Dope Support vs. Nope Support

Heads up: This is mainly a rant. If you don’t care about that, the bottom line is: Beeminder Support is dope. But you knew that already :wink:

Recently I was again reminded that in many institutions “support” is a synonym for wasted time.

You’d think that an online broker where you deposit potentially thousands of €/$/whatnot and invest into stocks so you have some sort of rent later would have at least some basic level of support.
You would be wrong.

I registered on the 26th of September and had sent them a photo copy of my ID so they knew I was who I claimed.
I then asked if everything if they need anything else. They replied:

(10:41:02 AM) Alexander: Wunderbar. Das Dokument ist gut lesbar. Nach einer Überprüfung Deiner Daten, werden wir Dein Depot heute, spätestens morgen eröffnen.

Basically: Wonderful! We’ll open your account today or tomorrow the latest.

That was on the 26th.

One day later, nothing happened. I asked them about it. It was a Friday evening so they replied on the next Monday, the 30th:

Ich sehe das für die Freistellung noch die Adresse Bestätigung erforderlich war. Du hast uns bereit die Rückseite von Perso zugesandt.
Wir werden Dein Anliegen noch heute bearbeiten und Dein Konto freischalten. Danke für Deine Geduld und Verständnis,

Wir sehen uns in der App !

This is quite broken German (and not included: them addressing me with a wrong name) saying that my account would definitely be activated today.

It did not get activated.

So I waited a few days and on October 3rd with still no response or action from them I told them that I am slightly pissed. They got my name wrong (and with multiple identification stages, including WebID), they’re writing in broken German with wrong punctuation and broke their promises multiple times. It does not inspire confidence and is definitely not what I would call a professional service that I want to entrust hundreds and thousands of €.

And finally after this quite mad email my account was activated on the very next morning, the 4th. I also got an apologetic email. Again by the same guy who clearly has never learned how to to punctuation correctly (It’s really not hard in German). His line of reasoning was that there is so many legal requirements they need to go through and that why it took so long.

Which is of course BS because it’s completely unrelated to them making false promises, not knowing how to German and bad communication in general.

Seriously, we are talking about an online bank here. This startup was founded in Germany and targets the German market.

Oh and for those wondering: It’s Trade Republic. Which is a shame because I really want to like them.
But I also like not being lied to.

So with this being said, thank you Beeminder Support for actually being supportive and not a pain in the buttocks! I really appreciate it.


Slightly off topic, but Interactive Brokers seems to be preferred by many traders and I think even small hedge funds. Very low commissions, but they don’t sell your order flow. Their platform, TWS, is very complete, and it has a comprehensive API (supported out of the box by many algorithmic trading frameworks/quantopian/quantconnect).

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Oh, very interesting. I’ll check them out!

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I’m in customer service hell with my ISP at the moment, and they keep explaining to us that no support team ever does x or y, like refunds or replying in under 48 hours or whatever.

They never quite have a response to, “Well, that’s funny, because my support team does exactly that thing and we’re a lot smaller than you guys.”

I get that there’s a difference of scale, but yowza. It’s good to hear we’re not a figment of my imagination from an outside source (though I suppose I could be just imagining @phi exists). :stuck_out_tongue:


Nope, you guys / gals really are world class. No imagination.

In fact, I wonder if Beeminder could launch a side business fixing other companies’ support processes.

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Honestly, the fact that you guys ARE so small is WHY your support is so great: it’s in-house. My own ISP’s customer support is fantastic (go Sonic!), because they’re also small enough to keep their support in-house.

I work for a (different) online bank, and our customer support frustrates us no end because it’s terrible… because we outsource it to the Philippines. It turns out that once you have millions of customers, you can’t directly hire and train the many hundreds of customer service agents required to support everyone, so you pay another company to handle that for you, and that other company will never, ever care as much as you do about your customers. (This is also why telling a CSR that you’re taking your business elsewhere is a waste of time; the CSR could not possibly care less about whether you or anyone remains a customer of Business X, as the CSR is not actually employed by Business X)

Also @phi I suspect your broker is dealing with the additional complication of the fact that offshore customer support companies tend to be most easily available in english or various asian languages, so finding one that can even write BROKEN German is frankly impressive and probably cost them a premium, which means they can’t also afford competent agents :stuck_out_tongue:

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If I recall correctly it was German native speakers I talked to. Presumably in eastern Germany based on the dialect. As you said, it’s hard to find German speaking hotline humans en masse outside of Germany so typically companies hire cheap people from Saxony.

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I’m curious, with what broker did you end up with, @phi? I also use Interactive Brokers.

Reunification takes a long time.

Oh, big mistake, I didn’t read right, I thought this was about the trouble I had with my ISP (which I think I have talked about at some other place in the past, but not sure). About the broker: I didn’t talk to someone there, but only communicated via email. I use Trade Republic. They are incredibly cheap. Buying and selling stocks is only €1. And your stocks depot is completely free. And they got a nice app. I hope they add some sort of automation to it though.

I’m not trying to convince you to switch, but I did want to make a comparison.

Deposit/withdrawal is free. I funded my account with an ACAT transfer from another broker (if I remember the name).

Buying and selling stock is usually 30 cent on IBKR (unless you are doing big orders), you get positive rebate for shorting, googling stock depot gives me nothing though so I dont know what that is.

Buying and selling options is about 1$ each contract.

Margin borrowing is EXTREMELY cheap and gets cheaper the more collateral you have.

You do have to pay for market data though.

You do have API access to every piece of data they have and you can automate absolutely any action you want. You can either use the async model provided by their API - you ask for stuff, you get called back when stuff is ready - or you can use a wrapper to make use simpler (eg by blocking when asking for stuff).

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You mention $. Is this broker available in Germany even?

Other than that it sounds wonderful really.
Dealing with stocks yourself in Germany is still not popular. Most people trust their bank to do it for them (which is a bad idea).
I suspect that’s the reason why there is few offerings here.

Yes, it is available in Europe as far as I know, at the very least in Italy as that’s where I am signed up from.

You have the choice of sending dollars or EUR for funding your account- you should obviously choose eur.

You can also set the base currency for the account to whatever you wish, and hold whatever currencies you wish (it has forex, bonds, options…). I usually just hold dollars because I deal with securities trading in dollars (which I convert from the eur I send).

Oh nice, looks like they accept German customers. I’m gonna check them out, thanks!

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Just google around; I think you’ll find that for retail, IB is basically the best broker bar none. If you have >$10M in assets, maybe have a deeper thought about it; but otherwise… just stick with IB if you can :smiley: