Investment firms face client fury over tech issues in one of the most stressful market weeks in recent history

For the third time in just over a week, some clients have had problems accessing their investment accounts – and some of those locked out investors have shared their fury on Twitter.

Fidelity Investments, TD Ameritrade AMTD,
and Vanguard were responding to customers on the social media site Friday morning. Complaints were about lack of access to their online accounts, as well as problems with trading investments. Others said they couldn’t see their account balances.

The technical difficulties come just days after financial firms such as Fidelity, TD Ameritrade and Charles Schwab encountered similar issues, and just over a week after Fidelity customers were stressed that their 401(k) plans (k) had no money in them (it was a glitch, the company says).

Lack of access and trading issues also come in a stressful week for investors. The Dow Jones Industrial Average DJIA,
was down 3.7% on Friday, and the S&P 500 SPX,
was down 3.4%. The Nasdaq COMP composite index,
fell 2.8%. All three benchmark equity indices are close to correction territory, which is when an investment falls 10% to 20% from a recent high.

To see: Coronavirus fears hit the stock market – is it the same for your retirement?

Vanguard is experiencing “above-normal phone and web traffic given the sharp decline in global equity markets,” a spokeswoman said. The company experienced a two-minute web outage earlier in the morning, and customers reported slow response times to log in. “We are working to fix reported connectivity issues and thank customers for their patience at this time,” she said.

TD Ameritrade said customer trades were and are being processed as usual, but the company has experienced slow reporting of trade confirmations due to “heavy trading volumes,” a spokeswoman said. “The problem was resolved.” A Fidelity spokesperson said the company had a minor issue lasting a few minutes and affecting a small number of businesses, but has been resolved.

The coronavirus is partly responsible for deep stock market declines as investors worry about the impact the spread of the disease will have on global supply chains and the economy.

Fidelity was responding to customers saying the site ran into technical issues early in the morning, but the platforms were working fine now. TD Ameritrade said mobile app updates might be to blame and restart or update the service.