Update re Problems adding Grantee Online [with Vanguard]

Non-investing personal finance issues including insurance, credit, real estate, taxes, employment and legal issues such as trusts and wills

Update re Problems adding Grantee Online [with Vanguard]

Postby PB » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:48 pm

I've been a Boglehead fan for years, and a Vanguard client for years as well. I believe in their philosophy, value their corporate structure and value their low fees too, of course. But I've had more problems than I can count with their online system, and with their customer service too.

The most recent problems concern my brother, who is a new Vanguard client. I recommended Vanguard to him of course ;-( and it's distressing to say the least that he's had nothing but problems with his rollover and new account.

Perhaps I'll delineate all the problems in another post, but tonight I write regarding the Grantee function. After weeks of working with Customer Service to add a Grantee, the Vanguard system is still not working. Today, at least, they finally admitted it's a problem with their system -- after weeks of suggesting he was doing something wrong. But with that said:

Has anyone recently added a Grantee online?

Has anyone had problems with adding a Grantee online?

Otherwise, any advice for getting the issue resolved?

As of today Vanguard is promising nothing regarding a target date for resolution. And my real fear is their system has structural problems that really can't be fixed, what with the VBS legacy systems and such.

Bottom line: my brother is so cautious and relatively uneducated as in investor, that this roadblock is preventing him from moving forward, from really making any transactions and such. I feel bad about it, of course, and starting to regret that I vouched for Vanguard at all...

But with that said, any input or advice is appreciated, and thanks in advance.
Last edited by PB on Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:11 am, edited 2 times in total.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby LadyGeek » Thu Apr 04, 2013 10:55 pm

This thread is now in the Personal Finance (Not Investing) forum (grantee). I also retitled the thread.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19553
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby Gill » Fri Apr 05, 2013 7:56 am

How are you using the term "grantee"? It usually means one to whom real estate is conveyed or one to whom a grant is given such as from a donor advised fund. I don't understand your question.
Bruce
Gill
 
Posts: 1033
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:38 pm
Location: Florida

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby rustymutt » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:15 am

I'm sorry to hear of the troubles your brother has endured. In 2009, I rolled over two accounts from my employer to Vanguard with no issues what so ever. I do recall that everything was extremely well planned out before I made any moves. I double checked everything, and talked with people at both ends of the transaction prior to executing the transfer. Could you expose the issue more in detail?
At the Very Least, Work Hard, Do Your Best, Know the Truth and the Facts and Always Be Honest!
User avatar
rustymutt
 
Posts: 2784
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:03 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby PB » Fri Apr 05, 2013 8:43 pm

Thank you for your responses.

My brother sent me screenshots to illustrate. You can see via the first link below, that a Grantee is "someone authorized to obtain information about or transact on your accounts." I would guess this is most often a spouse, domestic partner or perhaps a very trusted advisor. Perhaps the parent of a young person, I'm not sure:

http://dezigns.com/1.png

As one proceeds with the process, here's the next screen, and you can see it can all be done electronically:

http://dezigns.com/2.png

But, he would try repeatedly, and always get this error message -- and we know for a fact that his grantee has several Vanguard accounts:

http://dezigns.com/3.png

The most frustrating part is they made him try for weeks -- see the last link below for Vanguard's suggested "Things to Check." I'll say, because they suggested for weeks that he was not filling out the form correctly, or his Grantee was giving him an invalid account number, etc. Only after two weeks of multiple calls with multiple reps did they finally say the problem is with their system:

http://dezigns.com/4.png

Does this information help? Has anyone successfully used this function?

Thanks again -
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby rustymutt » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:40 pm

I'm not sure either.
At the Very Least, Work Hard, Do Your Best, Know the Truth and the Facts and Always Be Honest!
User avatar
rustymutt
 
Posts: 2784
Joined: Sat Mar 07, 2009 1:03 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby beachplum » Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:41 pm

I had daughter #2 grant me permission to have online access to her Roth Vanguard account a year ago. I can't remember much of the process but we were both on the phone together with vanguard and everything went according to plan. I think they also sent me some documents to sign. I will be doing this again with daughter #1 and hope it goes as smoothly, though your post is concerning me.
beachplum
 
Posts: 260
Joined: Tue Nov 22, 2011 1:11 am

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Apr 05, 2013 10:43 pm

beachplum wrote:I had daughter #2 grant me permission to have online access to her Roth Vanguard account a year ago. I can't remember much of the process but we were both on the phone together with vanguard and everything went according to plan. I think they also sent me some documents to sign. I will be doing this again with daughter #1 and hope it goes as smoothly, though your post is concerning me.

