E-Trade Made Money Disappear, Client Says

SANTA BARBARA, Calif. (CN) – A customer claims E-Trade made $14,000 disappear overnight. When the customer complained, E-Trade gave it 1 hour to fax copies of personal documents to the Philippines, then ignored complaints for seven months, according to the Superior Court complaint.

     WT Acquisitions claims it opened an account with E-Trade to buy, sell and trade stocks and options. It deposited $14,000 in the account and discovered a zero balance the following day.
     WT says E-Trade’s customer service representatives in the Philippines denied it access to its account. The customer service reps said they would investigate only if a copy of a valid driver’s license or passport was sent to an “unmanned” machine in a mailroom in the Philippines, WT says.
     After being transferred to the fraud division, WT says, an agent informed it that it had just 1 hour to fax a copy of a valid driver’s license or passport to an unmanned fax machine at an unspecified office in Manila. WT says it wasn’t comfortable faxing the information and asked to speak to a supervisor, but the representative refused. In the meantime, E-Trade denied WT access to its account.
     After seven months of fruitless demands for an explanation, and a stint in small claims court, WT says it had to sue in Superior Court. It claims that an E-Trade manager in Brentwood, Calif., rebuffed its request for assistance.
     WT seeks restitution, an injunction and punitive damages for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, conversion and business law violations.
     It is represented by Nicolas Vrataric of Oxnard.

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