John Hoag thought he had dodged the botched initial public offering of Facebook stock when he canceled his order last week for 100 of the company’s shares. This week, Mr. Hoag, 63, a property manager in Tennessee, learned from his Scottrade broker that he was being charged $3,805 for the shares anyway, plus a commission fee.
When he made a complaint, he was told by e-mail that he would have to go through the compliance office, which typically takes seven to 10 days to respond. These are the days of the runaround for thousands of ordinary investors who were snagged when the much ballyhooed initial offering had problems on Friday.
By Nasdaq’s own admission, 30 million Facebook shares were executed improperly because of technical flaws on the exchange, the largest such problem the exchange has experienced. On a normal day, most of the trading would be done by big financial institutions and trading firms, but on Friday an unusually large proportion of the trading was done by ordinary investors, hungry for riches from the biggest Internet initial offering ever, through brokers like Scottrade, Charles Schwab and Fidelity.
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