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Sharebuilder rates a big "FAIL"

February 4th, 2012 at 12:20 am

After my very good and professional dealings with Scottrade I figured other stock trading companies would have similar (if not same) abilities and professional web sites. So when I went to setup a brokerage account, I decided to "play the field" and check out other companies, as it wouldn't make a big difference, right? Sheesh, have I found out wrong.

** Rant follows **

It all started a month ago when I signed up with Sharebuilder to take advantage of their sign up bonus. That worked like a charm, money went in, the web site showed the funds, and then showed the bonus money. Then I found out their "$4 trades" (originally a big selling point with me) are ... ummm... like what one poster said... "like a weekly blue light special available for a short time". Otherwise you pay more for your trade than you do with brokers that have manned offices. Not very impressive.

Next I find out they have bonus codes for free trades (of the cheapo variety). OK, I can live with that. I put in the codes, and sure enough, I get emails stating all of these free trades my account has accumulated (about a dozen). So what to do? Lets make a trade or two...

Or so I thought. I go onto the site, log in, and no where are the free trades listed. So thinking they show up automatically when you order, I go to setup a trade. When I get to the point where the final cost is listed, there is nothing about free trades, just their $10 charge. Here I cancel the order, and do some research. I look about the site more, and find absolutely nothing.

OK, well lets see... ok, there is a big help FAQ section. OK, nothing related to my issue (big shock there), but there is a place to write with your questions. So I write there, asking where I can determine my free trade balance, and... for good measure I copy along one of the emails from them indicating my account number along with the free trades I should have.

Today I get a email with a canned message cheerily directing me to the place to find this information listed. I was pretty sure I checked there, but I go again. Yep, they didn't bother to check, and there is still nothing showing right where they said it would show.

OK, so now I need to decide....

Either I go with company that has a web site that misses things, they only have canned help, and the trades are expensive

-- OR --

Start over with a company that has a site that has worked great with my Roth IRAs for years that shows up to the second balances, they have people (locally!) I can talk to for help (only happened twice), and less expensive trades.

I don't know... this could be a hard decision. (OK, maybe not :P) BTW, I should be able to get the money out no problem, so I'm not sweating this, but they have pretty much lost a customer with this fiasco.

3 Responses to “Sharebuilder rates a big "FAIL"”

  1. Petunia 100 Says:

    I had a ShareBuilder account years ago. I found it to be too expensive.

    In my WellsTrade account, I get 100 free trades per year. This is more than enough for me as I trade infrequently. I get those 100 free trades because I have a PMA account (WF's all-the-bells-and-whistles checking account). The cost of PMA is $30 per month. But here is where it gets fun: because of the balance in my WellsTrade account (its my traditional IRA), I get PMA for free.

    I opened these accounts a year and half ago. I still cannot be more pleased about the circular logic of each account being free because of the other one. Smile

  2. PauletteGoddard Says:

    With all the money the stock trading and shareholder companies get, it mystifies me how they can get Web stuff wrong. Most egregious is the help section, which is not helpful at all, and God help you if you have an apostrophe in your name and you try to log in. "Use a valid name." So you drop the apostrophe and still no go, so you drop the letters to the left of the apostrophe and enter and they freeze your account.

    I called BNY Mellon Dec 22 for an authorization code and PIN. I was told seven to ten business days. Six weeks later I call again: there's a record of my call but none of my request, so I am confused. if "yes, please send me an authorization code and PIN so I can access my account online" is not a request, how would a successful request be phrased?

  3. creditcardfree Says:

    Sorry to hear it didn't work out. I have a Sharebuilder account, but don't intend to do any trades. But I appreciate your review!

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