Many disgruntled customers’ reviews have been consistent: terrible execution time, outdated live feed, glitchy application, horrendous customer service, covers only U.S. markets, and no forex. With barely 1.3 stars reviews on Trustpilot.com, E*trade has been highly criticized throughout review websites and forums over the past few years.
Customers have reported that execution time has been 5x slower than the competition, mostly comparing E*trade with TD Ameritrade and Robinhood. Making E*Trade is a terrible option for day traders, where execution times can be a “make-or-break” factor of the trades. Order fills are completely off the rails. When you try to execute a sell order, the price immediately drops before ”magically” going back up. Some users even go far out and call it a source of market manipulation.
What is bad about E*Trade?
Live feed has been reported to be bogus. Another reason traders cannot fully rely on the platform, as the information is completely outdated. And when calling customer service they have the audacity to blame it on you “Oh, did you clear your cache?”. In other words, expect a lag overall in the platform if you forget to clear your caché.
Furthermore, customers have consistently mentioned that their accounts have been changed without consent. One user claimed that his “Cash account” was switched without his knowledge or approval, to a “PDT Margin account” effectively freezing the account’s funds for a few days.
This customer reports having called E-trade every day for over a week, with holds of upwards to 3 hours, and representatives constantly telling him that the problem would be fixed within the day and promising follow-up phone calls that never happened. Needless to say, once the funds were finally released from “hold” he immediately withdrew them.
Why are E*Trade’s customers leaving?
A major source of complaint is the lack of exposure, as the platform is constrained only to U.S. markets, so no international exposure to other companies. In such a globalized economy, it would make sense that investors want to diversify to different companies around the globe… Well, too bad, E*Trade doesn’t offer this feature.
And finally, E*Trade doesn’t do currency exchange. Although most retail investors don’t invest in the Foreign Exchange market, it is still a widely popular and growing market that has been increasing throughout the decades.
Most importantly, not having exposure to forex can largely affect your portfolio because you cannot hedge your exposure to the U.S. Dollar. And being constrained to only U.S. markets AND only the U.S. Dollar gives users little to no diversification capabilities to hedge their exposure to the U.S. Markets.
To sum it all up, E*trade has been showing a lack of innovation and seems outdated to many users in the sense that their software just isn’t working like it is expected to.
Customer service is chaotic, making it frustrating to users to ask or solve any issues they might be having; and the U.S.-only makers and USD limitations in such a globalized world make E*trade is just not worth it. There are too many great broker platforms in the market that offer great customer service, better and faster execution, forex, and broader markets.
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