OptionsHouse Review w. 500+ User Reviews

by David Ning · 552 comments

OptionsHouse, OptionsThis and OptionsThat. So many options brokerage houses which means confusing choices for us all. Other than having OptionsHouse promotion codes (see below for them), how does this broker get you to remember them? How about $4.95 per stock trade to start?

For a limited time, OptionsHouse is offering new customers 90 free commission trades in the first 90 days after you fund your account with a minimum of $5,000. Even if they were all stock trades at $4.95, it’s still $445.50 for free. This is only available through the special link below so don’t use another other one on the page:

Click Here to Sign up for an OptionsHouse Account and type in the promotion code FREE90 to be eligible.

There are also other Optionshouse Promotions below, so check it out after you read the review.

Fees Come First

That’s not a typo. Over at OptionsHouse, stock trades are just $4.95 no matter what. When a company can make money with rates like this, it really makes you wonder how much money other premium stock brokers are making off of us. Recently, OptionsHouse updated its options commission structure. The trades are now $4.95 + $0.50 per contract. If you are one of those people who just want to buy yourself some protection, you are very happy with this change.

Other Fees?

Here’s some of the other fees of the options broker.
optionshouse rate and fees
Exactly what I like to see. No maintenance fees, no minimum trade requirements, and if I ever want help, broker-assisted trades are still just $4.95.

OptionsHouse Interface

optionshouse screen
Upon looking into the account, I found that the interface is very much like the professional trading platforms of the higher end brokers for professional traders. Within the main screen, you can see an account summary, quote look up, order statuses, positions, and detailed information on particular securities.

Webinars and Seminars

I’ve begun to really love the education that these brokers provide and OptionsHouse is no exception. It’s obvious that the company’s expertise is in options trading because all the webinars are concentrated in that area but I expect it to expand to stock trading and other subjects in the future.

Don’t Underestimate Them

While many of you may not have heard about this brokerage firm, they seem to have their act together. In fact, Barron’s Online Broker Survey ranked them highly in trade experience, beating out the likes of thinkorswim, optionsXpress, E*Trade and Charles Schwab.

Conclusion

optionshouse transfer feesOptionsHouse really gets my blood flowing because of its extremely low trading fees. Is it SIPC insured? Check. Is there good word out there? Another check. Changing brokers is really a hassle though, but like others, they are willing to reimburse me for up to $100, which is enough to move from pretty much any institution. Hmm… decisions decisions decisions. As for you, there’s really no right answer, but I’d say that $3.95 stock trades is reason enough for you to at least give it a test run.

Click Here to Sign Up for an OptionsHouse Account

OptionsHouse Promotion Code

Here are the current promotions for this broker. When you sign up, type in the promo codes as shown below.

Resources:

Who is OptionsHouse Anyway?

To be honest, one of the first reaction I had when someone told me about OptionsHouse was: “Who?” I then went to do a little research and here’s what I found out:

OptionsHouse is really OptionsHouse, LLC and is owned by PEAK6 Investments, L.P. The company’s headquarters is in Chicago, the home of the Chicago Board of Trade. The parent company have been in the options and derivative trading business for years, and is actually one of Chicago’s 101 best and brightest companies to work for.

Before you take the plunge though, make sure you read up on the issues other people are having before you sign up with them. A few love OptionsHouse, while other reviewers don’t. Take your whole test drive to get a realistic feel for how the broker will work for you, but take note of your peer’s experiences first.

Money Saving Tip: An incredibly effective way to save more is to reduce your monthly Internet and TV costs. Click here for the current AT&T DSL and U-VERSE promotion codes and promos and see if you can save more money every month from now on.

{ 552 comments… read them below or add one }

Saleem February 12, 2014 at 10:45 pm

Hi,

I have read a lot of this thread because I was looking for cheaper trading rates. Currently I am with OptionsXpress and have been with them for several years. OptionsXpress charge me $6.95 per trade, but I know Options House charge $4.75 per trade, but reading the thread I think I will stick with OptionsXpress to avoid any problems. At least with OptionsXpress I have never had any problems with regard to customer service, their platform is very user friendly, research and education is very good, trade execution is fast. Overall I have been very happy with them. I managed to get the trading rate down from around $15 per trade to the new value of $6.95, becuase I am an active trader. This is the minimum they will go down to. So, if anyone is looking to change brokers then its worth taking a look at OptionsXpress. I hope OptionsXpress looks at this positive comment from me, and maybe they will reduce my rate down further LOL :)

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Parminder Kalra February 21, 2014 at 1:29 pm

Frankly, I dont like Optionhouse for stock trading. Yesterday, I ordered stocks for ONTX at 8.28 but they did not fill up my order and did not give me the reason or any email notification for cancelling my order. Today I had to buy ONTX stocks at 8.96 instead of 8.28.

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James February 23, 2014 at 11:59 am

Assuming you put your order in correctly, check the 1 minute chart. Watching a lvel2 screen also can help you adjust your order price. Bet it gapped past you or was moving fast. It happens.

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Molly February 21, 2014 at 3:23 pm

Did you have your order as a limit order? What time did you put your order in? It’s not going to fill if it’s above that price and you have a limit order.

