Charged completely different share price when buying

I signed up to Freetrade recently and I’ve really enjoyed it so far, however, the more I buy shares the more I question the accuracy of the price displayed on the app.

Take today (14/04/20) as an example. At approx. 3.40pm today, the share price for PZ Cussons / PZC was displayed at £1.85, I attempted to buy 10 shares at that price (entering £18.55 at first and then 10p more at each attempt) but it got rejected multiple times until finally selling at £1.88 per share. The price remained displayed at £1.85 throughout and afterwards. The price never reached £1.88 even though that is the price I got the shares for. The same thing happened with my purchases of Vivo Energy / VVO (paying 3p more per share than displayed before and after the purchase) and ContourGlobal / GLO (paying 6p more per share than displayed before and after the purchase).

How on earth can this be allowed to happen? Surely the prices must be “live” and accurate to what is being displayed on the app? On all occasions, I double checked Google Finance at the time and the price matched what was being displayed so why, on 3 separate occasions, have I ended up paying significantly more per share??

If anyone can shed some light on this that would be great. If someone from Freetrade could investigate that would be even better.

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This is the bid/ask spread.

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There’s not really such thing as a ‘live’ price for a stock. No matter where you see it, the price you see is normally* an average of some kind. As Han says, there’s a bid/ask spread when you try to buy or sell.

I’ve added a link below to a Freetrade staff member explaining this in a little more detail.

*I gather some brokers (HL, I think?) can give you a guaranteed quote when you buy (ie, you submit order, they show price, you have a small window to confirm that yes you want to complete the trade), but you’re paying for the privilege because you’re paying them for using the platform and you’re paying them for carrying out the trade. So same trade on Freetrade even at a slightly higher share price would probably still overall be cheaper anyway.

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At the very bottom of the page it also shows the time the price last updated for that stock

Normally a maximum of about 5-15 mins delay

I can see why you’re annoyed, and something should and hopefully eventually will be done with locking in a guaranteed price for a short amount of time, but I wouldn’t say in this instance you’ve been charged significantly more either… 1.85 > 1.88 is 1.62% more.

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A max price per share option would help, so if its over your specified price it gets rejected. The current system is frustrating because lets face it the price is always higher, never lower than displayed


A max price per share option would help

a thousand times this

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It’s not always higher, as I have managed to purchases shares at a lower price than expected in the past (and also when selling it can be lower), but I definitely agree that you should be able to set a ceiling if you wish. A few of my holdings are in ‘odd’ numbers because I aimed to buy n, but ended up getting n-1 because of price movements.

While I’m not complaining too much, in that the movement has never been enough to make me regret the purchases, I would’ve preferred it if my order had been rejected with a reason given, allowing me the choice to up my budget a bit to get all n shares I aimed for instead of n-1.

I sold some £1k shares yesterday and received about £6 more than quoted. I then sold 3 lots of other shares and received about £5 less overall. What I do know is that even if I had “lost” £6 or £7 in selling around £5k worth of stocks I am significantly better off than using HL which would have charged me , or rather ripped me off, at £12 a go - so £60!

In the long term I expect freetrade will either allow you to have a margin of trade or one day have a 15 second window to accept an offer like HL. These things take time.

At the moment with the markets all crazy the bid spread makes the average quote on freetrade quite a bit out.


There needs to be a price guarantee whatever happens, otherwise people like me will continue to get frustrated. I know what you mean but when it’s higher every single time it all adds up!!

I’m with you, I don’t regret my purchases and it’s certainly not a complaint… yet. I’m just very frustrated by it, I haven’t experienced a lower priced purchase thus far, I’m almost always paying more than the displayed price. In fact, same thing happened yesterday - the stock was displayed at 2.11 and my purchase went through at £2.18 but the price was never displayed at £2.18 and closed for the week at £2.15. Soooo bloody frustrating!!!

I think that’s what it will take to remove this frustration for good. Something like a guaranteed ceiling or a 15 second window will make things much fairer in my eyes. I experienced the same frustrations on Friday, not one of my purchased stocks came in at the displayed price or lower. I made more for each and every one of them #frustrated

This should be displayed at the top surely? At least until they have a price guarantee type feature.

The main point here is that using Freetrade you are still getting the BEST price available at the time! If you see a different price before trading that’s a data issue and not an execution issue or charge. I’ve checked the LSE bid / ask whenever trading and it’s never outside of this. When trading smaller stocks the bid / ask is wider due to liquidity and is the same with all brokers.


Actually that’s not the main point I’m making at all. I’m not complaining about not getting the best price, the execution or anything else. As a consumer of the data and a customer / investor I, along with others, am frustrated by the constant difference in the price I pay for my investments. I have yet to pay a price that is equal or lower than the one displayed on the app (that is a fact). If there was a price guarantee feature or a 15-20 second window then this would solve the frustration users are experiencing. I experienced this as recently as yesterday, yet again, all 40 shares were purchased at a higher price than displayed and the shares in question never reached the purchase price and closed well under the price. That’s not the customer experience I am looking for, there is definitely room for improvement and I have no doubt Freetrade will address this eventually.

So if the information and data we are provided on the app shows the bid/ask spread etc then at least as investors (new or experienced) we have a better experience and improved confidence in our investment purchases. That’s all I’m saying.

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What were the shares and time exactly I can check the bid and ask at the time :slight_smile:

I mentioned it’s a data feed issue and would be resolved with live data and updates. That’s the only issue here. I guess you could pay for L2 data from another provider, that would ease your concerns about FT but it will show the price you’re paying was the offer or better at the time. I can assure you every time I trade the price is the best price available, and I check the bid ask on my Bloomberg terminal.

I do agree the more data the better and that would resolve some of these concerns.

The only issue with a 15 second price confirm window is the fact that it’s almost unique to the UK market, FT have significant plans to open up trading in many different markets (UK, US and Europe just to start) and they don’t want all markets to be different, rather a smooth, easy process regardless of the market, be it UK, US or any of the others FT eventually take over :wink:

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Bang on. Totally agree.

Yup, that’s all I’m saying…

As you and I have both suggested, I’d prefer this to be the status quo on Freetrade. Other than this issue I’m really enjoying the platform. Point taken re: 15 second window, I didn’t realise it differs from other markets.

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Limit Orders are in testing already.

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