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optionsXpress Reviews

33 reviews

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2.8
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optionsXpress President, CEO and Director David A. Fisher
David A. Fisher
15 Ratings

33 Employee Reviews

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  1. "Senior operations specialist"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Speialit in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Senior Operations Speialit in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at optionsXpress full-time (More than 10 years)

    Pros

    Great firm to work at, fast paced environment. Everybody works hard together

    Cons

    none , very happy to be here

    Advice to Management

    None, they are doing a fine job


  2. "New Business"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at optionsXpress full-time

    Pros

    Like minded employees, fast-paced, knowledgeable staff, room for self promotion and education

    Cons

    Pay disparity, upper management elitism, corporate politics

  3. "Overall a great company"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at optionsXpress full-time

    Pros

    Great Company to work for. Promotes innovation and advancement.

    Cons

    Got lost in the beurocracy after IPO.


  4. "Senior Accountant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Senior Accountant in Chicago, IL

    I worked at optionsXpress (More than a year)

    Pros

    Was conducive to forward thinkers, very relaxed but efficient.

    Cons

    The Accounting Department has been moved to Denver


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Software Consultant"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    Pros

    Close to train Station . Lot of learning Curve. Financial Domain. Few developers are good and friendly

    Cons

    Beware of Qa Manager there


  6. Helpful (1)

    "Abandoned its innovation leaders"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Product Management in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Product Management in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    After being acquired by Schwab employee moral has recovered. It is a good company to work for if you like being part of a large enterprise. However, the growth startup feel was killed many years ago.

    Cons

    optionsXpress was the most innovative in the 2000's. Employees were traders encouraged to create new products and in the options world nobody created more innovative products than optionsXpress. However, the founding CEO David Kalt was replaced with a CFO David Fisher that did not have customers or employees in mind. David Kalt had big promotions, salary increases and bonuses that kept moral high, innovation and account acquisition followed. David Fisher on the other hand controlled costs and moral fell to the ground and the innovative talent left the company. Company went IPO at 1 billion and years later got acquired by Schwab for the same amount.

    Advice to Management

    Bring back innovative talent and listen to customers.


  7. "Customer Service"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Good atmosphere and great management

    Cons

    It would be nice to get more money.

    Advice to Management

    none

  8. Helpful (4)

    "The worst company to work for"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Derivatives Trading Specialist
    Former Employee - Derivatives Trading Specialist
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook

    I worked at optionsXpress (More than a year)

    Pros

    They pay for your series 3, 7, and 63 exam which is required for derivatives brokers. And thats about where it stops...

    If you are unaware of futures or derivatives trading, you will get somewhat experience, and if you are bright you might even be able to make a penny or two day trading.

    Cons

    In a simple nutshell, optionsXpress has absolutely NO, NONE, NADA, ZERO interest in the development of your career. You are simply a cog in an overheating unoiled machine. Its not about what the company can give you but what they can get from you. When I got the job offer I thought to myself:
    1) They will teach me how to be a day trader (I can make some cash on the side)
    2) Ill get to learn things like "Iron condor" and "Butterfly spreads" <- trading strategies
    3) Ill eventually get to a point where Ill get promoted to handle high net worth clients

    Boy was I wrong. The job is advertised and as "concierge" to customers that use optionsXpress to trade. You imagine you will get customers calling you asking to put a specific type of order in, or perhaps ask you about whats going on in the market and how you feel about certain trades and events. TBH I did get those kinds of calls... about once a week. The vast majority of calls are old people calling to get their passwords reset. But this is besides the point.

    Overview:
    OptionsXpress likes to run lean, VERY LEAN. This means that the managers job is to "meet service levels, at the cheapest cost, by any means necessary". So you end up with each employee taking about 40-60 calls a day. At times there can be upto 14-20 people on hold and the supervisors are watching like hawks to make sure you don't waste a single minute. Take too many restroom breaks and you WILL get asked about it.

    Growth:
    There is absolutely no growth. There are people who have been working there for a couple of years and still get paid the same salary. Their whole and sole goal is to get you the series licensed so that they can legally put you behind a phone and thats about where it stops.

    Benefits:
    Health insurance is horrible, way too high of a deductible. Vacation days are accrued (you get one day per month, rolls over from year to year, i.e.: a 30 day vacation can only be taken after working 30 months and only using sick days). Also, vacation days must be submitted well in advance and approved.

    Weirdest Rule Ever:
    If you somehow miraculously get the opportunity to go upto a better position within Schwab, they reserve the right to DENY your promotion if their "service levels drop" aka they don't have enough people to cover call volume in the position you are leaving aka they are too cheap to hire anyone new. So here is the kicker... if you somehow move upto the other position and start working there, they can MOVE YOU BACK for the same reason described above. This is precisely why I quit.

    This company is a waste of time to work for, do not go for this opportunity if you have other opportunities in line. This is a call center job, not a career.

    Advice to Management

    Ok look, lets be honest, NOBODY wants to work at a call center. Maybe the bagger at your local grocery store who wants a salary. But you already know this, so don't try to sell this to the employees as a good thing. The first day you hire an employee to be on the phones these should be your words: "Hi, I will be your manager my goal is to grow your career."

    Step 1:
    Restructure the call center job and create levels within. Categorize your calls based on whats the most common issue, password reset press 1, for help placing a trade press 2, for other press 3. Boom now you have three levels of promotion WITHIN your call center. Here is the key, don't let level 3's handle calls that should be handled by level 1's unless there is a queue. (Yes I know you already have something like this in place but this is a small improvement... read step 2)

    Step 2:
    Associate a PAY RAISE/BONUS to each level and provide REAL training to motivate employees to move up the ranks. Real training means 10% of the employee time must be spent training (4 hours per week) in a classroom setting learning about what the customers are actually doing. To understand the customer better and provide THE BEST customer service skills, you must understand what the customer wants... MONEY!!! Train your employees to be traders like your customers and they will better understand the customer's frustrations.

    Step 3:
    Here is the best part, the trainees become the trainers in the local office. Not one on one, but classroom style. <-look at that, another level of promotion. Also, hold competitions to see which employees can grow their virtual accounts the most. A simple starbucks/chilis gift card is good but a department-wide email recognizing their achievements is WAY better.

    At the end of the day, INVEST in your employee. They are the direct connection between you and your customer/client. Treat your employees well and they will treat your customers even better!!!. Following these strategies is the best way to avoid reviews on Glassdoor like this one and improve your customer service levels.


  9. "Need to live up to Schwab Brand"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Specialist in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at optionsXpress full-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    people are all good and trying hard

    Cons

    input not desired, company poorly run, fairly terrible executive leadership

    Advice to Management

    everyday should be trying to make the company better and more competitive, so far behind the competition , they can't even be an also ran


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Always shooting for 'perfect', never achieving anything of substance"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Co-workers are good, hard-working people. Pay is middle-of-the-road. If you can negotiate your starting salary and perks, the material things will be alright.

    Cons

    Management has a lack of focus, and changes direction too often. Little resources given to existing major issues. Hiring of middle management that don't know how to manage.

    Advice to Management

    Consider getting a business psychologist in, and get some reviews of your middle and senior management layers. You might find that there are too many misplaced people at these levels, decreasing your firms' effectiveness.


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