My Robinhood experience so far…

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.

Word of Advice: Stay away from TradeKing

Dear Internet,notradeking

I recently had the displeasure of dealing with TradeKing’s customer support, and decided I no longer want to do business with a company with their policies. Sadly, I had to learn the hard way and I am hoping I can save a reader or two from this ordeal.

At the end of last month, I deposited some money to buy some stocks. Since it is an ACH transaction, it takes a couples of days. So, I forgot and didn’t log back in until this month. To my surprise, there is an outrageous $50 charge in my account for an “inactivity fee”. This is a fee they added late last year and they claim they emailed me about it during that time. I can not find an email to this effect and even then, why not notify me before charging me this time around? Would it hurt them to drop a line with all the technology available nowadays? A text, IM, tweet, or something like hey we are about to charge you this fee if you do not make a transaction soon. Instead, the first month there is enough money in the account for them to charge me a fee, they just charge away.

In the following chat, I tried to talk them out of charging me this fee but they will mostly just argue the validity of their fee that is hidden in a 100 question long FAQ that I only found after googling for it. I honestly recognize it was my mistake not to research the company further. But, since I though I was somehow grandfathered in from Zecco, Inc. which they merged with, I did not do my due diligence. I admit I snoozed. However, I don’t want to and advise you not to do business with a company where if you snooze, you lose.

Welcome to TradeKing’s Live Help service. Your chat is currently being routed to one of our representatives, you will be connected shortly.
Thank you for contacting us, I am ‘Donnie’ how may I assist you today?
Donnie: Good afternoon. Thank you for contacting TradeKing.
Christian Rios: Hi Donnie, I was about to place a trade and I realized my account have a $50 charge!
Christian Rios: After reasearching it, I am very upset. I did not have to worry about this with Zecco
Donnie: Let me check your account
Donnie: Please provide your full name and the last 4 digits of your SS number for account verification.
Christian Rios: Christian Rios, 1337
Donnie: Yes I do see your account was charged with an inactivity fee, and we apologize if this caught you off guard.
Donnie: All Zecco clients were notified via email regarding the introduction of the Inactivity Charge to their accounts, so they could take the course of action they felt best fit their needs to avoid the charge. Unfortunately it does cost TradeKing to maintain dormant and inactive accounts. In efforts to continue to offer our deeply discounted commission structure to all our clients, and to avoid having to change our commission structure to offset the increasing maintenance costs associated with these inactive accounts, the Inactivity Charge was introduced.
Christian Rios: I would appreciate it if you guys remove that charge.
Donnie: Unfortunately, this charge is a valid part of our fee structure. However, if you would like I can extend an offer to have this charge reimbursed if you can make a deposit to raise your account balance to the minimum of $2500 in order to avoid this fee.
Donnie: I see your account value is roughly $800 short of the minimum balance required in order to be exempt from the fee.
Christian Rios: I thought all you needed to do was to make a trade once a year?
Donnie: That is correct as well.
Donnie: You will have until August of 2014 to place one trade in order to be exempt from the fee for next year
Christian Rios: Well, can you remove it and I can place a trade before the end of the month?
Donnie: Unfortunately not, this fee was validly charged to the account.
Christian Rios: Look, I am trying to be reasonable here. But, if you are not going to play ball, I promise you, I will take my business elsewhere.
Donnie: We do regret to hear that, and we would not want to lose your business. However, this charge is a part of our structure here at TradeKing, and we do apologize if this is not in line with your intended trading volume in the account.
Christian Rios: Yet, you agreed to remove the fee if I deposit 800 dollars to comply, but not if I place a trade. Fine, I am done doing business with you. Btw, I have a blog and would to share how you treat your customers.
Donnie: We do apologize for your lack of satisfaction here, but if placing one trade per year is not something that can easily be met then it may be best to find a broker that does not have minimum trading requirements.
Christian Rios: Yes, one without ridiculous and outrageous fees and one willing to work things out with their customers.
Donnie: If you should decide to leave then we do wish you the best of luck with future investments.
Christian Rios: well, I already decided to leave, can we get started with that process?
Donnie: Sure, if you intend to transfer your account to another broker then this process will be initiated on the receiving brokers end, as they will have special transfer instructions for you.
Donnie: Once this process is initiated on their end, no further action will be needed from you on our end here.
Donnie: Do you have any other questions that I can assist with at this time?
Christian Rios: No, I am just amazed a what a terrible company you are
Donnie: We do regret to hear you feel that way, and if there are no further questions then I wish that you have a great rest of your day.
Donnie: I am happy to be of service, have a great day.
Thank you for contacting TradeKing today. I hope I was able to answer your questions or address your concerns. If you believe that this issue is still unresolved or you have additional feedback, please email a copy of this conversation to

Mass Effect 3 Chat Review

Christian Rios 11:09 am
anybody tried out mass effect 3 yet?

