A Questrade failure

Questrade is still not ready for “prime time” for serious investors – I notice that with the slew of income trust conversions today that most of them are trading with new ticker symbols.

In one of my portfolios held with Questrade, I own some previous trust units that have converted into a corporation. I notice the market is moving in a favourable position and I wish to liquidate some shares. I enter in the new ticker symbol, and the following information comes up:

Date of Order: 01/04/2011
Time of Order: XX:XX:XX EDT
Status of order: Rejected
Order Id: XXXXXXXXXXX
Notes: The client does not have any positions in this stock

I note that Interactive Brokers does not have the same problem. Their system handled the transition perfectly.

Although this system issue is unlikely to cost me money, what if there had been a market event that I wanted to swiftly liquidate my positions into?

Their customer service mentioned the following:

Once we receive the new symbols from your clearinghouse, we will update your position. This process generally takes about 5-7 business days to update. If your intention is to trade this stock before that time, please contact our trade desk at 1-888-783-7866.

Although Questrade continues to be a good low cost alternative, it has lingering issues like these that cause me to be very wary of sole-sourcing them for my investments.

(Update, January 6, 2011): I actually called the 1-888 line and reached their trading desk. They said I could not sell the units/shares until the symbol change is recognized by the system. Not thrilled about this at all.

3 thoughts on “A Questrade failure”

  1. Frick! Seriously? 7 days?

    I think I’m about to miss a chance to finally close out a small position because of this incompetence…

  2. I don’t think bumbling could aptly describe some of my experiences with Questrade. I have a few converting trusts in a Questrade acct…. good thing i am in no hurry to sell?

    Seriously how do they get away with this? I may decide to swap brokers if they get to be anymore inadequate.

    Ever used Credential direct or hear good/bad comments. Would be nice to find a better broker for registered accounts that have same or close to for low cost fees.

  3. Derek, they get away with this because they can. Clients have the option of switching brokerages.

    I have only used three brokerages in my life (BMO Investorline, Interactive Brokers and Questrade) so I can’t comment on anybody else’s competence up-front.

    Questrade is fine when you are dealing with typical situations but anytime a wrench gets thrown into the system (e.g. symbol change) they just appear to have problems.

    This last episode was pretty significant in that it denied liquidity to one trust I owned for four trading days, and this should be the last thing a brokerage does to its clients.

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