I don't think that's the same thing as described here. Or is it?

Permission to access an account can be done using the Agent authorization form. I have agent authorization for an account, which was done by filling out the form and mailing it back to Vanguard.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19553
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby PB » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:02 pm

Hi LadyGeek,

The Agent Authorization Form is indeed the same thing as the Grantee authorization... if you click the link you provided, there's immediately an option to "Complete Online," and if you click that, it takes you to the online function that isn't working! (The Grantee function.)

With that said, Vanguard did finally say that my brother could do it all via snail mail. But it's quite inconvenient and relatively insecure. Specifically, not only does he have to have his signature notarized (!), but the Grantee has to have his/her signature notarized too. And if the Grantee isn't in the same household, as in this case, then you have to have your Social Security number traveling multiple times via snail mail. Neither easy or secure. So he's waiting for Vanguard to fix their online system, even in the face of them saying they can't give a target date for when it will be fixed.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby LadyGeek » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:16 pm

Great timing, thanks for the reminder. I just completed the online form, which I needed to do anyway. It appears to work, here's the final message.

Vanguard wrote:What happens now…

Your grantee will:

Receive an e-mail requesting him or her to log on to Vanguard.com and complete this request.
Log on to his or her Vanguard account to view a secure message. (Grantees who aren't registered should go to Vanguard.com to create a user name and password.)
Need to complete his or her part of the online process within the next 14 days.

Then:

Vanguard will send you a secure message.
Both you and your grantee will receive a paper confirmation via U.S. mail.
You'll be able to view these changes on your secure account view pages almost immediately after the grantee accepts your request. Your grantee's secure account view pages will also be updated.

My info was already in the system for this account, so it's a modification and not a new entry. Perhaps that's a difference.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19553
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby PB » Fri Apr 05, 2013 11:37 pm

Thanks, LadyGeek - it's good to hear that people can modify an existing authorization, at least. Now if they will just fix the system to work for new authorizations.

As you can tell, I'm still pretty upset with Vanguard's incompetence and arrogance. Yes, arrogance. System problems are one thing, but refusing to look at their own system for two weeks, while making my brother and me feel stupid in the process, is arrogant. They were certain we weren't following directions, and all the while the problem was with their system.

I'll let everyone know when they notify us of the fix.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby rkhusky » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:17 am

PB wrote:Hi LadyGeek,

The Agent Authorization Form is indeed the same thing as the Grantee authorization... if you click the link you provided, there's immediately an option to "Complete Online," and if you click that, it takes you to the online function that isn't working! (The Grantee function.)

With that said, Vanguard did finally say that my brother could do it all via snail mail. But it's quite inconvenient and relatively insecure. Specifically, not only does he have to have his signature notarized (!), but the Grantee has to have his/her signature notarized too. And if the Grantee isn't in the same household, as in this case, then you have to have your Social Security number traveling multiple times via snail mail. Neither easy or secure. So he's waiting for Vanguard to fix their online system, even in the face of them saying they can't give a target date for when it will be fixed.


The notarization requirement is a pain, but I don't think snail mail is less secure, especially if you drop the forms off at the post office and do not let them sit in your mailbox overnight. I imagine Vanguard's mail site is also fairly secure. It is much easier for someone to steal things electronically.
rkhusky
 
Posts: 1681
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 9:09 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby DSKMD » Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:40 am

I've been trying to add an agent online for a couple of weeks, unsuccessfully. Finally chatted online and had VG confirm system was down. I asked when they thought it would be up. They went silent.
DSKMD
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Sat Apr 06, 2013 8:28 am

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby PB » Sat Apr 06, 2013 12:47 pm

Thanks, DSKMD. I'm sorry to hear you're having the same problems, but it's validating, too. Appreciate it.
Last edited by PB on Sun Apr 07, 2013 2:16 pm, edited 1 time in total.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby jaxxmjd » Sat Apr 06, 2013 6:32 pm

I added myself as a Grantee to my wife's VG account about 2 weeks ago. It was done, with her permission, to make managing two accounts easier by doing so through a single login. I completed the entire process online. I considered it to be very simple. After approximately 3-4 days of completing the process, her account information showed up under my login. I have had no problems with the process thus far and everything seems to be working just fine.
jaxxmjd
 
