What is so hard to understand about eTrade - close your account and go elsewhere. Ameriprise does not do specials either. They bought in the open market the day following the DRIP at market open. That part made the most sense and funds were invested promptly after receipt and on a predictable manner.
I closed my account with them some time ago over the DRIP discount issue. The only thing I know for sure is every company does DRIPs differently and when a discount drip program causes something to be totally different then some will not participate.