Australian (ASX) Stock Market Forum

My Broker Difficulties

Joined
29 December 2007
Posts
10
Reaction score
0
I am going to have a little rant here. Thanks for indulging me because I am thoroughly frustrated and cheesed off with my recent experiences with CommSec and you poor people are the ones I am going to unload on. No one, least of all CommSec will listen to my complaints – they ignore my e-mails.

I actually sat on the telephone for 55 minutes and fortyfive seconds the other day. Nobody answered and my ear hurts.

For eight years I have been a client of Sanford. For the most part their systems have been user friendly and the functionality of the website has been excellent. There client service was such that they always were immediately available and if not, made contact in a timely manner. In all, I was pretty happy with Sanford and their service.

Recently Sanford sold their broking business and client roll to CommSec. For seven days now I have been a ‘client’ of CommSec.

What an absolutely horrible experience it has been.

After having had the functionality of 20, 50 or unlimited market depth screens I now have a depth of ten (10) levels. Can you imagine how frustrating it is to want to strategically place an order into the list when a stock like NAB, BHP, FMG et al can move much more than ten cents in a millisecond. CommSec’s market depth of ten (10) levels in a circumstance like this is tantamount to being useless.

I keep numerous inter-liked spreadsheets with data pertaining to all my trades, holdings, account balances, profit loss positions etc. At any second, on any holding, on any sector and any cash position, in dollars or percentage terms, I know exactly where I stand. I reconcile these sheets on a monthly basis with data provided on my broker’s website. Not too difficult you would think! Not with CommSec.

CommSec’s page, which supposedly has details of my trading account, does not give a balance which includes cents – no big deal I suppose, but it does wrankle when I like to have the ‘T’s crossed and ‘I’s dotted in my records. Moreover it has not indicated what the amount of interest credited for January is. E-mails asking for that information have been ignored. I feel like screaming!

The account was previously operated by Sanford but they have handed it lock, stock and barrel to Commsec who apparently do not want to talk to me.

The intransigence of these people really does offend me. I am sitting here almost seething.

Adopting the behaviour of my username, I am not going to waste any more time with them; today I have arranged to transfer my funds to a higher interest bearing bank account and am embarking on a search for a new 'client friendly' broker.

Any advice as to where I might find a new 'client friendly' broker? Does one exist? Anyone?

Thanks for listening,

Ray (Tarry Not)
 

IFocus

You are arguing with a Galah
Joined
8 September 2006
Posts
5,614
Reaction score
2,206
Hi Ray

Long time Sanford client and longer with Comsec.

Sanford were ahead of their time (by Oz standards)when they first setup and Comsec has always been a clunky fail when you most need the site behind the times broker. I am stunned each time the site fails and people stay with them.

If you can handle web based only and want cheap costs Interactive Brokers is the place to be IMHO.
 
Joined
28 September 2007
Posts
1,472
Reaction score
7
Hi Ray,

Read your story and can sympathise.

I know nothing about the Sanford platform....

Comsec have their website and the ProTrader PC application.

The website sucks - but probably OK for the ocassional mum and dad folk

The ProTrader platform works well enough for me and I think the watchlist allows for up to 45 tickers, but you do have to keep up the minimum number of trades to keeps the watchlist at this level and to have the pricing data streamed "live". To keep Protrader at this "Best Level" you need to have at least 45 trades in a quarter, otherwise the ProTrader account falls back to a watchlist of 15 and from memory, you have click refresh to have the latest data - a real pain. The alternative is to pay something like $400 a year to have the same benefits from a larger number of transactions.

I never look at the Comsec holdings (well maybe sometimes as a laugh). I run a spreadsheet of all trades, keep a diary of bank balances and use a program (20 minutes delayed data) call Personal Stock Monitor (PSM). PSM, which I payed for, is linked to data from Yahoo finance - courtesy of the ASX and gives me a current visual position, 20 minutes delayed, it also stores all my trades and I can instantly run a database query on alomist anything you want to see.