Taylor Wicksell 11:09 am

Christian Rios 11:09 am
since it is not on Steam I had forgotten it existed

Taylor Wicksell 11:09 am
did you play the first two?

Christian Rios 11:09 am

Taylor Wicksell 11:10 am
you know how the first one was like a decent RPG, lots of stuff to do, side quests, etc.

Christian Rios 11:10 am
I usually wait till it is 9.99 to buy them though

Taylor Wicksell 11:10 am
and then the second one got really REALLY dumbed down for consoles and the like

Christian Rios 11:10 am
right… mini games in the second one were lame

Taylor Wicksell 11:10 am
fewer quests, less content, missions were little linear things that take about 5 minutes and have a “You Win” screen at the end with your rating and all

Taylor Wicksell 11:11 am
take the difference between mass effect 1 and 2, and then triple it, and that gets you mass effect 3
there are like 15 systems now, you don’t even land on the planets you just scan them but now enemy ships come and chase you around if you scan too long

Christian Rios 11:12 am
there are space fights?

Taylor Wicksell 11:12 am
if they touch you, you die
that’s all

Christian Rios 11:12 am
wait what?
Continue reading “Mass Effect 3 Chat Review”

How does Sony fail at making a remote?

Sony is supposed to be an experienced manufacturer of electronic devices that require remote controls. You’d figure they have immense talent. However, they have done the worst implementation of a remote control for the PlayStation 3. The PS3 does not come with a remote control. It has to be purchased separately for $25 at retail. So, when they tell you how great the PS3 is as a Blu-ray player for $300, remember you still do not have a remote control. The remote is Bluetooth so that you just need to be nearby the PS3 for it to work. It is not like a regular IR remote that requires line of sight and pointing to the device.

The problem with this though is that the PS3 remote does not have a way to communicate to IR devices. This means that if you want to change the volume on your television, you will require a separate remote. What is even worse, if your TV remote can control your Blu-ray player, it will not be able to control your PS3 because it does not have a IR port. Which begs the question, what was Sony thinking and do they even have a plan in effect to fix this? Microsoft on the other hand gets the remote control right, even though they do not have a history of making decent hardware. The Xbox 360 remote retails for $20 and you can control your TV with it just fine. It even glows in the dark. The Xbox 360 does not play Blu-rays but works pretty well as a media extender hooked to a bedroom TV, for example.

Copyright 2010 Christian Rios

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Zune HD Review

OLED TouchScreen
– Gorgeous OLED Screen, images just stand out with great contrasts
Excellent Dock
– The Zune dock is great. It supports HD output. It hooks to any HDMI device. It is also compatible with older AV inputs
Zune Pass Compatible
– The Zune Pass allows you to download most of the available music at the Zune Store to your computer or Zune device. It is $15/month but you get 10 song credits so that you can pick 10 songs to keep. The songs that you buy are DRM free and can be use in any device.
Interfaces smoothly with the XBOX 360
– If you decide not to get the dock, you can stream all the songs download with your subscription to an XBOX 360.
HD Radio
– Very few portable devices have HD Radio. There are few stations in my area, but it is nice to see song info on the player. It does not feel like 1990.

No FLAC support
– There is support for wma loss-less codec, but it would have nice to have FLAC support.
Few apps
– I saw a couple of games, twitter, and some apps, but there is not really a huge selection.
No Bluetooth Support
– I was really disappointed that I was not able to use my Bluetooth headphones with this device.
Not as many accessories as iPods
– Receivers, alarm clocks, car stereos, and many other devices come with iPod compatible docks. There is not a great selection of accessories for the Zune right now, but some devices are coming soon. If you are looking to connect the Zune to a receiver, you should definitely get the dock.

Overall it is a great product with a competitive price and nice features.

Copyright 2010 Christian Rios

All trademarks and copyrights contained in this document are owned by their
respective trademark and copyright holders.

Google AdSense Experience

I decided to try and make a little bit of money to pay for game servers and what not. So, I started looking online for the easiest way to add ads to my blog and to the clan website. I went to Yahoo but I could not find squat, everything I found was to pay them money to advertise. I think they have a program to get paid for advertisement but I could not find it. Then, I tried Google AdSense, they had denied me before so I figured I should try one more time. Luckily, this time they accepted me, my websites being better. I applied at night and they approved me the following morning.

I just hate how people put all their content online on facebook, myspace, and other social networking sites. They are driving massive amount of traffic to their website with little to no reward to you. Think about it, you do not get any money for all the views you get in your page or click to advertisement in your page. You can not even put ads of your own on the page. That is just unfair. Sure, they provide a place to put your pictures online with low quality but still. I feel like I am getting ripped off here. Continue reading “Google AdSense Experience”