Wednesday, April 18, 2007

To "BeEP"-Trade or not to "beEP"...

(in the following post due to my legal department requirements name of corporation has been substituted with distinct sound of "beep" - readers may substitute it to any desired name at their own risk )

I've been avoiding posts with ratings of different brokers due to "touchy" nature of the subject which involves multiple variables, such as:
1. What type of trader/investor "that" broker is best suited for
2. How execution quality compares to others brokers.
3. Fees / Margin rates
4. Services
5. Reliability
6. Disaster recovery preparedness
7. Ability to fix unexpected problems
8. Customer service
9. Technical support
and on and on...

As for myself, I have been a "satisfied customer" of "beep-beep"... hmm.. I am wrong, I have NOT been totally happy since "beep + beep".
Let say I was a "satisfied customer" of "beep"...was I? Well, let say I was NOT unhappy or unsatisfied.
I WAS a "satisfied customer" of "beep" in the good old Island ECN times - execution guarantee (rapid fire that was), clean fast interface, reasonable account services, great knowledgeable customer service with no "hold time" - perfect blend of essential trading tools and services that WAS.

As time went by and "beep" is no more and "beep" is "beep + beep" - a lot of things have changed and just like everywhere when small "mobile" innovative company becoming "huge corporate behemoth" - not all of those changes were for the best. Of course, it is just my opinion and I am notoriously famous for been "the only one to complain"
Have not some of you heard it before: "YOU are the ONLY ONE to complain"?

Anyhow, setting aside a lot of important and not so important changes, I'd like to talk about quality of "not guaranteed" data services provided by "beep" ( Of course, "beep" can not be liable for something they don't provide, right?).
Well, of course, "beeP" mostly just redistribute data services to traders like everyone else, and that is completely fine as long as THERE IS DATA.

As a former "techy" I would expect some reasonable interruptions in data services from time to time with imminent / immediate "Trader's finest" response to any problems with data - no data service is 100%, not 100% of a time, lets go and fix it!

And trading is only as good as the data trading decisions are based on.

Now here is a problem:
I've been using "beep-beep" scanning software for ages, in spite of opinion of some technical reps from "beep" that this is "outdated technology" and needs to be re-written in "hot" C# AND JAVA (at the same time) using .Net framework. ( If you wonder where I got such smart/catchy words from - just go to tech book store and read titles on "programming" bookshelf - that is where Hiring Managers getting "job requirements" from)

That application, for those not familiar with, conveniently combines fundamental data available for customer defined scans with sufficient enough charting and watchlists.
It cost $20 for "general "beep" population" and is a "free" ( perk ) for "top" customers ( those who trade A LOT or have a lot... - well, you figured - it is NOT "free" - everybody pays one way or another)

But wait! Few months ago short interest data mysteriously disappeared from the set of fundamental data and since a lot of scans I ( and ANY skilled technician ) use have it as one of the conditions - scans stopped working correctly. After number of calls and emails which all produced the very same answer by "beep"'s differently ranked officials, which was: "We are having slight temporary problems which are currently under investigation, it will be fixed shortly", finally case cracked open.
Due to my persistence someone admitted that "current data provider is not supplying that data anymore".
Understood, you cannot get what you want from one "guy" - you buy it from another one.
Not that simple - "It COSTS money". WOW - I thought something was free. Of course, I just been sarcastic, it is given that "data costs money" - this is how money is made by data provider and, in turn, indirectly by "beep" because customers are WITH "beep" because, partially, of DATA SERVICES "beep" passes on to them!
No ETA was given on WHEN (IF EVER) that orphan short interest column will have data.

I ate it and removed short interest from all scans hoping that it will be the last of the problems I have to deal with for NO GOOD REASON.

Well, was I wrong... now VOLUME IS MISSING.
YES, you heard me right - VOLUME is missing as well as closing prices for "some of NASDAQ" stocks and NONE heard about it at "beep" until I called and did so about 30 thousand times together with thousands of other "happy" customers, but sounds like every caller was "the only one to complain and they never ever heard about that problem until..." - well you know the rest.
Oh, by the way - according to "beep"'s officials it "just started to happen", well - according to MY observations and inability to use otherwise quite useful application - it has been going on for few months now.

As an "top" customer of "beep" I do not pay for "scanning software" ( at least - directly), but I would love to hear if customers who pays about $20 per month have been offered reimbursement for malfunctioning due to "data problem" software which "was not guaranteed" of course - but it really should work if it is a part of the deal, should it?

In case if you, my readers were wondering why I am not posting as much ideas as before ( and, not to complain, but...why I am not making as much money as before) - this post is an answer.

Now I have to do "disclaimer":
"All written in this article could be my hallucination, it might all be fiction, no companies' names mentioned in this post should ever be associated with real "beep+beeP" or "beep" or "beep" as all names used in this post are fictional and random and accidental match with real names in the real corporate world is unintentional and coincidental. Any attempt by anyone to presume that "BEEP" is "beep" is deemed to be harmful to the author of this post and to "beep" corp. and will be punished by applicable laws made by corporations for their own good. Any attempt by the customers, affected by events described in this article, not to bend over, but complain instead - will be met with utmost corporate bureaucratic football - we are just customers, right?

Oh.. and the only reason why this post is been written is that "Hold time is greater than 7 minutes" most of the time, which works great when you have to place a trade.


I think corporations have to hire more Project Management Office professionals - the single lonely coder cannot do his job properly with only 10 managers - 20 is a good number. Problem solved...bonus divided...coder fired...