Questrade – Nickel and diming

Although I do not use Questrade’s platform for active traders, I do use their basic web-based interface. I don’t look at it too often since I don’t actively trade with the account, but I notice they are trying to implementing a cap on the amount of real-time quotes you can request to 1,000 per month. Anything else above that would cost 1 cent each. This doesn’t really affect me, but I was curious as to why they made the decision.

My guess is that it was designed to prevent an abuse of the system where you can pull data through the service with an application like Quotetracker or something. I did ask their customer support the following question:

Is there any way that the real-time quotations can be disabled after the free 1,000 quotes per month are reached? Or will there be any way to know how many quotes I have used in a month to date?

Their answer was the following:

Unfortunately there is no method to view how quotes have been utilized. We are, however, working to have a feature implemented on our platforms. In the meantime, please contact us and we will advise you of how many you have used. Thank you and I apologize for the inconvenience during this process.

I find this to be very silly on both a business and user interface perspective.

First, the data fees they pay to the exchanges to provide their customers with real-time quotes is probably on a fixed-price basis (either for the whole company or per-customer), so the excuse they gave for implementing a price is nonsensical. Secondly, it is very likely that customers that have more ready access to real-time data will trade more, generating more commissions for them, so by charging for quotations it is likely detrimental to their business of transacting trades. Thirdly, a customer has no idea whether they will be incurring billing for quotations, and asking for a customer to contact support for something like this is ridiculous for both parties.

It looks like this was a snap decision and done without any serious thoughts of the repercussions.

I continue to use Questrade for registered accounts (RRSP, TFSA) and non-registered holdings of TSX debentures, but as I mentioned in my previous review of them, security continues to be a lingering concern for me. They really need to implement a policy whereby if your accounts get hacked that they will cover you – similar to BMO Investorline, etc. Until then, my recommendation of them is lukewarm.

2 thoughts on “Questrade – Nickel and diming”

  1. Thank you for pointing this out. I could’t find on the Questrade website the info regarding this new data fees. Can you provide the link? Does it affect the basic platform QuestradeWeb or the one with the Quotetracker only? Thanks again,

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