This week StockCharts.com removed OHLC data from gold, U.S. Dollar Index, and other commodity charts due to what they claim to be data integrity issues. The full explanation for the change can be found in a letter from their president on the web site. I wrote a response in the comments section below the letter. However, since the comments are moderated, and my response is unfavorable to their public image, I doubt the moderator will allow my comments to go live.
But I have a blog of my own for publishing thoughts, and so here is my response to Chip Anderson's letter:
Despite the claims of inaccurate data, the commodity charts you provided were quite useful, and your site is the only charting site containing the annotation features needed to make useful notes on those charts. While we respect your quest for accuracy, many of us find it hard to escape the conclusion that stockcharts.com simply does not want to pay for a data feed. It is hard to believe that a substitute service could not readily be found given that many other sites provide continuous contract candlesticks charts. Besides, professional traders always double-check their data and compare services. We can live with data inaccuracies, but many of us find it difficult to live without the ability to properly annotate our commodity charts.
Furthermore, the service was pulled without warning. Those of us who had developed annotated charts over months and even years had no time to save work before the OHLC data vanished. Even worse, you ran a "spring special," inducing hundreds of traders to renew their subscriptions just before pulling the rug from under a widely-used feature.
If you wanted us to believe you were working in our best interests, you should have 1) provided ample warning for the feature removal or 2) found a substitute data feed BEFORE having to remove the service; 3) not tricked subscribers into pre-paying for more time just before removing a key feature.
Your business has taken a big step in the wrong direction. Subscribers feel frustration and betrayal by this sudden change, and I believe the vast majority of us would insist that your restore OHLC data to your commodity charts immediately by whatever means necessary.
I strongly encourage all StockChart.com subscribers to express their views on this topic here and directly to StockCharts.com. I personally have sent them several notes and will not be renewing my subscription (thankfully, I did not bite on the spring special) without a restoration of a service for which I pre-paid.