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  1. #1
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
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    2

    Fidelity Investment 401k Scam

    After my husband died I called to get his 401k. They were very rude to me and would not distribute it to me. Instead they make an account and then they tell me I can not withdraw from it. My husband would have never used Fidelity Investments if he knew how much trouble they were giving me. This company sucks.

  2. #2
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    20
    I am sorry to hear about your loss and your trouble with Fidelity Investments. I had a similar problem, only it was a little more involved. I made a customer complaint and waited. Unfortunately, my costumer complaint magically vanished. I called The Federal Trade Commission, and apparently the employees over at Fidelity are not very good at keeping track of in house customer complaints. I would go ahead and give The Federal Trade Commission a call and see what they can do for you.

  3. #3
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
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    8
    I was having problems with my Fidelity 401k as well. The amount that was supposed to be in it was lowered drastically. When I call them they won't let you talk to anyone unless you give them your SS number. I am not very comfortable with that. Also they would not send me any information of the account because they said the address was wrong. They had the wrong address suddenly after sending me papers to my house in the past. I never called and get them a new address. I had to fill out a change of address form because they had the wrong address for me out of the blue. That took me forever and it made me feel a little bit skeptical about them.

    Thanks for the advice about Reporting them to The Federal Trade Commission. I never would have thought of that. All I know is that I have now intention to get screwed by Fidelity Investments. I hate to have to take this to a higher authority but I have worked hard for my 401k and it had better be there for me later in life or for my family if something should happen to me.

  4. #4
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    4
    I am recently retired. I had numerous 401-K plans with Fidelity Investments. Now, once I retired, Fidelity, through its local office representative had been attempting to convince me to roll over the Fidelity 401-K plans to an IRA. I was told that I could easily transfer all balances from the 401-K's to a new IRA. The only thing that would be different would be the tax deferral form, i.e. 401-K to an IRA. On June 4, after three years of nagging from Fidelity, I agreed to transfer 2 of the Fidelity 401-K's to a new IRA. To legalize the transfer, they made a taped phone call to the main office to take information from me and finalize the new account. I made it perfectly clear at numerous times on the taped call that I wanted to switch over all investment share balances, intact, to the new IRA from the 2 401-K's. I had over 600K being transferred. They assured me that it would be done post haste.

    I had part of my 401-K money in 6 stock mutual funds, some in a PIMCO bond fund, and about 1/2 of the total in a guaranteed return fund managed by another firm. At the time, I felt safe about the transfer/simplification. On Aug. 4, I received a monthly statement from Fidelity for my IRA. Since the inception of this new account, I have kept track of it's performance weekly on my computer and over the June/July period a lot of the the stock funds appreciated over 25% in value. I was expecting unrealized gains of 35K over this two month IRA period. As it so happened though, Fidelity was only able to transfer one mutual fund from my 401-K to the new IRA. They put the remainder (over (500K) in the "Fidelity Cash Reserves" fund which yields absolutely nothing. I had hoped to withdraw the 35K of gains from the 401-K since I am now at the age where I can do that penalty free. But as it turned out, there was nothing to withdraw because Fidelity did not transfer the funds on June 4.

    To say that I felt ripped off is an understatement. After looking over my statement I called the Fidelity office in Fairfield CT. to complain. They said they had to check the taped phone conversation that they had with me, the Fairfield representative, and the head office of Fidelity on June 4. Then later, on August 6, I got a call from the main office of Fidelity saying that they had reviewed the phone call. They told me that I stated clearly that I wanted the 401-K investments to stay wholly intact. They also told me that during the conversation, nobody explained that part of the funds were not transferable. Fidelity agreed right then and there that the transfer should have been seamless and the call ended. Essentially what happened was the call center apologized to me that nobody informed me the funds could not be transferred. They also told me the new IRA could not be altered to revert back to the original 2 401-K's. They also informed me that they could not "make me whole" financially for the unrealized loss I received due to their error and omission to tell me about how the funds could not be transferred. They basically told be I am S.O.L. and there is nothing they can do even though they were clearly in the wrong. They suggested I do some research and try to get some funds similar to the one's I had originally. They even said they would help do this if I wanted.

    This is just what I don't need! This whole situation just sucks! I am pissed off beyond words here and really need to weigh my options. I thought I was going to begin to recover my hefty market losses from earlier. I never would have rolled over the 2 401-K's to the IRA had I known the old investments were not going to be there. If I wasn't diligent in checking my IRA statements, this mistake could have gone unnoticed and my losses would have been much larger. I am worried that if I buy similar funds and the market drops again, I could be a 2 time loser. Does anybody have any suggestions for me? Do I have grounds for a lawsuit? How should I proceed here? Would a customer complaint letter to the Connecticut Department of Labor worthwhile? What I'd really like to do is get the securities license revoked of the rep. that did this as he is more than incompetent. I'm thinking also of filing a complaint with the Attorney General of CT. Any help would be appreciated.