I trade stocks regularly with OH and found when my order doesn’t execute the way I want, it’s really because of something I did incorrectly. OH is able to pull up when you put your order in and what you did exactly, so you can call them up and they will review with you what happened, if it was truly an error on their part or your part and what can be done to avoid those errors.

100% of the time it was something on my end that I did incorrectly, which is like 2-3x in the past year total. I’ve never had a problem with getting filled whether it be a regular equity with good volume or even on over the counter stocks, when I do these.

I’m guessing your order wasn’t “canceled” per se, except when you put your order in, you probably put it in to be for the “Day” and once the “Day” is over, since your order wasn’t filled, it automatically cancels. You do not get notifications for this, rather you do get notifications if your order is filled. They may have a setting that you can set in your account that you can have cancels or orders that weren’t filled sent to your email, but I think you would have to set that yourself, if that option is available. I don’t know if you can do that or not.

I have found repeatedly when the conditions for my order is met, then my trade is automatically executed without fail. I’ve not had any issues, but I am careful about how my orders are placed, as I do some advanced ordering sequences. You should call OH and have them go over that trade with you.

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ronny February 25, 2014 at 7:40 pm

How do I view the level 2 screen in optionshouse? I have a margin account and I am trying to learn trading shares.

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James February 26, 2014 at 11:51 am

OH doesn’t have a Level II screen as it’s not needed for option trading. In my opinion OH is for experienced traders who want to trade options and don’t need hand holding and education. If you are looking to trade stocks I suggest you use a different broker and pay the little extra commission and get all the extra features.

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Kevin March 1, 2014 at 10:58 am

Optionshouse used to be great for ultra cheap rates. Their new rates aren’t that cheap and their margin department is awful. For example, I bought a stock on margin and two days later they issued a margin call despite the fact that the stock was up from where I bought it. I was at greater than 50% equity but still got a margin call. It turns out they changed the margin requirement to 100% on that stock. I called the margin department and they did not help me any. I feel like they moved the goal post on me for allowing me to buy on margin one day and then two days later changing the margin requirements to 100%. This makes no sense and is bad for traders. Since they elevated their rates, the inconvenience of their margin department policies are not worth the hassle. I would rather pay a few more dollars per commission and work with a decent common sense margin department. I am closing my account and moving to another brokerage. Also, their after hours trading is horrible. They only allow after hours trades for on hour instead of the whole after hours session. Avoid the hassle of Optionshouse.

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wachcy smack March 8, 2014 at 8:15 pm

Don’t bother with them. I spent two days trying to wire money to them and kept getting hit with fees when it got bounced back. My bank called them to clarify issues of why the wire wasn’t going thru and was on hold for 32 minutes before someone picked up. The optionhouse person couldn’t hear very well and just hung up. We tried again.. but then I said forget it and walked out of the bank. I will swallow the fees of the bad wires..

IF I can’t get my money in there.. how will I Ever get it out!! And how rude not to call my bank back after hanging up..

DO NOT WASTE UR TIME OR YOUR LIFE. I OPENED a Fidelity account in 5 minutes that afternoon and they forwarded me the 20K without a wire.

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James March 9, 2014 at 4:44 pm

If you bothered to read the instructions on the website you would have found that they take several days to process a wire. Much longer than you would expect. I believe an ACH wire transfer takes 7-10 days. They are playing the float.

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steve fisher March 14, 2014 at 10:46 am

hi
I have been with Options house for some time now I must tell you that their platform is messed up statrs with and ACAT and when you sign up with DRIP ..things go wrong and cost basis get messed upo big time.

I have seen in almost two decades that you pay more commission but it is worth it

Option house platform sucks big time and customer service is full of shot no body whats going on with them …

I will certainly not advice any one to open account with Options house

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Peter March 14, 2014 at 5:52 pm

Are you sober. From your message I don’t think you have ever traded.

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Lets be Frank September 11, 2014 at 5:56 am

A possible representative (which is likely the case attacking communication skill) has given me a prospective on whether I should open an account. Instead of attacking communication skill give the guy a contact for customer service. I will stay at Scottrade for now. But if they take much longer merging the regular broker with their options broker I will be moving on.

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Tim December 27, 2014 at 7:56 pm

Options first account is POWERED by option house and DON’T hold your breath I’ve been with them for 8-10 years and it AIN’T gonna happen, options first will be in KC forever, look at the above website close its identical to Scottrades, I’d use their other platform but it’s about useless for options trailing stop NO SUCH ANIMAL I only do puts and call or I’d use think or swim. There’s not too much out there I’ve researched them all it’s sad.

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James February 16, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Just a satisfied user.
and hey pal, read your post again and tell me you weren’t high as a kite when you wrote it. I stand by my assessment

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Leo March 20, 2014 at 1:47 pm

Hi,

Can people from China also open an account to trade stock and options? If yes, what are needed to apply for an account?

Thanks,

-Leo

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Jason April 22, 2014 at 8:12 pm

If i was you i will not use broker such as optionsHouse, just because they suck, you can try etrade. I can type chinese if you need more help.

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William April 2, 2014 at 3:45 pm

DONT BOTHER WITH THEM! THEY ARE DOING SOME UNDERHANDED STUFF THAT WILL LEAD TO THE FAILURE OF THEIR BUSINESS!
I mailed a $1000 check to the BMO Harris Bank address that was intended to add funds to my new optionsHouse account. Instead, that address was intended for wiring (it was the wrong address). After much digging, calling, and talking to my bank: We found that there is a specific page on the Optionshouse website that says that if you make this mistake, there is a $30 nonrefundeable fee to get the money transferred to my OptionsHouse account. The check was cleared and cashed by BMO Harris Bank 2 months ago on February 2014. My latest contact with optionsHouse said that they have yet to find anything and will keep their eyes peeled for anything in the future. This seemed like they were under the impression the check was still being mailed or processed. I called in telling them that this check was cashed 2 months ago and they said they would look into it. My contact BMO Harris Bank over the phone has mainly been responded with directions to contact optionsHouse to sort the issue and previous earlier contact with optionsHouse has been the same way in that they tell me to talk to BMO Harris Bank. Any attempt to look into it from either organization ends in “Sorry, we can’t find anything. Try contacting the other party. They may have more info”. The check had the recipient “Optionshouse” so only they could cash it. My banker said something similar has happened many times and he never had so many problems. He recommended to not associate with them again as they are doing something underhanded. All possibly information on the check was provided and “nothing was found”
Minus $1000. The money is gone.

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Cindy August 1, 2014 at 12:26 pm

I totally agree with your first sentence with all CAPITAL. OPTIONS HOUSE SUCKS BIG TIME. It was a very, very bad experience for me to open an account with them. I am keeping mine with TD Ameritrade from now on.

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Peter April 13, 2014 at 11:05 am

I had this happen to me as well. The process is a little confusing. If I recall correctly the account numbers I used to send money to BMO were not correct and my money was just sitting at BMO with no way to direct it properly until I gave them the correct account number. Call them again and ask about the account number you gave and I bet you get a resolution. The instructions OH gives on how to send money is a confusing and OH customer service people are very limited in their knowledge and were no help to me. All I remember is it was the account numbers were messed up in my case.

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J. Patrick April 21, 2014 at 7:38 pm

Summary rule changes, without bothering to give customers advance notice, seems to be normal behavior for this company…utterly disrespectful to paying customers. I have a small cash account which I use to test trading ideas in real live trading. The account minimums were raised without any warning whatsoever. I reached a rep to inquire why trades I had been placing were no longer going through, the attitude was -“Yeah, the rules are different now, deal with it”. I have not had any other problems with them, but from reading this blog, I’m practically decided on moving my account. I may just been lucky till now.

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Cody April 29, 2014 at 7:19 pm

Are ACH transfers free at OH? Also do you need a minimum account amount?

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V G April 30, 2014 at 7:04 pm

I received the following email from OptionsHouse today. This is their response to several of my complaints to them about the poor service of the account. My last complaint was about my inquiry about transferring the account out of OptionsHouse (they could not handle my needs anyway), in which I asked them if there are any charges for PARTIAL transfers out and received a response that “Our clearing firm can reject the partial account transfer if the assets are a significant portion of the account and you are trying to avoid the $50 outgoing account transfer fee.”. I have more complaints about them, but I understand that I am a demanding customer and that an average client may not find my concerns to be a big deal. Anyway, here is what you should expect if you complain a lot about 1) Incorrect Cost Basis after transferring the account TO OptionsHouse from another brokerage firm, 2) inadequate security related to electronic communication causing sensitive information is being sent via unencrypted email, 3) OH’s non responding to letters sent via USPS first class mail, 4) OH’s unwillingness to service customers who have difficulties communicating via phone.

On 4/30/2014 11:10 AM, OH – Account Management wrote:
>
> Dear ———- ————–,
>
>
>
> After a review of your account and associated correspondence, OptionsHouse has determined that we will be unable to service your accounts going forward. Please make arrangements to transfer your account out of OptionsHouse within thirty (30) calendar days. Failure to transfer your account in 30 days may result in the account balance being disbursed via check to the address on file.
>
>
>
> There are a few different ways to transfer assets out of your OptionsHouse account:
>
> Full Account Transfer to another Brokerage Firm – known as an ACAT transfer
> This allows you to transfer your account and positions to another brokerage firm
> To do this, you will need to open an account at the brokerage firm of your choice and complete the appropriate account transfer document provided by the new brokerage firm.
> Wire Transfer
> You may wire settled cash out of your OptionsHouse account.
> This may be requested in the OptionsHouse Trading Platform à Manage Accounts à Transfer Funds à select wire transfer.
> Make sure to have the routing number and account number available for the account you are wiring funds to
> Check Request
> You may request a check (in the amount of your settled cash) be mailed to you
> This may be done in the OptionsHouse Trading Platform à Manage Accounts à Transfer Funds à Select Check Request
> ACH
> You may request the settled cash in your account be transferred via ACH
> This may be requested in the OptionsHouse Trading Platform à Manage Accounts à Transfer Funds à select Outgoing ACH
>
>
>
> Please call OptionsHouse Customer Service at 877-653-2500 with any questions.
>
>
>
> Account Management
>
> cid:image001.png@01CBD40B.B4138CE0
>
> 141 W. Jackson Blvd, Suite 800
>
> Chicago, IL 60604
>
> 877-653-2500
>
> http://www.optionshouse.com
>
>
>
> Options involve risk and are not suitable for all investors. In addition, electronic trading poses unique risk to investors. System response and access times may vary due to market conditions, system performance and other factors. OptionsHouse provides neither investment nor tax advice. Refer to Characteristics and Risks of Standardized Options | Risk Statements and Disclosures | Privacy Policy | Terms & Conditions, copies of which can also be obtained by contacting our Customer Service Department at customerservice@optionshouse.com.
> © 2006-14 OptionsHouse, LLC All rights reserved. Member of FINRA, SIPC. kl
>
>
> See http://www.peak6.com/email_disclaimer/ for terms and conditions related to this email

