Zecco Feature Review and Free Trades Details

Update: Please see my new and updated Zecco Broker Review.

Zecco Logo - ReviewZecco.com has revealed more details about its promise of free stock trades, and is causing a lot of talk for us investors looking for cheap trades.

Details
» Stock Trades – Yes, it’s free and yes, it’s limited. You get up to 10 free market or limit online orders per day, up to 40 per month. After that, they cost $3.50 per trade.

» Mutual Fund Trades – $10 per online trade, no-load only.

» Options – $3.50 plus $.60 per online contract with no minimums

» No minimum to open! (was $2,500)

» No inactivity fees.

» Accounts are SIPC-insured, like most brokerages.

» ACAT fee is $50, not sure whether this means in, out, or both

» IRA accounts available. $30 IRA annual fee and no closing fee.

» Free trading applies only to one account type per person/company. For example, if you open one account for yourself, an IRA, and also a joint account, you can only get free trades one the first of the three accounts opened.

As for how they make money, here is an excerpt I found:

We make our money the old-fashioned way. We earn interest off your money. Hopefully we provide enough value to you as a investor that it’s worth your placing your account with us. This business model has worked for fianncial institutions for about 400 years, it will work for us. It works for most other onine brokerages, too. If you take a spin through Etrade latest 10-K filing, you’ll notice that they make 49% of their revenues from interest. We absorb the minimal clearing fees on a trade as the cost of doing business with you. We also make money on higher margin services like options trades and from advertising on the portal. When we don’t spend $5 of every trade on advertising to get the trade in the first place, we can offer this service at a much more attractive price: FREE. – Sabin Zecco.

Accounts and transactions are done through Penson, one of the largest clearing firms in the country.

By interest they are probably talking mainly about margin interest (which is currently at 10.5%), but I haven’t found any details on interest rates on cash. According to the forums you have the default cash option but can also sign up for a money market sweep account. Another concern that some people have is getting ‘bad fills’, basically not getting the best order routing and therefor the best share price, but it’s hard to find any place that objectively measures this.

As for advertising, they sure are going to get a lot of buzz for this! Only time will tell if it’s enough. My only question now is if they do a hard credit pull when applying. If not, I’m signing up!

Added: I signed up, and there was no hard credit pull for opening an account at Zecco.

Comments

  1. wow that minimum investment may be a turnoff for the people who might use this trading service the most. the small time investor who does not make many trades per month, and is looking to a cheaper alternative than the bigger online brokerages.

    im disappointed.

  2. Did you check your ANII holdings? Mine disappeared last week, and it shows as sold @ $4. It looks like they retired the stocks at $4…sweet!!

  3. I doubt the people with less than $2,500 would pay much margin interest. They probably don’t want to deal with so many small accounts as well.

    Gonzola – Yep, got the cash in my account already.

  4. Blogreader says:

    link

    “By the way, Zecco Trading will credit an interest rate of 1% annually (1% APR) on cash balances held in all accounts.”

    Margin rate
    $ 0 – $ 24,999 + 2.50% 10.50%

    This is certainly a nice spread to make money off.

    Considering that essentially no interest paid on free cash in accounts (which is a no-no for big accounts), their ACAT, wire transfer, IRA and all those other fees, which would be bad for small accounts, I’m not sure who their audience will be.

    It seems that http://scottrade.com/ offers a better deal for small accounts, while http://interactivebrokers.com/ offers a better deal for large accounts. And indeed, unless you have a larger account, maybe you shouldn’t be doing those 40 trades each months??

  5. Any word on free reinvestment of dividends???

  6. You shouldn’t be trading stocks if you can’t meet the $2500 requirement. It’s just not a good idea. Secondly, brokers don’t want lots of tiny, rarely trading accounts, except as a prospect that those accounts develop into real money making accounts.

    This broker looks very promising. I was very skeptical when I heard about it. If they really do make money on there margin and account interest, and not sacrificing order flow/execution, then it sounds like a good deal.

    I still hope they have some sign up bonuses… :) … but I doubt it…

  7. I don’t agree with publius. I thought the idea of having no commissions was to attract smaller accounts, as well as people who want to start for the first time, but do not want to start with more than let’s say 2000 dollars because they still want to learn before spending more, and thus they don’t lose a lot also because of the commisions.

    These people will eventually put more money and will deal more. I guess no one sees it like me.

  8. My Money Blog,
    Thanks for the info. Right now I use TradeKing, and they charge 4.95 and have pretty decent service. I’ll look into this company though, if they stick around for a while.

    I bet you get tons of Google hits when people search for “money blog”,
    NCN

    This comment is part of my 100 Comments Series over at No Credit Needed.

  9. What is ACAT fee?

  10. Automated Customer Account Transfer, where you can transfer your entire brokerage account and all the investments in it all at once.

    For example, you may buy some stocks at Zecco, and then they change their commissions and you don’t like it. You’d have to do an ACAT transfer to move your stocks to another brokerage like Ameritrade, or sell the stocks and withdraw the cash.

  11. I read that the investment unit of Bank of America is offering free online equity trades for those lucky ones with over $25K in combined account balances effective immediately. Shares of E-trade and TD Ameritrade fell sharply on the news. Hopefully, with a major player like BOA going to free trades, this with give the industry a harder push for more competitive (or free) commissions. Yeah for the small investor!

  12. Is selling also free on Zecco ?

  13. I was just looking and it seems like their IRA accounts are free now – link

  14. If anybody has info on trade execution please post info or links.
    thanks

  15. Did anyone open a trade a/c with Zecco. Any feedback on if there is a hard pull on credit history?? Also any experience with this site would be helpful…Thanks

  16. just a warning to you guys… i opened an account and transfered my money and started investing. then i noticed a chunk of my balance missing. turns out i was supposed to send them a W-9 tax form which THEY NEVER TOLD ME I NEEDED and now the gov’t has 28% of my cash for tax withholding because of zecco, which i cant get back until i file a tax refund. I’m a student so I was pretty pissed when they told me this. They may offer free trades, but they pretty much have a fee for everything else. my advice is to stick with etrade or scottrade… stay away from zecco.

  17. yeah IRA accounts appear to be free at Zecco – except you can not open one – they are still “coming soon”. Its good that they are going to provide free IRA accounts, but when?

  18. John

    It’s your own fault. I opened my account and the trading with them was smoothly and easy withount any problems.

  19. sounds like a mixed review to date…

    is the W9 requirement normal for these types of accounts?

  20. >For example, if you open one account for yourself, an IRA, and also a joint account, you can only get free trades one the first of the three accounts opened.

    Not true. I asked Zecco this question and their reply was that since these are different account types, they are eligible for the free trading program.

  21. I should clarify that my previous comment was with respect to an IRA and an individual taxable account. I did not ask Zecco about a third joint taxable account.

  22. Jonathan, the closing and annual fees for IRA’s are now free. The link below explains Zecco’s “what’s not free” stuff.

    http://www.zecco.com/trading/F.....atsNotFree

    I currently have a ROTH IRA with 100% of my funds allocated to a single index fund (FFNOX) at fidelity. It has holdings in domestic stocks, international stocks, and bonds. It’s an okay fund, but I’d like to have more control on where to allocate my money. I have been thinking about moving everything to Vanguard, but my problem with them is the $10 annual index fund maintenance fee for indexes with balances less than $10,000. If I were to invest in 8 different funds, I could potentially be paying $80 a year to get the allocation that I want.

    Enter Zecco. With no IRA fee for maintaining an account and no fees for closing an account, it would seem that I could invest my money in ETFs and get exactly the allocation that I wanted without fear of fees for not reaching the minimums for the indexes. After reading Jonathan’s article on comparing index funds to ETFs, it seems that ETFs could potentially be even more efficient than index funds.

    For investors with over $100,000, it would seem to me that Vanguard would suit them just fine. They would be able to invest in several funds without incurring these index funds maintenance fees. For investors who are just starting out, however, does Zecco seem like a viable option that will enable investors to pick and chose their allocation without fear of incurring fees?

    Any news on the hard credit pull upon opening the account? For those with a Zecco account, what has been your experience so far?

