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I moved my account from Sharebuilder as they were closing, by the way never had an issue with that broker to Merrill Edge. I joined because of the Bank of America Preferred Rewards which are nice. Read lots of reviews good and bad. I figured any major bank going to have some issues but it seems to be one after the other. They messed up my transfer that I had put in months before as I knew I was deploying and took weeks of calling every day for hours right up to the day before I was deploying for military duty to get fixed. Luckily I got one representative who understood and worked the issue to the end which was nice after going through 5 different ones before who did nothing but repeat same thing over and over. That was the start of issues. Now I can't reinvest dividends from certain companies which raises my taxes when paid as cash which is unacceptable and each representative gives same excuse with no real answer or fix.
There is no real way to submit a complaint or issue except to talk to a representative instead of sending a form or email or call to a complaint center which tells you they don't seem to care or hope it will get lost in the mess of representatives and hope you forget at that point. They have changed their low priced security policy which makes it even harder to buy the stocks you want. I will continue to try out the free trades which is the only positives of the preferred rewards program and hope things get better. If not I will transfer to a better broker and pay slightly higher fees for trades but get better use of my assets with less hassle. If you are thinking about joining I recommend going somewhere else. I miss ShareBuilder and starting to question if I should have let it go to E-Trade. The only benefit is the preferred rewards program but I am starting to question if it is worth it.
I started with Merrill-Lynch through an employer, but now that I have switched jobs, I wanted to rollover my 401k funds into account set up by my new employers. Should be easy right? In fact, I have rolled over my 401k 2 times prior. But Merrill-Lynch says my husband needs to fill out a Spousal Consent From for me to simply roll over my funds! Keep in mind, this is not withdrawing the funds, simply placing the funds into a different account. My husband and I were both confused by this so we looked into it, and its total BS!! Then I hear from a Tax Attorney that Merrill-Lynch is known for stunts like this. So if they do not allow me to roll over my account, I will be filing charges against them and screaming to everyone, everywhere about this!!
Merrill-Lynch gives you a hard time if you want to a hardship withdrawal from your 401k. It's my money and I should be able to withdraw it without being hassled by Merrill-Lynch. ML gets $45 every time they do a transaction, whether they approve your hardship withdrawal or not. Then they will not make a decision on your withdrawal until 10 business days after the necessary paperwork was received. After the application is approved, they make you wait another 4 days before they will release the funds and send the check to you. So you have to wait 14 days before they release the money plus however long it takes the post office to deliver your check. By this time, you have waited approximately 3 weeks for your money to be delivered to you. I asked a Merrill-Lynch rep why did the process take so long. Her reply was so that people can find another source to get money from instead of getting it from their 401k account.
I am on H1B and a customer with Bank Of America for 4+ years. Based on my credits and balances the banks suggested me giving an offer to open investment account with Merrill Edge. Someone from Merrill Edge called me directed me to open the account. He didn't say that only US citizens and Permanent residents can open a account. After all the forms filled, at last he said to me that people in H1B open an account. I have never seen such restrictions with any other stock-brokers. I then moved my money to Fidelity/E-trade/Robinhood and started using trading without any problem. I suggest Merrill Edge to remove this junk rule. Anybody who has an SSN/ITIN with a valid working permit. Alas, you lost a stock trader. :)
Soon after Bank of America took over Merrill-Lynch, our agent stop calling us with regular updates. We rarely got him when we tried to contact them. At one point, our account had a lot of Apple stock during the run to 700. We called and requested that he put some trailing stop to protect us should the stock drop. The stock was in the mid 600s at that time. We were assured that it would be taken care of. When Apple's stock dropped to the mid 300s weeks later, we were relieved that we had requested that. We came to find out that the agent never did and the portfolio dropped in value significantly, causing calls on orders and loans, which required the sale of existing stocks to cover. The portfolio was devastated and is worthless today. Their incompetence cost us an over $1,000,000 portfolio and we are still trying to get reparations in court.