Posts: 134
Joined: Wed Jul 27, 2011 10:29 am

Re: Anyone Successful Adding a Grantee Online? [with Vanguar

Postby PB » Sat Apr 06, 2013 7:46 pm

Thanks, jaxxmjd - provides a little hope that it will be fixed sooner than later. Will keep everyone posted.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Update re Problems adding a Grantee Online [with Vanguar

Postby PB » Wed Apr 10, 2013 12:07 am

Update:

I received an email response from the supervisor of Vanguard's Executive Action Response Team. He not only confirmed the technical issue, but alas, stated that he "researched my situation completely, and tried to find other ways to accomplish (adding) an agent to my brother's account, and I'm sorry to say that I was unable to find any other alternatives to work around this technical issue."

He continued by saying that while he knows it's a "great inconvenience" to not be able to complete this process online, in order to grant an agent authorization to my brother's account(s), the hardcopy Agent Authorization form would need to be completed. To be fair, he offered to pay for the costs of having the form sent via FedEx to my brother, then to his grantee and back to Vanguard. But the problem remains that sending account & Social Security numbers by snail mail is very insecure. In addition, my brother would still need to have his signature notarized, and my understanding is that the Grantee needs her signature notarized too. Inconvenient to say the least.

I'm waiting to hear now if the problem is with all accounts, or with just a particular aspect of my brother's account (and if so, just what the aspect is ). Will keep you posted, and thanks again for the interest and support.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Update re Problems adding Grantee Online [with Vanguard]

Postby PB » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:26 pm

Today's update, from the same Supervisor:

"This issue is not affecting all Vanguard clients, only some; however, we don't know what's triggering it to affect those clients. At this point, our technical specialists are researching the issue to obtain more information about why it's happening, and affecting those clients involved. Once we learn more, I will be certain that you are provided an update."

Only fair to give them some time... will keep you posted.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm

Re: Update re Problems adding Grantee Online [with Vanguard]

Postby LadyGeek » Wed Apr 10, 2013 7:45 pm

It's good to see that Vanguard is providing feedback to clients. Many companies won't give any information whatsoever, so this is a positive experience.

Problems which affect only a small portion of users, especially intermittent problems, can be frustratingly difficult to track down. Once they figure out what caused the problem, it needs to be fixed, tested, and go through a controlled release process (if it's software). It may have been lurking around for a while, but didn't get the needed attention until they got critical mass from unhappy clients.
To some, the glass is half full. To others, the glass is half empty. To an engineer, it's twice the size it needs to be.
User avatar
LadyGeek
Site Admin
 
Posts: 19553
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2008 6:34 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: Update re Problems adding Grantee Online [with Vanguard]

Postby PB » Wed Apr 10, 2013 8:25 pm

I agree, LadyGeek - it's to VG's credit that they're providing feedback, and I will indeed allow them time to troubleshoot.

With that said, however, providing feedback re a process , as opposed to a solution, has limited utility to say the least.

In addition, I am honestly worried... I've had problems in the past with my account and ultimately learned that the problems were tied to their legacy brokerage system - the fact that they integrated their 'old' brokerage system with their newer Mutual Fund system -- and it does create a lot of headaches. Indeed, why do you think I have SIX accounts? Well, because their system requires that I have a separate brokerage account tied to each of my separate mutual fund accounts (taxable, traditional IRA and ROTH). To my knowledge, no other company requires this, and on it goes....

Finally, you may not believe this, but I'm not posting to be difficult (I'd much rather be doing other things). But the fact is: there's at least one other problem with my brother's account, surrounding the function for 'hiding' entire accounts from view, as opposed to hiding specific funds. It's not working either, and I don't think it's too much to ask that the system work. After all, we'e putting our life savings into their hands.

But one thing at a time, so we'll see how it goes with the Grantee issue. Overall, though, my suspicion is that my brother's problems have to do with the fact that he previously had an Employer-based 401(k) plan that was administered by Vanguard, and it appears they may be laying his new individual accounts on top of the old employer-based plan (which is now closed). I'm not sure, of course, but it's all suspect to say the least.

Anyway, I do appreciate the interest, and promise not to post again for 10 business days -- give them time to troubleshoot.
PB
 
Posts: 179
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2010 2:59 pm


Return to Personal Finance (Not Investing)

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Afty, bigfun, dublin, Google [Bot], harrylime, kaneohe, nwbum, rob, StarbuxInvestor, tj, WandaG, ZiziPB and 70 guests