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No good deed ever goes unpunished

edited October 8 in Off-Topic
Talked to Firstrade today. How do I update my address? We'll be moving. ...She coached me through the buttons until I found the right spot.

Then THIS comes, via email:
Please be advised that your request to update your address is currently pending due to the following reason(s):

To change your account address, please provide the following documents:
1. An explanation on why you change address in a short time.
2. Valid photo ID copies for both account holders
.
************************************************************
Let's not even try to do the work of proofreading that mess, not to mention entire words being employed which are incorrectly used.

Nothing so common and routine should be so difficult. And they're never going to get me to JUSTIFY to them why I'm moving so soon after the account was opened. Firstrade can suck dust off of cadavers. If making me jump through these hoops is because of "security" and "money-laundering prevention" in this Brave New World we live in, let them say so. Up is down. Down is up. And what if the Party says that 2 + 2 = FIVE? And hasn't Oceania ALWAYS been at war with East Asia??? And we are all criminals, until proven innocent. Nothing that gets reported is believed. Truth is a lie. Until Big Brother is pleased with what I tell him? Shit. Treat me like a liar, and we're done. And so we are.

Comments

  • @Crash: I went ballistic a number of weeks ago at Grandeur Peaks on a change of address. After I sent in paper work, they came back an wanted a 'GOLDEN" signature, or at least that's what I called it. Well the pot boiled over & they settled for no money moving out of account for 60 or 90 days. I didn't plan on moving any dough so let it ride.
    Recently added a new fund & changed DCA quarterly. At this point appears transaction went off without a problem.
    Best of luck with your current problem.
    Derf
  • edited October 8
    @Crash While not a Catch22, I think.........but you've been Patriot Act"ed".

    USA PATRIOT Act
    IMPORTANT INFORMATION ABOUT PROCEDURES FOR OPENING OR CHANGING AN ACCOUNT
    Section 326 of the USA PATRIOT Act requires
    all financial institutions to obtain, verify, and record information that identifies each person who opens an account or changes an existing account. This federal requirement applies to all new customers and current customers. This information is used to assist the United States government in the fight against the funding of terrorism and money-laundering activities.

    What this means to you: when you open an account or change an existing account, we will ask each person for their name, physical address, mailing address, date of birth, and other information that will allow us to identify them. We will ask to see each person's driver's license and other identifying documents and copy or record information from each of them.

    Patriot Act, 25 pages of goodies revolving around financial institutions and the CUSTOMER.

    There's more, but you're on your own for that.

    Have a good remainder.
    Catch
  • The Patriot Act doesn't seem to say anything special about rapid fire address changes. In fact, I believe that the PA allows financial institutions to be a little more lax when dealing with existing customers (because it is easier for them to verify the identity of people it is already dealing with). Though I haven't gone searching for info to verify (or refute) that.

    @Derf alluded to one reason why institutions will want additional validation on address changes. They want to protect themselves from fraud - someone pretending to be you changes the address and then has the institution mail a check out to "your" address. They're willing to go along with a non-guaranteed (medallion signature) change so long as they don't mail any checks to you for awhile - long enough for the real you to notice that you're not getting any correspondence from them. (These days with all statements communicated electronically, I'm not sure they can count on this anymore.)

    If there's a debit card attached to the account, then there is another reg that requires financial institutions to validate your identity specifically when you submit two different addresses within 30 days.

    That would be the rules on "Identity Theft Red Flags and Address Discrepancies" implemented under the Fair and Accurate Credit Transactions (FACT) Act. Look for "30 days" within either of the following:
    https://ithandbook.ffiec.gov/media/216519/fil08105.pdf
    https://www.federalreserve.gov/newsevents/pressreleases/files/bcreg20090611a1.pdf

  • @Crash: A heads up ! Don't close any accounts that has money, checks, and ach transfer come into !! Wait until you open new accounts , if that's what your plans are. I got caught in that trap a few months back. S.S. took about 2 months to get straighten out.

    Have a safe trip, Derf
  • @Derf- good advice, my man- very good advice.
  • @Crash:
    I would first confirm (by phone or in person) that the email is not a phishing attempt.
  • Hello, all. I appreciate the replies. I'll be on the phone with them shortly. It's Wednesday morning, now.
  • edited October 9
    The 'Patriot' Act was full of fun surprises for average law-abiding citizens and firms embrace clauses from it for all sorts of legitimate and sometimes annoying/controversial reasons.....I said so at the time, but nobody cared b/c it was passed without anyone really reading it barely a month after 9/11 in those dark days when everyone was practically afraid of their own shadow. To wit: Ever wonder why you have to show ID to buy the 'real' (ie, what still works) Sudafed which got locked away behind drugstore counters?
  • " it was passed without anyone really reading it barely a month after 9/11 in those dark days when everyone was practically afraid of their own shadow. To wit: Ever wonder why you have to show ID to buy the 'real' (ie, what still works) Sudafed which got locked away behind drugstore counters? "

    The Meth Act was not in that legislation passed in 2001. It was attached as a rider to the renewal of the Patriot Act in 2005. The Patriot Act was merely a convenient vehicle to push it through. It that had failed, it would have been attached to some other legislation.

