Below is a chronicle of what happened:
2015-02-06 - I got to know the broker through fxstreet.com (I don’t know why a reputable website such as fxstreet.com would put this broker on their site, but I noticed that fxstreet.com no longer recommend this broker any more), and was attracted by its seemingly extremely tight spread of 0.3-0.5 pips. So I registered with them, and they gave me USD30 as a “test fund” on the account (note that you will never be able to withdraw this test fund or any profit from it).
2015-02-13 - after a few days’ test, I thoughts the trades were fairly executed at tight spread, and transferred USD5000 to them. They gave me a so-call bonus of USD2500 (fund you will never be able to withdraw, so effectively to further increase your leverage).
2015-02-19 - I deposited another USD5000
2015-02-24 – I deposited a third USD5000. So far my total deposit reached USD15,000. On the same day, I experienced a strange slippage of a trade: when I clicked on the sell button, the trade was executed 4 pips below market price. I was very surprised and asked my relationship manager Olga Laudama. Her response was this “at that time the market ran into low liquidity due to high volatility, as a result market execution was done by a different price to fill the order. Basically that also means that market execution can’t guarantee the price.”
2015-02-25 - Alarmed by this incident, I tried to execute another trade as a test — again, 4pips slippage for no reason. The price my trade was executed was not shown on the price chart at all as if it didn’t happen. I realized this is a way for them to make money – steal a few pips on some of the trades here and there. So I requested to withdraw my fund, but my withdrawal request was denied immediately!! This got me really nervous… In addition, I found out that they charge over 4% bank wire fee on all withdrawals! I needed to pay over USD700 for returning my balance of around USD18,532 (cash, excluding their USD2,500). So I put in a request to withdraw through Skill with a lower charge rate.
2015-02-25 - this is the best part of it: the moment they saw that I wanted to pull my money out, they charged me a rollover charge of USD497.11. Before this, the rollover charge was less than USD1 on my trades. When I called their helpline, the man on the other end told me that they do charge client according to “liquidity market conditions”, and the interest rate they charge is 20-30%, not on the capital amount, but on the notional amount of the trade. So If I use a 200x leverage, and my margin is USD1000, they will charge me USD111 to USD167 per day. I couldn’t believe what I heard, and I just asked them to return on my fund back.
2015-02-26 - as if they felt that they had been too nice to me, the next day, they charge me another rollover charge of USD2,240.95, again, by the same logic of “market conditions”. I strongly protested to my relationship manager, and she said she would investigate and revert.
2015-03-05 - My relationship manager told me that there was a technical problem, and some of the rollover charge has been returned to my. I checked my account, two “error” lines appear in the transactions page at USD248.55 and USD1369.03. Well at least I got 50% of my money back. So I pressed on the fund withdrawal request again.
2015-03-10 - My withdrawal request has been pending for over two weeks now since I first requested. My relationship manager wrote to me that they would like to keep me as their client, and offered 1) to return 2 pips to me whenever there is a 4 pips slippage again, and 2) to return 50% of roller charge of what is a “normal charge”. I couldn’t believe that she was audacious enough to offer to embezzle my fund less to keep me. So I asked her to process my withdrawal request asap.
2015 -03-12 - the story gets exciting by the day – they reverted the 50% rollover error and charged me again for USD1,617.58. I looked at the transaction page, it was shown as “OTHER”. Over the next few days, I kept calling their helpline and emailing Olga. Interestingly, Olga went on sick leave, and helpline told me that my withdrawal request couldn’t be processed due to all sorts of reasons with no ETA.
2015-03-19 - this is a day of great relief, as finally they wired EUR5,000 back to my bank account. Note that it was not done through Skill, but through bank wire so that they can squeeze the last bit of my money with their excessive wire fee.
2015-03-26 - they wired me the second transfer of EUR5,000
2015-04-01 - they wired me the last transfer of EUR4,071. At an exchange rate of 1.08, I was returned roughly USD15,196, barely my original deposit of USD15,000. When I wrote to Olga about the rest of my money, she never replied.
I have uploaded all documented evidence to this website so that anyone could feel free to download for details of the email exchange and transaction records.