I currently trade using ScottTrade and I have been pretty happy with it. They have terrific customer support, but they are about to be acquired by TDAmeritrade. So, before just letting my account rollover, I went to Fat Wallet to research other options. I learned that my experience will remain almost the same. However, I also learned something interesting. There is this new free stock trading site called Robinhood.
Robinhood caught my attention at first because their marketing said: “Stop paying up to $10 for every trade”. I kept reading and realized that they manage this by skipping any research tools and they are only available on Android and iOS. I figured this works for me. Free definitely beats $6.95 per trade. So, I went ahead and started the application to open an account.
They sent me a verification email and then I waited for them to approve my application. A week went by and I did not hear anything back, so I wrote them an email. Apparently, they put my application on hold and didn’t bother to let me know. Then, they asked for a Permanent Resident Card to verify my U.S. residency, so I emailed them a copy of my U.S. passport. A couple of days went by and apparently, that was not enough. They then asked me for a Bank Statement which I promptly emailed back to them. Three whole weeks have gone by and my application has not been approved, yet. The only thing all this emailing back and forth has achieved is a series of customer satisfaction surveys asking for feedback. Well, here it is.
Robinhood’s customer service is nothing compared to what I have right now with ScottTrade. They have proved useless in helping me open an account. I do not remember my experience opening an account with ScottTrade, probably because it was so fast. Also, when I email ScottTrade with questions, they answer in a jiffy. Robinhood, on the other hand, has a lot to learn. I guess you get what you pay for.