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Ameritrade - User Comments and Reviews

"On the whole, their customer service is horrible. My mother and I went through an agonizing process getting them to transfer my father's accounts after he died. They literally don't know their business. You ask them to do something, they say it will take three to five business days, nothing happens, and when you call to find out what's happening you get a new person on the phone and you're back to square one. I actually had one of their representatives tell me that they would send letters testamentary (those are the documents issued by the court that are supposed to go to them). A week or so later, a letter arrived addressed to my father explaining that they don't issue letters testamentary. They're like the Keystone cops."
Mark DeBellis - New York, USA (Oct-2006)

"I would advise UK investors to steer clear. They settled my dealing and then re-purchased the shares without informing me giving a negative balance. The clerks I believe have no in depth knowledge of trading conditions -if they had they wouldn't allow me to bank a cheque and then claim back a re-purchase."
David - Manchester, UK (Oct-2006)

"Ameritrade recently combined w/ TD and have gotten rid of their quarterly maint. fee, it's wonderful. Web site trades are cheaper... it's just great! And their client services is superb. No issues, all of my friends and family have joined the ban-wagon!"
Cathleen F - Nebraska, USA (Sep-2006)

"Tom Coburn has nailed it on the spot. The streamer only has up to 36 slots, it freezes and crashes. But worst and most dangerous of all it shows bad data, like previous day's data. In the most critical moment, the streamer fails me. With execution, I too felt like the spread was being exploited against me and forget about those quick executions, sometimes my orders doesn't not appear on the market for a while and I know that because I watch it on different platforms as well. ETrade is a lot better, although a little more expensive."
Ed - USA (Sep-2006)

"I was ditched by a stock broker TD Ameritrade in one of the stock PAIM (Peral Asian Mining Ind Inc). I purchased PAIM stock long back through TD Ameritrade. PAIM management issued a statement to all stock brokers , that 90% of the stock should be send back to the company and will issued 5 years CD for the surrendered stock. The mandatory date is June 15. I sold my stock on June 19 through TD Ameritrade. In July 6th TD Ameritrade has put short sale on our account and threatened me, they are going to liquidate my account, if I don't buy the sold stock immediately from the market to surrender the stock to the company. I made so many calls to find out the details, also left a message to Customer service to call me back. I did not get any response. After 2 days I started calling them , I did not get positive response from Customer support or their Manager. In addition to that, they are talking all nonsense. When PAIM management issued a note all brokers to surrender 90% stock to the company by June 15. All the stock brokers have surrendered the stock by June 15, How can TD Ameritrade sell my stock on June 19. To cover up their mistake TD Ameritrade is threatening investors to buy the stock from open market 10 times price to cover up. I spent so much money from my pocket to purchase the stock to surrender to the TD Ameritrade for TD Ameritrade mistake. Their Customer support is using kind of nonsense language. Also, when I told them, I will complain to NASD authorities, they told me that don't care. I tried to contact all the top people and sent e-mail for justice, I did not get get any response. If any body is in same situation, please come forward, we will go to Stock exchange authority. Be careful with TD Ameritrade, they don't care about the investors."
KK Raj - USA (Jul-2006)

"Once was a customer of TD Waterhouse. This is where the snotty reps come from. Switched to Ameritrade. Happy until the merger. Back to the snotty reps."
Patricia Bertelli - Colorado, USA (Jul-2006)

"I opened an account in Nov and closed by April because of mistakes in transfers across accounts that led to losses in interest; lower fees than ETrade, for example, but climbing and their service is just as bad. I didn't trust them for long-term business and I have the same conclusion for ETrade (other problems there!). My advice is to use brokers with better service where you pay higher trade fees but simpler and clearer and lower fees on banking."
A. F. Pereira - Washington DC, USA (Jun-2006)

