Re: Surprise, surprise [ Red Hat IPO is red hot ]

Robert S. Thau (
Thu, 12 Aug 1999 09:10:33 -0400 (EDT)

Roy wrote:

Sure, I was only talking about the ones who completed the account and
qualified for the offer. The confusion was due to the last minute price
change --- the allocation was supposed to take place before the market
opened, not after it closed. This would have been okay if there wasn't
so much confusion over the phone at E*TRADE, and no way to check or
confirm the status electronically.

Not to mention the information that was just plain bogus. They sent
email on how to confirm which gave incorrect directions ("Click on the
Account Services tab, then go to "Other Questions" at the bottom of the
page --- nope, no "Other Questions" link there; it's on the "Send Us Email"
page); I subsequently received two separate and *apparently* incorrect
notices that the allocation had run out, or that I hadn't confirmed
in time (the latter of which, BTW, referred to an entirely different
procedure for confirming orders online).

It turns out that they didn't complete the allocation until 9pm EDT.
I ended up with 400 shares after all, roughly 1/4 of what I requested.
That's not bad considering the demand.

Actually, I checked at midnight ET yesterday and saw no shares. It looks
like they're there now... I really get the feeling this was E*Trade's first
affinity program, and they were counting on phone support and the personal
touch to smooth out the kinks, which doesn't work well for a population
which is both larger than you anticipate (swamping the phone lines, which had
fifteen minute waits), and has quite a few people whose net connectivity is
more reliable than phone connectivity. At any rate, if they were trying to
impress a crowd of new potential customers with their excellent customer
service, I don't think they had much success...