Trade for free this Friday 8/12

Posted by bigdog on August 09, 2011 (07:38PM)

All –

When we founded TradeKing in 2005, we set a high bar:  to do everything in our power to help ensure our clients’ trading success.  The past few days have been rough on all of us.  I want you to hear straight from me that, for our part, we acknowledge that we have not lived up to the stellar client service standard we set for ourselves and which you deserve and have come to expect from TradeKing.  Between some last-minute changes from our clearing firm for which we had to adjust overnight, complicated by unprecedented market volatility, many clients experienced site issues that resulted in TradeKing’s customer support being less than optimal. 
We’re putting measures in place to ensure this scenario doesn’t happen again.  But it only seems right to offer our clients a more meaningful gesture of apology. 
This Friday we’ll be offering  a special free trade day for all clients.   Any trades placed throughout the day on August 12 will be absolutely free of commissions.  Be on the lookout for an email with further details on this offer. 
Ensuring a satisfied client is always our number one goal at TradeKing.  We thank you again for your business – and rest assured that working to earn your trust is what gets us out of bed every day. 
Be Good,

Posted by treeHamster on August 09, 2011 (08:08PM)

Thanks for the WHOLE $10-20 dollars worth of free trades on Friday. Definitely worth losing out on $2,000 for a couple of non-commission trades. While you're at it, please take my house and job in exchange for a happy meal from McDonald's but I demand a McFlurry with it. That's a good deal, I know because I never got past 1st grade math.

You frankly made more on my money today than is worth from a free day of trading.

Posted by 8libra on August 09, 2011 (08:32PM)

If I could jump in... I too have been frustrated by TK. Last Friday an order did not execute through no fault or possible solution of my own, but TK made me whole. I immediately posted that experience for everyone's reference. Today's outage was unacceptable for an online broker. I won't say that I will not keep this experience in mind for a while. TK, your goodwill with the free trades is meaningful, but consider if people had open positions and they couldn't get out of them in a timely manner. If your systems being down affects people with open positions and costing them money, it seems justified for that group to bolt. TK, what would you do if you were a retail client and ran into this situation? $30 in trades only goes this far, please understand that.

Having said that. I am a computer scientist. I know computers break and unforeseen things happen. Despite all the planning and hardware one could do, shit happens. If shit never happened, we don't need computer people like me. To me, what matters is customers who were physically damaged, and then transparency and lessons learned. It seems TK has made a good faith effort to be transparent and to take lessons learned. As far as people with open positions, I don't know the rules, but as I said, they might be justified to take strong action if TK didn't make them whole.

However, let's not get carried away and shed tears for the positions not taken because of the outage. In this market, ten opportunities come and go every minute. I can look at a price chart in hindsight for 100 companies, pick out their high and low, and say, I missed 98 opportunities and I didn't time the other 2 (which I traded) perfectly! That's the market. The market is never short of opportunities. Sometimes, the best trade is the one not made, in fact at least you don't lose cash that way.

I think we as TK clients have a unique opportunity through this forum, through Twitter, to hold TK accountable to the standards we expect and they themselves set. What other companies (please tell the group) is just as or more interactive than TK in such a meaningful way? We clients should continue to hold TK to their standards and our own. However, just because people missed some opportunities today, I wanted to point out, each of us misses most of the buy-bottom sell-top opportunity for every stock everyday, not to mention the minute swings up and down. Not to mention the spreads and countless other opportunities.

In these volatile times, let's keep some perspective. The market with all these opportunities will be there tomorrow. We will all have the opportunity to make our wins and lose our shirts tomorrow.


Posted by treeHamster on August 09, 2011 (08:50PM)

Alan, I'm a software engineer for a defense contractor. So you can image what happens when there are bugs in my programming. However, I can understand a problem with this. What I can't understand is how they compensate with something that doesn't help people who do not have margin based accounts. I'm not saying I waited until after the market climbed and was saying I could have made X dollars, I DID try and trade early. In fact I kept hitting the trade button hoping the order would go through (like a little kid hitting the button the remote control for the TV). However it wouldn't go through because the system didn't work. The phones were just as useless.

The problem with the margins wouldn't have affected me in the first place as I am a cash trader. This also means I'm very limited in how many trades I can make in any one given day. So a SINGLE free day of trading is entirely worthless to me. Now if they offered everyone a block of free trades, say 100 free trades, or even 50 free trades, then that would be ENTIRELY different. I mean sure I lost out on over $1000 but they are trying by giving me a couple hundred dollars worth of trades. I can only trade my money ONCE on Friday. I only have $20k to trade with so it's not like I'm exactly looking to make 50 trades anyways. I make 2 or 4 trades each day I trade (buy/sell pairing) with a $5,000 budget (each day) and so their attempt with a free day of trading means nothing for me as the daily cost of commissions is nothing compared to any money lost/gained in any given day of the week.

Don, might I suggest you give out a block of trade free commissions instead, or at least give the option of a free day of trading or a block. The free day of trading helps margin traders a lot but is much less useful to cash traders. The reverse is also applicable. That would be MUCH more appealing to people as they then could spend it as they please. You could even distribute it to only the people who logged onto TK this morning as they were the ones who were effected by the outage which should be VERY easy to do since the logs should show the logins for everyone this morning.

Posted by dwv22 on August 09, 2011 (09:33PM)

Instead of a restricted free trading day, why not simply offer a monetary value of free trades to be used whenever account holders see fit?  I may not want to trade on Friday.

Posted by ndogg on August 09, 2011 (11:55PM)

I agree with dw22 - I can't say that Friday would a very good day to trade. What if it isn't?  It really should simply be a monetary value of free trades...

