I would hope to God that they’ve fixed things by now, given that they’re probably several generations removed from the systems they had in place in 2001, but…
I had an ETrade account. I made good money in 2000 and 2001. Then for no apparent reason I could discern, a single digit in my SSN on their system was changed and my account frozen with a letter saying that my SSN didn’t match the real number for me. Took me quite a while to sort out because NO ONE at ETrade, not even the supervisors, knew how to correct the problem or what kind of flaming barbed wire hoops I needed to jump through to do it.
About a year later, it happened again. By then I’d completely forgotten what I’d had to do to get it fixed, and it took me SEVERAL MONTHS to get the fuckers to correct the problem. Several months that I COULD have been making more money. I got so disgusted that the moment I got it fixed, I immediately sold all my stocks, withdrew my money and closed the account.
When it came time to make my final withdraw, via the computerized phone system, I found that they’d reverted my SSN to the incorrect one AGAIN. Fortunately, all I had to do was punch in the incorrect one to complete the transaction.
Seven years later and I still get account summaries from them over some damned $0.17 that somehow got into my account after I closed it. I take pleasure in the fact that I’ve cost them many times that amount to process, print and send me those damned letters, because they’ll never see another dime of my money.
On more up-to-date issues: With all the bank failures and sales, take a hard look at just who owns the trading company you chose to go with.