  23. John Franks says:

    That’s funny. I’ve got a ROTH with only FFNOX also. I bought it a couple years ago when I opened the account since it had a low $2.5k IRA initial investment as opposed to $10k with a lot of the other Fidelity funds. I’ve stuck with it so far and it’s done pretty well, matching or beating the S&P the last couple of years. The bond allocation is a bit conservative for me, so with my balance a couple years contributions’ higher, I may reassess now.

    Anyway, I gave Zecco a shot and have been mostly disappointed. I had the same withholding issues mentioned earlier despite having submitted a W-9 (it was the last page of the application). Also, despite having signed up for money market sweep in the application, there is no evidence of it in my statements.

    Worst of all, their email customer service is total black hole. I haven’t gotten a response from either of my two emails. I’ve gotten through to a person on the phone who said they’d get back to me, but that was over a week ago.

    The trading portion of their website is actually very good and functions fine. Other portions of the website (like account management) are embarassingly primitive.

    It’s too bad, too. I’d love to be able to DCA in small increments with individual stocks/ETFs without worrying about commissions. But at least for now in my experience, zero commission costs = zero service.

  24. Zecco’s pricing keeps changing. Now, they have sneaked back a $30 annual fee for the IRA.

  25. I thought that it was listed as free originally. I had been waiting for this product for some time.

  26. Thanks for the updates. I guess they decided not to eat the IRS paperwork costs. I actually signed up for a month ago but haven’t sent in the signature page yet. I should call them to see if I need to re-apply.

  27. apparently Scottrade has fee-free IRAs. Haven’t read up on it enough to know if there is a catch though.

  28. Hello everyone, im a first time investor fresh off of college…. im debating whether to go with SOGOINVEST or ZECCO to start my first account. Any suggestions or pros and cons?

  29. Wells Fargo and BofA free trading are such as scam. The account balance, assuming min 25k, earns less than 1%. So the oppourtunity cost at a mininum is 4% (Savings account yield 5%-interest paid 1%) on 25k = $1,000. A buy and hold guy might make 100 trades per year, the cost per trade is at least $10. I imagine BofA designed their platform to discourage daytraders.

  30. The Wells Fargo and BofA offers are very different, I recommend actually reading the requirements. You don’t need $25k in cash for Wells.

  31. John Franks says:

    I was just discussing Zecco on Fatwallet and remembered that I posted here, so I thought I’d come back and update in case anybody cared:

    The paperwork that I sent in the day after I opened the account was eventually processed about a month after I sent it in. This resolved the withholding issue for future trades, and it also established the sweep cash count. The money already withheld I’m told I won’t be able to get back before tax time. Fortunately in my case it wasn’t much.

    I haven’t decided if I’m going to stick with them. After the paperwork was processed, I went ahead and invested the rest of my initial deposit. It’s pretty nifty being able to buy like $250 of an ETF w/o commissions. But I’ve been a little soured by the withholding and the uneven customer service.

  32. I have a house loan with Wells Fargo, will that consider me for a free trading account? If yes, should I consider? Any thoughts?

  33. Zecco trading: Stay away from them. Filled out application online, mailed paper work, funded the account more than 2 weeks ago still not able to trade. Status shows pending approval. I was able to apply and trade same day from other online traders. I guess they are not kidding when they say they are able to make money using your account balances. Obviously bcoz they do not let u use ur money for so long. When called they said waiting for processors approval, whatever that means. Tried to withdraw funds 4 days later ach still showing pending processors approval. Bottom line Zecco bad news.

  34. sheeesh…investors complaining about the $2,500.00 initial…just send the 2500 bucks over to Zecco and get the account opened…then draw out 2k foir gawds sakes…then pay your parents back…you might want to give your parents a little extra money for your room in the basement…sheesh…

  35. paul,

    why in the world would you fund during the app process? never fund without an email and an acct number…your a novice

  36. “Why do you think Zecco charges more for an IRA? Are they more expensive to maintain? I always max my IRA out every year, but am hesitant to sign up with them because of the annual fee.”

    IRAs cost more to maintain because there is more paperwork involved. Historically, lots of brokers charged an annual fee for IRAs.

    Recently, more and more annual fees have been free due to price competition. I guess Zecco figured since IRAs tend to be smaller due to the contribution limitations, that they wouldn’t make enough money with free trades. Keep in mind a lot of their profit is coming from margin interest, and margin trading is much much less popular in IRAs. I’m not even sure if they offer it.

  37. I’d guess it’s also because people with IRAs tend to just park their money there and forget about it years and years. I know I would put it in an ETF and be done with it. It seems to me that Zecco is trying to build a community and it doesn’t advance that goal if people just show up once a year to invest their IRA.

  38. With free trades the goal should be trading penny stocks (limit orders only!) frequently.

    The biggest costs are the spreads and I’m sure you’ll still get screwed with limit orders, but at least you can get your price instead of some market maker’s/Zecco’s price. And because they’re penny stocks you’ll be trading 10000 shares or more, which usually ends up being much more expensive at the traditional brokerages. It may be worth it to brush up on your technical analysis skills and take some risks with penny stocks at Zecco. Just a thought…

  39. Zecco Service is horrible. Their Customer Service people are worthless. I’ve had six people there indicate they will correct an error in my balance. Not one of them has come through.

  40. Same problem than Paul, 1 week ago still not able to trade, but I still hope zecco are good….I will tell you…

  41. options trader says:

    How is Zecco with option trading? What are the requirements to be able to trade options? How much experience do you need? I am currently at OptionsXpress but they charge $14.95 for every 10 contracts. Zecco only charges $3.50 + .60 per contract, which is a great deal. Does Zecco offer
    best price on stock and options?

  42. Zecco has the worst customer service ever. I have never experience anything worth than this. How many employee they hired? 2? 3? Open my account for more than 2 months, and deposited my account, but until now, i still won’t be able to trade.

  43. ZECCO,…need to be pacience on the paperwork on the application process,(2-3 week ) but after that,.. start trading for free …yeah FREE!!!!! you save hundred’s of the end of the year. I plan to do 20 -50 trade a month that cost me commission in other companies ($1200-$3000) and more a year.

    THANK YOU ZECCO….!!!!

  44. invesguy says:

    Like many others i too believed in free trading and opened an account with ZECCO.com even though i had a account with a very good site TDAMERITRADE.com. Everything was going good for 6 months, zecco trading is slow. So you lose money when you do sell or buy. I did not even care much about that, bcos i do limit selling or buying. Some day traders would care about that.

    The Most troubling part of Zecco comes to picture when you ACH out of Zecco, these guys dont care about it at all. my ACH out was pending broker approval for 5 days. Normally with my ameritrade it gets approved the same days and i get cash in my savings in 2 or 3 days. Zecco Sucks !!! and i am still waiting …

    Dont open account with Zecco. You will pay for it !!! my twocents advice.

  45. I can sacrifice waiting to open the account , and not so readily available customer service. I have used Scottrade’s cust service maybe 2 times in past year. As long as Zecco’s UI is cool, and my trades go through, I am all over it. Free trading? Its not like Scottrade does not charge margin interest and its about same rate. I am switching, maybe will keep scottrade account just in case, and for research. I can see how saving couple grand a year in trade fees is a plus.

    anti-spam word: FRUGAL

  46. Still working the bugs out…

    I too was approved and funded and told it was good to go. Now that my money is in the account, it turns out I’m not approved for trading. So what, I was just approved to fund? The interface is also very cumbersome.

    Just to be clear, I have money, but I’m cheap, that’s how I got the money. So the min balance isn’t an issue, but so far I’d rather pay Sharebuilder a few bucks just to be done with it. I’m really hoping Zecco steps up their game, because the whole idea sounds great on paper.

  47. James C says:

    Be wary of Zecco Trading. I opened my account last month, faxed the ppr work, mailed the ppr work, got my trading key, set up my ach, tried to buy a couple of stocks and got regected. Msg showed “Only orders that liquidate positions are allowed.” I did not set up an options or margin acct. Called cust service – leave a msg is only option offered. No response. Checked into my account to get a quote a few hours later, msg showed “Your account is not permissioned for real time quotes.” Still have not had a call back, or an email. Hopefully the ach I set up to withdraw my funds will happen sometime soon. And gee do I feel dumb.

