Consumer Complaints and Reviews
I could not be more disgusted with a company than Merrill Edge brokerage where I have a small IRA. I actually use to be in the stock and trade business as a financial advisor and have held various accounts for over 40 years in various places but I only opened this account because it was connected to Bank of America. What SCUMBAGS. They do not disclose any fees on self directed accounts at the TIME OF SELL like they are suppose to. Then they try to justify it on the phone by saying it was available if you looked hard enough on the web page. WHAT CRAP. Freaking 9% fee to sell a small mutual fund. I am transferring my account and will never use them again. STAY AWAY from Merrill Edge and Merrill-Lynch.
For a company claiming professionalism they are atrocious. How can you trust a company with your funds if they are SOOOO Incredibly disinterested in answering simple questions. And by the way, try getting your money out of their iron-fist once they have it. Good Luck. Run away now while you can.
I have a Merrill Edge account for over 4 years. All of a sudden they decided to liquidate my accounts. When I ask for a specific reason they refused to give me a reason. This is the worst experience. All they keep telling me is their policy. Does not make sense to me at all. Worst ever.
They are thieves and I have been recording every conversation with them. They refuse to let me into my account and they will not send me a copy of my contract!!! I hate them! They set you up to fail!!!
I opened an account 1 year back when they promised $100/ new account and zero trading fee. You don't get good prices if you are buying market price. When you short a stock and sell the put on option expiry day, they don't get assigned automatically even when they are in the money. I realized after 3 months that they were making me pay $1000 interest on the margin money since they were not automatically assigning the stocks on expiry day. It has cost me more than $2200.00, due to their misinformation and ignorance. I am still fight since 2 months. They apologize and credit your account and then they withdraw it hoping you forget it. I am sick of trading with ML. I strongly advise be away from ML. Go with TD-Ameritrade despite their fees, you will avoid headache.
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Very dissatisfied. I worked for Walmart and quit a month and they said I would have to wait a month for my 401k to be cashed out. OK. Waited a month and Nov 9 2016 was my cash payout for my 401k check and they didn't tell me that I had to wait a couple of days thinking my check was supposed to be here this week. Then the Merrill-Lynch representative said it was $2900 but called today and they said it takes a couple of days to process it and they didn't tell me that the first time. They said they mailed the check yesterday and it should be there from 7 to 10 business days and I thought it was gonna be there sometime this week. They are a bunch of lying criminal scumbags that need to lose their jobs and their income for the problems and heartache they cause people. Eventually they will meet their own karma. What you dish out will come back to you. They better remember that.
We have had Merrill-Lynch as our financial institution for years. It was simple. At first we just paid an yearly fee, and got very good service from our broker. Then as the account grew we charged commissions on transactions that our broker always recommended but asked us first if it was ok, but the fees were not broken down. They were hidden in the cost and profit of the investment, so again I asked about how much we are paying. Never got a straight answer but still got good service. Well then after a while we heard less and less from our broker and we contacted him and he said that he has many accounts to manage and he recommends that we switch to an account that gives him the authorization to buy and sell without our authorization because he could get better rates if he was dealing in a larger group of customers. So with a sinking feeling in my stomach and against my better judgement we did this.
Well we are getting trade transactions for buying and selling mostly bond funds and municipal bonds at least 10 or more times a month. Still no breakdown on how much we are paying him. It seems like our money is not growing like it was and that he is making more than us. Is there a way I can found out exactly how much we have paid him in fees over the years or at least on a yearly basis?
These people SUCK!!! The only reason I selected Wilshire Credit was because the loan could be paid off with a credit card. The contract that I agreed to states this as well as the back side of your billing statement. Quote checks and credit card payments made using the automated phone system or online will charged a $5.00 processing fee. I asked this question directly before agreeing to the loan. Now when I attempted to pay the loan off in full with one of my credit cards, SECURED credit card they tell me they no longer accept credit card payments. LIARS CHEATS BASTARDS, these words I would use to describe my experience with WILSHIRE CONSUMER CREDIT. WILL POST EVERY DAY UNTIL MY CONTRACT LANGUAGE IS RESPECTED.
