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The two main activities in my life: Helping the hungry in the late hours of the night and helping guitar players sound better one amp at a time.

I always try to remember that in order to do good one has to take action and actually do something.

I was born and raised in Los Angeles. I have watched the city and Southern California change for well over half a century.

I can be found on facebook at www.facebook.com/mylesr or on twitter at www.twitter.com/myles111us or on my own Guitar Amplifier Blueprinting website at www.mylesrose.com

Los Angeles Architectural History

Los Angeles Architectural History
1935 Art Deco at some of its finest: No. 168 - Griffith Observatory- (click on the photo for information)

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Asshat of the day award - Fidelity Investments

Today I received a notification that there was an iPhone update to my Fidelity mobile app.  My app had been working fine in the past and I always downloaded the latest update.

Bottom line - big mistake.

I tried to log in many times.  It said my password was invalid.  I went to my desk PC and all worked fine.

I deleted the app and downloaded it again.  Same problem.

I called Fidelity.  They confirmed there was indeed a problem.  They had no estimate on when the issue would be resolved.  

This financial app is a bit more important than something like "angry birds".  People rely on the Fidelity tools for their investments.

Click on "read more" to continue

I have been in software QA/QC for decades.  The lack of regression testing on something this simple is appalling and inexcusable.  What is even worse is that Fidelity has still not put the previous version of the app back on the app store for folks to download.

I have been a Fidelity client for over two decades.  I have always thought their service was terrific.  I guess it was just a matter of time until they failed.  Unfortunately, in the investment game where Fidelity supplies tools for investing it is a prime example of lackluster attitude and a lack of professionalism to have a problem of this sort go on for hours at this point in an industry where fortunes can be gained or lost in seconds.

In twitter jargon .... big #fail for you #fidelity.  

I am tracking how long it will take for this to be resolved.

Here is my commentary on facebook and Fidelity's response:

Updated my mobile app today with your latest update. It stinks. I cannot log in. I reported this error and it was confirmed that you have a problem.

Kudos on the lack of regression testing and even a bigger pat on the back for you asshats NOT putting the previous working version on the app store as soon as complaints starting coming in to you folks.

This is not something like "angry birds". Your app is something that folks depend on for investment news. It is a shame that you folks have not made the previous app available for fallback in less time than it has taken me to complain, call you folks, listen to your excuse and write this.

I will be watching how long this takes to be resolved. Hopefully you will send me a facebook message or I will see an iPhone app update shortly.

I have had great service from you folks for two decades. I guess it was only a matter of time until this was no longer the case. We all make mistakes but how we react to them is the true measure of your current position in this industry. The lack of immediate fallback was a big mistake on your part.

I await a fix and your reply.
Like ·  · 2 hours ago

Fidelity Investments Myles, our mobile team is working on this right now and we’re sorry for the inconvenience. Thank you for your patience.

Myles Rose - When you have a problem with a software change that folks rely on in real time, financial trading, at the first confirmed problem report you let folks fall back to the last stable version. 

That folks, is the proper way to handle issues like this one 
today. You lost a lot of respect in my mind. No longer will I tell folks how great your tools are which were a differentiator in a positive way. If you would have reacted properly, with a fallback, I would have not had a problem with you folks.

3/21/13 - The problem continues in the heart of the trading day....

Fidelity Investments Myles, we’re working to make the previous version available to you as soon as possible, while we continue to work on a fix for the update. Again, we’re sorry for the inconvenience.

Myles Rose It is still not there. It still does not work. It is the heart of the trading day. You folks have really messed up big time.

Myles Rose Side note - 2,416 folks have read the blog piece since it was posted yesterday afternoon. You have made it into the 5th position of the top 10 for this running week. 10,615 people have been to the blog today and the number is rising. These numbers are as of this moment and this was prior to social media distribution was activated.

As I may have said before .... I am tracking how long it takes you to resolve this issue. You have almost been worthless for half a trading day today. The clock continues ticking and you have not made the last working version available on the app store.

I have now turned on the tools to distribute this information to twitter, facebook, Digit, Google, Google buzz and about 75 additional social media sites. I was hoping that you would resolve this in a responsible and professional manner by making the last working version available but that has not been the case. When you get this resolved, the sooner you let me know the faster I will report that you have resolved the problem.

There was a comment on Fidelity's facebook page on my post.  My response to the comment is below:

Myles Rose Scott, they are generally a top rate organization. I have always been pleased with them. But this most recent screw up is huge and it could have been resolved so easily. Every hour that passed lowers my confidence in them and makes me wonder what happened.

Myles Rose Fidelity, I am formally requesting the name of the manager or head of the department that develops your mobile application.