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Sally May 5, 2014 at 7:28 pm

It’s amazing how many people never bother to read the information provided on how they do business and then complain because they don’t get their own way. Pathetic. But they do have weak customer service.

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David May 16, 2014 at 3:20 pm

OptionsHouse may have special weapons to protect your account and others don’t. But I doubt it.
Compared to TDAmeriTrade, ActiveBrokers, SogoTrade and all the big bank online login process. You have been protected by another layer of security checking such as image which is harder to be break than just password.
The OptionsHouse account will keep open even after you click logout button (using fireFox browser). You can try this: open you account with FireFox, click logout button you are out. Then click go back button or type Alt key + left arrow key, all your secret are exposed.
I like OptionsHouse especially their old version even with the security concern. I wish OptionsHouse will read this and improve their security.

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Anonymous August 29, 2014 at 9:33 pm

Their application process is flawed. If uploading a scanned file, it must be less than 10MB which is not possible if all contract documents are submitted per their instructions. The promotion code is not readily available, but when found links to a a different application process screen advertizing 150 free trades. The location of this company is Chicago, which speaks volumes.

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James E. Haslip, Jr. September 3, 2014 at 10:27 am

Do not use OptionsHouse. I sent them a check which did not get there for over a week. I stopped payment on it after such a long time and then closed my account without ever funding. Now I am constantly receiving margin call notices for an account which was never funded. I have never used margins. Of course, I can not get into the closed account to find out what they are calling me on. It has been over a week since the margin call started. Who knows when the harassment will end?

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Sally September 18, 2014 at 7:13 pm

You obviously did not bother to find out how long it takes for them to clear a check. If you bothered to ask them they would have told you it takes longer than a week. As for the margin calls, me thinks there is more to the story then you are telling. Grow up.

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Paul October 4, 2014 at 3:05 am

Hey I was thinking about opening with OptionsHouse. Can someone verify some things for me? I heard you can execute trades fast and daily with this brokerage. I heard OptionsHouse is very high tech and smooth you don’t need to refresh the page to watch the market numbers fluctuate like with other brokerages. Also I really really really like the trade price for sure, $3.75, and the brokerage assist fee is $4.75. Is this all true?

I just want to make fast money and fast trades, I’m not a holder, not my style. This brokerage sounds right for me. I need a brokerage that performs well. OptionsHouse sounds like all they want to do is get down to business and trade, I like the sounds of this brokerage.

I use TD trade and they’re a great brokerage but the $10.00 trading fees are murdering my profit returns. I never bothered to use their brokerage assistance, $50.00 like are you serious. $10.00 dollars to enter the market and another $10.00 to exit, so insane. My fees alone probably make up for %80 of my losses. TD trade fees are hard to come back from. I’m just not a holder, I got to trade quick.

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nishant October 4, 2014 at 10:25 pm

hi,
I am with OH for the past 5 months. I never had a Single issue with them trading stocks(i dont trade options because I am a newbee).
Commission is very attractive compared to other platforms especially those in Singapore . trade executions really fast. Quotes are live streaming, so dont require manual updates.

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rocky36 December 28, 2014 at 8:06 am

Thanks for the informative blog. Much of the information was very helpful
I’m thinking of going back to Options House because my trading has increased significantly both in trade size and frequency, and of course, I want to lower my trading costs, if at all possible. Does Options House facilitate FUTURES trades and do they have portfolio margin for larger accounts? I have been unable to find any info on these questions on any site. Thanks, rocky36

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Nick January 6, 2015 at 7:52 pm

DO NOT use these guys. They are devil and cold blooded people. I lost so much money because of them. I had 200 margin call for which I sent them ACH but they didn’t received it by due date because of holiday or whatever. I called and email them to ensure money sent. They went a head sold my position without letting me know. I lost $10 a share and they sold 100+ share at the lowest possible price for the day!

Stay away from these @$@@ also they are software is as junk as these people.

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Barry February 16, 2015 at 4:49 pm

Another person who doesn’t bother to read the rules regarding margin that is clearly explained on the website. Now lets play the victim and blame someone else for you losing money through your own ignorance.