  48. Do not sign up here. Going on 2 months now and I still can’t trade. Customer service is useless as you can’t speak to anyone. They’ll reply with a useless one or two line email that doesn’t address the problem (3-4 days after you initially email them). They had the nerve to tell me I didn’t submit my forms. When I threatened to leave Zecco, they suddenly found my forms. Fed up, I requested to withdrawal all cash via ACH. Two days later my account is suspended. So now I have no access to my account, cash, or a customer service rep. It has been over a week and I still have not received the cash I supposedly transferred out before my account was suspended. This company is a joke. They don’t give a flying fart about their customers. Run away, run far away.

  49. James C says:

    I am sorry to hear about your situation Jay. I am glad to have my money back. Your post could have been mine. After experiencing similar customer service issues I went to pull my money. My transfer request showed “pending broker approval” for 3 days. I filed a complaint with the SEC and sent an email to Zecco with the complaint attached. I never got a response, but miraculously the next day my transfer request status was approved.
    I now have my money with Scottrade. It is like night and day. Good web site, fantastic customer service. I called them 6 times on different days at different times and always got a prompt response with a knoledgable rep. I asked every off the wall question I could think of, they never blinked an eye.
    I hope you get your money back real soon. James.

  50. Zecco is a new company with a fantastic idea, and as such, you should have slowly waded into it to test it out before committing all your capital.

    I’ve been a Zecco customer since Jan 1 07, and I’m very happy with it. I know the customer service sucks, and I’ve definately run into problems with them once or twice, but in the end, the $0 trades are worth it. I trade in and out of positions for free, and it makes me feel a whole lot better than giving 1/2 of my yearly profits over to a fat broker.

    Give them a few more months, and Im sure the majority of their customer service issues will dissipate. Until then, have fun getting scalped by your current broker!

  51. James C -

    I have Scottrade as well and am very happy with them. The only reason I signed up with Zecco was for the cheaper options commissions. I still have not received my money and my last 3 emails and 2 phone calls have gone un-answered, heading into the memorial Day weekend. My next step is to file a complaint with the SEC, Attorney General, and BBB. The way they treat their customers is absolutely unacceptable. I feel like I have been robbed blind by Zecco.

    Mike G – I lost 20k in potential profits because my trade did not go thru on the Zecco platform when I entered it. They may save me $7 a trade, but they can never replace that 20k. The only broker that has ever “scalped” me was Zecco.

  52. Recently, I opened a zecco account. The experience is aweful. It was quite easy to open the account online and easy to move your money in. After that, I placed an order to buy a stock. BAd luck was that next day, bad news came and the stocked plumbed down ca. 40%. I tried to sell but could not, for the stock was not in my account. A rejection said you do not have any position in this stock. In the afternoon of the day, the stock was in my account with ca. 55% loss. Then I was informed that my account was put on hold and I need to submit a form. I also can not draw the cash left in my account by ACH, for it is on hold.
    My best recommendation is keeping away from it. Free trade is good, but reliable execuation is more important.

  53. Matthew says:

    Hey Jay and Adam, I’m having problems too with Zecco. Their customer service is a joke. I have now documented all my contact with them. I sent them a fax today, and also sent two letters by “Certified Mail” to protect myself. Listen to this: I just funded my account on August 18. On the next business day and for the next three days, someone else either had access to my account or stock transactions were somehow misdirected to my account. The short story is that my account is about $960 less–and they aren’t even my own trades. (The stock was bought and sold, so it’s not like the position can increase in value). I sent a fax and a certified letter to the President. See their “Contact Us” page for the fax number. Also, go to webpage “About Us” and then click on “The Team” and it will show the names of the officers of the company. If you call their phone number, use option 1, “Trade” and be persistant and you can talk to a human being. I finally got the trading desk. I can’t believe they don’t even have an automatic email response indicating they received my email. Also, they don’t have 24-hour phone service. At least they placed a “hold” on my account to avoid the unauthorized activity or trades hitting my account. However, I’m concerned. Keep me abreast of your status. I work in law enforcement, and my co-workers came from the California Attorney General’s Office (CA State Department of Justice). Zecco being a California company, I know the state government department that has regulatory oversight over them.

  54. Matthew,

    It has now been exactly 2 weeks since I requested a transfer of funds from Zecco to my bank. Zecco does not return my calls or emails anymore. In addition, I still can’t log-in as they suspended my account. Basically, they have hijacked my money. I received some ridiculous Presence Form from Zecco in my email today. This form is for non-US residents to fill out and does not even apply to me in any way. I feel like I am dealing with a bunch of idiots. I wrote, yet another, angry email to Zecco and warned that if my money is not in my bank account within the next day, they will be hearing from the SEC. I have given them a reasonable amount of time to rectify their numerous issues and they have failed at every step. It will get extremely messy if Zecco continues to hijack my money. I will keep the forum updated on what happens…

  55. Matthew says:

    Jay,
    Some good news today, 5/30. I got a call from Craig Pinkston at Zecco Trading. He is handling my problem. Essentially, they do not know how stock transactions that I did not enter, nor authorize were posted to my account, losing $960 in principal last week. So he said he will make my account whole and wipe out those transactions. It will take one or two days. What is scary is that I think it was a software glitch at Zecco or that is was an inside employee fraud. ANYWAY, THE TELEPHONE NUMBER THAT NEEDS TO BE USED TO GET A HUMAN BEING QUICKLY AT ZECCO TRADING IS 909-657-6620. This number is NOT published on the website (a shame). Craig said he will call me when my account is fixed and fully credited back and then immediately have me change my username and password. What I plan on doing after that is withdraw most of my money from Zecco. What a horrifying experience. Since I don’t trade much anyway, (just cheap), I’ll continue using my other broker–I’m willing to pay about $10 per trade for the peace of mind that my money is safer, I can talk to someone 24-hours a day, and I can understand and navigate through their website. Zecco has not been worth it–and my account was open for only a week when this occurred. Geez.

  56. Great news Matthew!

    I too am happy this morning as I found out that the full balance of my Zecco account finally transferred back into my bank account. It only took FIFTEEN days. I still can’t log into my Zecco account, but I could care less about that now.

    For all other users that are having problems, I would suggest using the phone number that Matthew supplied (909-657-6620). Also, the company didn’t respond to my emails or phone calls until I threatened SEC involvement. Then they seemed to respond quickly. I would use the two above methods (phone number, SEC) to solve any and all Zecco problems that you are experiencing. Outside of that, I would suggest to never get involved with Zecco in the first place.

    Have a great day everyone.

  57. Thanks very much your advice. I was having trouble with Zecco, too. I transferred some money, but they didn’t let me do any trades. Then, a customer rep told me that my paperwork was missing. I tried to fax it to them, but THEIR FAX NO DOESN’T WORK. I sent (emailed) the signed docs times, but the customer rep told me that he/she hasn’t received them!

    ZECCO IS A SCAM. Please stay away from them. I am still trying to get my money back.

  58. Matthew says:

    Jay,
    I’m happy that you got all your money back. I hope I’ll be in that position too–as they promised. However, I hope it doesn’t take Zecco two weeks for them to make the ECH withdrawal to my bank, like it did for you. I guess that’s how they earn interest on our money–during the float time when you initiated the withdrawal, to the time that is actually hits your bank account. If their operational practices do not improve, Zecco will be losing a lot of customers and lose all credibility. Good luck.

  59. Matthew says:

    Okay, good news and bad news. The good news is that my account was fixed and the correct balance is reflected as of Friday, 6/1. The bad news is that for security purposes I changed my passwords to login to both the common Zecco website and my trading key, using different passwords. This was done from my civilian work computer in the morning while talking to Zecco customer service on the phone. Then, at home that evening from my home computer, I try logging in into my Zecco Trading account using the new trading key password that I had just changed in the morning, and it wouldn’t let me in. So, I tried using the old trading password, and wouldn’t you know it–I was able to log in. Obviously, I changed my trading key again from my home computer once I was able to log in. However, THIS SHOULD NOT HAPPEN. When you change your password to anything, it should take effect immediately from any computer. At Zecco Trading this did NOT happen. My only guess is that Zecco Trading software and account data is only updated once a day very late at night or very early in the morning and doesn’t get updated in real-time. That is poor security.

  60. nedster says:

    I’m a college grad and I’m considering zecco or scottrade. So Zecco can save you abour $10 per buy and another $10 per sale, is everything else comparable to the major brokers? How much should I expect to pay in other fees, like transfering money into the account or money out of the account when I no longer want it?