However, since they require that you agree to arbitration rather than a jury trial, the advantage is theirs. Additionally, despite the fact that they routinely record telephone conversations, they do not have recording for ours. So, we are struggling to find a lawyer willing to try to fight a he said/she said with a corporation. We won't give up, but it is costly and money is tight. The irony isn't lost on me that we can't afford to get justice for the money they lost us because we don't have the money to pay for it because they lost it. I doubt that this will accomplish anything but if it saves one person from the greed and incompetence of Merrill-Lynch, then I will feel successful.
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When I talked to someone who worked at the Merrill-Lynch department of BoA, I was told that my (financial) interests would be put first. When I had my taxes done, my tax attorney understood more than I understood that was on the Merrill-Lynch tax statement. From what my attorney said to me, I get the impression the guy who did the trading, had more of an interest in himself (his income at my expense), than MY income! With the (high) commission Merrill-Lynch makes, the (HUGE) cost of trades, and my taxes from my Merrill-Lynch investments, I probably LOST money, last year!
I am sort of forced to have Merrill-Lynch be the custodian of my 401K, it not my choice. I was trying to get funds for my daughter's tuition, she ran out of funds and got a letter from her financial aid office. It was VERY detailed, it included the information about what semester the tuition was for, what payments were missed, who was CC'd, my daughter student ID, their name, number position, everything BUT they didn't date it at the top. They said they needed a date on it from the last 60 days to show it was for the current semester. What part of having spring 2018 semester, the missed payment dates, and when they needed to be paid by was so ambiguous?
They simply wanted to deny it because every time you apply whether the loan is approved or not they get $45. So I had to go back to student accounting ask that they add the date, RE-APPLY and now I'm delayed further and I get to pay ANOTHER $45. They simply are money hungry crooks, what would expect from a bank that was fined and fined repeatedly for errors during the mortgage crisis, Bank of America will never learn.
Wednesday Feb. 17, 2016 C invited his firm to his house. He needed the whole firm present for a business transaction to take place. Neal ** (Tuke), Casey **, Scott **, and Lori **. C communicated to Tuke about his house. Tuke repeated to C he wanted to pay his mortgage off, C replied yes. Tuke offered to C if he wanted to cash out his investment insurance accounts to satisfy his debt. C replied yes.
Tuke then reassured C he would take care of his transaction. Feb 19, 216 Tuke came back to the residence to visit, he was waiting to see C as others were visiting also. C passed away from M.S. on Feb, 21, 2016. I spoke with Tuke a week after C death and he never honored C transaction, because he stated he needed a document signed??? Complete NEGLIGENCE. Has zero excuses, Tuke was in the house 2x in that week. I witness 5.5 years of active activity at this house with this firm. C was paralyzed from the neck down from M.S. Every transaction was made verbal!!
I had a duplicate transaction that was paid to one of the government websites. I called Bank of America twice to remove the duplicate payment but they advised me to send a fax to Merrill-Lynch ACH services. I waited 2 weeks with no response then I called the bank twice to check what happened but they advised me to call again and wait for extra week. Then I received a rejection letter that has nothing to read in it. No one took the time or bothered to ask more info or go and check my account to see that there is an actual duplicate transactions that was made in the same day and time. I called the bank again and after the guy talking for half an hour with Merrill-Lynch he told me that it was rejected because the transaction was approved by me and they cannot ask for refund for the duplicate payment because case was CLOSED.
There is a LACK of communication between Bank of America and Merrill-Lynch as if they called to check my account. They would see that I actually have 2 payment and needed to refund one of them but looks like drinking coffee and chatting with each other is what they were paid to do so why bother and do your job that you were paid for? And something else usually BOF sends me an email to express my feedback about any call I make but this specific time I have not received any email to write what happened so what do you call that? Very disappointed at BOA and Merrill-Lynch and too bad I am their customer since 12 years. It's time to find better bank that solve their customers' problem and respect them.
Merrill after giving me false information refused to bust a bond trade. They actually called the police on me, then suggested I was dumb and that I should turn my money over to them for their managed account. This is outrageous. The worst service ever? Crooks, rude, cruel. I had a $365,000 account. Please for God sake go with other brokerages.
My mother passed in September of 2016. The benefits department stated that they would contact us if there were any assets that we needed to deal with. Never got a contact but when I was doing taxes found a HSA controlled by them. I contacted Merrill Lynch and they stated that it would take up to 8 weeks to receive the paperwork. It was not received. When requested a second time it was sent to a wrong address. Once it was filled out they decided there was an error but the letter was sent to the wrong address again, so now that the estate has been settled they require that it is reopened to resolve their incompetence. Will never deal with them again, totally incompetent.
Please do not hire the Merrill-Lynch, Athens, Georgia team that is led by Joe **. There are some serious concerns on business conduct, professionalism, services, and interpersonal relations. In the course of many years, my experiences have been predominantly negative: 1) Amanda ** and Angela **, two of the team's lower staff do not do their job or provide their services regularly. Experiences with ability to wire transfer money is inconsistent, no communication, even following up does not help. Angela ** also put me on hold for about 20 minutes without informing me when we were on a conference call with a Bank of America agent. Joe **, who is presently leading the team never consults on your portfolio.
I have raised it with Sabrina ** who holds a senior position who not only did not help, her response was to go somewhere else in lieu of actually showing up and doing the work they are contractually bounded and committed to do. Baseline services are regularly not met, and as a client you are wasting your time with a business team that is dysfunctional and incompetent in their business services more often times than not. From my experiences, do not hire the Athens GA team because you will not be supported.
My brother died, but prior to his death, he transferred this entire acct of money to another financial institution. As his personal rep of his financial affairs, I called Merrill-Lynch (ML) 2 months (6/2017) after his death to ascertain that he had no open accts with ML; they confirmed his acct was closed after I provided them a copy of his death certificate and my Milwaukee County domiciliary letter naming me as his personal rep and it not expiring until 12/2018. In 9/2017, ML sent me a letter notifying me of an open acct. When I reminded them of my on-file domiciliary letter from Milwaukee Cty, they told me that it is not valid since it's 2 months old from when I filed it with them.
Apparently, my brother has a dividend which ML cannot provide me until I fly back to Milwaukee and get the domiciliary letter stamped with a new date, which would cost me about $500, despite my domiciliary letter being valid until 12/2018. Ridiculous! When one considers that this financial institution retaining dividends after people die, they save for themselves a LOT of Money! They refuse to tell me how much the dividend consists of until I get the domiciliary letter date re-stamped. I WILL NEVER ALLOW ML TO USE MY MONEY! GREEDY!!!
I had my bank, B o A to make a face to face appt with me at BOA on Grand Ave and 107 Ave... anyways I was there and the Merrill-Lynch/Edge Advisor, Andy (in offices on Bell Rd) was Not! This appt was made about 3 weeks ago and made by BOA! I will Not talk to someone on the phone and just hand over thousands of $ that would make me a stupid fool!! What has happened to customer service, seriously! I talked with Andy (financial advisor) on the phone while I was waiting at BOA, he has the audacity to say, "I thought it was scheduled for another time", Seriously with the 3 confirmation emails and voicemails I had received, reminding me of the appt… I'm most definitely NOT doing ANY business with Merrill-Lynch/Edge, since there's soo much incompetence. BEWARE.
I opened an account with 6 figures to get the 100 free trades per month. I planned to write a lot of naked options, mostly puts. It took far too long to get the funds recognized in the account, delaying the start of trading while the money sat idle. Then was told I needed an additional 50% deposit to trade options; lost more time but did move more money to the account. Then was told that the free trade offer was not valid for option trading, after making several trades and not only not getting free trades, but charged above market prices for the option trades I did make.
Despite multiple attempts to arrange free trades, I could not even get promised return calls. Along the way I was met with long hold times, reps that could not address or resolve issues, passed buck and multiple transfers to other departments, the failure of my original contact rep to return calls, inability to contact the options trading people directly, failure to be given e-mail addresses, supervisors to whom issues were raised that did not call me. You get the idea. I have lost countless hours and had large sums of money sitting idle for weeks.
I finally closed out the few positions I had taken and tried to transfer the money out (I've had enough) only to get a message there weren't sufficient funds to make the transfer (I asked for all the funds to be transferred). I give up!! DO NOT DO BUSINESS WITH MERRILL-LYNCH, P.S. I also closed the BAC savings and checking accounts I had opened (a laborious process) and have stopped using the credit card. I also closed the grandchild's account I had opened (one of several I had planned). I have already opened accounts at Schwab and funded them for my grandchildren. Now if I can ever get my money back from ML, I will be placing it in my Schwab account.