    My advice to everyone out there is to thoroughly check out anyone in this company before dealing with them. Otherwise, you WILL get screwed.

  5. #5
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Posts
    2
    I have to agree from personal experience that Fidelity is very stingy with their money. Let me re-phrase that.......OUR money. It seems like they get the two mixed up too. They seem to think that since we are investing OUR money with them, that's it's now THEIR money.

    I was needing to make an early withdrawal last year, and I swear it was like pulling teeth. The hoops you have to jump through almost makes it to where it's not worth it. Maybe that's why they have things set up that way.

    Regardless, their early withdraw penalties are a rip off!

  6. #6
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Posts
    1
    Quote Originally Posted by Franky View Post
    I have to agree from personal experience that Fidelity is very stingy with their money. Let me re-phrase that.......OUR money. It seems like they get the two mixed up too. They seem to think that since we are investing OUR money with them, that's it's now THEIR money.

    I was needing to make an early withdrawal last year, and I swear it was like pulling teeth. The hoops you have to jump through almost makes it to where it's not worth it. Maybe that's why they have things set up that way.

    Regardless, their early withdraw penalties are a rip off!
    I hate to disagree with complaints, but you do realize that it is not a company like Fidelity that determines how "stingy" they are with you money right? All of the tax rules and early withdraw penalties are charged by the IRS! And the sad part is that these companies get in trouble when they make it easy for uneducated investors to take out their money without concern for taxes

  7. #7
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2
    LOL! I am a Fidelity employee and work indirectly with 401ks. I had a TERRIBLE day at work today and came here to try and reassure myself that my job and company sucked and I was justified in wishing/hoping/praying for a new job. Here's the truth: customers have called me a "f***ing n****r (I'm not even black); yelled "f**k you" as loud as they could into the phone; and everything in between and I'm expected to bend over and take it. But I'm not on the job now, so I'm going to be honest and tell you every single person on this post is a complete moron.

    To Winterchop: What you are talking about is blatantly illegal, fraudulent, and if true would result in you being awarded MILLIONS of dollars in a lawsuit. Since Fidelity isn't that stupid, although our 401k reps are known internally notorious for being absolute morons, I can only conclude you have NO idea what you're talking about or were misinformed, which is possible with the morons in 401k.

    To Yellowstar: All written complaints are required to be documented, stored, and responded to in 48 business hours (I believe 48). That's federal law. If you didn't get one, a) the post office lost your complaint (which happens more than you'd think), or b) some idiot in the mail room lost it. I can assure you, Fidelity receives thousands of customer complaints each year. Although I don't know what yours was, I can guarantee you it wasn't "too sensitive" or "too embarrasssing" to be "conveniently" lost. The people who open the mail, scan in your complaint, and create a permanent record of it don't give a crap. I guarantee it. I'll bet they are paid less than $10 an hour and couldn't care less if your letter is damaging to the firm or not.

    To Zenisin: Your thread was the ultimate nail in the coffin for me to take this post seriously. Of course they ask you for your personal information when you call in. What do you expect? To just give them your name and have them send you out all your money with no other ID verification? I'll tell you what, post your name in this forum so I can call Fidelity, give them your name, and get them to send me your entire life savings. You know what? It wouldn't work! Because they won't talk to me with just your name, just like the won't talk to you. Even more, how do you expect them to look up your account? To pull up your account we need a) your SSN, b) your username if you created one, or c) an account number (which 401k's don't have, only brokerage accounts). If you don't like giving it over the phone, go to your local branch. If you don't want to go to a branch, send in a written/signed/signature guaranteed letter of instruction whenever you want something done. If you don't like that, LOG IN AND DO IT YOURSELF.

    To Joey: YOUR investments are YOUR investments. I had some moron call me and chew me out because his 2 year CD matured in 2 years and he didn't check his account for SEVEN YEARS after it's original purchase, resulting in his $$ from the matured 2 year CD sitting in cash for 5 years! What he said was so stupid I couldn't believe I'd ever run into something like that again, until your post. Don't track your portfolio in Yahoo! finance, or a spreadsheet, or on a napkin. Log in and look at your investments. www.fidelity.com. www.netbenfits.com. www.401k.com. Any one will do, they all take your same username and password. This is your ENTIRE retirement savings, put forth some effort. Common...common...common sense. I have NO sympathy for you, what-so-ever. And if you want them to stop calling you, ask to be put on the no call list. More common sense.