  61. James C says:

    Nedster. Be wary, nothing comes free. Read through the Zecco posts before you commit your money. Make some phone calls to both companys customer service reps a few times, then decide.

  62. Thankyou all guys. I was about to open an account with zecco. I am happy I read this blog. Scary. But if i give it a try i will keep you guys updated. currently i am with Scottrade. They have excellent system and service. I like it. Only that i am a small investor most of my profits are going for fees. I hope zecco will have a better service.

  63. hello satisfied customers. I just waded into zecco with 500 bucks to test the water. Tried to trade (buy) but was told I could only liquidate.? WTF I don’t have anything to liquidate. So I emailed them,and then a few days later I re emailed them (assuming I would get a response in 24 hrs as promised) (didn’t) So I called them. Yep. I was told I had to mail in the form, which I guess I should have known, stupid me. So I just said never mind just send me my money back. Sorry, you have to send in the paper work ro get your money back. The Patriot Act? Sorry I don’t get it. So, here I sit, not wanting to have to fill out paper work, knowing I have to, to trade or get my paltry 500 bucks back. I’ll probably go to scott trade. The few hundred dollars I would save at zecco doesn’t make up for the poor customer service.

  64. Matthew says:

    Well today, 6/7, I finally got all my money back from Zecco and deposited back to my regular bank account. Surprisingly, it only took three business days–I thought it would take more time. However, I keep finding more strange errors in every simple transaction. This time I placed a $2,500 ACH withdrawal. But Zecco withdrawals that amount, plus the accumulated interest of $1.37, for a total of $2,501.37. So it sounds like when Zecco’s website says, “pending broker approval” on a cash-in or cash-out transaction, a human broker actually checks your balance. In this case, the human broker at Zecco just thought or assumed I wanted everything withdrawn, without asking me. I would think that if I placed a withdrawal for $2,500, that’s what it means–no more and no less. In any event, I’m finally out of there for good. I have no confidence in Zecco. Sometimes paying $10 a trade for peace of mind and a good night’s sleep is worth it. Ever heard of, “You get what you pay for.”

  65. how is zecco.com?whether is it good for new people?
    are they protecting personal informations very well?
    how many hours does it take to get one trade be done?

  66. Worst customer service anyone can experience!

    I opened my Zecco trading account online and after I transfer fund to Zecco for trade they close my accout, since last 3 weeks I am calling them almost twice in week and they either ask me for new document or to wait for another 3 business days. My money is blocked with them and they are not allowing me to tranfer those back untill I complete their paper work.

    Zecco is not worth even at free, better pay 7$ somewhere and earn on “TIMELY” trade!!!

  67. I called them on friday to check and see how they respond. They are aweful. Not at all helpful, atleast for novice like me. I hate them, but they are free what can i say. Make sure your documents are withthem before depositing any money. I will give them a try. I will keep you guys posted how mine goes.

  68. visa holder says:

    I signed up. Linked my bank account. Initiated money transfer. Still can’t trade. They did not ask for any documents via email or through website.

    I call them. They say they need documents to be mailed in. I asked if fax is enough to start trading – they said no. Need 3 – 5 business days they said after receiving snail mail.

    Meanwhile, the money will be taken from bank account tomorrow. And if I hadn’t made that call I would’ve never known they were waiting for my documents.

    Of course they’ll be using my money without letting me trade with it.

  69. Thanks everyone for the great info about the hazards of the zecco site. You are helping the little guy. The problem is that it is being advertized in TheStreet.com – a very cool site – and just because this site seems reputable doesn’t mean the sponsers of it are selling a good product.

    MH

  70. Today, I came to this blog site to find out some info. on Zecco because I was angry about a recent experience that I had with Sharebuilder, and was thinking about switching to Zecco, to get free trades.

    I am brand-new to stock trading, & initially considered opening an account with Zecco; however, I opted to open an account with Sharebuilder a couple of weeks ago, & have been mostly happy with them, except for the fact that I seem to be paying a premium price for stock shares.

    Also, I noticed that Sharebuilder recently executed a 29 share LIMIT purchase which I never authorized. My LIMIT order was for 500 shares, but they just took the liberty to fill only 29 shares of that 500 share limit order, and then charged me a service fee almost equal to the entire cost of those 29 shares.

    So, the 29 shares (keeping in mind that I never authorized a Buy of 29 shares) that they procured for me? @ .75 per share, had a total value, & cost, of around $21.00, but Sharebuilder charged me a $15.95 RealTime trade fee. In the end, those 29 shares, valued at only 75 cents per share, cost me around $1.30 per share, due to the nearly $16.00 service fee.

    I called to complain, & was told that it was probably due to the fact that the stock, in question, has very little trading activity & that maybe they (sharebuilder?) could only get a hold of 29 shares at that price, at that time. Anyway, my opinion is that they should not aquire any more, or less, shares than I specified, wich was 500 exactly. I think that if they could not get the entire 500 shares at the price I specified as my limit, then they should have waited until they either a) could fulfill the entire order , or b) cancel the order when my Limit order expired = 60 days.

    I was told that the full $15.95 service fee would be refunded, but I have not seen it show up in my account yet.

    Sharebuilder does have good customer service. They always answer their phones, quickly, and have a polite phone staff who are happy to answer any questions I have. I also like their website. It’s easy to navigate & has nice features. Sharebuilder offers an automatic investment plan which will purchase your stocks for you, automatically, every tuesday, for $4.00 per trade.

    Anyway, after reading all of these posts about how bad Zecco is… even though I am angry with Sharebuilder, at the moment, I will stay with them, or switch to Scottrade (whom I have read only good things about).

    Thanks for all of your posts! They are very helpful.

  71. Hi,

    I have opened an account with Zecco since 5/23/07. I have sent presence test, scanned documents, etc., to zecco. I have spoken atleast twice to customer service representatives to activate my account. Everytime I have been assured that I would be able to trade within a couple of hours. But till date(almost a month), I am not able to trade. How are they going to compensate me for the opportunity cost of loosing all the profits I would have made by trading in the last couple of weeks. I am very dissappointed in Zecco, and I am likely to close my account. I dont think Zecco really cares for its customers nor are they aware of management basics of customer service tied to retaining to customers.

    Worst customer service ever.

    I would not reccommend their services to anybody.

  72. Any recent reviews???

    Is there any progress in the zecco service?

    I am thinking about opening a account. Please reply.

  73. After reading all these comments, it seems that many people just don’t know how to follow the directions. I signed up for Zecco. I have had zero problems. No money withheld to the IRS. No locked accounts. No troubles at all. From the time I first registered on the site to the time I could start trading was under one week, and that included all the delays in ACH transfers and trial deposit verification.

    So far, I have made quite a few trades, and have had no issues whatsoever. I can move money into and out of Zecco and my savings account, and it takes just one business day.

    To the guy who complained that he tried to withdraw $2500 , and Zecco withdrew that amount plus interest, are you sure you didn’t click the “Account Balance” check box? If you bother to read the help, that checkbox will withdraw the entire amount in the account, regardless of the balance.

    I do recommend Zecco. It’s been a breeze working with them, and I can trade stocks, free, without any problems at all.

  74. Under a week Rick?

    You must work for Zecco then.

    It took more than a week for these jokers at Zecco to respond to an email/phone call. Then when they finally did respond, they had the nerve to blame ME for the delay (claiming I didn’t fill out the appropriate paperwork). Of course, they realized they were wrong and apologized (I have proof) and told me another 2 days (more lies..and again I have proof). By not being able to place an options trade when I wanted to, I was robbed of a $20k profit. I say a big “F— You” to Zecco and would urge everyone to head elsewhere before getting involved with this scam of a company.

  75. I agree with Jay…

    there is no way you can have traded in a weeks…cause zecco takes 2 days to setup your ACH transfer, then it takes them atleast a 2 days to approve your transfer..cause the jokers do it manually….then somehow they manage to transfer it after a day…and dont forget your application approval time….and your document upload time…..whatever..I DONT BELIEVE YOU …RRRRIICCK….

