My guess is that your calls were exercised by your broker, but that they are choosing to screw you because you did not order the assignment.|
Yes, I find it hard to imagine that a broker would just leave that amount of money lying on the floor when all they have to do is hit a few keys to exercise it.
As the supervisor of options trading told me when I rhetorically asked whether they would have automatically exercised the long calls if the stock had closed above the short strike price, he said "Of course, because that protects our position". I related this in my letter turning it around, saying "what have you done to protect your customer's position?"
I realise the onus is on me and I shouldn't have assumed they would act like every other broker I've been involved with, but there were some mitigating circumstances (first time trade, Thursday expiration, online-only account which doesn't provide for specifying assignment other than through a broker, etc).
I'll let you know if I'm successful, and let you know who the broker was after the eventual resolution.