E*Trade Baby Craps on Desk. Transfer Requests Covered and Lost
E*Trade Baby Craps on Desk. Transfer Requests Covered and Lost.
Loudamy v. E*Trade
E*Trade customer Laura Loudamy owned some Dell Inc. common stock but encountered some problem getting those shares transferred by the brokerage firm. Loudamy. Acting pro se (as her own lawyer), Loudamy filed a FINRA arbitration complaint alleging that E*Trade failed to transfer her Dell shares. Was it a failure to transfer those shares into or out of her account? Alas, the FINRA arbitration decisions doesn't specify. What is clear, is that Claimant Loudamy sought $6,050.00 in compensatory damages plus interest and $12,100.00 in punitive damages. In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Laura Loudamy, Claimant, versus. E*Trade Securities LLC, Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 09-04164, April 19, 2010).
The FINRA Arbitrator ordered E*Trade to pay Loudamy $6,050 in compensatory damages plus interest, $425 in filing fees, but denied the punitive damages.
Ummm, Bill -- you ask with some puzzlement -- why did you write this one up? Not a big deal of a case, you might say. Ever fast on my feet, I respond that you're right. Well, to some extent. In and of itself, Loudamy isn't that big a deal. However, like I said, that's in and of itself. Now, consider this other E*Trade FINRA Arbitration case.
Wekser v. E*Trade
E*Trade customer Marty Wekser wasn’t a happy camper. Seems that he had an issue with E*Trade about the brokerage firm’s failure to follow his instructions to transfer funds. Acting pro se, Wekser filed a FINRA arbitration complaint alleging the failure to follow his transfer instructions and sought $617 in compensatory damages plus $500 in punitive damages. In the Matter of the Arbitration Between Marty Wekser, Claimant, versus. E*Trade Securities LLC, Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 09-06261, April 23, 2010)
The FINRA Arbitrator found Respondent E*Trade liable and ordered it to pay $617 in compensatory damages plus interest but denied punitive damages.
Yeah, Bill -- you say that with less puzzlement but still confused -- okay, so, E*Trade had two failure-to-transfer cases and lost both of them to pro se Claimants. Fine. Sort of interesting (but not really, you mumble under your breath). Still a step ahead of you, I brilliantly riposte (wow, Singer even uses fancy French words!). I'm going to give you the fact that E*Trade is a big company and all of that, and, sure, these things happen. Stuff gets lost in the mail. Transfer requests fall between desks and the window. Still . . . what are the odds of two failure-to-transfer arbitration losses within four days of each other? E*Trade lost Loudamy on April 19th and Wekser on April 23rd? And now for the coup de grace (geez, a second French term. This Singer is a phenomenal linguist!)
Lin v. E*Trade
Appearing pro se, Customer Lin also chose to save the big bucks charged by a lawyer and filed his own arbitration complaint with FINRA against E*Trade. Yup, you guessed it, he alleged that the brokerage firm failed to process his transfer request. Lin sought $7,276.31 in compensatory damages plus $447 in costs. In the Matter of the Arbitration Between, Sukmanee Rattanavong Lin, Claimant, versus. E*Trade Securities LLC, Respondent (FINRA Arbitration 09-05683, April 23, 2010). By the way, April 23rd is the same day as the Wekser Decision.
The FINRA Arbitrator found Respondent E*Trade liable and ordered it to pay $7,276.31 in compensatory damages and ordered the Respondent to reimburse Lin $325 in filing fees.
Bill Singer's Comment: What conclusions should you or the regulators draw about these three failure-to-transfer cases? Tell you what, I'll leave that to your and the regulators' discretion. I just call 'em as I see 'em. On the other hand, one thought, maybe the good folks at E*Trade might want to spend a tad less on those very cute talking baby television commercials and allocate ever so much more funds to hiring additional bodies to timely transfer customer funds and securities. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U8Ev5HgGACg