    I hope ZECCO pays you well…

  76. Hmph. Nope, I don’t work for Zecco. I hadn’t even heard about them until I read this very blog.

    Let’s see. I signed up on a Tuesday. My application was approved on Thursday. I linked my bank account also on Thursday. The trial deposits showed up on Friday. I verified the trial deposits, and initiated the transfer of my initial deposit on Friday. I also signed up for the money market sweep account on Friday. On Monday the inital deposit showed up. On Tuesday my account was changed to a money market sweep account, and I made my first trade (which of course has since lost 6% of its value).

    Maybe I just got lucky. I don’t doubt their customer service is slow, but I have yet to deal with them, as the whole process has just gone smoothly. But in reading many of the above comments, it’s pretty obvious that at least some people did not follow all the directions, or read all the fine print.

    I will say this. I currently cannot make any short trades. It rejects my order, saying I’m “not permissioned.” I may have to deal with customer service to find out why. Or I may just have to read some more fine print. We shall see.

  77. I signed up on May 18 and have done 15 trades so far. If there’s one thing I’ve realized, it’s that PAPERWORK NEEDS TO BE MAILED, no ifs, ands or buts. E-mailing and faxing will enable you to start trading sooner, but if you haven’t mailed in your paperwork as soon as your account is approved, there WILL be problems later and they will close the account. It happened to me after about 3 weeks, they closed the account. I called up and was told about the missing hard copies, so I mailed them the same day via Priority. Two days later, I checked the delivery confirmation slip, later the same day, my account was opened again. No problems since.

    Moral of the story : SEND IN YOUR PAPERWORK!

  78. Hi Rick:

    What paperworks you had to send via snail mail?

    I am in similar situation – opened a/c, they have my money but can’t trade. No clue what paperwork I have to submit.

    Thanks.

  79. Apparently, if you sign up for an account after May 10th and meet certain requirements, such as being a US citizen and having a social security number, you don’t need to send in any paperwork. I never had to send in any paperwork.

    You can find out if you need to send in paperwork on the “myInfo” tab of the trading center. There’s a line that says “Outstanding paperwork.” It should read “no.”

    If you do have to send in forms, I’m sorry, I don’t actually know everything you have to send in. I admit their website is a little unclear. But I do know you have to send in a copy of your ID (usually driver’s license) and the last page of the application form which certifies you are not subject to withholding.

    I suppose it’s too late now, but I would not have put money in your account until the “Outstanding Paperwork” was completed and reads “No.”

    KayGee: What hardcopy forms did you have to mail in?

  80. Rick, I sent them hard copies of everything (It might have been helpful if I had mentioned that I am not a US citizen).

    Original :
    - signed application
    - W-9
    - presence test
    - combined customer agreement (margin accounts)

    Photocopy :
    - passport
    - visa
    - driver’s license

  81. I guess I forgot how long it had been since I was here whining about my $500. I don’t know if I misunderstood the girl I finally reached at their customer service, i use the term loosely, but it sounded like “you can’t get your money out because of the patriot act”. Is this true? Then why were they allowed to take my money in the first place? This sounds basically like a huge crock of … something. Still wating for the opportunity to make some free trades. (ya think anyone from zecco visits this site?) Do I earn interest on my money while I am mailing an envelope with all my personal info, DL #, SS #, etc etc? I’m glad they have all this security on their site, and then you send your life history in the mail with Zecco Trading on the front. Sorry, too much coffee this morning.

  82. wow, im shopping around for a new broker (currently with scottrade) and find this~

    zeccos pricing sounds very very good, but i suppose it has its issues – scottrade has been good to me and has fair prices (along with amazing customer service) – never had people more willing to answer some of the dumbest questions i could think of with a smile~

    someone was talking about mutual funds and vanguard above – i checked out vanguard and it looks like any mutual fund ira fees (not fund fees) can be waived via a few different methods, one of which involves going paperless~ i thought long and hard about vanguard but the equity trade costs are a bit to high for me – if all you want to deal with is mutual funds, its probably one of the best ways to go though…

    i suppose ill take a rain check on this zecco though, i certainly hope things change though~

  83. Finally all set to trade. paperwork done in abt 2 weeks ……. No trading experience in zecco yet – that’s next

  84. I have read most of this thread to date. I was thinking of swtiching to Zecco from Scottrade. But…noooooo way after reading all of this crap. My only beef with Scottrade is their penny pinching interest rates on cash left in my account. They don’t have a m.m. sweep account so I have to request a check to move money to my Vanguard m.m. account. And $0 trades vs. $7 trades seems good but I only do maybe a hundred trades a year and the trading fee is peanuts for the $500,000 account that I have. Scottrade customer service is excellent. They even have 7 local offices in my town where I can visit a broker in person, drop off a check. etc. I’m staying put till I see some better reviews on Zecco.

  85. Zecco sucks !!!

    I have use eTrade, Scottrade for a few years. I have to say Zecco is apparently the worst ! I almost can not imagine any other trading site worse than Zecco. And the worst part of Zecco is its customer service. Their representative are not only not helpful, they are unbelivably ignorant of their rules/policy and they just drive you crazy.

    For almost *every* question that I checked with them via email or phone, to my surprise, everytime I get different answers from different representatives, it made me wondering if these representatives are really working for the same company… When I opened my aacount, I followed exactly what they require on the web site, since I am an experienced one, I even called them to check if I need to submit W9. I was told by one person via email, then I called them, another person said yes I do need to; then I called again, this time anothr one said “maybe”. Are they crazy or what ? Not just W9, they messed up a lot of things indeed. When eveyrthing seemed to be fine, I funded my account and I saw the money. Then suddenly the next day I found my account was suspended ! I called them and they spent 2 hours and couldn’t tell me why they suspended it !!! I was really angry and I decided to close my account. Then next day they said my account was reactivated ! Then I tried to withdraw money and stay away from it, then they gave me lot of trouble and sometimes they “pretend” not read your email, their “standard” answer is “you need to complete certain procedure to…”. I asked them to be specific, then no response…

    This is a joke service, I will recommend everyone to leave this crazy scam ASAP.

  86. i HAVE BEEN USING TRADEKING AND SOGOINVEST. SOGO IS THE CHEAPER OF THE TWO BUT I PERFER AND HAVE HAD GREAT SUCCESS WITH TRADEKING…….. WAS THINKING ABOUT TRYING ZECCO BUT ALOT OF MIXED REVIEWS SO FAR….. RICK H.

  87. I have opened an account about 2 months back. It took a while to get things setup (about 10 days after you mail all your documents and yes Indeed the W9 is required) After that the trading so far has been painless. I love the free trades although I don’t do more than 8-10 trades a month but saving about $100 a month is cool. No real problems with Customer service so far. Sometimes it takes 1-2 days for getting a response to your email but for urgent matter just call them. Phone service is good. I love their money market sweep option it lets me make a higher interest rate on my cash in the account. Overall so far very satisfied with their service although it is just 2 months, I will post if I see anything bad for now I love all the commission free trades. Go Zecco.

  88. zeccosucks says:

    I have been trading with zecco for past 2 months.

    I agree with almost all the -ve things people wrote here about zecco and it’s customer service.

    I have personally faced all these types of problems with them.

    I have just come across this site and after knowing others are also facing similar issues regularly, I have decided to close this zecco account of mine.

    The small amounts we save in fees is not worth the hassle with their worst customer service, their mistakes, their ignorance and absolute lack of manners and the time and health costs of spending time with these morons.

    There is a guy called Henry in customer service ..he is an absolutely horrible person; he is arrogant, ignorant and talks as if he is doing you a favor and hangs up the phone line in between.

    These people sound very unprofessional & bad. They dont use their own names, they give only short names; gives you creeps if your info is safe with them. any bank /other financial call center folks give their id atleast. These people don;t have /don’t give one.

    I would n’t suggest zecco to even my enemy to deal with these sickos.

  89. Bob Dole X2 says:

    I’m thinking of just making a $10 zecco account for the heck of it. I know the service sucks from what you’ve all said, but I’m intrigued. So far, I’ve been using TRADEKING, which is awesome and at $4.95 per trade (with great customer service), it’s already cheap enough. But since I don’t have a lot of cash, as I just turned 18, I want to see if I can get this Zecco thing to work out….

  90. finance_guy says:

    Seems like the major problem is that zeeco is not making money.

    If you read the story above they say that they make money through interest. So they are probably artificially creating delays like allowing you to fund your account but not allowing you to trade, and taking forever to ACH your money back, in order to make as much money as possible by tying up YOUR money.

