TRADER LOSES $120,000 but TD Ameritrade refuses to honor their policy of making customers whole ….

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 .


13 responses

  1. fred

    All of this is true.

    I have had the same problems and more.

    Today 05/17 – streaming quotes stopped at 14:43 and the platform still showed connected. Alerts started going off and I was stopped out of my positions.

    TOS = POS

    May 17, 2011 at 4:02 pm

  2. rose

    I just attended a Investools class in Pasadena, California, and I am thinking of switching my entire retirement account Ameritrade. Would I have the same problems, as I am losing tremendous amount of money on my regular variable annuity. Any suggestions?

    November 9, 2011 at 11:22 am

    • terry senton

      Dont give it to Ameritrade its difficult to get it back

      November 15, 2011 at 9:33 pm

  3. terry senton

    Once they have your money it takes an act of congress to get it back

    November 15, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    • Tell me about it ! Anyway, TD Ameritrade doesn’t care about its customers but once they Fuck you Over they won’t look back !

      November 15, 2011 at 9:39 pm

      • Ann Rainey

        I have been trying to get a pin for 1 month and they cannot get their act together to send one to me. Got the debit card 1 month ago but no pin. I am finished. You are correct – they have your money and they could care less.

        January 26, 2012 at 12:12 pm

  4. dave

    I Have been Level 2 quote problems for days At Scotia I_TRADE I hate all these %#&^@#. I trade gold stocks exclusively and now I’m finding out that Scotia might be in coohoots with JP Morgan on gold/silver manipulation! If I find out they are I’m getting a lawyer

    November 9, 2012 at 12:53 pm

  5. Agree. TDA has been good to me in both service and support. I have 4 accounts for 3 years. while the day trading platforms are not PRO level, for my low level of trading, i like the poor Strategydesk for viewing my accounts and setting triggers and alerts. Decent level I and Level II quotes with real time quotes that have executed quickly in my experiences……2x per week or less.
    I like the data available to run complicated trade algorithims that StrategyDesk has simplified to allow one to create and do runs on historical data. Can put the algorithm on line and actual allow it to trade automatically if your are brave enough.
    ThinkorSwimis web based and faster, and good for trading, but not so good for account management. It does allow muti account access which is nice and time saver.
    I also like the stability of a well funded organization….with that said, nothing in this day is a surety

    January 9, 2013 at 9:43 pm

  6. DAVID


    October 28, 2013 at 11:03 pm

  7. TDA sucks. i’m having the same problem now with lagging quotes. Fidelity has the best, most accurate out of the big brokers. use Fidelity

    August 4, 2014 at 12:46 pm

  8. Rick

    Traps in TD Ameritrade – the hidden theft:

    March 3, 2018 at 9:22 pm

  9. Stewart Baskin

    I am an experienced SPX option trader having my best year ever when against my will I was forced to switch from Scottrade to Ameritrade. It took me two weeks and 10+ hours of phone time to learn their platform, and everyone was wonderful, but now I have run into an intolerable problem they will not address. When the market opens in the morning I get no SPX option quotes for the first 30-35 seconds of each day. This may not sound like much of a problem, but any options trader will tell you these are the most important 30 seconds of the day. They’re trying to tell me this is normal, but I can absolutely guarantee you that it’s not! For six+ years at Scottrade I received live quotes from the very second the market opened. My quotes are live and in real time all the rest of the day, even in the middle of the night their platform is updating prices by the second following the SPX futures. What good does it do to have live prices at 3am when nobody can trade, and then no quote at all the first 30+ seconds of every market day. Cmon Ameritrade, FIX THIS!

    March 27, 2018 at 10:50 am

  10. Rick Franke

    I have had similar problems since TD Ameritrade took over Scottrade. My accounts are so slow, there is a real difference between when I order a trade and when it is actually completed. In addition, since I have multiple accounts and have them linked, I logged in in one account, when to another account and made a sell. They applied the sell to the account I was logged in rather than the IRA I wanted to use and now refuse to fix the problem saying there is nothing they can do about it. I made the trade at 3:55pm, notified them of the problem at 4:15 which they logged at 4:45pm and told me to call back the next day. I went to their office and was rudely treated by a rep who once again said tough luck.

    April 4, 2018 at 1:42 pm

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