Yesterday, I met with the VP of Merrill Edge for Financial Solutions Advisor at the Bank of America local branch. Within minutes of our conversation, he assured me that I could open a Roth IRA for my son, who is 21 years old and works for a company that does not have a retirement plan. I told him that I would like to make the annual maximum contribution to his account from my BOA and he assured me that would be no problem once he sets up the account and I will have to answer some questions online when I get home and to answer the questions as if he was answering the questions. While in his office, I got a call and told him that I am unable to talk to him because I am at the bank opening a retirement account for him.
When I got home, I did exactly what I was told and had difficulty linking my account to transfer funds to the newly established Roth IRA account for my son. I called the 1-888 Investment Center Representative toll free number and after over 45 minutes of conversation and placed on hold several times, I was told that the Roth IRA cannot be open without his presence and as a result, I cannot transfer funds from my BOA to his Roth IRA account.
Today I got a call and the representative left me a voice message that they have to close my Roth IRA account because, the VP of Financial Solutions Advisor was fraudulent in setting up the account originally without the presence of my son. The voice message also said that he conferred with his supervisors and managers and that is their policy to have the person present to open the account. The VP of Financial Solutions knew that my son was in Charleston and was in the middle of evacuation before the Hurricane Matthew in Charleston.
Arbitrary fees galore. I recently opened an LMA account. (It's a loan for God's sake). Shortly after opening the calls from an assigned broker began hounding me to move all of my assets over, to purchase an annuity etc. After the ninth "NO"! I started to get hit with fee notices. These notices stated "Your account has been assessed a fee... etc. No specific reason, simply an arbitrary fee. I'm afraid my good credit will be harmed. I'm thinking about informing the S.E.C. This is OUTRAGEOUS!
We have a BOA account and therefore transferred some money into the Merrill-Lynch account to buy some investments. I am desperately surprised when I bought a 4000$ security which has a yield of ~ <2.0%, I was charged 2% markup. This means after you hold it for one year, your return is negative. The worst part is that Merrill-Lynch/Edge will never tell you you are charged a huge amount of commission. Merrill-Lynch/Edge has been sued twice because of their discarding, illegal, greedy and unconcealed dirty behavior.
I Sat with the advisor and filled out paperwork, signed papers, and he told me the objective is to get the 2 stock accounts changed to my name and then reinvest it with Merrill Lynch. Merrill Lynch would give me the medallion signature needed to do so. He also claimed he has a ton of paperwork to fill out with this. A month goes by so I show up and he acts as if we never filled out papers.
We once again fill out papers and I bring him account statements from Pimco and Putnam. This time he made phone calls to Pimco and Putnam and they say that a medallion signature is needed to change the stock accounts to my name. There's a section that I point out to him on the paperwork that needs to be filled out by Merrill Lynch and he claims he'll fill it out later, before he sends any of it in to Merrill Lynch for the Medallion Signatures.
I ask, what happens next. He says he sends in the paperwork to his head office for the medallion signature. Than gets it back and sends it to both Pimco and Putnam. I ask, "how long do I wait to call you or you call me." He says in one month he'll call me. I waited longer, I call him, and he claims that I will receive something from Pimco and Putnam in the mail. More time goes by. I call him. He says he'll find out and call me today or tomorrow. Days go by. I go in person to see him and he claims they never got the paperwork so he sent it in the night before 8/15/2016 with FedEx overnight and he put both Putnam and Pimco in the same envelope since the location for both are at the same address.
2 days go by, I call up both places and they haven't received it yet. I ask for the tracking #. He now says it's U.P.S. and he has none. I call the bank manager and tell her my concerns and to ask him the tracking #. He calls and tells me 2. Turns out he did send them separately. On 8/19 the paperwork is delivered. With no medallion signatures on the paperwork. It's worthless. Very frustrated.
I go in person to talk to him. He claims that he never intended to send paperwork to Merrill Lynch for medallions. He says that the medallion signature is required after the stocks are changed to my name. This is nonsense. Once it's in my name I can do what I want. It's mine. No longer the deceased. There's no purpose for a medallion signature once it's mine. Because it's mine. In my name.
He never filled out the portion of investor information on paperwork that was sent in. I learned that when a human being lies, the human being can't keep track as well as when it's the truth. They can't keep up with the lie and lie some more. It's impossible to lie and not lie some more in order to convince another human being that it's true.