  91. I think their biggest problem is that they don’t publish upfront how to apply for an account.
    Like what you need to do, step-by-step. What paperwork needs to be sent in etc.

    My experience of Zecco so far:
    I applied in late April. I created a zecco account and a trading account. I thought I was done. A month or so later I mailed in a check. It was deposited fairly quickly and I thought I was ready to trade. It said I was not allowed. They also had screwed up my address info somehow and they had changed sex on me from a Mr. to a Mrs… Then they said I had to file a paper to change this. I signed it and sent it in. Fine. I then saw that I needed to sign and mail in a paper copy of my application, so I requested a copy of it. The paper still said I was a Mrs… and my city was misspelled.

    Most of this could have been avoided if they would just had specified what is needed when you apply. I had somewhat similar trouble with Ameritrade, but much less and much easier to fix. They all require the W9 (because IRS require it).

    I think right now, they are starting up and don’t have their routines going. That means customer service has to do more work than they should. They need a better application process, more configuration through the web site, have phone support and they will be fine.

    I will digg deeper into this and see what effort it takes. They have a great idea and should be able to rumble the market, but they need to perform better. Getting people up and running should be their #1 prio right now.

  92. I wanted to try Zecco after paying alot of fees with Schwab. After reading this blog I was a little leery so I opened an account and started with just a couple hundred dollars. The website leaves a little to be desired and the customer service doesnt even come close to Schwab, but I guess you get what you pay for. I have had no problems yet, but I havent tried withdrawing money out, we will see how that goes next week. If that goes well I plan on doing another trial with a few thousand dollars.

    Here is a timeline to show how long it took to get my account going.
    7/21 created zecco login
    7/22 created trading account
    7/22 submitted bank acct for deposit verification
    7/24 verified deposits
    7/24 ach request into zecco account
    7/26 ach received and bought stocks
    7/31 sold stocks (3.5% gain!!!)
    8/05 (sunday) proceeds from sale available in zecco account
    8/05 ach request out of zecco account
    ???? coming soon (hopefully) – money appears in bank account

  93. jinglebells says:

    after reading all the scary stories of locked out accounts, suspended money, and terrible customer service, i’m wondering if someone who had a positive experience with zecco could share all the steps they took to start trading hassle free.

    how did u open your account, what forms did u fax / mail in, how did u transfer money into the account, how long before you were trading, etc?

    i currently have scottrade and they wont let me trade options. i’m very annoyed and want to switch. any help would be greatly appreciated. thanks!

    jing

  94. jackandjill says:

    I have opened two accounts with them this month. One for me and one for my wife. Each account took less than a week to be up and running and to place my first trade. My application was easy as I am a citizen. I expected my wife’s application to take a little longer as she is a new greecard holder. However, to my surprise, it took less time than my account to be up and running and ready to trade including the deposit of money by ACH. We did not have to submit any hard copies of paperwork (thank god).

    Their platform is very simple and basic and not always user friendly. THat is my main complaint. Also, I am not sure what my options level of trading is. ALso, it is annoying to have a pasword and a trading key to access my account.

    In any case, if this keeps up, I may incorporate some of my larger accounts to my Zecco account.

    I was initially scared about opening an account with Zecco and was expecting a long wait. I was definitely pleasantly surprised. Hopefully I will have good things to say later on.

  95. After reading all the posts, looks like only customers from overseas have a problems, but in reality it is just simple paper work and verifying of the information. Do not complain…. I am US citizen. Signed up for account today, waiting to get approuved. Will keep you updated people. Nice blog.

  96. Zecco.com is the worst website ever. First of all it took me an awefully long time to understand their user interface and then I wanted to transfer funds and that took one week. After that I tried doing trade and it kept getting Rejected and gave me some weired details about why it got rejected. Then i called zecco and finally got in touch with someone after trying for an hour or two. The representative told me that I need to turn in my paper work. Upon asking that I have signed electronically then they said still you need to turn in the paper work. Rediculous.

    Later I sent the paper work the same day thinking it will be done soon. But nope … they didnt do anything and on top of it they didn’t responded and didn’t recieve calls either ….

    finally i have decided to go to some other web-site …. dont ever go to zecco is all i can suggest.

  97. do i have to send in anything if i am subject to backup withholding? the website says that applications filled online after a certain date doesn’t need any further action. on the last page of application pdf file, it has the blank backup withholding form. do i need to send it in or was everything done electronically?

  98. does zecco have gainskeeper integrated into it like scottrade does? i like scottrade but the commissions for trading anything under $1 is ridiculous. so far zecco and ameritrade is the only brokers i know that will do sub-$1 stock trades for a flat fee, not based on # of shares or principal amount of trade.

  99. It’s going to be almost a month since I signed up with Zecco. I got approved the following day and was sent an email about resending my application through the mail along with supporting documents.

    I funded the account without a problem. I tried to buy a stock but kept getting rejected. The note says, “only orders that liquidate the market is allowed.” Whatever that meant. I emailed Zecco twice about this and never got a response. They did respond to my other emails on a different topic.

    They tell you they can expedite my application if I email or fax my application, but I would still need to mail the application within 30 days. I emailed them my stuff. What’s the point of it if I still can’t trade.

    I just initiated to pull out my money. May be I’ll come back once my account has the green light.

  100. Don’t never ever open the account with them.
    I open one and now i try to get my money out and run away.
    - You can put money in easy , but out : no way
    - The site is worst i never seen in my life (hard to use)
    - the customer service is worst
    - Not enough data for research
    - Stay away from cheap stuff, they never last long and you will lose your your money (when they bankruptcy, shut down the site…and you can’t contact them)

  101. I have nothing but good things to say about zecco, my IRA account was opened and funded quickly. The user interface is simple and functional. I execute all my orders as limits, the transactions are executed super fast and confirmations are immediate. I can get customer service on the phone after a few (less than 5) minutes and they answer all my account questions. Regarding the interest rate, just buy the ETF BIL (it pays 4.5% currently), it?s based on the Lehman 1/3 month t bill.

    I get really tired of people complaining about a good value. Granted, it?s not the most ergonomic trading platform and customer service does not pick up on the first ring, but damm, trades are free. If you don?t need your hand held for every investment decision and your IQ is above 80, then zecco is a great choice.

  102. Tradingguy says:

    So, if you keep a ?cool head? about verifying your identity (without taking offense, as in an airport security check), send in the paperwork (fax and mail), check-up on your paperwork status (yourself?as you should be consistantly familiar with your account,every aspect/tab), have some patience (1wk-1mth), and don?t setup more than 1 account?I can have a free trade account that I can trade ANY?ANY stock I choose?
    Another fact I?ve noticed (and the main reason I went with Zecco) is that Zecco does not determine what stocks I?m allowed to trade. -Unlike my former Sharebuilder account, I mean, its MY MONEY?kewl beans :^)=

  103. First-time trader… I read through all of these comments, decided to go through the sign-up and funding process with huge patience in mind. It took about 3 weeks and was a little difficult. (I sent a check along w/my forms & ID.) But now I’ve been trading a lot over the past three weeks and it’s been very smooth. I haven’t tried getting any $ out so can’t testify about that. But I have no big complaints. I do my research elsewhere & sign in to Zecco only to buy and sell. It works for me. Free is good.

  104. I’m also new to investing in the stock market so i decided to do what MrCheopo did, do trades with Zecco and just do research else where. Hey free is free right? But anyway, do you guys have any site suggestions for research/screening purposes?

  105. NoobyInvestor says:

    ChrisF i suggest you try Extreme Charts. look at it on google. Can someone answer me this question. Can you do after hour trading with zecco?

  106. They just pulled the biggest bait and switch I have seen any company ever perform. Then despite the assurances that we would not see fees if we decided to close our account? Despite that assurance from the forum moderators? Despite that assurance from the FAQ?

    Big old $20.00 ACH fee staring at me in the face.

  107. Its true – Zecco has truly pulled a bait and switch on us the customers. Previously they offered 40 free trades a month and no minimum balance. Now, no more free trades if your account is under $2500 (and only 10 free trades if there is $2500 minimum), plus they raised commission fees to 4.50 from 3.50 – All for a company that was supposed to “level the playing field” for the smalltime investor. Add to that disloyalty a terrible trading interface and you’ve got a reason to turn them away. My account is CLOSED.