    Franky: We disclose to you that you'll be taxed AND penalized BY THE IRS, not Fidelity. It's a standard disclosure which I could recite because I give it not less than 5 times a day. We give it a) so you'll know and b) to prevent morons from calling us back the following April asking why we never told them (a call I've personally gotten, which was proved false when we reviewed the original call and she clearly stated she understood the disclosure when it was given to her). And as for "The hoops you have to jump through almost makes it to where it's not worth it. Maybe that's why they have things set up that way." It's not worth it. You're throwing away your retirement because you can't budget and need to w/d from your IRA to cover your inability to manage your personal finances. However, we don't stop you, we just disclose to you you'll be paying a taxes/penalties and then send you the check. If sitting through a disclosure and then confirming your mailing address is "pulling teeth," I weep for your future. Because if that's too difficult for you, how do you expect to go to college, or get a job, or work at that job once it's been attained? Weeping.

    I'm not allowed to say this stuff to you people over the phone when you call, but you deserve it. Bottom line is this: 1) check your investments once a month (so you don't end up like Joey), 2) ask questions if you don't understand or think some thing is unreasonable (so you aren't Winterchop or Zenisin or Franky), 3) stop blaming others for YOUR ignorance. That's all you need. Everything else can be learned by going to the library and reading 2-3 books on investing. 98% of people I talk to are just fine to deal with. They are experts/novices, angry/happy with Fidelity, friendly/mean, but they are at least logical. It's you 2%ers that make my job and life a nightmare. So stop calling me and whining about how terrible I am, because I'm getting sick of listening to you.

    I still hate my job, I still don't like working at Fidelity. But I think I'm realizing I hate it because I have to listen to idiots like these people whine about the problems they've created and then blame on me. Please, stop posting in forums, because you're only illuminating your own stupidity. And yes, I would be fired if Fidelity ever found out I posted this.

    P.S. - I'm a licensed stock broker, licensed financial adviser, have a BA in Business Administration, an MBA in finance.

  8. #8
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    1
    Gspatton, maybe you can answer a fidelity question.

    I opened a new fidelity 401K this year. Year to date, I've contributed $1090.60. My current balance is $1064.38. But, according to fidelity, my year to date return is +0.5%.

    I don't have an MBA, and I'm not a liscensed financial advisor. I just have a food service degree and 30 years real world business experience. But,my experience tells me that $1064 is less than $1090. How can I have a +0.5% rate of return?

  9. #9
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Posts
    2
    Quote Originally Posted by trag View Post
    Gspatton, maybe you can answer a fidelity question.

    I opened a new fidelity 401K this year. Year to date, I've contributed $1090.60. My current balance is $1064.38. But, according to fidelity, my year to date return is +0.5%.

    I don't have an MBA, and I'm not a liscensed financial advisor. I just have a food service degree and 30 years real world business experience. But,my experience tells me that $1064 is less than $1090. How can I have a +0.5% rate of return?
    I take balance and statement questions every day and the answer is always one of three things:

    1) You are looking at your balances incorrectly (80%)
    2) One of the balances is not current (10%)
    3) Fidelity/Net Benefits is just plain wrong (10%)

    Without seeing your statement, it would be foolish of me to claim I could explain it to you.

    Netbenefits is a good website, but the figures on it aren't always correct. It happens. If one thinks Fido is infallible (which I don't think you do), they'd be incorrect. Fido is an old school mutual fund company that, quite frankly, is at least 5 years behind other brokerage firms, technology-wise, which no one would ever admit to if you called in. Is it a good answer? No. Do clients call me nasty names weekly for it? Yes. Which brings me back to a point in my main article - it's your account, check it and take responsibility for it, which you don't seem to have a problem with.

    P.S. - I've found "real world" experience means little when it comes to investments. The fact is, if people with 30 years of investment experience, supported by teams of analysts and proprietary statistical models, get it wrong more often than they get it right, how could your 30 years of food service experience mean anything?

  10. #10
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2012
    Posts
    1
    Gspatton, what approach(s) have been successful against "Fido" mistakes? Especially with 401k

    I ass-u-me going to the likes of State Attorney General, FTC, IRS, BBB… get no money back or any satisfaction

    Sorry so many people, even the people who are not "lost" waste their anger at the wrong people.
    Thank you!

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