I went into B of A to see about a line of credit. I was steered to Merrill-Lynch in the process, with B of A telling me that I would get a preferred consideration, the more connections I had with the bank. I was looking for a new broker because mine had left his firm, BUT I wanted my funds held at Franklin Templeton and just have a broker associated with the account. I was inundated with paperwork between the broker and the bank, so (my mistake) I trusted and signed. I know the ME broker understood me. In essence, they stole my account. It has taken me months to get this settled. After being stone-walled at every turn, I went back to my last firm to get the funds transferred back and then de-networked back to FT. The people at ME are very nice until you want to move your funds. Then they turn into jerks. It's MY money!!
I wanted to roll over my 401K to an IRA when I left my last job. It took 3 phone calls to finally get someone to tell me that I needed to contact the new fund and they will sort it. The first 2 times I called no one knew anything and told me to check the website. I was calling because the information was not on the website. When the account was finally closed I was charged a $95 fee for closing my ML account as well as a $35 annual fee. In the space of 18 months my fund balance was reduced by over 30%.
I was downsized from my employer, B. Braun Medical in January of 2016. My pension fund was held by Merrill Lynch and I was fully vested. In February I asked to cash out the funds, and the representative said he could have papers to me by May and funds disbursed by July. Immediately this sounded suspicious to me. I completed all the papers and promptly returned them. I waited a long time, then received a letter saying they needed MORE documentation. This was late May. So I turned in all that paperwork and called to verify that they had what they needed, and they said I could expect funds to be deposited on July 1st. Nothing. Still waiting. Now I have placed a complaint with the CFPB. When I took funds from my T. Rowe Price 401k it was very quick. I think something shady is going on with Merrill Lynch.
To start with, Merrill-Lynch held my mothers pension fund. She had originally listed my father as the beneficiary. She was trying hard for over six months to remove her pension and they kept giving her the runaround. My father passed away in March and my mother made calls then to change beneficiary, but they would not accept it over the phone and made her wait for the paperwork to change it. She filled out the paperwork and it was mailed into Merrill-Lynch 3 weeks later and they received it. My mother passed away the following week. There was 1 month and 1 week between my father's death and my mother's. I called Merrill-Lynch several times to see if they had changed the pension beneficiary and they kept telling me they never got the paperwork. This went on for 6 months and they paid the pension money to the estate.
Finally I had, had enough of their runaround and I threatened to have my attorney subpoena all the paperwork that was sent to them and low and behold in 3 days I had the full copy of the paperwork they said they never received with the change of beneficiary right on page two with my mother signature. They also facetiously stamped the paperwork being received in June when it was mailed the first week of May as it was mailed before my mother passed away and she went May 14th.
Since they paid the money to the estate it was taxed at a 49.1% rate which cost me about 10,000 in additional taxes. Since the money was paid to the estate the estate started to spend it on estate bills and that cost me $26,000 before we could finally get a hearing with a judge to rule on the beneficiary status. My mother worked her heart out for the company she worked for, for over 36 years and, because of Merrill-Lynch over 2/3rds of her hard earned pension was lost. I was given the runaround from Merrill-Lynch for over a year and a half and they absolutely lied to me on many occasions. I am the sole survivor of the family and this has cost me a small fortune to try and make things right the way it should have been handled.
My mom, who is now decease updated her beneficiary form August of 2013. Well, after speaking with the relationship manager, I was told the form is invalid and I must go through probate. My mom passed April 16, 2016 and no one bothered to contact her to fix the problem. The person I spoke is not very helpful nor was he able to locate her past beneficiary forms. I requested all documentation concerning her estate and my emails were ignored. I am now seeking legal advice because no one will supply me with my request. Please be aware of this company and make sure everything you sign you get a copy and give a copy to someone you trust.
Looks like all agents want to open your account instead of giving proper information, like Eric did to me. He hung up on me as he realized that I'm asking too much information. He hung up when I was asking and said, "Have a nice day you..." I will not open any account where customer service is this BAD.
