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Has anyone else dealt with the Idiots at Merrill Lynch?
Old 09-23-2010, 11:00 AM   #1
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Has anyone else dealt with the Idiots at Merrill Lynch?

Totally involuntarily I have to deal with Merrill Lynch. they were bought by Bank of america and took over some accounts. I have found them to be variously Bureaucratic, abusive, disdainful and unhelpful. (this is the admin side, nothing to do with financial advice.

Has anyone else had any experience with them recently?
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:19 AM   #2
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I have no experience with ML, but I doubt an entire company could long survive displaying that sort of attitude towards clients or customers. What you describe sounds like it might be a reflection of how an individual ML employee was being addressed.
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:27 AM   #3
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I have no experience with ML, but I doubt an entire company could long survive displaying that sort of attitude towards clients or customers. What you describe sounds like it might be a reflection of how an individual ML employee was being addressed.
You don't call corporate help/support lines very often, do you?
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:34 AM   #4
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I have no experience with ML, but I doubt an entire company could long survive displaying that sort of attitude towards clients or customers.
Well, technically, they didn't survive...
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:36 AM   #5
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You think poor customer service was the root of their financial problems?
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:38 AM   #6
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You think poor customer service was the root of their financial problems?
Their arrogance might have been... And it doesn't look like they changed their ways much...
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Old 09-23-2010, 11:42 AM   #7
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Wife and I had small tIRAs custodianed by a small (cheap) brokerage that was bought out by a larger national name in the 80s that was bought out by BofA that became ML. We decided recently to consolidate these with the rest of our much larger IRA nest egg for convenience sake (and not a little because of the list of new fees we might be liable for under ML w/small accts). Our main institution handled the transfer, but at one point we went on a 3 way call with ML in order to sell our position and the whole deal was quite professional and efficient. I called their service line later to verify some stuff and that was also quite pleasant. They waived the acct closing fees as a matter of course. The only gripe I had was with the electronic phone options. After listening to all the options, the closest one that seemed to apply was #5, so I punched it in and was told by the automaton that there was no such option, sorry for your trouble and then it hung up on me (after about 10 minutes of effort to get that far). The next round I just punched #1 even though it had nothing to do with my business and was connected immediately and I got the feeling that no matter what # you entered, you got the same type of service operator anyway. But he was very good at dealing with what I needed so no other complaints.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:51 PM   #8
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I have a ML broker who handles most of my accounts & all of MILs accounts. Service has been great, not perfect, but at least a B+/A-. I think it must vary by locale/broker. No complaints here.
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Old 09-23-2010, 12:53 PM   #9
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As just one example they changed all the account numbers and issued new checks.
these are all trust accounts with teh same trustees.

The old checks had the name of teh trust on the accounts. The new ones Dont.

e.g. Old checks

JOHN DOE REVOCABLE TRUST
GEORGE DOE Ttee
MARY DOE Ttte

the new checks just say

GEORGE DOE Ttee
MARY DOE Ttte

The name of the trust is not on the check.

etc
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Old 09-23-2010, 01:01 PM   #10
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Years ago I w*rked with a former ML employee who hated his j*b there; maybe he's a forum member now?
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:26 PM   #11
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I've never dealt with ML...so I can't say.

However I can say that as the years go by I find people annoy me more often....no way am I getting cranky....
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Old 09-23-2010, 02:31 PM   #12
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Happily, no.
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Old 09-23-2010, 05:29 PM   #13
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I used to be $old on ML. Then I started to take an active interest in what was going on. Holy crap! Five percent here, six percent there... it was looney tunes. See ya. Now all VG for several years. No remorse.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:09 PM   #14
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I have a ML broker who handles most of my accounts & all of MILs accounts. Service has been great, not perfect, but at least a B+/A-. I think it must vary by locale/broker. No complaints here.

Oh Boy! I hope you never sit down and look at what you are paying for the great service.
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Old 09-23-2010, 07:54 PM   #15
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ok so it got down to us saying to the ML guy on the phone "you will have a notarized demand for all the securities in your hands in the morning, with instructions on where to send them"
His response was "unless it is on our form I don't think we will accept that."
So I said , that is when I call the SEC and the police and the Washington DC news media. Its not your money Its ours!!!
Don't know if he got the point or not.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:01 PM   #16
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Honey vs Vinegar?

I've only had to deal with ML occasionally, but they were always professional and courteous. When they made the occasional mistake, a little explanation was always sufficient to get it corrected. I was never in a posiiton where I felt I had to bully them. But then, my accounts were always small potatoes, so maybe they were not reluctant to facilitate me leaving if that's what I really wanted.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:10 PM   #17
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I've never dealt with ML...so I can't say.

However I can say that as the years go by I find people annoy me more often....no way am I getting cranky....
Here I thought I was the only one. I find I have less and less patience for incompetence or even the rigamarole that most businesses force you to go through. I hate the phone "hell" most companies now use. Then again, I hate talking to most of their real people too.

I'm not cranky either. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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Old 09-23-2010, 08:41 PM   #18
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Honey vs Vinegar?

I've only had to deal with ML occasionally, but they were always professional and courteous. When they made the occasional mistake, a little explanation was always sufficient to get it corrected. I was never in a posiiton where I felt I had to bully them. But then, my accounts were always small potatoes, so maybe they were not reluctant to facilitate me leaving if that's what I really wanted.
never bully anyone never raise your voice. simply say what you want them to do and what happens if they won't

ML has a structural problem. We were were self directed investors at BANC of America. If we had a problem we went into the BoA office and solved it. AT ML self directed investors are not welcome at or served in the local office. The local office has no access to their accounts. We were told that a Self directed investor was not a regular ML customer but is served by a special national pool of whoever is available. So a self directed investor with a technical issue has no real way to get ML to respond to the problem.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:00 PM   #19
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I didn't think any place let you transfer assets and close an account without a Medallion signature guarantee which is not the same as "notarized signatures". The notary public is not bonded nor liable if you somehow get your identify stolen, while the Medallion provider is bonded and liable.

Medallion signature guarantee - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

I wonder if this has anything to do with this fiasco.

We've had to get medallion signature guarantees in the past to move accounts and the pisser is that the broker where the accounts were held did not even offer Medallion signature guarantees which seems totally strange to me nor did our bank at the time. My wife had to open a new bank account at a bank that provided the MedSigG and wait until the account was at least 30 days old before they would actually provide the MedSigG. The account remained dormant for a year, then she closed it.
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Old 09-23-2010, 09:37 PM   #20
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I didn't think any place let you transfer assets and close an account without a Medallion signature guarantee which is not the same as "notarized signatures". The notary public is not bonded nor liable if you somehow get your identify stolen, while the Medallion provider is bonded and liable.
They have all the medallion material ISSUED BY BANK OF AMERICA.
Same company!!!!!!!
There is no dispute over identity or the fact that we have both far more assets in the B of A
than represented by this account and a line of credit larger than the account.
ML was salvaged by B of A and like the Bourbons they learn nothing and forget nothing.
I think they intend to whip the former B of A customers into line. No self directed investors are welcome
you have to do it THEIR way even though you never signed up with them.
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