ML "wealth management" advisors do not care. They put you in products that provide the greatest benefit for an advisor. It is about them keeping your money on their books; not acting in your best interests. If you want to withdraw or increase the amount of your withdrawals; plan to be met with resistance. They forget it is "your" money. You will have to work hard against your "wealth management" advisor for changes you want; especially if you have signed the paper "advisor discretion". It can always be pulled back by requesting a "client discretion" account. You will need to sign new papers. Run, Run from ML wealth management. Do not recommend. P.S. If they recommend to put your IRA into a "Trusteed IRA" again, run away from this product too!
Updated on 08/14/2018: While this account was under "advisor discretion" an account was added without my husband's approval. The advisor added an LMA Account (Leverage Management Account) only available through Merrill. Upon noticing a new account appeared when reviewing online, we contacted the advisor to inquire what this was; he advised "well, if you are travelling and want to buy a property and put down a deposit you can just use this account". My husband advised he had not authorized it and to close it immediately! Huge RED flag. This same advisor had been pushing hard for us to open a credit card and move our banking. We never did. Most likely there are financial incentives to his benefit. Not yours.
The great news is three new advisors were interviewed by phone, then face to face, and references requested. My account has moved out of Merrill and it is the best decision I have made. The account had been at Merrill for 13 years. There are many assumptions made by a wealth management advisor that your account will remain when a spouse passes. The statistics are 70% of the spouses move their accounts; this one has moved.
Lastly, be sure to review any potential or current advisor at FINRA broker check. This advisor had in his history a ding on his record. As well as two of his peers in his current group both had dings in theirs. It is important also to be sure the client associate that will interact with you on your account be "registered". One of the recent client associates he brought in was not. It took her a year to get "registered"; passing exams. This advisor had been through four client associates over the 13 years, as well as his group kept changing. The registered Client Associate will also be reflected on the FINRA broker check site. Take the time. Do your homework. Merrill-Lynch does not care; and is not the only option. Be smart. It is your money.
Like a lot of people we have accounts spread out all over the place. Old 401k's some places, old IRA's others, so we were looking for a place to have everything. We moved most accounts to Fidelity, but can't ever get any cash out. So we decided on Merrill Edge with BoA. I went into the branch, which was very Customer Service oriented, to speak with the Merrill Edge guy. He was helpful, said that everything I had asked for would be met, a matching trade fee of $4.95, easy account set up, and account transfer, etc. I opened the accounts online, and funded 1 account. Then I started getting phone calls every other day for the remaining accounts. After the Fidelity move I wanted to try before I buy.
I tried trading with Merrill, none of the "Executed trade amounts" were what was posted to my account. When I tried to chat with them, the chat timed out. When I called in they said they were having an issue with that today, but this happened last week. So now I've emailed what I have, and it will come down to if I can prove that they aren't posting it correctly. Their Customer Service is lacking. I have a guy that I can contact via email, which was important to me because that is what we had at Fidelity and really the only reason we stayed there so long, but his replies are usually call this number or that number. Whereas before he would find the answer & get back to me via email. I guess I should have known, but the bad reviews didn't match our branch's customer service, but maybe when I couldn't open a joint account online for BoA. My husband and I had to go to the branch together, which is next to a impossible for us. We got it done, and now I'll be closing it.
My broker allowed my Loan Management Account to exceed the amount stated on the Merrill-Lynch website. In order to pay off the loan I am now destitute. The investments did well but the loan management account debt burgeoned way beyond what it should have. I am ill and counted on my broker to guide me and he ignored the impact of the LMA to my assets. Do NOT use Merrill-Lynch for anything. If you already do and a Loan Management Account is recommended to you RUN.
My father passed away over a year ago and the transfer team at Merrill Lynch has still not transferred the money to my account, despite numerous forms, calls, and assurances on their part that they have taken care of it. Every time I call I get a different person (never the actual case manager for the account) and they all tell me something different. There's always some excuse: another form needs to be filled out, another detail needs to be given, the receiving bank is to blame, etc., etc. etc. I am really starting to wonder if their policy is to drag out the distribution process so that they can continue to make money off of their client's investments for as long as possible.