After opened an account, on May 7, 2016, I made my first deposit for 4 checks at the ATM machine. The checks are in a total amount of over $3,700. Since I forgot to endorse them, the Bank sent me a message which informed me their rejections of the deposit due to this problem. The message also indicated that all 4 checked will be return to me for my signatures.
After a ten-day waiting, I still haven't received them. The problem apparently got worse - the message was deleted from the Mail Box permanently because neither the representative at the bank nor I couldn't retrieve it from the bank's personal login website. As I understand that if I accidentally deleted the message, the bank is still able to retrieve and recover it. An over an hour phones conversation with the representative last Friday couldn't resolve this problem.
Follow the one hour phone conversation last Friday, I sent an email which stated the fact of the incident and request for assistance. I also attached my deposit receipt with the email. But no one contact me for this issue as of Tuesday morning. It's very disappointed and frustrated because check deposit is within a normal banking activity and $3,700 is not a small amount! I emailed the representative in the branch Tuesday morning. Finally received another message, informed me that my 4 checks will be sent back to me, but the process will take another 6 business days! If the first deposit has so many troubles, especially the mythical deleted message, you can imagine what will be the next.
I had a employee stock purchase plan from a former employer (Republic Services). Unbeknownst to me on January 31, 2015 Republic Services transferred the stocks I had purchased from them to Merrill Lynch. I was assessed an "Annual Account Fee" of $65 from Merrill Lynch and received a notice from them that I owed $25.14 because they had automatically pulled $39.86 from the dividends I had received from the stocks. I called and requested the fee be waived and that Merrill Lynch return the stocks to me. ML said they would review the fee and look into reversing it.
I called back and was advised the fee was not waived. I requested the contract with them showing where I agree to pay an annual fee but only received a blank contract requesting that I complete and sign. Now I am being told that I can not have my stocks until after I have paid the annual fee in full. This is extortion and they are forcing me to pay on something I never agreed to. I have the notice from Merrill Lynch and would appreciate any help from Consumer Affairs in dealing with this unfair practice.
Only a few days after signing up with Merrill-Lynch and been nothing but calls every week or bi-weekly to purchase their products. It's sub-par from what you would think a reputable company. Filled an SEC complaint detailing clearly their unpleasant pushy tactics.
It's extraordinarily hard to find tax documents. When I find information about the tax document the site gives me written instructions for which tab to go to, then a link title followed by another link title. Why can't you just provide a link to the destination I need? I just spent 20 minutes trying to model then exercise. It is completely impossible to do so right now for some reason I cannot fathom. But there are no explanations for why this is completely impossible right now. I tried on 2 different computers, same result. I think Merrill Lynch has multiple websites and that those websites don't communicate with each other. Please hire a developer team and a user experience team. This is 2016 - this website (or websites) are straight out of 1991. I need an intuitive, well thought out path to my destination. It's not rocket surgery.
I am appalled with the experience I just had with Merrill Edge. I started the process of rolling over my IRA to an annuity over 6 weeks ago. Upon my initial contact with M/E, I informed them of my intentions and filled out all the necessary paperwork with my agent. As soon as they received the info they immediately removed the money from the account and then the fun began. They had put my money in an account ready for transfer but then I could not get it out. They first told me the paperwork was incomplete. I fixed that. Then there was a signature medallion required.
Then I was told it was released and sent but never arrived. Then when I went back again, they said I was misinformed and the signature medallion was still required even though my agent had a signature of delivery. Then after all of this the check shows up $75.00 light. I assume that is some sort of processing fee which I never never told about. It not bad enough they held my substantial amount of money in an account. I'm sure they were collecting interest on for over a month but they added insult to injury. I wouldn't do business with these people if they were the last place on earth. The are terrible. Run for your life.
My husband and I opened a Wealth Management Account 5 years ago with all of our retirement money which was certainly enough to live on until we died and also, leave some for our daughter and grandchildren. After 5 years the Walls/Berdell Wealth Management Group in Richmond VA returned .42% in earnings. Time frame from January 2011-December 2015. I completely freaked out when we lost 50K in August to make it a total loss for 2015 of 61K. To add insult to injury my husband had his IRA in a Vanguard account that subsequently earned 8% during the time these Financial Advisors returned .42%. We are both heartsick about the performance that we paid a 1% fee... For what I ask?
