Monday, May 22, 2006

Monday Musings

Thanks to the publication of my most recent Electronic Investor article, From Info to Insight (currently available at Barrons.com to subscribers; I will have it posted here next week), I’ve heard from quite a few former Brown & Company customers who have been transmogrified into E*Trade customers this month. 

Overall, this transition has gone significantly more smoothly than the Harrisdirect transition, which began in January and dragged on for several weeks.  I received about 400 emails complaining about the Harris takeover, and have only (only??) received 35 about the BrownCo transition.

Harris had more customers—approximately twice as many—as BrownCo, but the 90%+ reduction in complaints tells me that E*Trade was considerably more cautious this time around.  One of the biggest mishaps I heard about had to do with a stock split that happened the day the transition was being completed.  The customer in question promptly entered an order to sell off his post-split shares, but the transaction got seriously muddled, resulting in short sales, margin calls, and a variety of other problems.

I forwarded this customer’s complaint to my contacts at E*Trade over the weekend, and I’m happy to report that an E*Trade senior vice president called the customer and fixed everything personally today. 

Another customer complained about the way E*Trade Pro displays tick-by-tick changes in stock prices, but we can chalk that one up to a preference.  The remaining complaints are relatively minor in comparison to the horror of the Harris takeover.  (For details, see “Lost in Translation,” “Conversion Trouble Part 2,” and the last three paragraphs of “Seek and It Shall Find.”

IMAGINE THIS: You’ve just come into a rather significant sum of money.  What would you do with it?  The publishers of SixWise.com have created a quiz entitled, “What kind of SUPER rich person would you be?”

The site contains ideas about health and wellness, love relationships, identity theft protection, career advice and enjoying life.  I like to read through it every now and then.  Check it out at SixWise.com

Posted by twcarey on 05/22 at 02:07 PM
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