"I've had several real bad experiences with Ameritrade. They gave a hard time about opening an account, and accepting deposits, and trading, and resolving any issues. At $10.95+tax, their commissions are not bad, but what good does the $10.95+tax do when Ameritrade overcharges your account due to slippages that are up to 10 times greater than their commissions? Once Ameritrade notices you've got money, they will start overcharging! They will send your buy orders to MMs with the highest prices, and then send your sell orders to MMs with the lowest prices! And then when you complain, they blame it on the Exchange, or blame it on you! Then the Ameritrade rep will openly misrepresents material facts and figures, and then using their false figures, they consistently refuse to make adjustments. Ameritrade's customer service serves only Ameritrade, not their customers! They've got more excuses than a kid caught with his hand in a cookie jar! They're hardheaded and tough! I mean aren't your investment accounts supposed to make you money? With Ameritrade there's an overcharge for something every week! I switched and went to Scottrade, which is not the best, but a lot better than Ameritrade! And don't forget about the attitude of the people at Ameritrade; I felt like I had to ask a favor or bothered them, every time I talked to them!"
Gary Tlahacs - Iowa, USA (Apr-2006)

"Already have one account, a trust. Opened a second individual account and they couldn't verify my I.D. despite the same contact info. They managed to take the $3,000 deposit though, just couldn't activate the account or provide me any information as to why... since they didn't know who I was. Problem solved by calling in numerous times until I got someone with a brain and some gumption. However, I have had problems of one sort or another at every bank and broker ever used."
Tad Martinson - Michigan, USA (Mar-2006)

"I had a terrible experience with this company. The minute you put your money with them, they eat your funds slowly one fee at a time. If you want to avoid the fees you can freeze your account, which I did. However, fees and charges kept coming. Calling them again was another empty promise."
Ted Kezensky - USA (Mar-2006)

"They won't close my account. I have worthless securities. They say they will sell them without a fee if I call a broker. I called numerous times, they place the order but the securities never sell. I'm stuck. In the meantime they keep charging me inactivity fees."
B Scully - USA (Mar-2006)

"I am a day, swing, momentum, etc. trader. I have had many problems with the Ameritrade Streamer. It crashes, shows bad data, stops showing some data, etc. I have also had problems placing orders during peak hours like the first half hour of trading and last half hour of trading, it is like their system is overloaded or something. As on other submitter noted, I have also had problems with limited orders not getting placed and market orders always working against me like someone is working the spread pretty hard."
Tom Coburn - USA (Jan-2006)

"I set up a Roth IRA with Ameritrade in July and have had absolutely no problems with them (the cash was debited from my checking and ready to go in less than a week). I have not had to use their customer service so I can't weigh in on it, but this is a discount brokerage, so you get what you pay for. No fees on the IRA except trade commissions - my tip is to wait until you have >1K to buy with to minimize the fee impact. Probably better if you already have a sizeable IRA to work with, if you try to place share orders for less than 500 dollars, this is not the site for you. All in all, I'm happy with them."
H B - Florida, USA (Jan-2006)

"Like the command center. Recently have problems with orders freezing and lost hundreds of $$. Ameritrade customer service is terrible now, imo. I get only denials and no apologies... Email a complaint and I get a quick generic response but try to respond and they pass you from one person to the next. Each email response is from a new person, and of course they don't seem to have a clue of what your original problem was. Do they do this on purpose? I may keep them but am looking for a another broker that charges less per trade."
Stephen Marks - Arizona, USA (Jan-2006)

"I left Ameritrade because I was getting fee'd to death. This company maybe great for people who have lots of money but they were terrible for a little guy trying to get started!"
John Bolton - Florida, USA (Dec-2005)

"Does a good job for me with APEX service. Prefer the old site but will get used to the new on when I have to."
Richard - Florida, USA (Nov-2005)