A few cocktail parties we could have paid for ourselves. Stay away from Merrill Lynch at all costs and especially Peter **. We have moved all of our money back to Vanguard and subscribed to a newsletter by Dan Weiner who outlines his model portfolios for $189 for 2 year. His results are outstanding. Also, Warren Buffet recommends Vanguard. Don't pay Merrill Lynch to lose your money... Manage it yourself.
MERRILL Lynch gives people a hard time if they need to take a hardship withdrawal from their 401k. It's my money that I invested into the account. After waiting 10 days to get approved, ML still holds your money for a few more weeks. The purpose of the hardship is to prevent whatever unnecessary expense from occurring. I've been waiting since the middle of December for ML to send me my check. Obviously I need it in a hurry, so I can pay my mortgage company. With ML making me wait an extra month, that's just more money that I owe.
Find another service; don't put your money with Merrill-Lynch. Every distribution (4) that I have tried to do has been mishandled. Whether an education savings account or a mandatory distribution from an IRA it has been bungled. Most have required the same form faxed 2-3 times because it can't be found despite a confirmation of delivery on my end. Despite requests for a call to acknowledge receipt, they never come. After long holds and much searching, I'll hear, "We found it". Most recently my mandatory IRA distribution was handled by the head of quality (ironically) who was helping cover in a busy time. I was assured of the distribution and now on 1/7; I see that it did not happen. My accounts with T. Rowe Price and TIAA-CREF run very smoothly. Stay away from this incompetent organization.
I have been a Merrill Lynch Gran Junction, Colorado customer for several years and I stayed with them during the good and bad time but lately, the customer service received has been deteriorated so much that they forced me to move to a different branch office and to appoint a different financial advisor. I have been treated unprofessional and disrespectful after many years of giving them the trust. I don't suggest to anyone to use ML Grand Junction office.
Needed a title loan, process was fairly painless. Main phone number staff are generally pretty useless but usually nice. I asked to get my loan refinanced and payments lowered by almost 100 bucks 1 year into the loan. Paid off early so I didn't end up paying a huge amount. Got me a pay off notice within a week. Overall, for a subprime lender, they were pretty straightforward and easy to deal with.
In 2013, I rolled over a retirement acct from a previous employer into my current one. ML reported it as taxable income & sent an inaccurate 1099-R. When informed, they sent me a correct one. Didn't update the IRS, though. Sadly, I neglected to make a copy before submitting it. After the IRS asked for $4K+ based on the inaccurate 1099-R, I've called ML 3 times to get a copy. Each time, I was told something different, but promised a copy would be sent (The third time, the rep tried to tell me I didn't need one & could submit something else. I had to throw a fit that time.). Weeks later, still nothing.
Because of my BOA relationship, I transferred part of my 401 K into an IRA at BOA. I also opened a cash management account. The broker/advisor recommended a ''conservative" bundle of diverse BlackRock Funds for the IRA and then just duplicated them in my CMA. No discussion or choices offered. BlackRock. Period. They were underperforming, so I researched them, and the funds have high fees, don't preserve capital, varying degrees of risk, etc., etc. Not really "conservative." Lousy in every category. One hasn't covered its own fees in three years! Supposedly, these ME guys are licensed. Found out that as my accounts were "managed" I would be charged $75 a trade!
I changed both of them so I manage them, and get 100 free trades a month as good BOA customer. I am now managing my own traditional IRA and CMA ,and I am trying to sell off the BlackRock junk, but the losses keep increasing, and I just need to bite the bullet, accept the thousands I have lost, and move on. Bad advice, driven by commissions.
Barbara FriedbergPersonal Finance Contributing Editor
Barbara Friedberg, MBA, MS is a former investment portfolio manager with decades of financial experience. Friedberg taught Finance and Investments at several universities. Her work has been featured in U.S. News & World Report, Investopedia, Yahoo!Finance and many more publications.
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Merrill Lynch is owned by Bank of America, one of the world’s leading financial institutions. The company serves approximately 47 million consumers and small businesses and has 4,700 retail financial centers.
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Merrill-Lynch Company Profile
- Company Name:
- Merrill Lynch
- Year Founded:
- 250 Vesey Street
- New York
- Postal Code: