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Charles Schwab website ‘is a mess’: Hundreds of TD Ameritrade users complain about their new online home.

In Business
May 15, 2024
Some Charles Schwab customers are saying the transition from TD Ameritrade is “not simple and easy.”

Some Charles Schwab customers are saying the transition from TD Ameritrade is “not simple and easy.” – Getty Images

Charles Schwab Corp. transitioned the last group of TD Ameritrade customers — 1.8 million clients and about $350 billion in assets — to its platform this week, and many customers have voiced their displeasure with the move.

Schwab bought TD Ameritrade in 2020 and has been slowly transferring customers’ assets and accounts over to Schwab — about 17 million accounts and $1.9 trillion in assets, according to Barron’s. And when this final 10% of customers were moved from TD Ameritrade to Schwab, hundreds of account holders complained about the transition, as well as the differences between the platforms.

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“The transition has so many hoops that were very unneeded. It could have been seamless,” Reilly McAdams, a 23-year-old client, told MarketWatch. “Having to change login info for all the accounts I manage was unnecessary. Forcing us to switch to the Schwab app [and] website forces traders to learn a new system, which comes at costs both through possible errors and opportunity costs.”

McAdams, who lives in Chicago, said she had been using TD Ameritrade for six years and has multiple accounts. She said some of her accounts transitioned months ago, but two of her accounts only changed over this week.

“The transition could have been much easier if Schwab had adopted the TD interface and put their logo on it,” McAdams said. “It wouldn’t surprise me if they see an outflow of clients over the next six months.”

Matt Halliday, 45, has been using TD Ameritrade since 2014 and said he was locked out of his account during the transition this week. When he called customer service at Schwab, he said, the wait time was estimated to be three hours.

Halliday, who lives in California, said there was “no priority call line like I had at TD,” adding that he could not complete a few of his trades. He called the new platform “rubbish.”

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Another user told MarketWatch that he had issues with the transition as well, including being locked out of his accounts.

“The website is a mess,” Paul Murphy, 31, who has been using TD Ameritrade for 11 years, said about the switch.

Murphy said Schwab’s interface is particularly difficult to navigate if a customer has multiple accounts. He added: “Oh, and the colors suck.”

In an email, Schwab told MarketWatch: “It’s worth noting that we see former Ameritrade client satisfaction rise over time as they get accustomed to Schwab. Satisfaction scores for retail clients that transitioned in earlier groups have increased” after the first 90 days and again after nine months, Schwab said.

MarketWatch has been in direct contact with dozens of TD Ameritrade users who say their accounts were moved to Schwab this week. Many of their biggest issues involved the Schwab interface and overall user experience, which many said is not up to the standard of their previous brokerage. TD Ameritrade was known for its user-friendly app and website.

“The Schwab mobile app is like something out of 2012,” Japheth Kisangau, a 36-year-old new Schwab user from Mobile, Ala., told MarketWatch. Kisangau, who said he had been with TD Ameritrade for over 10 years, manages brokerage accounts for himself and his son.

Hundreds of former TD Ameritrade users took to X, formerly Twitter, over the last few days and echoed the comments of the users interviewed for this story. Many reported being temporarily locked out of their accounts and having to contact Schwab customer service regarding their issues.

The @CharlesSchwab X account responded to hundreds of these inquiries over the past few days through posts linking to the company’s website and customer-service pages.

When contacted for comment, Schwab said the “vast majority” of clients had transitioned “smoothly with no issues.”

The financial-services company also provided a statement: “Over the weekend, we transitioned ~1.8 million Ameritrade client accounts and ~$350 billion in assets to Schwab — the final 10 percent of the total Ameritrade client population. All of Ameritrade’s client accounts and assets have now transitioned to Schwab. The client account and asset conversion went smoothly and as expected. We also know there are clients who have questions and concerns. We were 100% expecting this, it was built into our plans, and we are actively helping them when they reach out to us. We’ve also been listening to client feedback throughout the entire integration and have introduced several enhancements to the Schwab.com and Schwab Mobile platforms over the last few months as part of our commitment to deliver the best features and functionality from both the Schwab and Ameritrade platforms.”

According to a 2023 Best Brokers survey conducted by Barron’s, Fidelity was the highest-rated brokerage of the year, with 5 stars. Next on the list was Schwab, with 4.5 stars, followed by ETrade, TD Ameritrade and Merrill Edge, each with 4 stars.

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Schwab announced on Tuesday that clients had drawn down balances from their accounts in April, in part to pull out money for taxes. Overall, total client assets fell by 3% to $8.85 trillion from last month but are up 16% from a year ago.

Shares of Schwab SCHW are up 2.7% during Tuesday afternoon trading and up 53.2% over the past 12 months, compared with a 27.56% gain for the S&P 500 SPX over the same period.

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