Why ICICI Direct is not a good idea for Intra-day or Margin Trading?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

In the life of a trader, there are only two types of days - great and worse; there's nothing in between that can qualify for being a mediocre one. I just experienced something worse than a worse day - totally down in the dumps; thanks to ICICI Direct for making my life so miserable. Interestingly, ICICI Direct was awarded the Most Preferred Financial Advisory Service in the CNBC Awaaz Consumer Awards 2007; this going to a brokerage firm that sucks in margin calls.

Anyways, the latest episode with ICICI Direct is that during peak trading hours, the site is exceptionally slow which means you have to go through the process of placing an order to confirming the same a number of times before getting it done by when the price has changed and it makes no sense at all. This is still OK. But what happened today cannot just be forgiven. The damn site was down for a good 9 hours starting from 14:00 hrs. Just when I placed a margin order and before I could convert it to delivery the site went down. Calls to their customer service resulted in an automated message - "Due to an unexceptionally high number of calls queued, we'll not be able to connect you. Please try again later." It was obvious; there were hundred others trying to square off their positions profitably.

I was relaxed later that evening to know that my position would have got squared off automatically at a higher price, but that was not meant to be. The jokers at ICICI took the least price when the stock was falling momentarily and squared off resulting in a huge loss. The stock in question was MRPL. Their customer care representatives were kind enough to tell me that they were working hard on improving the site and that I should have read the Terms and Conditions carefully while signing up for the demat account which apparently states that they are not liable for damages caused by technical fault. What a nice way of covering your asses!

So, my advice is if you are contemplating of opening a e-brokerage account, then go in for something else.