E*Trade Refunds Transfer Fees!

Dec 16, 2013 by

child whining

Does whining pay off?

Well folks, after publishing 388 posts over twenty-five months of blogging, I’ve at last learned the key to monetizing Money Counselor: whining.

E*Trade Saga

Take a peek at my two previous posts on our recent dealings with E*Trade—Evicted by E*Trade and Formal E*Trade Eviction Notice—to catch up on the details, but the summary is this: because we live in Canada (and have since August 2009), E*Trade told U.S. citizens Ms. Money Counselor and I that it could no longer accommodate the three IRA accounts we’d maintained with it for many years. We were ordered to transfer the accounts promptly, or they’d be ‘cashed out’ for us, with all the attendant tax nastiness that would entail.

Whining Works

After my first E*Trade post published, I got a couple of voicemails from a gentleman with “E*Trade security” mentioning my article and inviting me to call him if I had any questions. I didn’t have any questions, and I didn’t like the sound of “E*Trade security,” so I didn’t bother calling him. (I imagined a U.S. Border Services agent the next time I tried to cross the border: “You’ve been banned from entering the U.S. for slandering capitalist enterprises.”)

Several weeks after the transfer of our accounts from E*Trade to Charles Schwab had fully completed, I got a formal eviction letter from E*Trade. I shared that letter with Money Counselor readers for the purpose of poking a little fun at E*Trade for not noticing that I’d done as it ordered several weeks prior to the letter’s date and to whine about a couple of things.

One object of my whining was a $180 transfer fee E*Trade had assessed us. From my post:

Notice the reference in the letter to an “account transfer fee.” In my opinion, since we were being ordered out of E*Trade, the transfer fee should have been waived. Also, it would have been nice if E*Trade had bothered to notify me of this fee up front. (Probably it did in the fine print somewhere.) The fee is $60 per account, so a total of $180 for my two IRA accounts and Ms. Money Counselor’s single IRA account.

To consolidate everything with one firm, we also transferred Ms. Money Counselor’s Roth IRA account from Vanguard to Charles Schwab. Vanguard did not charge any transfer fee, even though we, not it, initiated the transfer.

The $180 E*Trade transfer fee isn’t a huge amount of money, but it’s the sort of shabby treatment that motivates me to invoke a lifetime ban on doing business with a company and inspires me to write and publish posts.

This three-paragraph whine has produced the biggest payday ever for Money Counselor! Check it out:

ETrade refund check

My blogging finally pays off!

E*Trade Calls Again

Soon after my second E*Trade post published I got another voicemail from E*Trade, this time from a female employee from “corporate relations” or something like that. She simply asked that I call her back “at my earliest convenience.” I figured I was on the verge of being sued and would again have ignored the call if not for a comment made on my second E*Trade post by Travis Pizel (@DebtChronicles, Enemy of Debt).

After I’d reported in my post that I didn’t return the first set of phone calls from E*Trade, Travis commented that “I think it would have been fun to talk to the guy from E*Trade just to mess with him a little and see what you could get him to admit to. :)” I had no idea what to expect, but I took Travis’ advice and called E*Trade. The woman made a brief and totally unconvincing explanation of why E*Trade’s letter was sent long after I’d completed the account transfer, but then the bombshell: E*Trade would be refunding the $180 in transfer fees! I got the check last week, and it looks like E*Trade even included $0.89 interest. Woo hoo!

Whine and Ye Shall Receive?

I’m now brainstorming other mistreatments I’ve suffered that I can write about. Along with the Money Counselor layaway program that’s better than Walmart’s this could be my new side hustle: professional whining. What do you think?

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2013 Kurt Fischer
All original content on these pages is fingerprinted and certified by Digiprove