  108. the only good thing about zecco is its free trade offer. but when you go through their terrible and amateur customer service, and that opening an account with them is not a breeze, you realise you might as well spend money on trading commissions and get good service. Truly there is no free lunch and you have to pay a price for some free service.

  109. Zecco 120 trades $0/year
    ScottTrade 120 trades $840/year

    Free trade is good. Zecco has a very good business idea. They will need some time to correct their mistakes.

    I will stick with it for now.

  110. STAY AWAY FROM ZECCO!!!! I have a Zecco account that I started about 5 months ago. Zecco?s customer service went from bad to worse. The prices went from great to comparable to other brokerages. The platform went from basic crap to still basic crap. The forums went from community members opinions to only what the editors approve. If it could negatively affect Zecco (something that is almost always true) it will be deleted as if it never existed. The company is a scam. GO TO THE BBB WEBSITE AND CHECK OUT ZECCO?S ?F? RATING!!!! I loved it before and recommended it to many. I now recommend everyone to stay away. THEY ARE LIARS!!!

  111. I would have to agree with the sentiment that “ZECCO SUCKS”. I don’t normally take the time to write such reviews, and I would generally choose different words. But I would not recommend them to anyone. Perhaps they are just experiencing growing pains. I have almost memorized their customer service number – always something wrong. The executions are good, because they use an underlying provider – Penson. But their website, customer service, timeliness will put you at risk. Perhaps they will get better over time. But I would advise you to use someone else… you get what you pay for.

  112. I wonder if all these people with such negative reviews are semi-professional traders, or at least people with significant experience with other online brokerages. After around six months of using Zecco, I still stand by my original sentiment — I love Zecco. Sure, you get what you pay for, but it some cases, that’s exactly what you need. I’ve never once called customer support, and I use Zecco extensively to execute around 30-40 trades a month.

    I suppose it’s like the difference between Nordstrom and Walmart. If you’re used to shopping at Nordstrom all the time, the moment you step into a Walmart, you’re react, “This is terrible. Stay far away from Walmart. It sucks. It’s horrible. Customer service is nonexistent.” But for those of us used to shopping at Walmart, the experience has grown on us, and Nordstrom is just too darn expensive.

  113. jackandjill says:

    after reading all of these comments, I was cautious to use Zecco service. My account and my wife’s accounts were opened much quicker than all of the people commenting here and without any problems or delays. It took less than a week to open. I am a US citizen andshe is a green card holder and there was no difference in the time to open. After reading the comments about the withdrawing money, i was also cautious.

    Recently, I needed witdraw about 1/3 of my account for a downpayment. I was expecting it to take several weeks based on the comments i read here. I was surprised when it took less than 4 days. Yes they are not perfect and they do not have thebest website, but for average investors like myself and my wife, it is more than enough.

  114. Zecco BBB Grade F need I say more.

  115. John, what are you talking about? I just looked up Zecco at the BBB website and they have a CCC rating. They are also a member of the BBB as of 12/19/07. Seems the main problem is from complaints, probably the people who failed to correctly set up a new account. I’m going to give them a try.

  116. Zecco_user says:

    Would like to point out that the Zecco website has plenty of software bugs. Nothing major really but they will drive you crazy at times – For e.g. when you try to look at the Activity / Trade records, the calendar pop-up suddenly losses session information and logs you out. You would think they would fix this as a priority.. but I have seen this happen for a while now…

    But they do offer 10 free trades a month.. so for the small investor it still a pretty good account to have.. as long as you don’t care much about Customer Service.. coz that is the biggest pain point with Zecco..

    Happy Trading!

  117. So I read such negative things about zecco. I am a new investor and want to begin dabbling in investing to learn and become a more savy investor with as little risk as possible. I am not sure if zecco or scottrade is the right choice for me. I can start with the minimum 2500 at zecco, is this a good choice? I am not sure how many trades amonth I will execute, but maybe 10-50, although a wide range, not sure because I have never done it before. If anyone has any advice, other than whats been posted, that would be great.

  118. First thing, im just going to give an honest assessment of my experience of different firms, I have made well over 4000 trades in the last 5 years or so. I never tried zecco but Im considering it, mostly for short term trades.
    Sharebulder is ok for long term holds, accumulating positions, divy reinvestment etc. Cons are, you can invest for 4 bucks but you dont know what price you filled at until later and cant set a limit on the price. Customer assistance is non existant, they answer the phone and then play stupid. I have several large trades that tied up my money until their system showed my balance, several hours later. recently the real time trade price dropped to 9.95. I WOULD NOT use sharebuilder for real time anything. execution is very bad. Higher quantity lower priced equitys are very expensive to trade with them.
    I also have fidelity, very good for execution and priced at 8 bucks for me per trade, decent with good product education and offerings, very good customer service. good for long term. they slapped my hands a couple times for trading with money before it was settled, for this I blame them, That money shouldnt have been available to me. Not good for high quantitys of cheap shares (otcbb or pink)
    Which leaves me with ameritrade, 9.99 a trade. Not the cheapest but, I can buy 10 million shares of an otcbb stock or 1 share of a blue chip, for 9.99. No problem at all no matter what the quantity, and incredible execution, sometimes I will get filled below my limit which is a nice surprise. Customer service is good, Also good trading tools free when enrolled. Never a problem with money etc.
    advice from me, if you plan on trading otcbbs, use fil or kil or all or none orders so you dont just get a few shares of your order filled, and always use limit orders.
    I still have all 3 of these accounts and Im buying more and more high dividend paying stocks (12 to 30 percent) which I use fidelity for (IRA) and for a cash account Ill probably accumulate with sharebuilder although im hoping zecco is better than some of the older reviews, I might use them too. Glta

  119. Just a follow-up to some other comments I’ve posted… Zecco had been holding my money without good faith for some time, despite the number of times I had complied with their requests for drivers’ licenses, bank statements, etc. I’m an honest taxpaying schoolteacher… there shouldn’t have been any red flags on my account, but somehow there were and my account (and funds) were infinitely frozen before I even got to make a trade. This was some time last year, and my funds were only released to me after I told Zecco that I was reporting them to the FBI for Internet fraud. Today a detective from California called to follow up on my complaint. Apparently they have gotten multiple complaints, and he said that he had gone out there to talk with them yesterday. I told him that my issue had since been resolved, but only once I told Zecco I was reporting them for being so dirty. Do not do business with this company. No discount is worth the trouble they have put me through.

  120. Could be the worst brokerage interface and customer service ever! Yes you get what you pay for, and that is bad for the survival of Zecco. The personal experience I have had with the customer service reps tells me that they were brought in with no experience what so ever…with no college backround and a lack of any proper training. If this is a basic example of what management they have steering them, then it is a real reflection of the whole organization.

    They will not thrive like this, let alone survive the downturn.

  121. I appreciate this thread, as it gives me warning of problems with Zecco. Despite some others’ terrible experience, I figure that once an account is “approved” and stable, the poor customer service might not be much of an issue since I don’t expect to have to use it much. If I get far enough to fund it, I will certainly send only a small fraction of my funds til the account is “approved” and stable.

    I have been using Izone for ~5 years (Freetrade before the name change). It charges $5/stock trade. Although I’ve contacted customer service numerous times, these contacts have rarely changed anything, so it’s not really necessary very often. I haven’t used any other brokerage firm besides Ameritrade since ~2000, so I can’t really compare it to others. Generally, I’ve been happy, and customer service always responds the same day, usually within an hour or two. I’m not always happy with the answer, but I would generally say that Izone is responsive, and I would be shocked if it ever gave me problems such as withholding my money, etc. My inquiries with customer service are usually about not getting a fill that I feel I’m due on the <$1 Nasdaq stocks that I typically trade. I’m always told that orders on these stocks are filled on a “best efforts” basis, whatever that means. I have no other brokerage to compare. I am hoping that Zecco might show me better execution, though considering that it’s a cut-rate brokerage, I’m not optimistic. I’ve thought about using Interactive Brokers, but the commissions would be high for the low priced stocks I typically trade.