"I'm an old Datek customer (Ameritrade customer by default rather than choice). I hate the fact that Ameritrade upped the cost of mutual fund transaction to $17.99 from the $10.99 that I paid through Datek. However, having said that I've been fairly satisfied with everything else. One of my funds disappeared off one of the pages within my account for a few months and it took them literally 6 months to get it fixed. I knew the asset was still there because it showed on every other section of the website and my statement, but this technical glitch either showed their lack of competence or lack of care for several months. I'm considering switching to Brownco and moving all four of my retirement accounts into two (one pre and one post tax) accounts, but now that I've heard that E-trade is buying Brownco, I'm having 2nd thoughts. I'll likely wait to see how E-trade adjusts the commission costs before opening any account with Brownco. It sucks that these great smaller, customer friendly companies get swallowed up by the bigger firms that do not care about you and screw up a good thing. Overall, on a grading scale, I give Ameritrade a B and I give Fidelity a C- (primarily because of the $75 transaction fee on mutual funds). I had an E-trade account way back in the day and don't recall being particularly fond of them, but it was many years ago and things might be better now? Personally, I'm considering transferring everything to USAA who I have banked with for 13+ years and provides all the bank accounts for military personnel. They're a great bank and I've been thrilled with the level of service my wife and I have received from them, however, they do charge a minimal $40 transaction fee for mutual funds, which kind of disappoints and sickens me, but other than that, I trust them more than any other broker or bank and that could be worth the cost when my assets grow to possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars as I near retirement. My $ .02 worth."
Bret Bowman - Ohio, USA (Nov-2005)

"Not happy about $15 quarterly fee but they worked with me to keep me vs. transferring to other broker. At least they made efforts to keep me (unlike E-Trade). Now I know what I need to do to avoid fee--minimum monthly balance or # of trades in 6-month period. Happy they have no transfer out fee."
Patrice Sauve - Michigan, USA (Sep-2005)

"I've been with Ameritrade for years. As a discount broker, I don't expect hand holding and do my own research. With a margin account it doesn't matter how long they "hold" my cash, never had any problems there. It sure beats the so-called "full" brokers that didn't do a thing to justify their fees. The only thing I don't like is that the cash isn't "swept" into a money market account."
Helen Daniel - Florida, USA (Sep-2005)

"Client Service problems usually stem from Ameritrade's habit of constantly changing how they want calls handled. In an average week 8-10 memos will go out that implement new rules and changes in call handling."
Former Ameritrade Employee - Texas, USA (Aug-2005)

"Serious doubt about the market order. Don't place any market order with Ameritrade. Always try for limit order."
Kripal Singh - USA (Jul-2005)

"For the small investor, this company will eat up all of your funds, open margins and sell stocks to keep a cash account. Then when you want to close the account, good luck. This company is a shark and you are a wounded fish! They are hoping for your inaction to eventually absorb all of your stocks!"
Steve Gaston - Oregon, USA (Jul-2005)

"I've had great nothing but great experiences with Ameritrade. My trades are relatively simple - I'm not a day trader, but I do like to buy and sell often."
Amy King - Texas, USA (Jul-2005)

"I've been with them for over a year. Setup with my checking account was simple. It took less than a week. Once I verified everything I can move funds into and out of my Ameritrade account via ACH into my checking within 3 days. They have changed recently - their limit orders are for the day the order is placed only. If placed in extended time it executes for the next day. They used to allow limit orders up to 1 month. I miss that feature. Now I have to keep track on a daily basis. This has made me a better trader, but I liked being lazy."
Eli - New York, USA (Jun-2005)

"Ameritrade is the worst thing to happen to Datek. The inactivity fees are bogus!"
Jim Boyd - USA (Apr-2005)

"Do not sign on with Ameritrade.(Read all of the terrible reviews of the company on this site!) I have held an account with Ameritrade since 1999 and over the years have noticed a steady decline in the quality of the customer service. I have most recently been disgusted by the poor "know it all, straight out of college, frat boy attitude" of the reps who have been taking my calls. I happen to be an APEX member which supposedly grants you the highest level of service. However, my most recent dealings have been awful. One snot nosed punk, when asked for a supervisor, stated,"Oh that's great. Fine, you don't want me to help you. That's great.". In a separate conversation, I called in to request information on their streaming quotes system. I had a young "lady" rep tell me, "Look, I just work hear. All the information you need is on the website. Everyone else can figure it out. You can too." I've worked to god damn long and hard to have to deal with little, wet behind the ears, babies at Ameritrade. I have made the switch to Scottrade and would never recommend anyone to AMERItrade, a true disgrace to America."
Dr. Brendon Chiou - New York, USA (May-2005)

"I could tell that Scottrade would do their best to hang onto your money when I signed up, but with rates that low I can't complain much. When I get my balance up I will probably switch to a different broker. (That will be a while) An appealing part of Ameritrade is that you can take your money out within 3 business days. Perhaps you should have put it into a bank account before taking it across water. Even then you would have had to wait for the check to come in the mail. All in all Scottrade is a bit behind the times but I've been happy with my limited experience with them."
Mark vonGermeten - Utah, USA (Apr-2005)

"Any slightly complicated transaction, like changing title to a trust, completely confounds the customer service (or lack thereof) department."
Bob Wilson - California, USA (Apr-2005)

"The online service is great, but the special offer I started with ran out before I got chance to use it - it took so long to set up the account. Two times now I've asked for a check to close my account. Both times nothing has turned up and when I call to complain they can't trace any requests. Make sure you always ask for a name when calling."
Daniels M - Ontario, Canada (Feb-2005)

"They suck. Play too many games. Will not let customers short stocks. Cheat customers on stock price. Will not let customer change price or cancel. I am reporting them to the sec."
C P - Pennsylvania, USA (Dec-2004)

"I'm here by default - merger and I have found it confusing to get the info I want, and to keep up with all the changes they are making now. Am in the process of switching - takes 6 weeks."
Ruth Wiegers - Arizona, USA (Nov-2004)

"I recently attempted to open an account with Ameritrade and was informed they could not verify my information - so I would have to proof who I am before I could activate my account. I find this astounding as I previously had an account with Datek that was later bought out by Ameritrade - so I have had a previous account with them already. How could they not verify my information? This alone sent me elsewhere."
C Michels - Arizona, USA (Nov-2004)

"No problems with Ameritrade at all. Trades almost instant. Datek took stock out of my account and it took a complaint to the SEC to get it back (that company is gone now). On one order they got me a price below the 'ask' price - a real pleasant surprise. Scottrade is good too, but limit orders cost $1 more (market orders $4 less). These seem to be the two lowest cost brokers. (Others have fees etc.)"
Bob Jeffers - Massachusetts, USA (Oct-2004)

"Easy to use site."
Jane Alderman - West Virginia, USA (Aug-2004)

"I tried to short couple of stocks during the past 6 months or so. But the orders were always canceled. I do have margin and short privilege. I just thought Ameritrade doesn't like you to short some stocks. Anyone with the same experience?"
XMan - USA (Jul-2004)

"NYSE, NASDAQ, etc. markets open 9:30AM EST. So, in reality, brokers on the west coast should be open at 6:30 AM to handle trades."
Mike the Stockbroker - New Jersey, USA (Jul-2004)

"Don't be in a hurry to trade with Ameritrade. Not only does it take 15 days from start to finish (let me specify business days here) but the customer care is horrible. Money is taken out of your bank account and then 'held' for 5 business days once they have it in your trading account. Granted, this is for non-marginable stocks, but it is extremely frustrated."
Brian - Florida, USA (May-2004)

"Ameritrade bought my broker firm, and I have experienced problems I never had with my previous broker. Ameritrade canceled orders, did not execute orders to cover short positions. Their service makes me feeling uncomfortable."
Gin - USA (Mar-2004)

"Co-opened an account with Sharebuilder and Ameritrade the same day. Sharebuilder went with no glitches. Ameritrade screwed up looking up my ssn and is holding my money hostage for 60 days. Cannot trade and Cannot get my money back unless I pay to get it."
Jodie Fudge - North Carolina, USA (Feb-2004)

"Concerning the 15 free trades, I opened an IRA and did not get the 15 free trades. I called and asked 'Why?' They said they cannot give it to IRA customers because it would be like contributing to the IRA. The add says nothing about 'Except for IRAs!'"
Richard Terlizzi - South Carolina, USA (Jan-2004)

"Didn't tell you "not for IRAs"? Read the first paragraph. 'Open your new Individual (non-IRA) or Joint account with $1,000 or more before February 17, 2004, and receive commission-free Internet equity trades for 5 weeks (up to 25 trades).'"
Emma Petrovski - New York, USA (Jan-2004)

"I read all the ads and fell for the Ameritrade hype. Just found out that they want $40 for a stock certificate. What a rip off. I am closing out!"
Patrick Lonie - Tennessee, USA (Jan-2004)

