Thursday, November 20, 2014

If It Ain't Broke, Don't Fix It!

If it ain't broke, don't fix it, Fidelity!
Fidelity gets high marks on many ratings sites as one of the best investment firms, in terms of their service as well as their online presence.

They're about the screw the pooch, however, big-time.   As as I have some substantial sums invested with them, this makes me nervous.   Has someone taken over the company with a new agenda (e.g., screw the clients?).

They have brought out a "New Accounts & Trade Experience!!!" which is a fancier way of saying a "New Website" and it has - you guessed it - all sorts of nasty flash animation and busy graphics for our short-attention span generation.

The problem is, as you might guess, that instead of just loading the data for your account and displaying the numbers, you get these "LOADING" hourglasses for minutes at a time.   Then, usually, Firefox bombs out and says "Firefox Not Responding" and then the screen goes grey and locks up.  You either have to reboot Firefox or sometimes reboot the computer.

Meanwhile, the old site works fine.   I was asked to "rate my experience" and you can guess what I told them.  IT Professionals should be shot like dogs!

Except of course, that I like dogs.   I don't like IT busybodies who feel they need to "fix" something by completely tossing it out and replacing it with a bunch of flashy crap that really tells me nothing, but clogs up my computer.

How about fixing the existing site, to say, tell me my dividend income instead of obsessing about share price?   Just a thought.

I sent them an e-mail on this, and of course, they say the problem is my computer.   But my computer loads every other website just fine, of course, including the "legacy" Fidelity website.  Firefox is updated, so is the Adobe Flash.   The problem is on their end - they develop these sites using their own computers, which have super-fast connections.  They don't understand that the users might have slower connections or older computers.   Can you imagine how this would have played out if I was using WiFi?   It would have taken hours to load!

Of course, you know the drill on this bullshit.   The new site is in "Beta Testing" right now, but eventually, they will roll it out and I will be forced to use it, whether I want to or not.
Well, actually, not "forced" per se, as there are many other investment firms out there to choose from, and I can (and will) move my funds from Fidelity after over 20 years with them.

There are some other problems as well.   Getting ahold of your "adviser" is hard to do.   You can't call them, but they can call you.  Ditto for e-mail.  I had an inherited IRA to roll over as well as an inherited house we are selling - hoping to put the proceeds into Fidelity.  We're talking a quarter-million dollars, here.   I never got a response to my phone calls or e-mails, other than an unhelpful response from another agent to "go online and open a new account" (!!!).

Perhaps I will do just that - with another firm!

They've screwed the pooch.   If I can't go online and check my balances in this day and age, what's the point of using them?  If they are not responsive, what's the point of doing business with them?