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December 19: E*TRADE Customer Appreciation Day

Contributed by mm | December 16, 2007 5:21 AM PST

The embattled discount-brokerage-turned-bank E*TRADE is announcing that its customers can trade U.S. stocks, U.S. options, global stocks and futures for free, for one day only on December 19, 2007.

Here is the excerpt of terms and conditions:

Unlimited commission-free trade offer is valid for trades entered by E*TRADE Securities customers in U.S. stocks, options and futures from 8:30 PM EST on 12/18/07 to 8:30 PM EST on 12/19/07. Unlimited commission-free trade offer is valid for trades entered by E*TRADE Securities customers in non-U.S. stocks from 5:30 PM EST on 12/18/07 to 5:30 PM EST on 12/19/07. This offer does not include commissions on trades in mutual funds or fixed income securities, but does apply to options contract fees.

E*TRADE is apparently bleeding customers when its precarious situation made to the Journal's front page several times lately. While E*TRADE's liquidity problem mostly stems from its bad investment decisions, E*TRADE's business model is challenges too: full brokerage firms continue to have their loyal followings, while a new breed of brokerage firms like Zecco is eating E*TRADE's dinner by offering 10 free stock trades every month with very low minimum balance requirements. Actually, in response to E*TRADE's Customer Appreciation Day, Zecco sent the following message to its members:

Check it out: E*trade is offering customers free trades for one day only next Wednesday as part of a “Customer Appreciation Day”. Details here. At Zecco, everyday is “Customer Appreciation Day”. Zecco has always offered free trades every day of the year. I encourage you to share this news with your readers, while letting them know that Zecco really does appreciate our customers, and we put our money where our mouth is every single day.

Clever!

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