"Highly recommended."
Patricia Bertelli - Colorado, USA (Nov-2003)

"They do allow transfers to and from your bank account. It's called cash in/out under the account services menu. They make a couple of small deposits to verify your account info is correct. The only problem I've had is they hold deposits for 5 business days before you can transfer it out again. I use it with B of A and GTE Credit union."
Gene Sanford - Florida, USA (Nov-2003)

"I found out about Freetrade (by Ameritrade) by word of mouth on a message board and gave it a try 4 months ago. It is fantastic. The trades are free and the margin rate is low. Because it's run by Ameritrade, I trust the company. The trading system is bare bones -- no stock ratings, no commentary, and no fancy real time trading system. But if you are able to do the research on your own, how can you go wrong with free trades? The site is at www.freetrade.com. I hope fellow investors can profit from this information like I have."
John - New York, USA (Nov-2003)

"Ameritrade ads said 15 commission free trades for opening a new account. In fact, I spoke with a live CSR when I opened my account and was told I would get all 15 free trades... Not 15 free trades the first month. I believe their ads stated 15 free trades... not up to 15 free trades and not 15 free trades the first month. I'm switching... The last thing I need is a dishonest online broker. I would not recommend Ameritrade."
Tina - USA (Nov-2003)

"Dollar for dollar, best value in the market. They never encourage (or discourage) 'churning'; they do not push either stocks or approaches. They just give information and services at a very reasonable price. What a novelty!"
Dennis Murray - Indiana, USA (Aug-2003)

"Good broker, but when it comes to buying multiple issues of one stock it gets confusing when you decide to sell."
Andrew Burkhalter - Alabama, USA (Aug-2003)

"I would like more premium service at no additional cost."
Edward Sanford - Kentucky, USA (Aug-2003)

"I did receive some inaccurate information regarding the date that you had to own a stock in order to qualify for the dividend. This did cost me the quarterly dividend on stock in question."
Michael F. Maire - Ohio, USA (Jun-2003)

"I have two complaints about Ameritrade. Neither are show stoppers but they keep Ameritrade from being truly top notch. 1 - They cancel orders frequently and I am never advised as to why. If I want to know, I have to call them. They need to automatically post the reason whenever a trade is cancelled. 2 - The interest on money market funds have to be absolutely the lowest anywhere. And when below 1000, there is none what-so-ever. I am not used to this."
Bud Sloan - Nevada, USA (Jan-2003)

"Have always had excellent service, quick trade response, great for day trading. However, have noticed their increase in commissions is taking a bigger bite out of my profits. Also would like to be able to add to the account directly from my checking account without a transfer fee. Takes too long to fund the account with mail."
Ann Smith - Wisconsin, USA (Jan-2003)

"Ameritrade has always executed my trades efficiently. They also have funds transfer ability so I can sends money from my checking account to them for trades. I am pleased with their services."
Ben Merkel - Alabama, USA (Dec-2002)

"Ameritrade is now a rip-off. I bought five thousand dollars of several stocks during the Florida election problem. It went straight to the bottom. I left some idle hundreds, thinking it would draw interest, while I waited on my stock to rise in value again. Well, Ameritrade nickel and dimed it to death for monthly fees. So I called them and guess what they said? "We are not a bank, we have to make money". So what is my point? Simply this: If you have idle money sitting, waiting while you anticipate your stocks rising again, don't count on it. I closed my account, at a loss, so as not to have more of a loss....if you follow my drift."
J C - Washington, USA (Jun-2002)

"Ameritrade did not sell a stock I had a stop loss on because it had been delisted. They could have at least e-mailed me. The alert service advertisers in my opinion in some instances are nothing more that pump and dump scam artists. Switched to Scottrade and am hoping for better results."
William Delany - Arizona, USA (Apr-2002)

"Ameritrade continues to lag on developing a method for online transfer of funds from personal checking accounts to fund stock trades. Continues to rely on standard mail services which take days for delivery and posting. Although interest charges are low they could be eliminated with faster more reliable electronic funding similar to what credit card companies and other brokerage houses provide."
Williams - Nevada, USA (Jan-2002)

