Would you use an investment broker who censors your inbound email?

Submitted by Norm Roulet on Sun, 06/11/2006 - 11:03.

I was astounded to receive the following email today from investment brokerage firm Raymond James in response to a message I sent one of their brokers...

Your email has been detected by an automated system at Raymond James as possibly
containing inappropriate wording and/or phrases. This system has deemed your email
to be inappropriate for business communication; therefore it will not be delivered
to the intended recipient as per the Raymond James corporate email policy.

If you wish to resend the message, please review it for any questionable wording to
be sure it isn't rejected again. If you feel you have received this message in
error, please contact (withheld)@RaymondJames.com. Please do not include the
original message, as it may also be rejected.

Read more... I was actually contacting a broker at Raymond James because I rent an apartment from him and I determined there are serious lead hazards in the property - as I don't have a different email address for the broker, I sent a personal message to the broker's office email, as I always do to communicate with this landlord. He probably shouldn't use his office email for personal business communications, but that does not excuse Raymond James from obstructing their business as usual, especially as the investment world is very mature, time-critical, and supercharged.  I wonder who wants to do business with grown adults who need their IT department to filter their messages for inappropriate content - if a customer wants to communicate harshly with a broker, the customer is always right.

I'm curious if anyone thinks it is good for corporations to censor adult employees' email from customers (or anyone else) for inappropriate content?





This is a great insight into corporate robotic baby sitting.  I will stay away from Raymond.
Now what if you had sent them a certified letter, U know, one which they had to sign for.  Would they put the letter in an x-ray digester to see if there was any "inappropriate words", and if so send it back to you? 

Clearly that wouldn't work in the legal world.


So I think Raymond is risking their business on this crackpot scheme.   A few missed emails from their clients and they'll be sued. 


You can copy the email on paper and send it certified to them.  Believe me, they will read it then. 

if a tree fell in the forest...

This harks back to the simplistic question, applied to business ethics: If a tree fell in the forest, and Raymond James said the sound never reached his corporate ear, then would he be liable for anything at all, even if probed by someone with the opportunistic zeal of Eliot Spitzer?

Let's see what content is inappropriate

Either they don't understand technology, and have set their filters wrong, or they understand technology, and have set their filters wrong... I'll guess the second case, in which case they have very strange management practices. In any case, I can think of no excuse for filtering out current or perspective customers for inappropriate content, and will explore what are the words Raymond James finds unsuitable...Do you think they have filters for multiple languages? Merde!

mais oui!

That's the ticket. My guess is that RJ is running scared. From what I've seen on other "compliance" counts, they're overreacting and over-complying, and that's probably the case here, too. Did your email have any words like--



invest or investment





you cheated me, you rotter







mutual fund B shares


I think you get my drift, even though I just pulled those out of thin air, or somewhere. There are lists of taboo words for SEC and NASD affilitates, and your email probably contained more than its share of those.

Best laugh of the day...

Tim - that is probably true - I was actually just trying to let my landlord know that I tested his garage and it is a toxic lead waste site that has probably poisoned more than just the current tenants... I used a basic explative to get the point across... perhaps the email robot doesn't like harsh language... I didn't threated legal action against the landlord or anything like that (tenants have no protections or recourse against landlords that poison their tenants)

Wonder if brokers are filtering email more or less now

I just saw this pop up on the recent hits list on realneo and thought I'd revisit... and I thought, three years later, with the economy down and many people having reasons to be furious with brokers... has RJ revised this policy... or is IT still used there to protect their people from reality?

Disrupt IT