As of 10:30pst I received a message on facebook from the Fidelity facebook page in response to my comments.  I was informed that the previous version of their mobile app was now up on the app store.  I downloaded the prior app and all is once again working.

I still have to wonder why it took them the better part of two trading days to make this happen after it was a reported problem by many individuals yesterday.  That is one question I have for the department head of the team that develops their mobile application.  I am formally requesting that I am given his or her name and contact number.  I intend to have a talk with them in regard to QA/QC, regression testing and why some applications such as investment applications are more time critical than things like games, angry birds or iTunes.  If they would have understood this basic concept it would have not taken almost 24 hours to fallback to a stable software platform.

November 25, 2013 - Bad customer service again + Software regression:

Below is the latest Fidelity customer service dialogue.  Once again they win the Asshat of the Day award.

 System: Thank you for contacting Fidelity Investments. All interactions are subject to recordkeeping and monitoring. IM representatives of Fidelity Brokerage Services LLC, Member NYSE, SIPC are unable to accept any trading requests to buy, sell or exchange securities, nor do they provide legal, tax or investment advice.

MYLES ROSE: Initial Question/Comment: I already reported this but .... In your latest version of Active Trader Pro v10.0 your username is not encrypted and anybody getting on your computer can see your username. For a major investment firm this is a major blunder. Shame on you and shame on your lack of response in resolving this issue.

 System: Alan Garrett has joined this session!

 System: Connected with Alan Garrett. Your Reference Number for this chat is 4869748.

Alan Garrett: Good morning and thank you for choosing Fidelity, Mr. Rose!

MYLES ROSE: Good morning

MYLES ROSE: I was in software QA for decades. Your latest blunder is inexcusable.

Alan Garrett: I see your concerns with the username on the latest Active Trader Pro release.

MYLES ROSE: I documented an issue with you folks in the past on my blog where one could not log on to the mobile app. I may update that piece with this latest info. I was going to let it go after reporting this earlier but since it has not been resolved I may update and re-distribute the post.

MYLES ROSE: http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2013/03/asshat-of-day-award-fidelity-investments.html

Alan Garrett: Are you referring to the use of the "Remember Me" field not using an asterisk for the last three characters of the username like the Website does?

MYLES ROSE: The password is encrypted. The username is not. It used to be in the last version even when remember me was invoked.

MYLES ROSE: If one checks remember me, and anybody gets access to their computer they will not have the username of the client.

MYLES ROSE: This is a major security breach.

MYLES ROSE: Bottom line = it worked fine and properly in the previous version.

MYLES ROSE: If you are typing anything other than "we are sorry and this will be resolved" you are not going to make me happy.

Alan Garrett: I understand your sentiments, Mr. Rose. The issue is not a matter of encryption. Active Trader Pro (ATP) is still encrypted just like the site and our mobile applications. It's a cosmetic thing with how it appears. This was the case in ATP 9.6 before it was masked out in later versions. We have received feedback in this regard from other customers, but there is definitely not a security breach regarding the use of the asterisks. Until our teams have decided to change this appearance based on the feedback we have received, using the "Remember Me" is not required.

Alan Garrett: I have passed your additional concerns in this session to our teams, Mr. Rose.

MYLES ROSE: Are you dense? THE ISSUE IS .... If the remember me function is utilized your complete user name is shown to anybody that has access to your computer. That was NOT the case in the previous release.

Alan Garrett: Someone would still need to know the password, Mr. Rose. Again, I understand your feelings in this regard. I do agree the appearance can raise an eyebrow.

MYLES ROSE: Cosmetic or not, it is a way for other people to possibly see your user ID unless you want to inconvenience the user by having them type in their username name each time and bypass the remember me function.

MYLES ROSE: Again - are you kidding me? Each piece of information is one less piece of information that identity thieves need to draw conclusions.

MYLES ROSE: I will go on record and say I am very unhappy with your response. I will copy this data and paste it into the fidelity post as an update.

MYLES ROSE: Once again .... you have software regression. This worked fine in prior versions.

Alan Garrett: I sense your frustration. Other than tell you that the application is still encrypted, ensure you your comments have been passed, and have you visit https://www.fidelity.com/security/overview, I do not have much more information to share with you at this time. Our teams will definitely re-evaluate the appearance of the application based on the initial feedback that has been received, Mr. Rose.

MYLES ROSE: Why don't you go back and actually read and comprehend what I said. ANYBODY WHO GETS ON YOUR COMPUTER WILL HAVE VISIBILITY TO YOUR FIDELITY USER NAME.

Alan Garrett: I fully understand what you have posted, Mr. Rose.

MYLES ROSE: You never responded to THAT. You skirted the issue. VERY bad customer service.