This brokerage firm is all about fraud and no proper compliance process when approving online account application. I'm a reward BOA customer thus get free trades with them. As such I decided to open a new SEP account with them and provided my updated home address. They approved my online application without issue and asked me to transfer the money immediately. Once I transferred money to their account during weekend, I logged back into my brokerage account on next Monday and found they locked me out of my accounts access saying they would need various documents with proof of address. I asked them why this compliance procedure didn't happen before account opens and before I transferred my money to them. The supervisor admit the process shouldn't work this way however nothing he could do.
I then sent all required documents to clear so called "in compliance" and after a whole day long, speaking to 7 associates including 2 supervisors, nothing has been done from their end at all even though it was easy review and unlock process. There was no professional customer service as some associates said I should be getting my access back by the end of day while at the end of day, when it was not done as committed, I was told by other associates that it may take 5-7 days to clear it!!!! AND THIS AFFECTS A BROKERAGE ACCOUNT. If you think you can afford to take all loss and risk associated with not getting into your brokerage account for 7 days due to a minor address change, just go ahead with them. I may have to wait for 7 more days but then that's it. I will cancel every single accounts with them ASAP when I have my account back.
I needed a hardship withdraw to pay my daughter's college tuition. I had used Fidelity in the past so I was expecting a quick turnaround as they took 3 days and it was direct deposited but to be safe I started the process with 2 weeks to spare. They said it would take 5 to 7 business days...it took 12 and I missed the deadline and to top it off they give some phony excuse to send a check rather than direct deposit. Direct deposit is safe and secure. Check could possibly loss or theft. On top of this wonderfulness now I have a $200 additional fee to the school and they charged me to get my MONEY $45. BTW. Fidelity charged a fee but because it was a hardship withdraw it was waived... I have never had such a hard time or expense trying to get MY money back. Why companies still choose to set-up their 401K's with this company is beyond me... They are in a word...HORRIBLE.
I called Merrill-Lynch and spoke to one of their people and he was so thick in the head that he kept arguing with me. Things escalated and finally out of frustration I used a swear word... And boy that's what the ** wanted. After we rang off and he had not answered my questions, the ** called my boss and got me fired from a $100,000 dollar a year job. This was in 2009. I should have sued I suppose but when you lose your income like that you have little recourse. So beware... Merrill Lynch employs vindictive ice holes.
My husband had his stock with Merrill Lynch for 28 years, when he went to sell it, he received nothing but a runaround. They have had us on wild goose chases which produced nothing. Before you invest with this company, think twice! When it comes time to sell, they don't want to let it go! We are still awaiting our payout! I always dealt with T. Rowe Price and never had a problem! Do not waste your time and money on this company. I always thought they were a reputable company, but in my opinion, they are the most unprofessional company I've ever seen!
I'm a fairly reserved investor when it comes to my retirement fund. I have a couple of IRAs I tried to rollover to Merrill. I called and the associate walked me through the rollover process. When I asked whether corresponding information to confirm the transaction was correct, the associate said, "We'll find out in 2-3 business days." Fast forward 3 months later and nothing ever happened. I tried going to see a Merrill advisor and they pushed me to call. I called. They pushed me to the site. The site is unable to verify information in realtime so initiated transactions may never go through especially if an incompetent associate never follows up and everyone in the organization won't take blame. Save yourself the time and find a platform that actually hires professionals. Not a phone bank and a body to sit in a bank to click trade for you.
I filled out a hardship request because I was facing eviction. I faxed everything in and was told my request was denied because they felt I didn't meet the hardship requirements. Seriously? I can't get my own money to prevent ending up on the street?
I have had nothing but bad experiences with this company. It is truly ridiculous how inept (or deliberately incompetent) they are. I'm the Administrator for an Estate, and have submitted all the required legal paperwork (Affidavit of Domicile, Death Certificate(s), Letters of Administration from the Court) and all the necessary forms (IRA Beneficiary Claim form, Estate Account Application, Request to Transfer Assets from the Deceased account to the new Estate Account) and Merrill Edge has delayed, lost the forms, delayed, and found every reason possible NOT to honor their fiduciary duty with regard to these accounts.
