I just wanted to complain about e*Trade Bank. I opened a 6 month CD 1 year ago. Six months went by and the CD matured. I never had a Certificate of Deposit before, so I wasn’t sure what to do to get the money out.
First Maturity Date
e*Trade mailed me a little letter stating that I had 7 days to withdraw the money or it would be renewed at the new rate. I was in the midst of a job change, and I’m rather lazy, so I waited until about day 5 to call e*Trade. I called the number they listed on the letter, but kept getting a busy signal. It was late at night so I decided to wait and call the next day.
I called the next day after work and got a busy signal again, so I searched through their site to see if I could withdraw the CD electronically. Nothing. I searched through their help screens. Nothing. I tried the number again and again. Nothing and Nothing. By day 7 I gave up entirely and let the CD renew for another 6 months.
Second Maturity Date
This time, I didn’t wait to call, sort of. The CD was up on Saturday the 26th, so I waited until the first business day to call (today). I called the number listed on the letter and got a stupid voice-prompt system (I HATE those systems!!! Who in the world likes them???). Anyway, it gave me the option of “brokerage” or “banking”, so I said “banking”. It prompted me for a password. I tried my online password, and a pin number I usually use. Nothing. I hang up and call back. I try 2 more PIN numbers. Nothing.
I log into my online account and see that I can “reset my banking PIN”. I do so and call back. I try the new PIN and guess what…NOTHING. The system asks if I want to reset my PIN through the phone and I say “yes”. It tells me it can’t access my account and tries to send me to a rep. Busy signal. I try this 2 more times. Busy, Busy.
I call back one more time (after pitching a few dollars into the swear jar) and say “brokerage”. I get a live human and explain my predicament. They tell me they’ll transfer me to Banking, but not before I get their direct number. After a couple minutes, I get a live human over at banking and explain how much I dislike their system. She asks what she could do for me and my CD and I explain I wanted to cash out 6 months ago but couldn’t get through to a live person. She apologizes (she seemed sincere) and we proceed to cash out the CD.
Why did I cash out the CD?
You may know by reading my site that I really dislike clutter (that’s one reason I try to keep my sidebars clean). I tried chasing rates and opened a number of online accounts, but decided I really don’t like trying to keep track of my money across 7 accounts.
e*Trade had a decent CD rate at about 5.30% (APY, I forget). However, now they only have a 5.10% APY. I get 5.05% in my HSBC account, where I have direct access to the money if we needed it (which we hopefully never will), so why lock up my money in yet another account for 6 months just to get an extra 0.05%?
Some people will say I’m stupid for giving up any interest that I could easily be getting. However, I say to you “YOU open a stupid e*Trade CD and then try to get the money back without wasting 2+ hours of your time!“. I think my 2 hours (or even 20 minutes) is more valuable than the .05% I would get on that CD.
Whew, my rant is over. Anyone else have an experience with e*Trade Bank? How about another online (or offline) bank? You may have read the really stupid thing I did with HSBC and Bank of America a couple months ago. (that one was MY fault).