I wish I'd known Fidelity's online brokerage was unreliable before I moved my assets there.
Update: June 27: Site Errors Persist A month since my original story, I am still experiencing site errors on Fidelity when using their option evaluator tool. I really don't believe they're doing anything about this.
Three Weeks of Site Errors
Today is May 30th, 2007. Over the last three weeks, I have experienced intermittent errors when researching option trades on fidelity.com. I've called Fidelity's trading support three times now. I have walked their people through reproducing the error, and they confirmed that it does exist. Each time I call, they tell me that they will pass on the message, and that they are unable to contact me when it is fixed. Basically, I have to trust that they will not drop the ball.
After waiting for the first week or so, I called in and they enabled a feature called Active Trader Pro, which allows me to download some software which I can use instead of their website. After downloading the application, however, I found that I had a crippled version. To get the feature I needed--the one that is still broken on fidelity.com--I would have to execute 250 trades per month. I won't be doing that; I have a day job and only trade a little here and there to keep my portfolio moving along.
Week Three: I've had it.
This brings us to week three. Today, I called their customer service line and said that, due to their inability to fix their site or give me meaningful status on the issue, I would be moving my accounts elsewhere. The representative, Julia Ro (they don't have extension numbers), offered to transfer me to an option trader (again), but I explained I'd already tried that multiple times. She said there is nothing she can do. I told her fine, but I have given you notice, and if Fidelity cares, they should do something about it. I gave her my phone number and she said she would call if she could get any status on the site errors.
Production Banking Software Must Be Reliable
Software which people use for financial transactions must be held to a higher standard than other software. Fidelity.com should not be as buggy as My Space.
That concludes another blog entry of me complaining about bad service. I hope that I can save others trouble by highlighting companies which don't live up to their promises.