It has been 37 days since they received the legal documentation noted above, and 28 days since they received the account forms noted above. I am still waiting. Every time I call, they tell me it will be another "five to eight business days". I am sending this same information as a complaint to FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). I would suggest each and every person with complaints do the same.
I filled out necessary paperwork for a Hardship Withdrawal and was approved. Check was sent to me and has been deposited with funds showing in my account. I get a call today that there was an oversight in the paperwork and they are doing a stop payment on the check. I already have funds coming out against that deposit now which is going to cause serious legal problems. I called to explain the issue and their last person I talked to said he would put in a work order to try and get a resolution. Never heard back. Is this even legal to do? I have proof of the approval and like I said, I have large payments coming out against the check funds. Absolute the worst service ever!
After dealing with an identity theft scam, information on my account has been changed without proper documentation to support the changes. Merrill-Lynch representatives have lied to my face and over the phone for over two weeks. Even worse, they claimed that cooperation with law enforcement agencies was assured. When I arrived with a police officer, the representative said it was a waste of time because he wasn't showing any information on the account. Members of the fraud department have been instructed not to cooperate with me and customer service representatives have been told to deny the existence of the account. Denial of the account has impeded the initiation of a criminal investigation and I believe this is deliberate.
After spending two weeks on the phone and being denied any kind of service from the fraud department, branch managers, or customer service representatives I am forced to hire an attorney to do something that could be resolved simply by viewing the documentation inside the account. Merrill-Lynch representatives have fouled up my account and now they plan to make things as difficult as possible to cover up how bad they messed up. If you have an account with Merrill-Lynch or Bank of America, BEWARE! They will completely deny your rights as an identity theft victim and will hold your account hostage, forcing you to spend thousands of dollars on attorneys and court fees. You have the right to a fair investigation from the fraud department of the bank and assistance from law enforcement. More importantly, you have the right to an expedient resolution if your account has been tampered with. Don't let them fool you!
Extremely dishonest responses when I asked if my broker is a fiduciary or if it could be possible for me to work with one at the company. If you don't know what a fiduciary is, look it up. Not working with a fiduciary is the equivalent of having a doctor that won't prescribe you the medication that works best for you, but instead will prescribe a medication that the pharmaceutical company has basically paid them to prescribe. No wonder Wall Street has such a bad reputation!!
I invested short term with this company. As I learned I had to cancel investments accounts, I called up the company in November 2016 to cancel investments. I thought I did so, with representative at the time of cancellation. To my dismay, the account was open for more than 6 months after 1st request of cancellation. Here it is you have a company of this size handling hundreds of multi-millions/billion of dollars daily, and they could not close an account with $.01. This is absurd, I am wondering how the compliance department handles an incident as such, knowing they pay custodial maintenance on each account, this one being a $.01. I felt because I was angry after that 1st request was not honored malice intent came into play. This was VERY unprofessional how my situation was handled.
Merrill Lynch expert review by Barbara Friedberg
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.
Services: As a part of the Bank of America family, Merrill Lynch offers an unparalleled menu of financial services. Their offerings include banking, investing, asset management and other financial and risk management products and services. Merrill Lynch has offices and representatives across the world and is accessible in the U.S. and globally.
Products: The company has a unique approach to serving their clients. The website answers the “products” question by first asking consumers to outline what they are looking for, i.e. “I want ongoing financial advice and guidance designed to help me meet my goals,” or “I need to budget for steady income in retirement.” Their client fact sheet outlines a variety of investment strategy approaches. Merrill Lynch has access to all types of financial products through their large network.
Educational and client resources: Their “Research and Insights” portal provides cutting edge investing commentary by professional analysts and financial journalists. The individual advisors guide investors through all of the financial questions.
Best for: The newly wealthy, those experiencing family and/or household changes, consumers looking for a financial advisor to guide them through their life planning money goals, the financially unsavvy and business owners.
Merrill-Lynch Company Information
- Company Name:
- Merrill Lynch
- Year Founded:
- 250 Vesey Street
- New York
- Postal Code:
- (800) 637-7455