Monday.

After two days the check still hadn't arrived and my tuition bill was already past due and I was getting ready to leave. I called customer support and they said that the new check had been sent to the branch instead of my parent's address, but that they could wire the money into my Wells Fargo account so that I could get the money while overseas and they promised that they would comp the wire fee. Once again, I don't know why we hadn't done this in the first place. The wire never went through, so I called back and sat on the phone with customer service as the money was wired, and it finally went through. When I got home from my trip a check was delivered to my parents house (two weeks later) along with a form to authorize the wire (which I had already filled out online).

I then found not one but two charges for wires on my Wells Fargo account. I called and they said they would refund it, but the money never showed up. I called a second time and the person said that he would refund the money and it still never showed up. After a third call the person refunded my money, but said that it could only be refunded to my TD Ameritrade account- even though they had taken the money from my Wells Fargo account. When I asked if they could deposit it to Wells Fargo, since that is where it was charged from and I never ever want to deal with transferring money from TD Ameritrade again, he said that they had no ability to interact with my Wells Fargo account. He then said I could set up online transfers and I asked why we hadn't just done that for my tuition money? He said he had no idea, but that it was free.

This has been the most nightmarish customer service experience of my life. Ameritrade has a great online system, but their customer support and live people are awful. The whole time they were acting like it was my problem, and every support agent had a different idea of what their policy for transferring money was. At the same time I went through a similar process of withdrawing money from an Oppenheimer Account. I called once and the money was sent- no repeat calls or incorrect charges. I am seriously looking forward to withdrawing the remainder of my balance from Ameritrade and transferring it to someone who actually cares about their customers.
TD Ameritrade

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    • [-][+]My resolution
    • 29 Points
    • 9 years ago
    Zunaira N. (Neutral)
    What happened to you is very unfortunate, but not surprisingly it is something that happens too often nowadays. In my opinion you definitely can and should claim the costs you incurred as a result of the negligence on part of the bank. This will include the overheads you had to pay as a result of submitting your fee late as well as other costs like your wasted time.
    Clearly you suffered considerable inconvenience you can claim for this too, however, since such losses cannot be quantified precisely, it is always difficult to put a figure on a claim for general damages such as inconvenience, distress and loss of enjoyment.
    So my suggestion is that the bank immediately offers an explanation as to what went wrong as well as a written apology for their negligent and carefree attitude while dealing with you. They must also cover any quantifiable costs that you incurred like a late fee penalty.
      • [-][+]My resolution
      • 9 years ago
      Francis B. (Neutral)
      TD Ameritrade should respond if they care about their customers. – Ameritrade has the worst service on the planet. Although I had an even worse issue with Fidelity that cost me a lot of $$$$. Basically its an issue with the quality of their support staff and probably what they pay them. They run support as thin as possible and it shows when you have to do something beyound logging a trade online. But, are you really saving money if you waste 4-5 hours trying to get something done- like the probably you had?
      my suggested response would be pretty simple
      1) they need to send you a full explanation from a supervisor as to what went wrong
      2) credit your account with some free trades
      3) cover any costs you incurred including a reasonable fee for your time- $50? IM sure you spent more, but that would be a token apology and might show they actually respect their client's time
      4) fix the problem. Wiring out of TD Ameritrade is a nightmare. I've had similar issues and they just act like beaten dogs when you try to explain to them how bad their process and the follow up service is.
        • [-][+]My resolution
        • 71 Points
        • 9 years ago
        Hafsa D. (Advocate for respondent)
        It is most unfortunate to see how your case was handled. But perhaps you can bring all of this information to the attention of the Bank so that they use it to improve their customer services. I'm sure that Ameritrade also values its customers and would want to work on improving its services so that they do not lose their customers, such as yourself.
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