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Frank Ball January 27, 2015 at 2:36 pm

Horrible customer service. I have tried to get in touch with them by phone after I opened an account. I hung up after 1 hour waiting time for 3 times in the last 2 days. I have been on hold in the live chat for over 30 minutes now and still no response

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jon February 3, 2015 at 3:56 am

i guess i dont understand the rules. I bought some stock with cash, i am novice trader and this luckily was fun money. I then sold the stock for a loss. I bought some otc stock for cash and the next day i had a margin call, I dont understand what the margin call was for but by the time i got the email they had liquidated 150 shares charged me 25 dollar fee and 4.95 fee plus the loss of the stock at 109 dollars. i got freaked so i sold the other 350 shares which would have been a profit for the whole 500 shares but was a loss because of the margin call. my account value should have been 347 dollars but no, they took 300 dollars for what says a physical trading fee? what the hell? I have 37 dollars left in my cash account at 100 percent equity but it says i have no available funds to withdrawl. I dont understand and as i have said i am totally new at this but i did paper trade on their virtual account for a year and had no such issues. this was on optionshouse but buy the time my money got in to the account they had changed the platform to trademonster and i dont know what to do since they wont return my emails and i cant get through on the phone. HELP

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Sam February 3, 2015 at 6:41 pm

I think you would agree that you are fairly clueless as to trading so all I can say is STOP TRADING IMMEDIATELY!!!!!!

Go to work and save some money to get a portfolio of at least $1,500

During that time go to the library and read everything they have on trading stocks. Try to include Jim Cramer’s 4 books.
As part of your education watch Jim Cramer on CNBC on “Mad Money”. Part of what he does is try and educate people how to trade. This should take at least 6 months if you are seriously trying to learn how to make money trading.

You need a good education or never trade. Just start a 401K if your employer has one, or go to your bank to open an IRA.

Last piece of advice; OTC stocks are for suckers. Gains are huge but you will mostly lose.

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charlie St. February 13, 2015 at 11:26 am

Well it looks like optionhouse finally screwed themselves this time. First by joining with trade monster. I had been trading their virtual account for about a year getting about 80 to 90 % profitable,,,but discovered all along that the quotes were delayed 20 minutes, so i’d use Yahoo finance real time quotes to make my trades, know that 20 minutes later i already know where the virtual account would be. I also started trading real time with them up till they joined and was doing ok. Then last week on about 2-4-15 was was in good money on ticker calls ( 3 – all calls ) had an accident that sent me to the emergency room. The next day I would have taken my profits,,,but being in the emergency room and not trading CMG took a nose dive. A few days later i returned to the trading site to find my paper trade accnt has lost about $40K , still leaving about $ 25K to work with. Knowing that in the past i could and have made up them kinds of losses,,,,I did not sell the calls. Sure enough CMG started back up and my calls started the recovery,,, even thru yesterday 2-12-15 . I was continually regaining my losses…but for some reasons now they have marked my account,,,FOR LIQUIDATION RESTRICTION-ONLY with no explination, I’ve e-mailed several times,,no replies back, voice called 2 or 3 times, been on hold every time with never a human to pickup, One time i called at breakfast, finished eating while on speaker hold, left on till lunch, still no answer, finally hung up. Now i guess i’ll go to TRADEKING.COM and open an account. I think that them merging with TradeMonster was a big mistake for them, i know it was for me.

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Barry February 16, 2015 at 4:43 pm

The worst times to call any customer service is early in the week and early in the morning. Everyone calls then. When I call with a non-emergency I wait until Wednesday or Thursday afternoon after 2:00pm and never had a problem getting thru.

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Barry February 16, 2015 at 4:44 pm

Also with the merger, customer service is getting crushed by people who didn’t take a little time to prepare for the change.

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shane February 13, 2015 at 2:57 pm

This is by far the worst customer service I have ever seen. I have attempted calling, emailing, and live chatting, I have not been able to get through to anyone and cannot get a response. After funding my account I have been trying to to get through to someone to find out how long I must wait before I can withdraw some of the funds. As soon as I am able I will be withdrawing the entire amount and closing the account. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to deal with this pathetic level of service, but I suppose that’s the reason for slightly cheaper trades. <1 star

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Barry February 16, 2015 at 4:37 pm

That’s because with the merger, a lot of people were too lazy to review the new platform and reset their password info if needed. These fools how play with real money but are too lazy to read one of several emails they were sent to prepare everyone have been clogging up customer service trying to get access to their accounts and get help using the new platform. I got thru to them very quickly at about 300pm last Wednesday. The person I spoke with told me this was the case.

And in your case you moron, that info is on the website. So consider yourself another idiot who doesn’t bother to find out the rules before sending money and is too lazy to look for himself

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Shane February 17, 2015 at 4:39 pm

I did check the site, the only thing it says is that there may be a holding period, it does not state how long. I am also noticing how often you are posting on this forum which leads me to believe you belong to the customer service dept. in some way. If that is correct, then it’s another example of horrible customer service, and if it’s not correct then you are obviously just an asshole who has nothing better to do with his time.

