This is not about a particular branch. This is about my overall Charles Schwab experience. If there was an online/telephone choice, I’d leave my review on that.I had an account for a year with Charles Schwab. I specifically asked to be able to do options trading. I am a bit of a conservative trader so it was a year later that I decided to buy stock options for a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
Low and behold, my account was at a level that didn’t allow me to trade standard call and put options. Schwab has 4 different levels and my approval level didn’t give me the ability to. I was told by multiple reps that I needed to fax in a new application with the higher level request. I didn’t have access to a fax. On my own a couple days later, I discovered I could do this online.
I requested the higher options level (for what* should* be allowed on a basic options account) kept calling every couple of days with each rep saying “it’s in review but I will expedite it; it takes about 2 days”. A week later I get an email survey so I put down my dissatisfaction. I get a call and I am finally approved for the level I was seeking, with an apology, and a choice between free trades and $50.. A few weeks later, last night, I decided to do an option trade.
I am told I was not approved for that level and never was. I sent an email showing I was approved. Then I am told “you were approved but downgraded 2 days later”. WHOA!!!! This is now 2 out of 2 times Schwab has tied my hands on a very time sensitive trade! I was told it was because of my dissatisfaction. Note, I was in Northern California and was dealing with the famous fire over here for a week so I was not “peaches and cream” during the first attempt to trade options.
I was told it was “very unfortunate that happened to you but because of it you are going to be ‘punished’ for 6 months, when you call ask for a review again.” Holy smokes! If they want to punish me for being upset, fine. But the fact that my account was downgraded a 2nd time and NO HEADS UP was given to let me know is just unbelievable.
Imagine thinking you are set up to trade time sensitive options and to learn that your account was downgraded and you were never informed. That is NOT RIGHT!! Unless you are a perhaps a millionaire, you and your money means nothing to them.