Sunday, December 03, 2006

Test drving Zecco.com

You probably have heard about Zecco already. The name stands for ZEro Cost Commission. True to their word, they offer zero commission internet trading for stocks and ETFs, for both market and limit orders as long as the account balance is above $2000. There is a limit the number of trades but it’s a more than generous10 trades/day, 40/month. Bank of America also offers free trading to customers with a combined $25,000 in all accounts in a dozen states (AL, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, MA, ME, NH, NJ, NY, NC, PA, RI, SC, VT, VA). However, after comparing the other fees it was obvious Zecco was the clear winner, so I decided to give it a try.


Source: Zecco

Application/ACH transfer
I was actually offered a Zecco account suppose back. I suppose because of this blog. I signed up for an account which lets you participate in their forum and post blot entries. Online trading requires a separate application and password.

The online application was a snap and I received approval the next day. However, I found the interface unpolished in several places. It lacks the ability to enter trailing loss or conditional orders (which BAC lacks also). Since they were upfront about this limitation, I was not too disappointed.

When it came to set up the ACH transfer, however, I found the interface cumbersome and unintuitive. For example, on Nov. 27th, I scheduled a transfer on the 29th. However, once that request was entered, I had trouble finding a record of it. I ended up emailing them on the evening of 28th (No 800 number, phone number for trading help only) and got this reply the next morning.

Thank you for contacting Zecco Trading. You will need to click on PENDING Transfers to see that we have received the request. I do show a pending ACH for your account. We appreciate your input on our ACH processes, we would like you to know that we are constantly upgrading our website and this is an area we are looking to improve.

Should you have any questions, please refer to www.zecco.com

Thank you for your interest in Zecco.

The ACH transfer did manage to go through and I was fairly happy with the way they handled my questions.

My rating so far
Site interface: 3/5
Customer service: 4/5
Overall experience: 4/5

Next key area to be evaluated: order handling and execution