As usual at tax time, I opted to reduce my tax burden by sending some money to my traditional IRA, held in a mutual fund. As it happens, my broker of many years had recently changed his affiliation to LPL Financial (not having any reason to doubt his choice, I signed the paperwork to accept the related changes to my account with him).
I admit I was down to the wire in timing, waiting until the day before Tax Day. It was at that point I realized I was out of checks. Who uses checks anymore? I haven't purchased new checks in years, since I do almost all my banking online. So I walked into my bank to ask about my options for sending money to my IRA. They offered two options: cashier's check or "counter check." They explained that a counter check is essentially the same as a cashier's check for all intents and purposes. They took a blank check, imprinted it with my account number, and said it was good for any purpose. Of course it lacked my printed name and address, which I penned onto the check. I sent this legal instrument to my broker (in another state) by post.
After a couple weeks, I called to get confirmation of the transaction and was informed that LPL Financial had rejected the check on the grounds of possible fraud; apparently, unprinted checks are seen by LPL Financial as a red flag. My broker had sent it back to them for a second attempt, explaining my situation: that we (he and I) had been doing business for nearly 20 years, that I move often with my job, that I do not have need of checks for most of my banking transactions. LPL Financial STILL rejected the check! They will not take the word of THEIR OWN BROKERS, who are essentially their clients!
Shocked by this lack of professional trust, I wrote a sharply worded, but professional, letter and sent it to LPL Financial's San Diego headquarters, using a printed #10 envelope, addressed to Customer Service. That was in early May. I have had no response to date. It is now nearing the end of June. Nor has my broker received any communication from them. Clearly, this organization is not interested in customer service or satisfaction. I am a small-potatoes investor, and I'm sure they filed my complaint in the circular file.
So now I'm left in the uncomfortable position of having to consider leaving my broker, who has been very helpful to me over these many years, because he is doing business with people I DO NOT want to do business with. I'm carefully considering this unpleasant option.
Reason of review: Poor customer service.
Monetary Loss: $125.
Preferred solution: Let the company propose a solution.
LPL Financial Cons: Lack of professional courtesy zero customer service.