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Author Topic: AltoIRA == Bozos

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AltoIRA == Bozos
OP: July 15, 2021, 05:03:50 PM
Today I make it official.  I officially declare the folks at Alto to be "bozos".  I don't do this lightly.  I gave them several chances. They failed every time.

1. They fail at customer service.  Their web site shows NO phone number for customer service.  You have to email them.  Their customer service person "Patti" misunderstands the issue, and sends dismissive replies, and there is no evidence that they ever look into anything.

2. They fail at accounting.  From the first day that they said my account had transferred, the balance shown by Alto was about $1,000 lower than the balance shown by LendingClub.  I notified them 6/28, including screen captures of both LC and AltoIRA showing the mismatched numbers.  Patti was dismissive, claiming that in a few days cash would transfer from Strata and everything would be ok.  I never had any cash sitting at Strata so this seemed unlikely.  Now, two weeks later, there is still a >$1,000 discrepancy between the account value shown by LC vs Alto.  I'm calm, as the money is at LC, and surely eventually Alto will figure out how to display the right number.  It can't be very difficult.  They get daily account data from LendingClub, and all they have to do is display those numbers they are handed, yet they fail.  I want to be clear about this: I don't mind an accounting error.  It happens from time to time.  However, if you have your company set up so that when I take my time to report and explain a problem to you, you are dismissive and don't even look into the problem, then you are a bozo.

3. They fail at security.  They asked all customers to do a password reset recently.  I have no problem with that.  They sent email saying I would soon receive an email from Eric Satz telling me how to reset my password, but get this... The email said I would know the 2nd email was official because they would include a video of Eric Satz in the email!   
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"Additionally, so you know it is us, this email will contain a video message from our CEO, Eric Satz."
This indicates a very basic misunderstanding of computer security, because an included video does not authenticate an email message. 

I wrote to them, explaining this, trying to educate them, but they were dismissive, telling me that nothing is perfect, and suggesting that I could send them a message asking if the email was authentic, and they would respond.  This tells me they are simply clueless.

A few days later, the email from Eric Satz arrived.  As advertised, it contains a video of Eric.  Well, I can't say for sure that is Eric, as I have never seen him before, but it is at least a talking head that claims to be Eric.  At the end of the video he gives out a customer service phone number!  Glory be.  A  phone number!  877-673-1557  There is still no phone # shown on their web site. 


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AltoIRA == Bozos
#1: July 15, 2021, 06:05:17 PM
I got an email response from Alto today...

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You are correct sir, at this time our system does not automatically update. We will have a system in the future where it will be updated, but at this time, the numbers do not match due to it not being updated since June 3rd.

That explains why Alto's numbers have not changed, but it does not explain why they're wrong by more than $1,000.  The number Alto displays was wrong for June 3rd as well as being wrong for now.

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I cannot update on our end at this time, but you have the ability to manually update it. If you click on the pencil icon next to your amount on the dashboard, you can put in the amount that you are seeing at LendingClub. Overall though, the amount you see at LendingClub is correct.  We are hoping to make a plan with LendingClub where these amounts will be updated for you on a regular basis, but if you would like it done now, you can follow those directions above.

So it appears Alto hasn't written software to transfer numbers from LC periodically.  This makes the numbers Alto displays essentially worthless.
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r
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AltoIRA == Bozos
#2: July 16, 2021, 08:55:36 AM
That is wild
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AltoIRA == Bozos
#3: October 13, 2021, 11:11:14 PM
It gets wilder.

My LC IRA is done.  All the (non written off) loans are paid.

I transferred the last of the funds from LC to Alto.  Then I had TDAmeritrade send a request to Alto to pull the last bit of cash out of Alto to my TDAmeritrade IRA.

I made that request on 9/28.  TDAmeritrade sent the request letter to Alto the next day.  Then on 10/12, I asked Alto what was going on.  They  said they hadn't heard from TDA.  Checking with TDA, they claimed the letter had been sent, but they overnighted it again to Alto. 

Then I sent a message to Alto telling them what I just heard from TDA.

Then... I got a message from Alto saying ...
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Thank you for reaching out! I just confirmed with our Financial Operations team that the check has been processed and currently has an expected delivery date of October 25, 2021. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

What this means is that they've now admitted that they had the paperwork for the last 2 weeks, during which time they sent me and the TDAmeritrade folks on a wild goose chase tracking it down.  But it's worse than that...  A completely ordinary first class mail takes 4-5 days to go across the country, so there is no reason in hell that a check that has already been cut would have an expected delivery date two weeks in the future, unless they are intentionally holding it. 

Looks to me like Alto is intentionally delaying payments.  In this case, they've added 1 month of delay.

Alto must be aging payments intentionally.  Only reason I can think for doing this is to help their own cash flow (ie "keep the lights on").  But client funds are supposed to be segregated, so that doesn't make much sense, unless they aren't really segregated.

Bozos.  Their web now says my account has $2400 more than it should have.  That will sit there forever, or until they figure it out, whichever comes first.

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AltoIRA == Bozos
#4: October 14, 2021, 03:30:07 PM
Here's their explanation and non-apology for delaying my funds 1 month. 
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Date: Thu, 14 Oct 2021 09:25:08
Hi xxxxxxxxxxx,

Thank you for following up and I sincerely apologize for the delay. Once the request has gone through a lengthy review process by our compliance team. It is then submitted by our Financial Operations team to our Bank to be issued. Our bank then provides us with an estimated delivery date. Again, this is an estimated time frame, I believe your custodian should be expecting the check very soon. Please let me know if you need any additional information.

Best,

xxxxx xxxxxxx
Client Experience Team

The "lengthy review process" is of course simply the checking of a few check boxes.  The submission "by our Financial Operations team to our bank" means a person types in a few things on a web site, to tell the bank to issue a check.  Routine stuff.

Bozos.
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