  • Right. And now, we're a step removed from where we started. But that's quite alright. Yes, I've noticed the crazy and stoopid regulation about simply buying a goddam antihistamine. Take the card, which looks like the label on the box to the pharmacy counter. They check to see how often you've bought the shit, because you have to show an ID. .....What's the current population of the United States? And how many criminals are cooking meth? The perfect illustration of "the tail wagging the dog." NANNY STATE. And so we all get treated like crooks.

    I was reminded on the phone with Firstrade just now that I was initially able to open my account with a ZERO balance, and they did NOT ask for an address. Interesting. And they care so VERY much NOW about me providing a new address? Bullshit.

    ...I realize that it is more than likely the case that the one who chose the wording of their "request" to me is not someone whose first language is English. Why should I have to tell anyone WHY I'm moving?

    ***********************
    Edited to add: I just finished with the customer "service" person. Lots of time explaining. Lots of interrupting, because when they say anything, they go on forever. Then a long hold. Because "customer service" cannot even see what I'm calling about. Only the "back office" can see what's at issue here. So why can't I talk to the back office? Because they deliberately are insulated from customers. Pus-balls.

    After answering some security questions, I was told they would send me a check for the balance in my account to my OLD address. That's fine. The P.O. will forward it to me. I did NOT ask to cancel the account. I specifically told her I don't want to do that--- YET.

    By the way, it's clearly a foreign call center they're using. From the accent, I can tell that it's NOT in The Philippines. Sounds to be Thai, maybe. (Cannot pronounce "L" and they do not pluralize. And "hard" consonants like "d" and "n" are problematic for them. But they could be elsewhere, I'm not certain. I give them credit, at least, for what they ARE able to say in English. But the language difference here certainly WAS at issue. And if I try to imagine speaking German, for example, I must admit I'd fall flat on my face.) So, another case of a US company presenting itself as a domestic company, but you and I can't talk to someone whose first language is English. They don't need me, and I don't need them. After the new year, I might cancel.
  • edited October 9
    Let's look at a scenario that is, very likely, very common with the bad guys.

    - the bad guy obtains enough information about you (including ss#, address, and whatever else needed) and opens an account in your name. With all the security leaks we hear about I'm sure it is pretty easy to be a 'Crash' clone.

    - after the account is opened the bad guy then changes the address and phone contact number on the account so that, unbeknownst to you, they can do direct mail correspondence with that financial company.

    - that account is used for illegal purpose. And guess who's name in on the account? Yes yours. You become liable for that account until you and your lawyers prove otherwise.

    How in heavens name are these safe guards you often get upset about a bad thing in today's world? I'm sure everyone wishes it was the '1970's no hassle application' all over again - but it's not. These are the times we live in. I for one am glad for the 'slight' inconvenience meant to safe-guard my account and my name. They are not questioning my integrity. They are making sure my name and information are not being used by the bad guy.

    This is how I would handle their request:
    1- I am moving to a different location
    2- enclosed in this request is my picture-ID to verify this request.
  • Dear Firstrade Client,

    Please be advised that your request to update your address is currently pending due to the following reason(s):

    To change your account address, please provide the following documents:
    1. An explanation on why you change address in a short time.
    (Sorry, not even GAWD has the right to ask me THAT.)
    2. Valid photo ID copies for both account holders.
  • edited October 9
    It's how you interpret the why. Why? "I'm changing address because I am moving". General, but I'm guessing that is all you need to state. My point though is they are asking by law and for their and your safe guard, not to be pricks and not to single you out as untrustworthy.
  • .....Gotcha. But that's not what they asked me.
  • You could be living in the country that leads them all in bureaucratic quagmires. Our daughter is working in France now and is entitled to health insurance as a bene. However, to have health coverage, you must have a bank account. When she went to the bank they wanted to know where she taxes and if she has any money. I spent a morning gathering copies of her recent tax return and monthly bank statements demonstrating cash on hand. Of course, these docs will be held in confidence, they say. Her employer has already taken a half-day off to help at the bank, responded to numerous e-mails from the bank, only to be sent home with the documentation request. I couldn't easily summarize what hoops my daughter and I jumped through to get her a long-stay visa for France. Some days, a guy might lean Libertarian out of sheer frustration with too much "guvmnt."
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