    Oh, I forgot, I did have a bad experience with a small brokerage through which I opened an account because Izone wouldn’t let me buy a certain stock. It was horrible–too many problems to mention here. I made my trade (fortunately made ~$1700), and got out. I just remembered its name: TradeDirect. It made me very thankful for Izone/Ameritrade.

    Upon submission of the long, slow application (in which I applied for Level 3 Options trading), Zecco emailed me stating that it couldn’t verify my information, and it wanted a signed paper application and copy of my driver’s license. Wondering about its verification process, I asked whether Zecco does a “hard credit pull,” and, if not, what it uses for this “verification.” I got a response a couple days later, which didn’t answer either question. I replied, asking for attention to my questions. Although the author of this blog states that Zecco doesn’t do a hard credit pull, it must do some sort of database check, which I assume is a check with a credit agency. I will post the response I get.

  122. Zecco must be learning something. I have recently opened an individual account and a rollover IRA account. The application process is a bit tedious but I utilized the “save account information” option which really helped. I carefully read all of the rules of engagement and find them surprising straight-forward and dare I say it… fair. The processes were not entirely glitch free but my phone calls with them were always productive and return emails prompt. I am funding my accounts via ACH and the roll over of a 401k that has consistently lost me money over the years while at the same time “fee-ing me to death.” I had to pay them to lose me money. Zecco did charge me a $30 per year IRA maintainance fee but TANSTAFL gentlemen. Even if I lose money for myself I have the satisfaction that I took an active role in my future and I don’t think $30 is too much to pay, especially compared to what Great West used to charged me. I may be poor but I am not stupid. I read everything and even checked out Zecco and their parent company EQUINOX SECURITIES, INC. and found nothing bad. Finally I can afford to invest my money with the research and care as if it was my own money, which it is. Thankx Zecco…

  123. Follow-up: Zecco CSRs responded slowly 3X to my original questions about “verification” of my application. None answered my questions definitively, if at all. I last responded on 3/31 by asking for answers to my original questions, and I haven’t gotten a response yet, so I assume that Zecco will never answer my questions. Furthermore, I haven’t received the application that Zecco was supposed to mail ~3/26. At this point, I’m thinking that Zecco is too much work, and too frustrating to deal with.

  124. thanks for the reviews. even though scottrade locks up my firefox browser on linux sometimes, zecco just doesn’t seem to be a viable alternative.

    nc

  125. I just started up with Zecco… Took 2 days for the ACH transfer, they verify your account by making 2 small penny deposits. First trade I tried did not execute fast. Second trade was lightning fast.

    I think this is a great deal, and I’m not having any problems… I had an Ameritrade acc before this so I just use quotetracker with my ameritrade login for my realtime quotes because the Zecco platform is weak.

    Has limit orders, and they execute. For free. What more do I need?

  126. watch out says:

    It might sound good, but what the fail to tell you is. After you make a sell it takes 3-5 days for the money from the stock you just sold to even show up in your account. Which will cost you money in the end, especialy if you are doing day trading or short term buying/selling. So if you are looking to trade 2 or more times a week or even a day. Better look eleswhere.

  127. Zecco Trading has so far been my worst experience ever, though I haven’t dealt with many online brokers. I was lured by the concept unlimited of free trades in the past (the $30.00 yearly maintenance Fee wasn’t an issue) & decided to try it with a small account as a test, about $5,000. Shortly after the unlimited of free trades turned into 10 free trades a month which would still work for me, though it did cost me some commissions. With the latest change of $25,000 minimum requirement I decided this wasn’t for me so I transferred the account to an existing account in TDAmeritrade which just arrived today with a $81.00 debit (Zecco’s cost for transferring funds & closing the account). I don’t usually believe that you get what you pay for, but in this example it has been a very costly test with no upside. I would recommend exercising caution on using this low rated broker.

  128. The day after I opened by Zecco account they announced they were no longer offering free trades. I asked them to close out my account, at which point they told me I would have to pay a $50 transfer-out fee. Even in light of the circumstances – they never informed me of the impending change – they showed no goodwill and refused to waive the fee.

    I think this speaks volumes.

  129. There’s enough bad one can say about Zecco without inaccurate/misleading information posted here. In response to some recent posts:

    1. Zecco offers 10 free trades/month if one makes >25 trades/month or maintains account equity of >$25K.

    2. All brokerages that I’ve encountered charge a transfer fee if one wants to transfer stocks to another firm. There is usually no charge for closing an account. If Zecco charges to close the account and simply withdraw money, I’d be surprised.

    3. For cash accounts, there is a required 3 day settlement period. So, money from a stock sale would not be available til settlement. If you don’t want the delay, get a margin account.

  130. Scotty,
    My only other experience is with Datec which beame Ameritrade & then TDAmeritrade. This account at Zecco was transfered from TDAmeritrade without a charge so I assumed there would be little or no charge to transfer it back. $81.00 seems a bit high for a transfer fee & account closure. The charge for closing is where I have a problem as there is a charge for keeping it open also (yearly).

  131. Hi Bo,

    TDAmeritrade charges $75 for full account transfer unless one has an Apex (active trading or net value >$100K) account.

  132. Regardless of transfer fees, Zecco has gone from a good deal to just an ok deal. This is how the deal has changed since I opened my account:
    1) 40 free trades per month then $2.50 per trade (I think)
    2) 10 free trades per month then $4.50 per trade
    3) 10 free trades per month AFTER 25 or if you have enough money to not need free trades and you have $25,000 in your account, you get 10 free trades. Then $4.50 per trade

    I moved my account from Zecco to Just2trade between deal 2 and deal 3. My deal with Just2trade has never changed, $2.50 per trade, every trade and since I make way more than 10 per month, this is a better deal for me and anyone with less than $25k or less than 25 trades per month or over around 40 or something around that.

    Zecco’s deal changes about every 10 months or so, so expect another change in the commissions by 2010. They can’t keep their rates the same for too long like most trading companies, that would keep people happy. Scottrade has been $7 forever. People sign up for $7 and are happy with it because it doesn’t change. When you give someone something then take it up in price, it is not the price that pisses people off, it is the change in the price. Zecco sucks, I would recommend ANY other company.

  133. Thanks Scotty,
    I have an Apex status but didn’t think of that.

  134. So what is the up-to-date verdict on who executes the fastest? I don’t think I want to mess with Zecco. They seem like a fly-by-night business. Someone said TDAmeritrade was good. Does anyone have some experience with Sharebuilder realtime and if they are executing fast or not? Thanks!

  135. I use Ameritrade, which can be slow. I don’t think that Sharebuilder is built for trading. I know a daytrader who gets instant executions with Interactive Brokers.

Trackbacks

  1. [...] MyMoneyBlog has some blurbs on Zeccos features, and 24/7 Wall St has a lengthy analysis of it as well. [...]

  2. [...] Maybe Zecco was right and stock trades really are a commodity now. Today, Bank of America announced that they will be offering 30 free online trades a month for customers with at least $25,000 in combined deposits. Not surprisingly, other discount brokerages like E-Trade (ET) and Ameritrade (AMTD) are not doing so hot, both down ~10% today. [...]

  3. [...] Overall, the brokers that target very active traders got higher scores than the more mainstream ones. Although Scottrade does accept payments for order flow, they rated a 4.1 out of 5, which was above average in this group. MB Trading achieved one of he top scores 4.8 with its advanced “smart” order-routing features. It remains to be seen how Zecco.com does with their free trades. [...]

  4. [...] Update Update: It looks like the IRAs used to be $50 annually and then they went to free and now they are back to $30 (see this post AND commments). I was under the old thinking that they would be free. [...]

  5. [...] Still Not Cheaper Than Zecco Zecco.com continues to offer the lowest requirement for free stock trades, just a $2,500 minimum opening amount including stock equity. See my Zecco feature review for details. Zecco’s hurdles include their young brand and doubt that their business model will work. [...]

  6. [...] both Jonathan of MyMoneyBlog and The Finance Journey have reported that Zecco started offering equity free trade for customers [...]

  7. [...] for free stock trades, just a $2,500 minimum opening amount including stock equity. See my Zecco feature review for details. Zecco’s hurdles include their young brand and doubt that their business model [...]

  8. [...] (typeof(addthis_share) == "undefined"){ addthis_share = [];}Maybe new broker Zecco (my review) was right and stock trades really are a commodity now. Today, Bank of America announced that they [...]

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