On Feb 5th 2016, my husband and I made an offer for a condo in the extremely expensive Long Beach city in Southern California. We had saved up enough via investments for our retirement and zeroed in on a wonderful home. In May 2015, we decided to move our brokerage account to Sharebuilder due to their discounted brokerage charges and things seemed to be smooth till we informed the rascals that we wanted to liquidate the funds to put up as the initial deposit towards our new home.
We needed the amount by Feb 20th or we would lose the house to other buyers. We sold adequate stock on Feb 6th and transferred the cash via electronic transfer that day itself which gave us a lot of time before the deadline came up. The next day we got a message from Sharebuilder that additional verification was required from us before we got our own money transferred to us. Can you imagine how that feels because when we deposit money into the Sharebuilder account from the same bank account, we are not asked for verification! What is this cheapass hypocrisy and why did they choose to target me? Probably because the amount was as large as $400,000 and they wanted to sit on it for a reason that I cannot imagine.
So I called them on 800-747-2537 which is their helpline on Feb 7th at around 10.00 am and had a conversation with Olivia. She went through the lengthy verification process and assured us that we would receive the electronic transfer in 5 days i.e. Feb 12th latest. As you can see where this is going, the money wasn’t in our account by the 12th and when we called this time, a guy called Todd said that the transaction had been done today itself so it would take between 1 to 3 days for the wire transfer to go through. So we waited till it was the 15th of February before we contacted Sharebuilder again to enquire about what in God’s name was holding up our money.
This time it was a guy named Mathew who confirmed the money would appear in our account tomorrow which would be Feb 16th. This was dangerously close to our deadline of Feb 20th so I reconfirmed with him and he was dead sure that the transfer would happen the next day. That afternoon I received an email from Sharebuilder that my account had been restricted and the transfer had been cancelled.
What is wrong with these damned people? I have been diligently calling and trusting you rogues to transfer MY money since first week of the month and it takes you a fortnight to tell me that it cannot be done despite your very own employees giving me date on date confirming that everything is going as per procedure and the money is just ready to be transferred to me. Why all the lies and deceit to hold on to my money and make me believe I will be able to give the initial deposit on our home.
I made the umpteenth call to Sharebuilders on 800-747-2537 and got on line with a customer rep called Terence this time. He said that the back office had red-flagged my account and cancelled the transfer of $400,000 into my bank account. Terence advised me to reissue the transfer the next day when the ‘restriction is lifted’ from my account. Are you freaking serious right now?
He could not give me any valid explanation for the restriction by the Sharebuilder back office staff and now to go through the whole damn procedure of requesting a wire transfer after I have sold off my shares on Feb 6th with my deadline for the deposit on my Long Beach home of Feb 20th was an aggravating thought.
However, I made a request for a wire transfer for $400,000 from my brokerage account to my bank account again the next day but it was already Feb 18th by then. I had lost all hope of getting the cash transfer on time and I had to speak to my real estate agent to ask for an extension in the deadline for the deposit. But he said what I feared the most, that he will wait till the end of day of Feb 20th and the next day he would approach the other interested buyer who had given him an offer.
I have lost out on a dream home in Long Beach thanks to the criminal Sharebuilder mentality of delaying a high amount cash transfer in the greed for a little interest on my money.