Free Dial-Up Builds Brokerage Client Retention

Online brokerage firms are rushing to hitch their client retention programs
to the free dial-up bandwagon.

Akin to the Ameritrade Inc. free
dial-up program introduced Tuesday, discount brokerage firm Quick & Reilly Inc. announced
Wednesday that it would also offer free basic Internet services to its
clients in the U.S. and Canada.

Once again, 1stUp.com Corp., a CMGI Inc.
majority-owned operating company, was tagged to provide the free dial-up
service and support.

Quick & Reilly clients can download the free Internet application through
the brokerage firm’s main Web site.

Clients receive free, unlimited Internet access in exchange for keeping
1stUp.com’s movable navigation bar on their screens during the free online
session. The on-screen navigation offers relevant advertisements and links
to Quick & Reilly services.

Thomas C. Quick, Quick & Reilly Fleet Securities president and chief
operating officer, said that unlike Ameritrade, its free dial-up program is
just one part of a series on online initiative to maintain a leadership
position in Internet brokerage.

“These recent enhancements include live, 24 hour Internet customer service,
in which our brokers can instantly assist online customers via real-time
text chat and web collaboration capabilities,” Quick said. “It is a service
enhancement particularly valued by our customers who have only one phone
line and want to remain on the Internet while they have their questions
answered.”

“Additionally, we recently announced wireless securities trading and
account access on virtually every major wireless device,” Quick said.

Jonah Steinhart, 1stUp.com vice president of marketing and corporate
communications, said its relationship with Quick & Reilly confirms that
1stUp.com is leading the private label Internet access movement.

“Taking advantage of 1stUp.com technology, Quick & Reilly is able to
integrate content and branding into an impressive Internet service offering
and establish a constant online connection with consumers,” Steinhart said.
“This potent blend of high performance connectivity and quality content is
competitive with any free or fee-based Internet service on the market today.”

Quick & Reilly is a leading contender of discount brokerage services in the
U.S. It was also one of the first brokers to allow clients to trade
securities using personal computers in 1984. Since then, the firm has grown
to service more than 1.3 million customers, with customer assets totaling
more than $41 billion.

Quick & Reilly is part of FleetBoston
Financial Corp.
, a $185 billion diversified financial
services company and bank holding company that serves 20 million customers
nationwide.

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