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Peter February 24, 2015 at 5:13 pm

Shane,

You are ignorant. I’m just a happy customer who finds fools like you to a blot upon society.

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Cindy February 13, 2015 at 5:29 pm

I had a horrible experience with OH today, again. They closed out my weekly options way, way too early without my consent. If I was to close it the way I wanted it, which is about 10 to 20 minutes before the closing the market, I would have $10,000 more in my account. I am closing my account with OH completely. I am soooooo f*****g upset. I don’t want to say this cliche, but it is true-you get what you pay for. OptionHouse SUCKS. PEOPLE, GO TO OTHER BROKERAGE.

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Steve February 20, 2015 at 1:58 pm

Well, it’s even worse than that. They are now charging $25 for closing you out of your position. They say this fee will soon be made explicit on their Web site, but for now they say they’re covered by the user agreement’s reference to fees “as they exist from time to time”. They say they reserve the right to close out long positions *any time on the day of expiration* if you have insufficient funds in your account to exercise that position, and they *will not accept* instructions not to exercise such positions. This effectively removes an entire trading day. If such a policy is legal, it shouldn’t be, and I’ll be passing along a complaint to the SEC. Perhaps a class action is in order.

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Peter February 24, 2015 at 5:11 pm

Shane,
Every broker does virtually the same thing. Filing a lawsuit is just laughable.

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bryan March 12, 2015 at 12:37 pm

What makes you think that they did not pocket the $10k? A simple jungle of the books? Please don’t say a broker would never do that. They do the same with dividends on open options that the customer does not request. CROOKS!

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Jeffery Khoury February 16, 2015 at 2:59 am

I am just wondering once you start investing and opened an account with OptionHouse, do I need to file taxes or fill any documents of some sort?

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Barry February 16, 2015 at 4:28 pm

The only paper work is you need to include your gain/loss along with your 1040.

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Brian Foss February 24, 2015 at 5:06 pm

WORST customer service on Earth!! They will not answer calls (they put your call in eternal waiting) and will not respond to emails. DO NOT open an account here!!

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Jason February 25, 2015 at 12:40 am

Stay away folks… stay FAR away. Worst customer service EVER! I opened an account a little over a month ago and cancelled already. It all started when I opened my account I deposited a sizable amount of money to start investing. I went to actually invest a few days later when it gave me an error stating my account was locked for trading. Not knowing what that meant exactly I contacted customer support via email (since I’m not in the US and I’m 12 hours out time-wise) and I got no response. I check my account the next day and all the money I deposited had been returned to my bank account with no explanation. I emailed again to try to figure out what’s going on. Again, no response. I check my account later that day and notice I have a margin call of $30. At this point I’m furious because I’m being charged for a service I didn’t even have the opportunity to use. I wrote a very angry email at that point and it seems the $30 charge was negated. But again, no response, explanation, apology, or anything! It was like I was talking to a brick wall and the brick wall basically wanted nothing to do with me or the business I provided. I’ve never seen a company care so little about its customers. I’m going to try ScottTrade instead I think even though the trades cost more. Anyone use them? Any other recommendations?

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Tim March 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

I got the same thing…. Run away!

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R N April 20, 2015 at 2:05 pm

Same issues I am seeing as well, I felt that I should run away asap, but since I have many accounts with this crappy brokerage firm, will slowly move out one by one to either Fidelity or TD Ameritrade. I have never seen such bad customer service in my last 20 years of experience. No courtesy, no apologies, they think they are providing services for free. Is there a place where I can complaint to SEC or FED or some agency where this brokerage firm can be really penalized for their bad service.
There is no way to talk to Manager or supervisor. I am not able to trade for last 3 days and they are not helping me either to fix the problem. All they say is the problem is on my side. How can it be on my side when I am not table launch the trading window during market hours and can launch after market hours and before market hours. I cannot launch on Windows 8.0, MacAir Yosemite osx, Iphone6+ app. They still say the problem is on my side, and asked me to try with different browsers. Later I tried with Firefox, IE and again cleared all the cache with my chrome, but all this didn’t help. For past 3 days I am seeing this problem and didn’t make any changes on my side. They refuse to look into further details and in fact Greg a specialist hung up the phone. Mike said sorry we cannot help and Nick said we open a ticket and get back to you, so far nothing has happened.
Is there a place where I can make serious complaint about this brokerage firm. This brokerage firm needs to grow up and learn how to deal with customers.
Pathetic…..

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Brian Foss February 25, 2015 at 9:12 am

I left Scottrade for Tradeking. Lower fee than Scottrade and service and info just as good. Nothing against Scottrade. Good luck

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KG February 26, 2015 at 10:26 am

As I reviewed account history online, numerous charges showed up in the amount of $1401 with no recognizable explanation. The company does not mail statements. I tried to download statements on the website, but none are available after Oct 2014. The company has not mailed tax forms. These forms are not available on the website, which states there are technical difficulties. I called the customer service number and waited for 64 minutes without anyone answering the phone. Should I report the company to the SEC, FTC, and IRS?

