Friday, March 24, 2017

Optionshouse Satisfaction Survey

 Today I got a customer satisfaction survey from Optionshouse, which I've left a while ago (Now on Tastyworks)

I've been trying to practice my deep breathing to keep my blood pressure down, but when they just ask for it then its a physical impossibility that I'm not gonna unload.

First there was a little checkbox list of why you are leaving, and it only let me pick one thing- how shortsighted.  Anyway I have no one to share my yelling with, so here is my monologue:

I wanted to select all of the above on reasons to leave, but if I HAD to single out something it would be platform usability.  I'm trying to remember back now to chronicle all the issues sequentially, although this might be out of order-

-At one point they made an overnight margin requirement change that no longer allowed calendar spreads so I woke up with $100k margin call emails,  literal nowhere on the OH site did it mention this and there was NO alert in advance, even though they send monthly advance reminders for whatever little seminar minutia was coming up at the time.  I think I was shuffled around between 3 customer support people trying to get to some kind of manager with some semblance of competence  but alas I was left high and dry.  In terms of customer service insanity, they all said this was a FINRA/SEC requirement for margin and were somehow oblivious that LITERALLY EVERY other broker lets you trade calendars with no problems.  I also couldn't find any evidence of this requirement on any FINRA/SEC web page.

-At one point the accounts summary/positions page just started showing a totally wrong net liquidity, although the individual positions were correct.  This is almost more shocking than the margin issue because I can tally the P/L per position at a glance (LITERALLY ADDITION), so I am completely at a loss about how they broke the basic functionality of adding columns in their software.  For example, excel can have add ins break that use complex functions, but there is no way to break down the absolute building blocks of addition and relation between cells.

-Later, and at multiple points, when sending a limit order, there was no indication that it went through, and no 'pending' order listed anywhere in orders or positions tab.  At this point the software had such a faulty history I assumed some kind of mini crash and put in the same limit order. When that price hit, now both orders suddenly blinked that they filled, doubling my planned exposure.  Fortunately I closed the position later for double the profit because I'm a genius, but no thanks to OH.  A week or two later I entered another trade and just like Charlie Brown with the football, of course the issue wasn't fixed.  I called customer support screaming and in shock that basic order functionality was down for a week or two, and support was super chill like "oh yeah they're working on it. don't worry the order is going through it just doesn't show up"

Frankly I'm semi in shock that OH has the gall to send  out a frowny to smiley face 'how are we doing' survey email, basically confirming that they have absolutely left our solar system in terms of coherence and are in some kind of dimension that we can't even quantify with our current fields of math and physics.

I would be absolutely flabbergasted if this survey was even read by a human.

Is there a metaphor or life lesson here? Unclear.
It was a personal reminder to me to always be looking for improvements; a core part of any business- especially if you view your investing as your own business.  A younger me would still be on OH grinning and bearing it, but if there is a chance to improve your margin or basis, you absolutely have to, that is the difference between 0 and 100.

I can't imagine ever being straight long stock without a covered call component.  If I can get something for .1% less than someone else, that is everything! 

Progress seems very small and incremental, and it is, but that is the water that wears through mountains.

 Thanks for listening


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