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says volume slows service Says some members may experience log-on delays

By Steve Gelsi, CBS MarketWatch

Ameritrade said Tuesday that high volume on its online trading Web site may require multiple log-in attempts from members.

Clients of the online trader told that they received the following message from Ameritrade (AMTD) when they tried to log on:

"The Secure Trading System is temporarily unavailable. To place a trade, please contact an Ameritrade representative at 1-800-669-3900, option #1. Thank you for your patience."

Paula Ebert, a spokeswoman for Ameritrade, said the online broker "was not down" in the morning, but "due to heavy volume" some members may have had to attempt to log on two or three times before getting access.

"They may just be timing out on their first time," she said.

One member said he tried logging in to the site got the "unavailable" message at around 11 a.m. ET, but was later able to log on.

The message on Ameritrade follows service problems reported in the past several weeks at E Trade (EGRP) and Schwab (SCH) as more consumers turn to online trading.

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