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Tim March 2, 2015 at 3:30 pm

Avoid online Trading. I’ve tried several, the most recent being optionshouse.com Needless to say after loosing 330 dollars trading I removed the last of my funds and bailed. Now I’ve got a tax statement for the year that says I made a profit and my Tax Attorney cannot make heads or tails of their so called “tax report”. There are no historic reports from last year, and no itemized place to go get the exact trades that my Tax man is asking for. Looks like I’ll be paying income tax on a LOSS… Go figure. I wont be back on optionshouse.

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Tom Conrad March 6, 2015 at 9:04 am

I am a long-time customer of Optionshouse, and I can’t get a response from them. No responses to email, chat, or telephone!!! This really sucks! I have accounts with them totaling over 1/2 $million, which I am about to transfer to a broker that is responsive to my needs. I already shifted that much to Scottrade, which is about 1000 times better in customer service. Cheap trades don’t help when they screw other things up badly! I can’t file my taxes because they screwed up my 1099-B. I would not tell anyone to use this outfit. It has gone from weak to horrible over the past couple of years.

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Bryan March 12, 2015 at 12:32 pm

Option house reviews are unreal! CS sucks. Ive been on the phone several times waiting for up to a hour in the last month. Previous experience just as bad. . The live communication on site is just as bad. Emailed 2 times over a month ago and still no response. The merger has changed NOTHING! They were suppose to grandfather in my rates, they refuse to.
I did a ACH transfer , and my money has been in there for over 10 days and they will not allow a cash transfer out of for a small bit of it. No reason why? Account has been opened for 4 years. So, they are holding $$$$, paying no interest. Wall street Crooks!
Platform has no charting tools such as drawing capabilities. You can not changed trend lines, such as kind, just solid lines. You can not link the platform to other party software such as MW, TK and such.
Rates are lower than SOME brokers but overall lacking. Is it really worth a couple bucks per trade to deal with such?
I’m giving them money not the other way around! They worked for us, not we for them! If they were an employee they would have been fired by now. They MUST be PAYING for some good advertisement bad reviews because in reality they suck.
Is there a broker that does not have a god complex, that understands that WE keep them in business, not the other way around?

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Patrick March 17, 2015 at 4:47 pm

Optionshouse seems to have forgotten why small account holders trade options and has declared war on them. I opened a small account (approximately $3k max) about 3 years ago with them, and I have traded ONLY options. About 3 months ago, I was assigned an option trade that had gone against me, seriously depleting my small stake. I figured, tough, but that’s the life of a trader. This past week, however 2 winning trades were closed out by Optionshouse less than 4 hours before expiration. That was a bit much to take, so I filed a complaint with BBB. The response from Optionshouse in brief was: “you don’t have enough money in your account for us to suck up if we decide to assign you the options…and..we can do that if we feel like it; it’s in the fine print of the agreement you signed when you opened the account”. I am in the process of being an ex-customer. Below is their response to my BBB complaint in full. Read and advise yourself.

On March 6, 2015 at 12:22:59 p.m. CST, the day of weekly options expiration, our Risk Department took market action by liquidating your 2 BBY 2015 Mar 6 C @ 38.00 (Weekly) Call options at $1.61 and your 2 EA 2015 Mar 6 C @ 55.000 (Weekly) Call options at $1.50 and we were fully within our right to do so. We took market action in your account for the following reasons:

OptionsHouse denies that, as you state, “I have been arbitrarily closed out by OptionsHouse at very unfavorable terms”. The process by which we monitor our customer accounts for exercise and assignment risk was provided to you and was at all times available on our website. http://www.optionshouse.com/risk/expiration/

OptionsHouse had no idea where Best Buy Co., Inc. (“BBY”) and Electronic Arts Inc. (“EA”) might have closed on March 6, 2015. Based on volatility and other market factors, it could have easily finished in the money thus adding potential exercise risk in your cash account.

The policy as detailed on our website accurate. On the day of weekly or monthly options expiration in an effort to mitigate potential exercise and assignment risk OptionsHouse monitors and in certain cases takes appropriate market action to reduce risk.

Your total account value as of the close on March 5, 2015 (the day prior to expiration) was $677.65. Had your 2 BBY 2015 Mar 6 C @ 38.00 (Weekly) Call options and your 2 EA 2015 Mar 6 C @ 55.000 (Weekly) Call options finished in the money by more than $0.01 on March 6, 2015 all 4 contracts would have been auto-exercised by the Options Clearing Corporation (“OCC”) thus creating a $17,922.35 debit your account.

Simply stated, you did not have the cash value or securities equivalent value to cover the potential debit resulting from the auto exercise on your long options.

By signing your new account agreement on December 21, 2012, you acknowledged that you read and understood (emphasis added) the “Customer Agreement” and all account agreements, that governed your account. In a section titled “Option Exercise and Expiration,” the Customer Agreement discloses the following:

“When Customer owns an option that is about to expire “in the money,” OptionsHouse or Apex may, in its sole discretion or in accordance with the Rules and Regulations, and without notification to Customer, close out the option. OptionsHouse or Apex may take this action in order to prevent an exercise that would require the purchase or sale of the underlying security for which Customer does not have sufficient funds. This is in no way to be construed as an obligation on OptionsHouse’s or Apex’s part to sell or exercise such options on Customer’s behalf.”

