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Sometimes, useful lessons can be drawn from otherwise inane posts. Take the time, if you would, to read someone’s whine (Post # 34058) about how he was treated at IB with regard to a bond position held there and then ask yourself wherein the fault really lies.

The individual was holding 70 bonds, but he missed out on being selected for redemption on the issue, whereas a buddy who held the same bonds at E*Trade was selected. So let’s review the facts. To have bought those 70 through E*Trade would have cost $70. To buy them through IB cost a mere $10, an apparent savings of $60. But to have missed out on being selected for the auction cost him far more than that. In other words, “Penny wise, pound foolish.”

LESSON: If low-cost execution is what matters most to you, then don’t pay a penny more than you have to. But if customer service is what matters to you, and you know in advance (as he should have from reading the reviews on the broker or from asking around) that customer service wasn’t that a particular broker’s strong point, then he shouldn’t have been surprised when he got exactly what he paid for. Sometimes, it's possible to take cost shortcuts and to get away with them. But when customer service matters, then be prepared to paid for for it. "Cheap = Grief", as that individual found out.
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