About This Blog
This blog is about losses of $120,000 I incurred due to problems with my TD Ameritrade level 2 quotes . The level 2 quotes were not real time and they lagged the real time by at least about 2 to 3 minutes everyday consistently for months . I did not realize that the level 2 quotes were wrong and I traded with those quotes for over 1 month before I realized what was going on and why I was losing money .
I contacted TD Ameritrade and told them about the problems I had and I how they (TD Ameritrade) had caused me losses and that I wanted them to make we whole because it was their fault especially since they did not warn me or let me know that I was trading with bad quotes . I insisted that if I had been warned earlier I may have been able to minimize my losses . The analyst I spoke with Tommie Richardson told me that TD Ameritrade was aware of the problems with their Command Center and streaming quote issues but was not really obligated to tell customers if their was a problem . This did not make any sense to me because we are not playing with monopoly money, this is real money but obviously TD Ameritrade does not care . Tommie Richardson told me that according to their client agreement they dont guarantee their trading platforms reliability . I then told her that its one thing to not know about a future outage that randomly occurs versus a problem that you know exists and negligently or deceptively refuse to notify clients about . She said that I could have used Think or Swim or the phones as an option, but I am an active trader and using the phone is not practical . I would have exercised my other options if I had been warned earlier about the lagging quotes problem . In the end she said that TD Ameritrade was not going to give me any money back .
I tried to tell her about their company policy that Dave Kelly talked about in his Dow Jones interview but she said she was not aware of it . In this interview Dave Kelly COO of TD Ameritrade said it was the company’s policy is to “make clients whole for whatever inconvenience they encountered” on days when they experienced a service disruption.
I eventually worked my way up to the Compliance Dept and spoke to the Compliance Manager Jeff P . I sent him a web link to my complaint and request for my money . He said he would put his Top Analyst on it and I will hear back from them in 15 business days . After 15 business days I got a letter in the mail that basically said that although they were aware of the lagging level 2 quotes problem, they would not give me any money because their client agreement says that they software is not guaranteed to work all the time . There was no mention of the company policy that COO Dave Kelly talked about . How can a company say that they are aware of problems that their software has and then not notify clients but still insist that the client agreement covers them . How does it cover you if you know that the data that people are trading with is bad and will cause them losses .
I made over $100,000 between Jan 2010 and April 2010 . I started noticing the problems I had with Command Center on the 16th of April . This was the day that the Sec charged Goldman Sachs and it was also options expiration Friday . I had problems with the streamer freezing and in some cases I had outright bad quotes displayed but I did not know that my level 2 quotes were bad too . The only way to really know was to compare the Command Center Level 2 quotes to another platform which I eventually did more than 1 month later . I compared it to Think or Swim and realized why I had been losing money .
Below is a chart with my account balances – I ended January with about $42,000 and I withdrew about $25,000 between January and April . By April 15th I had made over $100,000 but after the problems started I lost over $80,000 by the end of the following 2 weeks which was April 30th .
After I complained to TD Ameritrade the level 2 quote problem never got fixed and nobody contacted me to fix it . In August 2010 after about 4 months of still having the Command center level 2 options quotes WRONG every single day . I asked the Compliance Manager why after 4 months this issue had not been fixed especially since I would have lost even more money had I unknowingly put money into the account and kept on trading . I did not hear back from him but a couple of days later my account was shut down and I was asked to not bother ever applying back to TD Ameritrade . I wonder why after 4 months the problem was not fixed .