But I can say that if the system was working this morning, I would have traded the first move and turned off the computer. However, since I couldn't, I was around to position myself into the spectacular afternoon reversal.  Thank you TK?? Ha.

Posted by clipzfan on August 10, 2011 (03:20AM)

Does this include options?

Posted by chiefp71 on August 10, 2011 (05:45AM)

I agree, certain high volume traders will be able to trade free all day Friday and make a killing on behalf of everyone else. It would be much better to give those affected a certain number of free trades, whether they use them all by week's end or spread them out over the next few months. This way everyone benefits. I am happy TK is making a step in the right direction to make it right.

Posted by David Dusseault on August 10, 2011 (07:51AM)

clipzfan said: Does this include options?

 yes the free trade day includes options as well. It does not however include the additional fee charged for index options.

Dave Dusseault
VP, Customer Service and Brokerage Operations

Posted by David Dusseault on August 10, 2011 (07:53AM)

 treeHamster,ndogg, chiefp71, dwv22,

Thanks for the feedback, I'll be reaching out to you via private message.

Dave Dusseault
VP, Customer Service and Brokerage Operations

Posted by BoomerDT on August 10, 2011 (08:55AM)

All I can say is Strike 4.  This is the 4th problem I've encountered with Tradeking in about a year...  I've never had a problem with anyone else in the 12 years I've used brokers.  I am going to start looking for another broker company, the cheap fees don't make up for the lost capital.

Also Free trades don't do anything - you guys are already cheap.

How about you give all your clients $500?  Considering the market volitility a $300 winner becomes a $200 loser in 15 minutes.... which is about how long I had problems with the system yesterday..... just long enough to not jump in at the right time. 

Posted by shaffuh on August 10, 2011 (09:04AM)

I don't understand the free trade Friday. What if there aren't any moves I want to make on Friday? Am I just going to jump into a trade just because of free commission? That would be irresponsible.... It may work out for some people, but not for everybody. I watch my companies closely and do my homework. I've only invested once on here since I am new to this site, and yesterday was going to be my 2nd.

Now, I know it was just bad luck that it just so happen to be the day I was going to make my move was the day the site went down. The stock was up 9% at the end of the day and is something I would have liked to have capitalized on. However, it has surpassed my buy point, so there goes my chance.

I don't have a lot of money in my account yet because I was waiting to do small trades first to test this site, but after yesterday's problems I worry about if I will be able to make the trades I want when I need it. The offer for free trades on Friday is just absurd.... I seriously doubt I will be depositing any serious money into my account anytime soon. I may have to switch back to my old broker with higher transaction costs, but at least they worked. $10-$20 worth of free trades is an insult to people who could have made 100s easily on some bounce back stocks. Poor timing, and poor solution. I thought you guys would be better than this....

Posted by David Dusseault on August 10, 2011 (09:08AM)


thanks for the feedback, I'll reach out to you via PM.

Dave Dusseault
VP, Customer Service and Brokerage Ops

Posted by Toxic Asset Avenger on August 10, 2011 (09:20AM)

I am in a similar situation as TreeHamster and totally agree with his post. One free trading day, especially for a cash account, is an insult. It is much more appealing to margin accounts. I hope TK can find a better way to compensate cash accounts.

Posted by NYCNewbTrader on August 10, 2011 (09:22AM)

Why dont TK offer the option of either a free day of trade or a block of free trades to be used when we want? It would benefit more people than just a day of free trading.

Posted by Killa Whale on August 10, 2011 (09:41AM)

Yes, we definitely deserve more than just a day of trading, which is what 20$?

Posted by chimpeenuts on August 10, 2011 (09:42AM)

I'm trying to keep my blood pressure I'm taking a lot of deep breaths.

What happened yesterday was totally unacceptable.  No amount of apologizing or free trading days can really make up for not being able to open or close positions on a high volatility trading day.  That's when a good brokerage shines.  TK did not.  You had all weekend to make sure things were working on Monday. Everyone knew it was going to be a volatile day because of the S&P downgrade and the fed meeting and the heavy drop on Friday. 

And to make excuses about your clearing house and how that affected us is unacceptable.  They are YOUR clearing house. You need to manage and deal with them.  If they're not adequate, then don't use them. Get another.  

I was planning to make numerous trades yesterday and now I find many of those trades are not nearly as profitable especially the ones involving options.  YOU cost me $1,000s of dollars and I'm not even a big player.

I understand things happen.  But there was no error message, warning, or even email to your clients.  This is EVEN MORE UNACCEPTABLE than having an issue in the first place.  No one can anticipate every situation, but how you handle such situations is a huge reflection of how the company values its customers.

And a free trade day just doesn't mean anything when you have a market swing of 500+ points. I'm sorry TK, but EPIC FAIL.

For a company that's always touting their great reviews and offering referral bonuses, I'm thinking I should just move my account over to Fidelity where I've never had such issues with my accounts there.

Posted by DixieDoodle on August 10, 2011 (10:20AM)

Good morning,

As a cash trader I don't know if I will be trading on Friday or not but I wanted to say thank you for the free trade offer.

More than the "Free Trade Friday", I appreciated the entire explanation of what occurred and how TradeKing worked to get the system back up.  

Posted by king123 on August 10, 2011 (10:57AM)

I TRADE MAYBE 1 TO 2 TIMES A WEEK.A one day free trade was a nice thought but not good enough for me.Give me, myself five free trades to use when ever i want to and i will stop complaining until it happens again NEXT WEEK.

Posted by David Dusseault on August 10, 2011 (11:15AM)

King123 I sent you a private message.

Dave Dusseault

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