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eToro: Stellar company or a scam? CryptoTapas enquires

It’s either a love or hate relation, there is no middle ground, when it comes to eToro. If you read the reviews from Broker Chooser it’s an absolute love affair while Trust Pilot portrays a different story.

Google search as of Sep 1, 2019, Broker Chooser gives eToro 4.5 out of 5 stars. That’s a stellar rating in our opinion.

eToro-Review

Customer reviews on Trustpilot show a measly 3.8 out of 10 stars!

eToro-Review-02

And then the reviews on eToro’s platform paints a different picture.

Who do you trust? 

We are discussing eToro because it offers Crypto Trading with the ability to copy other successful traders.  This sounds like an amazing idea, and it is on paper, but how good is it in reality?

CryptoTapas goes straight to the company to find out.

CryptoTapas: Why are the fees higher on eToro to trade cryptocurrencies compared to other platforms like Binance (.1%)| Bittrex (.25%)| Cex.io (.25%) | KuCoin(.1%)? What features justify the higher fees?

eToro: eToro USA aims to be the easiest, most trusted fiat-to-crypto platform in the U.S. with unique social features not available on any other platform. Our fees are transparent and in-line with, and at times lower than, similar U.S. competitors that offer a “buy at this price” service, which is different from order book platforms that operate on maker-taker spreads.



CryptoTapas: There is some outrage about the amount of time it takes to withdraw the funds from eToro. Is it true that eToro asks for ‘reason for withdrawal’?  If you do, why?  It is investors’ own money. Can you please elaborate the reasons that contribute to the delays?

eToro: We allow users in good standing to withdraw their funds off the platform at any point. For some users, we credit users’ eToro accounts ahead of their deposits reaching our bank account so they don’t have to miss out on trades. When that happens, we have to wait until the funds are transferred before the user can withdraw.

As we grow in the U.S. market, we are exploring ways to provide the best trading experience for our customers, while mitigating risk for eToro. Part of this is exploring how to shorten the hold time before customers are able to withdraw. Currently, all new deposits are subject to a 7 day holding period before they can be withdrawn. After the 7 day period, there is a 3-5 business day withdrawal processing period: this is broken down  to one day for eToro to process the withdrawal and 2-4 days for customer’s banks to process the withdrawal.

CryptoTapas: How fast does your customer care revert back to customer grievances? Most reviews allude to the fact that the customer care does not address the issue head on and seems to provide generic responses, thus wasting customers’ time?  Can you please elaborate on average response time and what could contribute to delays in addressing customers’ queries?

eToro: We have invested time and resources in adding new staff and tools for managing our customer support requests. In the US, over 94% of cases are handled within a few hours with above a 3.1 customer satisfaction score. Since the eToro product is new in the U.S., some customer inquiries require slightly longer to research and accurately handle. The customer service team strives to keep customers informed each step of the way, and educate customers on where to find future answers on their own.

CryptoTapas: Why do you guys charge fees for inactivity? What happens if something unfortunate happens with the customer – is it theoretically possible that eToro will withdraw $10 a month until and even after account has reached negative balance?  (I am copying the email from Trustpilot).

eToro: We do not charge inactivity fees in the U.S.
eToro-inactivity-free

CryptoTapas: There are complaints about how long verification takes, both when opening the account and when trying to withdraw the funds. Can you please elaborate on the reasons that could contribute to these delays?

eToro: As a regulated company, we are required to establish the identity of our users. That said, we have invested significantly in our verification technology and onboarding process such that most accounts are verified immediately if they’ve provided the correct information. We collect documents from our users as needed but are committed to providing same-day ID verification.