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Rdm April 24, 2015 at 7:31 pm

Nothing to offend you, but it seems OH has every rights to cover their ass if market goes against you. You don’t have enough balance to fully cover your rightful market instinct. If it stays OTM, you gain a bit, if it goes ITM, OH has every responsibility to act on the trade agreement.

I do agree that OH customer service is the worst ever out there. But the fact that they closed out your options before expiration doesn’t mean they are worse brokerage. You’ll get what you pay for. I don’t even have the same benefits of user interface, chart analysis, and our holy grail “naked option writing” at Scottrade, let alone the base commission fee differences.

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marc March 20, 2015 at 3:31 pm

DON”T go to TradeKing. Their “live” tools are a joke, constantly hanging up, showing incorrect balances for my account and equity prices. In the middle of a trade the entire “TradeKing” Live site will freeze (happens on buys and sells). You are forced to close the site down, then re-open it and log back into it again. I’ve done too much weeping and gnashing of teeth on TradeKing. I was just about to go to….wait for it……..OptionsHouse. Not doing that now.

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Mark March 23, 2015 at 11:27 am

I’ve been with OH for years and never had they been so pathetic on the customer service as post merger with TradeMonster. I have 3 accounts on my own, and 2 for my wife, all with OH.

It’s almost a full time job to get a hold of them, no replies to emails, ridiculous live chat wait times, and things just keep getting messed up. My wife’s account transfer out of Scottrade was messed up, free trades promotion isn’t honored, open orders hang for days not getting filled. While I like the platform and low rates, customer service is the worst I’ve seen.

I’m researching an alternative, having just transferred from Scottrade to OH, I’m fed up with this nonsense.

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Tom March 23, 2015 at 11:52 am

I’m afraid I have to agree. I have 3 accounts here, and 4 with Scottrade. That is me and my wife, cash, IRA, and Roth IRA accounts. Scottrade is far better in everything except cost per trade. My trades on OH are grandfathered at $3 per trade, and I do trade a lot (14 trades today). But I am considering Zack’s as my Roth accounts broker, at $4.95 per trade. And that gives you access to some premium research for free. If it works out with those accounts, I will also move my IRA and cash accounts. FWIW, I found that recently using the online chat with OH got me best results… probably more accurate than the voice customer service too. They are overloaded now, so don’t blame the people you talk to, it is management’s fault. I got to like some of the OH people quite a lot back before they changed clearing houses and did the recent merger. Life has changed…

Tom

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Abby April 3, 2015 at 10:50 am

Horrible customer service and outdated data systems. After having a problem that I was unable to resolve with customer service for over a month I finally had to file a complaint with BBB just to get someone to kind of help me. I would rather pay the extra $2 per trade and go with a company that knows what they’re doing.

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luis April 17, 2015 at 7:40 am

Don’t even bother open an account with this clowns…. they are cheap for a reason, they are down at least once a month, this is crucial when you cannot exit a losing trade or enter a potential winner. The stop loss feature does not work, customer service unreachable, try Ameritrade, yes, it is expensive but is worth it.

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TBill99 April 17, 2015 at 7:42 pm

OptionsHouse has the most technologically challenged platform on the market. Often (like today) they have system problem and it is impossible to trade – when it’s time critical. And their “support” usually takes upwards of 45 minutes to answer and many of my friends report “curt” responses by the agents.
On weekends some stations (like mine) have an extra candle that exactly matches Friday’s candle and the displayed date is Saturday or Sunday. Really messes up studies. They quit responding to my tech support requests.

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R N April 20, 2015 at 1:51 pm

First of all I should say that customer service sucks and it usually takes 20 to 30 min to get answered your call. Trading specialists are very rude and in addition I need to explain the problem at least two times and sometimes they never understand the problem. Recently they put me on hold after 20 min wait and then again after 10 min they got back to me and said I see the problem and finally they said they can’t help.
Asked for supervisor or manager but never got back to me so far.
Sometimes the specialists hung the phone.
Horrible service and the system is slow as well.
In a nutshell the service is pathetic.

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John Mylant April 23, 2015 at 8:50 am

Didn’t OptionsHouse just changed its fee structure?

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Peter May 15, 2015 at 6:35 am

Some bad reviews here.

I am a long time OH user and am completely satisfied. Yes customer service is slow but remember it is a discount broker so you can expect that. Once in 6 years I have experienced the platform being down and I mostly day trade. In the very beginning I had a lot of problems with the screen freezing but an upgrade in my equipment resolved it. The latest merger was seamless for me because as per their email notices leading up to it I spent some time learning what was going to happen and how to use the new platform. I would bet the people complaining about the merger never bothered to do their homework and found themselves locked out of their accounts. That is their own fault. I received at least a half dozen emails telling me what to do to get ready.

Their charts are the worst and they will admit it. Just part using a discount service. I use a different service for my charts.

Transferring funds is slow but they tell you the time to expect on the website.

For me OH works at a cheap price. The mobile app is great.

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