Sometimes I have the opportunity to review products, I always share my honest opinion on the product.
It has been a while since I have been this frustrated with a faceless corporation, but wow, has fidelity completely pissed me off, and what’s worse it doesn’t even matter. So in an non-original fashion, I’ll just bitch about it on my site that doesn’t get enough pageviews to matter.
Background of my Frustration with Fidelity
About 2 months ago, I received an email from my brother who asked if I would be interested in starting another investment club. This one would be with a buddy of his, and would focus a little bit more on dividend paying stocks. Since, I have really enjoyed the past 5 years with my investment club, and he used the word dividend, how could I possible say no?
Since we were dealing with just three people, I figured I would skip the creation of an investment club business entity and we could get to work quickly as tenants in common (i.e. joint owners with no survivorship rights). I was horrified to learn that Fidelity would need a paper application for 3 joint owners. It is 2018, who needs a paper application for anything!?
Fine, it is what it is, I later learned that somehow this is standard practice when dealing with online brokers. So I requested that they send me an application for 3 owners, but they don’t make one. I am then forced to print out multiple copies of the application and piece them together to make one complete application. After finishing my piecemeal application I was to send this hard copy with only one original signature (mine) and two scanned then printed signatures to a Fidelity post office box. One week passes, nothing from Fidelity. At the end of the second week, I decide to call them up. It was at this point my mind was blown. They were mailing me back my application because they were unclear of my what I was trying to get done. What?! They couldn’t have called? texted? emailed me? Fuck, they could have even faxed me and saved some time.
Fine. I get someone on the phone who tells me to send back the application. So, I send back the application. One week passes by, I call and ask for an update. Fidelity’s response, “it is being looked at by our compliance department.” I can open and fund an account with one or two people without any real oversight, but you need 10 business days because I want a third person added to the account? Their response, was simply, yes.
Fine, take another week. At the end of that second week, someone actually called me this time and left me a voicemail letting me know that there was a mistake. Yes, it was my mistake. I missed the box indicating whether this account was with survivorship rights or without survivorship rights. In my defense, tenants in common should indicate in it of itself that it was without survivorship rights. Notwithstanding, the voicemail stated I could just call back and let them know. Finally some good news, and I did just that. The customer service rep said to call back in 48 hours just to make sure there weren’t any other hiccups.
Fine, take another 2 days which was over a weekend so really 4 days, it didn’t matter because the nightmare was coming to an end. Except when I called back (as in they didn’t reach out to me), some other faceless dick decided the oral confirmation wasn’t enough and I had to start from scratch with a new application! I lost it. I completely get it was not any of the CSR’s fault, but he was on the other end of the phone. I couldn’t fucking believe it. 5 weeks later and I have to start from scratch!?
To move all my accounts from Fidelity would mean absolutely nothing to them, and cause me so much pain that I couldn’t even begin to think about doing it. I have my IRA, The Wife’s Roth IRA, 6 children accounts (my 2 and then a few investment accounts nieces and nephews), and then at the very end of that I would have to convince 8 other people in my original investment club that we have to leave Fidelity because I got into a fight with them…and lost. Not happening anytime soon.
So instead, I chose to write 700 words on something that doesn’t matter to anyone in the hopes that one of the google bots will notice my complaints about Fidelity Brokerage, and perhaps, save some other poor soul some time.