CryptoTapas: There were few complaints about eToro closing someone’s position without their consent. Customer representative seems to indicate that this is a technical error on the platform.  Did any such errors take place during 2019 calendar year?   If so, what measures has eToro taken to ensure this doesn’t happen and if it does happen what kind of recourse do the investors have?

eToro:  This has not happened with the US product. As a global trading platform, we are always improving our platform stability and uptime to make sure all of our features work as intended.Reply-from-eToro

CryptoTapas: Is it possible that fees could change after a transaction has been placed? And why are spreads on eToro higher than other platforms?

eToro: Fees on eToro can change based on market fluctuations, so while it is possible for spreads to change after a transaction has been placed, the transaction would honor the spreads at the time the trade was opened. Our fees are transparent and in-line with, and at times lower than, similar U.S. competitors that offer a “buy at this price” service, which is different from order book platforms that operate on maker-taker spreads.

CryptoTapas: When something goes wrong (for instance, someone uses business account to deposit money into eToro) – instead of sending a warning or notice to the client asking them to resolve the issue – why does eToro resort to closing the account? Are there any specific provisions in the law that REQUIRE eToro to take this step without giving an opportunity to client to take corrective measures?

eToro: If a customer creates a deposit using a business payment method the deposit is sent back to the account it was created with. The user is given the opportunity to redeposit funds from a personal account, but if they refuse to redeposit, the eToro account may be closed. That said, support for business accounts is on our roadmap.

eToro-Customer-ServiceCryptoTapas: Looks like you may have to introduce tier system for withdrawal, are there specific issues that prevent you from introducing a tiered fees approach? It is counterintuitive that $50 and $50000 will cost the same money to withdraw?

eToro: In the United States there are no withdrawal fees, so users do not have to pay any amount to initiate a withdrawal.

eToro-withdrawal

CryptoTapas: What exchange rate source do you use when someone deposits or withdraws money?

eToro: In the US, all deposits and withdrawals are created from USD to USD. As such, there is no third party exchange rate source affecting the amount of funds going to and from your bank account. If you deposit $100 from your bank account to eToro, you have $100 on eToro to trade with.

eToro-Deposits-High Fee

CryptoTapas: If someone buys crypto on your platform that has a staking feature (for instance, NEO which gives GAS to its holders), does eToro deposit this into investors’ account?

eToro: We do not offer staking at this time.



CryptoTapas: Is there a stop loss provision for crypto trades on eToro?

eToro: Yes, users can currently set stop orders on eToro. We are working on making this feature more intuitive to customers.

CryptoTapas: What is your average up time for eToro platform? There were several complaints about network issues with eToro.

eToro: As with any online service, there are periodic issues. However, we have sufficient uptime to support a trading platform that cleared $1T in global trades last year.

CryptoTapas: How do you select the ‘Pro traders’ for others to copy? Can anyone become a pro-trader or is there a criteria?

eToro: Our Popular Investor program is invite-only once we vet them as potential candidates. However, any user is free to copy any other user on the global platform. We will be rolling out this feature to the US shortly.

CryptoTapas: Customers feel that eToro sends too many promotional emails. What is your comment? Is this because you offer many products and have something to share about each of these products? If so, how do you balance keeping customers in the know without inundating them with too many emails?

eToro: We aim to send out educational content and daily market updates along with mandatory email notices to do with trade confirmations, deposits, and so on. Given how fast markets can move, we’re sharing our proprietary research and commentary with our users at no cost so that they can make informed decisions. That said, users always have the ability to opt out, we respect that right.

CryptoTapas: To eToro’s credit, the company has increased its efforts to reach out to unhappy customers.   On Trust Pilot, you can see eToro’s team responding to the reviews (both positive and negative).

eToro-Scam-no-trust

Source: Trustpilot

There you have it folks, direct response from eToro itself. Probably, this review from Gabriel Moreti on Trustpilot summarizes the vast discrepancies in the reviews from various sources.
eToro-You-decide



Thank you for reading this article.

Cover Image source:
"Lupe über dem Etoro-Logo auf dem Bildschirm"by marcoverch is licensed under CC BY 2.0

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About the author

RK Reddy holds two Masters degrees, one in Accounting and another in Business Administration with over 15 years of experience in the financial services industry.

Read more about the author here.



 

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