MYLES ROSE: It is clear from our dialogue that you either did not understand or were just inept at communicating with your customer.

Alan Garrett: I do agree that seeing the username not masked out would cause me to look at it twice. I never denied that.

MYLES ROSE: And you never addressed that and brought up all sorts of side issues. NOT a good was to communicate.

MYLES ROSE: 5,000 to 10,000 folks read by blog each day. This will be published later today.

MYLES ROSE: All I want to hear from you is .... You have a problem, you will resolve the problem and somebody will contact me with the date of problem resolution in the next 24 hours.

Alan Garrett: I did speak to the fact that the username is not hidden with asterisks. Hiding the username and encryption are two separate things. I do understand you are not happy with the fact the username is visible and someone can see it if they come to the computer.

MYLES ROSE: We are getting nowhere.

Alan Garrett: I have definitely passed your comments along.

MYLES ROSE: I think it's time I send this along to others at Fidelity and the rest of the world in general.

MYLES ROSE: No thanks for your inept customer service skills. Thankfully I have your name.


Even though this was never resolved I feel that Fidelity services and customer service are the best in business.  Their tools and website usefulness are terrific.  My personal Fidelity rep Chris was on the phone with me in a flash on this incident trying to do what he could to escalate the problem.  I have been a Fidelity client for around two decades.  They are top notch folks.

September 20, 2015 - New issue

I called Customer Service this morning a 9:45pst.  I had a question regarding approval levels of options trading.  Your rep could not answer the question.  I asked to speak to somebody who could answer my question.  I was transferred to a supervisor.  Well, not really.  I was left on hold for 15 minutes before I hung up.  I called back and got somebody else.  They informed me that nobody knows why or why not or how various levels of option trading are approved as "that is a back office function" and there is no way to get that information.

Looks like I may be calling TD Ameritrade.  It was nice working with you folks for almost three decades but we may be coming to the end of a relationship.

February 6, 2017

I have not received my 1099 from Fidelity.  Legally, this was supposed to arrive by the end of January.  Below is my dialogue which does not include numerous phone calls and being left on hold.

Me - My last 2016 tax form says it won't be available until 3/4/17. I thought you had to mail these so they arrive before the end of February. What's the deal?  You get later each year. This is not acceptable.
Flag this message  Delete this message

Fidelity - Hi Myles, I can understand wanting to get your taxes done. To avoid sending you incomplete or incorrect info, we file an extension with the IRS when we haven't received tax info for all of your holdings. We do have resources you can use to help with your tax planning now -- to learn more, please give us a call at 800-544-6666 or chat with us: http://go.fidelity.com/qr4r . Thanks.

Me - An extension?  Totally unacceptable.
Your rep left me on hold while he was getting a supervisor so I hung up.
You guys figure it out and call me back.
I am getting pretty fed up with you.
But... how come my son has his 1099 from TD already. He is much more active, we trade the same positions.

Fidelity - Thanks for reaching out, Myles. I am sorry to hear you're upset and I'll definitely share your feedback regarding your experience. The time frame for a tax form  depends on the account type and the investments held within that account. To avoid sending you incomplete info, we'll file a 30-day extension when we haven't received tax info for all of your holdings.

Me - I don't want an extension. I want my 1099 that was due the end of last month. My son, with a more complicated portfolio and some of my same holdings that I have, received his 1099 from TD Ameritrade last month.
No more excuses from you. Fix this issue or I am going to escalate again.
I have granted you no extension as a side note.  I am your customer, not the IRS.

I am still waiting for my call back.

1400pst 6 FEB 2017

A conversation with my account rep was no help.  He escalated to his boss, the manager of the Burbank office.  She told me there was nothing she could do, I would have to wait until March 4 for my 1099.  I instructed her to escalate to her boss and to have my rep send me emails on who her boss is, when they were contacted, and maintain an audit trail in writing of this incident.  ISO9000 procedures (document) are now in place.

Continued conversation in writing with Fidelity also continued:

Fidelity - Thanks for following up with us, Myles. I've escalated this to the appropriate team, and someone will be reaching out to you so we can look into this and address your concerns. Thank you.

Me - My rep in the Burbank office escalated to his boss, the head of the Burbank office and she has now escalated to her boss as this was beyond her level and said she could do nothing. I requested all correspondence in the future is in writing so it can be fully documented. Again, TD Ameritrade has had their own clients 1099s received within the legal timeframe.  Fidelity's main plus was customer service. It seems that may no longer be the case.

Feb 7, 2017 - This incident warranted a new post which is now online at http://la-economy.blogspot.com/2017/02/fidelity-investments-vs-td-ameritrade.html

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