"Lousy! Absolutely lousy! I'm pulling my account. To resolve a problem with Ameritrade, the process is to grill you until you feel like you've been through torture. Can you speak to a manager? No. Why not? Well, there's no reason -- they just answer a question by asking you yet another question. It's impossible to resolve any issues with Ameritrade. So why should I bother with them? It's pointless and I'm moving all of my portfolio to a brokerage who wants to cooperate with me!"
J. Johnston - Washington, USA (Jan-2002)

"Top f? Make like a greyhound and run... The other way!"
Hubert F. Nelke - USA (Dec-2001)

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"One of the top? I doubt it - they don't offer payroll deduct as did NDB - want to xfer your account to another brokerage firm be prepared to be dinged for $50. When I xferred my account to NDB the xfer out from the previous firm was free and was done through the DTC when I asked Ameritrade about xferring they were not even sure what the DTC was."
Michael Arb - Missouri, USA (Dec-2001)

"Just opened an account at Ameritrade, and found out that when I want to increase (deposit $ into) my account, they won't credit my account with the deposit for ten days! Sounds like the "old" days, when banks did the same with out-of-town state checks.... I'm researching further, but this may lead to my closing the account before I make my first trade!"
Don Jared - Arizona, USA (Jul-2001)

"After a long stint trading with Ameritrade, I'm leaving. I trade a lot and they are costing me money now. Progressively worse execution times, random quotes, disappearing orders, orders I never placed charged to my account, web site freeze ups... if you trade a great deal, go elsewhere."
Craig Chris - Pennsylvania, USA (Mar-2001)

"Deep discount broker. It truly is! Trades execute in seconds, and I get a confirming email. Good service. Friendly customer service. I love it!!!"
A. Eversmann - Germany (Nov-2000)

"To this day I deeply regret doing business with Ameritrade. I read one of the comments posted here and my experience is the same, They are holding my money hostage. Not once, twice, but three times did I call to close my account and liquidate my funds and none of these times was this done by Ameritrade's reps. I would call time and time again just to find out that my request to close my account had been ignored. After what seemed like a thousand calls I finally got them to close it and send me a check. Unfortunately the delivery company they used lost it and now they are making me wait another 10 days to re-issue another check without any effort to expedite the process. Mind you this is a large sum of money and it's going to take at the least a month from the day I requested my funds for me to get it. That is if they don't screw me again."
Caceres - California, USA (Jun-2000)

"My Ameritrade broker sold my stock ten days after I bought it outright for less than I paid and claimed they had to cover a debt I never had and left me broke. No notice whatever until I got this confirmed in the mail. I have the entire weekend to stew over this error on their part because they don't have capable representatives on duty. Hopefully, we'll resolve this soon but it's very unnerving to put your money in the hands of incompetence. I'd like to know if anyone has any ideas on retribution for my trouble."
Kathy Carroll - New York, USA (Mar-2000)

"I have accounts with Ameritrade, Quick & Reilly and E-Trade. I rate Ameritrade the best because of price and because they provide stockquest which is excellent for screening or evaluating stocks. The only disadvantage is that they only pay 2.75% on idle funds. E-Trade and Q&R use MM funds that pay almost twice as much."
Bob Johnson - California, USA (Feb-2000)

"Ameritrade has held my money hostage for almost 6 weeks. I mailed my application to them on 1/9/00 and they now tell me I can't trade OTC until 2/16/00. For a company that advertises 3-5 days to open accounts this is terrible. Their customer support was terrible with 25-35 minute phone waits and when I finally got through, I was told to be patient, "Life goes on". Never again will another dime of my hard earned money be spent on this discount brokerage. Think twice about signing up with this big company when your just a little guy."
Brad Fiechtner - South Dakota, USA (Feb-2000)

"They refuse to answer my simple question... Every day from five to fifteen of my positions are "rounded" down. Reducing my portfolio value from $.25 to most seen $1.70. Always rounded down. For forty one business days they have never rounded up. That is statistically not possible. I even had the US SEC Philadelphia PA write them and they will not answer. Ameritrade users please write the company and ask the question."
James Brown - New Jersey, USA (Feb-2000)