The ExpertOption has stirred up quite a lot of noise on the Internet, collecting both positive and negative reviews. And while positive reviews praise platform quality and company performance, a wide variety of tradeable assets and a multitude of analytical tools, negative ones are pretty much based on one statement: the company is a scam and it’s better to steer clear of it.
What do we call a scam in the first place? It is a company that does not honor its financial commitments towards customers, making bogus excuses and creating additional obstacles for customers trying to withdraw their money. In other words, scam companies are brokers that embezzle their customers’ money and refuse to give it back.
Therefore, positive reviews are quite self-explanatory but scam allegations mandate a closer look. We will try to clarify whether or not the company may really be considered a scam.
First, let’s check the regulatory aspects. The company has obtained the following:
- A Vanuatu Financial Services Commission (VFSC) license No.15014
- A Russian Financial Market Relations Regulation Center (FMRRC) certificate RU 0395 AA Vv0084.
What do we make out of these? These documents prove that the company complies with relevant requirements of international law and laws of Russian Federation, undergoes an annual financial inspection, and files regular reports on its operations. Moreover, a VFSC license certifies that the company operates in compliance with all FATF standards and regulations. Vanuatu was chosen for the registration of ExpertOption company due to the simplicity of its tax system. A registration in this jurisdiction relieves the client of an additional tax burden, but its regulatory authorities may be relied upon for help in the event of a dispute.
We have analyzed many reviews and managed to figure out the most common complaints:
- The platform is inconvenient
- Cash withdrawals take too long
- Withdrawals get rejected
- The account gets blocked and money is gone
- Revenues are falling.
Well, let’s take a look at the platform first.
The platform looks quite intuitive when opened for the first time, and it doesn’t take long to figure out how stuff works here. The only thing we find inconvenient on the platform is the expiration selector (Fig. 1). Really, it wasn’t a good idea to squeeze it into the asset selection menu.
Apart from that, everything looks very neatly and conveniently organized: an account control pane on the left, trading toolbar at the top, analytical tools pane on the right. Captions are everywhere, and all controls are working as they should. One might think that people who complained about the platform convenience have never actually seen it.
Withdrawals taking too long
If we read carefully through cries of pain in waiting for funds to arrive, we will notice that they are all related to card withdrawals only. In addition, if we talk to a support representative, we will find out that there may be delays indeed, but only with the first-time card withdrawal. ExpertOption has a rule that for card deposits, the first withdrawal may only be made to the card and in the amount of deposit. After that, the user is free to choose the withdrawal method that he or she finds the most convenient. This rule is mandated by specific documentation aspects related to withdrawals. And withdrawals through any other payment gateway are completed in time, within 3 business days.
Again, if we look through complaints carefully, this is only happening when people are using bonus funds. Moreover, withdrawals are not rejected but postponed: the system encourages users to hit the required turnover threshold and then claim their bonus. But when you top up your account and choose to use bonus funds, you would normally read the terms and conditions for their use, wouldn’t you? And if you didn’t read, why would you complain? Besides, it’s easy to decline bonus funds straight away as soon as you notice them on your account. If you start trading on them, this automatically means that you accept the conditions of the deposit (the agreement is granted during the deposit process, but the company still offers the chance to decline) and then you have to do your part to get the bonus. We have not seen any other case of withdrawal rejection in reviews and discussions.
Speaking of bonus funds, if you accepted them and started trading, you can work them off in a month. Just connect to Experts and follow the best traders’ transactions. Here’s an example: a deposit of $50 made (decided not to use bonus funds due to some personal concerns) and account connected to Experts. In a month, the revenue was $263,66 and the required turnover target was met. Check out Figs. 1, 2, and 3.
Account blocked, money gone
This is the most interesting question: what happens when the account gets blocked. Many reviews report that only the deposit amount is refunded, and the earnings are gone. And only some reports complain about not receiving anything at all. It seems logical to refund the deposit amount only, as the account gets blocked only on suspicion of fraud (stolen card or payment system details, or tampering with the platform), therefore the company refunds the deposit using the same gateway and details. With electronic payment systems, it happens instantly, but a refund to a credit/debit card may take up to a month due to the paperwork associated with the refund process. This is the main reason for complaints about not getting any money back at all, because the majority of deposits were made via a credit/debit card. The customer is tired of waiting, gets nervous and starts writing angry reviews everywhere. And very few people will say “sorry” when they eventually get their money back. This is what happens in most cases described in reviews related to lost money due to an account block.
It’s very hard, and some people say it’s virtually impossible to make money when revenues drop to 50% on one of the assets! And this is really true! Why would we need other assets, some 150 of them or more (the number commonly quoted is 180 but probably some weren’t operational at times)? We only need exactly that one that has lower revenues now! Of course, I can understand the feelings of traders who only got to trade well on a single asset: they can no longer make money when revenues drop to 50%, it’s a real disaster. But we also know that it’s always possible to take a break and switch to a different asset with higher revenues until our favorite one gets back into shape. And if you don’t know how to trade on other assets, use the Experts.
To summarize our findings:
- The platform is extraordinarily simple and user-friendly, except for the expiration time selector hidden in the asset selection menu.
- Delays only happen with first-time withdrawal from accounts using a credit/debit card deposit. Complaints related to other gateways are sporadic and with very scarce information provided, it is impossible to identify the cause of these problems.
- Bonus funds do get credited, but you may either decline them or hit the required turnover target in a month, even if you are a novice using trading aids offered by the company.
- When an account is blocked, the deposit amount is always refunded, although bank paperwork may delay this process considerably.
- Revenues may go down temporarily on one or several assets; an easy solution is switching to a different asset.
Our conclusion on ExpertOption, based on thorough analysis of issues and complaints found in reviews, is as follows: the company honors its commitments towards its customers and offers them all the tools needed to generate profits. There are certain blemishes both in the platform and in the customer service, but these issues can be managed with some patience and careful approach to trading. The company does not exhibit any signs characteristic of a scam or fraudulent company, and appropriate licenses from regulatory bodies offer an additional level of protection against possible fraud.