Telephone support from Comsec is normally answered quite quickly on slow days, and terrible on busy days - sometimes not answering at all. The telephone support guys are polite and try to be helpful, but are terrible with technical/service queries. If you push them, they will find out what's up whilst you hold. I haven't tried to call since the Sanford integration - but would expect it to be not so pleasant.

I think some of your frustrations are due to a learning curve issue with a new provider - knowing whats available and how to get it - learning the ropes so to speak.

Without knowing the Sanford system, some of your frustrations could be switching from a possible superior platform to Comsec.

I hope I have been a little helpful.
 
Joined
3 October 2006
Posts
16
Reaction score
0
Hi Ray,
I too sympathise with your plight. As soon as I heard about the merger I closed my Sanford account....want nothing to do with ComSec. My account is now closed but they still have a wad of cash that they haven't sent to my nominated bank account. When I ring BankWest they tell me I need to speak to Sandford to get my bread and generally give me the run around. I'm sure it'll turn up eventually but I'm not happy that it has taken weeks to get my dosh so far.
Bell Direct might be OK. https://www.belldirect.com.au/
Good luck.
 
Joined
17 January 2007
Posts
2,983
Reaction score
17
We are left with little choice these days. I transferred all my portfolio out of Commsuc on Friday over to Etrade. Etrade pro is more cost effective than the Commsuc equivalent. Join the revolution!;)
 
Joined
15 November 2007
Posts
14
Reaction score
0
I was a Sanford client since 2001 and am gobsmacked as to how incredibly useless Comsec is. The smart move would have been to keep the Sanford setup and migrate all Comsec clients to the Sanford platform. It's like going from a 5 star restaurant and being shuffled into Macdonalds. You can't go to soggy, oily, mass produced cheeseburgers when you've be dining on grain fed eye fillet for 7 years

I can't explain how utterly dissapointed I am. I want to go back to the user friendly, detailed, regularly updated, brilliant resource that was Sanford. Can anyone suggest an alternative that's similar to Sanford?
 
Joined
29 December 2007
Posts
10
Reaction score
0
I was a Sanford client since 2001 and am gobsmacked as to how incredibly useless Comsec is. The smart move would have been to keep the Sanford setup and migrate all Comsec clients to the Sanford platform. It's like going from a 5 star restaurant and being shuffled into Macdonalds. You can't go to soggy, oily, mass produced cheeseburgers when you've be dining on grain fed eye fillet for 7 years

I can't explain how utterly dissapointed I am. I want to go back to the user friendly, detailed, regularly updated, brilliant resource that was Sanford. Can anyone suggest an alternative that's similar to Sanford?

Kuade,

You have a way with words - my sentiments exactly.

On the good advice of others (above) I have taken a look around and the broker 'woodrel' above suggested seems to be the one for me - Bell Direct.

It is actually set up by the same guy (Stephen Goh) who set up Sanford in those early days. Clearly as already alluded to previously, Sanford were ahead of their time. I didn't realise it then, but I do now.

I was not aware of the connection when I first got into the Bell Direct site, but I could 'feel' the similarity with Sanford.

You have to pay $15/month for the 'Gold' service level - gives market depth and live quotes, but considering the $15 brokerage per trade, it's good value if you trade more than a couple of times a month.

I am so impressed I am going to buy a parcel of shares in the company. The price has dipped significantly since listing in November and I reckon they can only succeed given the miserable opposition they have.

Cheers,

Ray.
 
Joined
5 August 2004
Posts
1,996
Reaction score
0
Your best option would be to open up a NAB account, that way you could get back to using the Sanford platform
 
Joined
29 December 2007
Posts
10
Reaction score
0
Your best option would be to open up a NAB account, that way you could get back to using the Sanford platform

Hi STC,

Thanks for that.

I am aware that Sanford sold or licenced their platform to NAB some years back.

My current understanding is that it is only available to corporate entities, financial advisers and the like.

If I have an incorrect understanding in this, I would love to know as there is no doubt that this platform (the old Sanford one) is pretty good. It is very user friendly and has great functionality.

The fact that NAB use it may explain why CommSuc have not employed it.

Cheers,

Ray.
 
Top