With E*trade recording its third trade outage in three days, the New York state attorney general Eliot Spitzer has said he intends to investigate whether net-based stock brokerages are lying to customers about what their systems can do. Spitzer says his office has received dozens of complaints from consumers using online brokerage services. The public knows that there are always risks involved in investing in the stock market, said Spitzer in a statement, but part of that risk should not include questions about whether trades will be executed promptly or whether online brokerage firms can deliver on the services that they’ve promised. Ironically, E*trade’s software difficulties have shaved nearly $20 off its own stock price in the space of a week. Shares closed on Friday at $48.93 3/4.