e-trade User Experience Sucks

I recently sold some of the stock I purchased through my ESPP. My employer uses etrade, so as soon as the cash funds showed up in my account I went to the website to transfer the funds over to my financial institution. There are basically two options for transferring funds — through a wire transfer or a check request through the US mail.

I decided to try to transfer my money by wire. The copy on the page indicated that there will be a “small fee” (the word fee was hyper-linked) for the wire transfer. I clicked on the “fee” hyperlink to see what the fee is for wire transfers. The hyperlink went to a fees page that had a fee listed for every possible interaction with e-trade! Wow this is really targeted useful info e-trade. Thanks so much for making me wade through mounds of irrelevant information to find my fee for the wire transfer. Not my idea of good times…

So I went forward with the wire transfer. On the form I had to specify the amount I want to transfer. I would suggest that providing the amount of funds available for transfer somewhere on the page might be useful. Ok, so I leave the page, go find the balance on another page, and come back. Apparently it’s unreasonable that I didn’t have the amount memorized. Ok fine. So I specified the full amount, along with the rest of the information on the form and submitted it. The result…

ERROR: you don’t have that much available blah blah blah. I finally figured out that I needed to subtract the wire transfer fee from what I had available to transfer to get the true amount of available funds. Would it be too hard to put that on the form. Something like     Wire Amount : ________ . ____ You have $xxx.xx available after applicable fees.

After filling out the necessary form (with appropriate amount information), the website informs me that for my security it can’t process the wire because I had recently changed some information in my profile. That’s all wonderful. I’m all for e-trade trying to protect my security. That’s peachy. So the page tells me that I can request some sort of security token and complete the transaction. Just click the “send a security token” (or something along those lines) button below, and we’ll send you an email, and you can click on the link in the email and complete the transaction. Great! I’ll do that. Only one problem. There is no “send me a security token” button anywhere of the page! I promise, I looked over the page for a solid 5 minutes. Oh, and “for my information”, it had “The email address listed for this account is:”, and the space to the right was completely blank! WTF? I have a valid email address associated with the account, and it’s even shown on one of the profile pages. At this point, I’m beginning to suspect that the site has some serious problems/usability issues. The takeaway is this — think about your user’s task when designing your interface. Collect all the information he or she might need to complete the task and put it at intuitive places on the UI.

So I call the 1-800 number, navigate through all the menus, and after waiting several minutes, I’m told that e-trade is closed and that I should call back during business hours. Gee, thanks. At least your phone system matches your website in usability and user friendliness. Thanks for the frustrating evening.


Post a Comment

Required fields are marked *


%d bloggers like this: