Vanguard Customer Service

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heartwood
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by heartwood » Fri May 27, 2016 12:06 pm

Several complain about not getting their flagship rep when they call. Years ago that was the case with me. Through several different reps I'd never get my rep but always a prompt answer by another flagship rep. Then perhaps 4 years ago I got a new rep who seemed to answer each time I called. Very useful as we were setting up an LLC account that did not go smoothly. We just got a new rep at the beginning of this year. He encourages us to schedule a call time via his online schedule. That's worked, but further, the several times I've called over the brokerage "upgrade" issues he's answered the phone each time.

YMMV but based upon my experiences I believe its very much a function of the particular rep you're assigned. Some answer the phone.

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segfault
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by segfault » Fri May 27, 2016 4:54 pm

Update: Received secure email from Vanguard today indicating they are (still) receiving the same error as me when trying to manually do the Admiral conversion. They have escalated it to their technical team (yet again). I wonder whether the automatic conversion will occur as scheduled.

Update 2 (5/28): I got a transaction confirmation this morning indicating my TSM holding has finally converted to Admiral shares.

Update 3 (6/14): Apparently, when the Admiral conversion was done, it reset my dividend and capital gains distributions to "reinvest" instead of transferring them to my bank account. Looks like one hand at Vanguard doesn't know what the other is doing.

sbaywriter
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by sbaywriter » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:30 pm

Update: I now have a more positive view of Vanguard customer service and wanted to share it to balance out my previous negative view.

I posted a couple of months ago on this thread that I was unhappy with being given incorrect information when I called Vanguard to find out whether trading limitations applied when rolling over money from 401k. At the time, I did further research on the Vanguard website and found a page with info that contradicted what I had been told and sent a secure email and got the reply that the web page info was correct and the phone info had been wrong.

I've now completed the rollover, which I initiated on my own from the 401k provider web site. I called Vanguard several more times during the transfer regarding getting the transferred money allocated and was given much better customer service - the information was accurate and the reps more knowledgeable and more helpful.

And, my 401k money rolled over smoothly as planned.

CajunDan
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by CajunDan » Tue Jul 26, 2016 11:55 pm

A440 wrote:Has anyone else been experiencing lower customer service recently from Vanguard? We are at the Voyager Select level, and have called for a variety of reasons lately (e.g. Rebalancing, 403b(7)/IRA rollovers). We have received different levels of service each time we call. Sometimes we get a knowledgeable CSR, and other times not so much. I don't seem to recall such a difference in the level of service in the past, but it could be that we are calling for reasons that need more expertise from the CSR.
I tried very hard to open an account at Vanguard online because of their Admiral high-yield and CA Muni bonds funds, neither has an ETF equivalent, but they said I couldn't do it because I had a prior account which they can't close, but yet can't find a way for me to access. They want me to print a bunch of forms and fill them out, and this just isn't going to happen, too time consuming. I'm sticking with Fidelity, much better customer service, worth the couple of hundred dollars a year in excess expense ratios for Investor vs Admiral shares in asset classes without an ETF equivalent.

stlutz
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by stlutz » Wed Jul 27, 2016 1:25 am

Update: I now have a more positive view of Vanguard customer service and wanted to share it to balance out my previous negative view
Thanks for sharing the update! I find on these threads that the most helpful information is with how challenges were actually happened, not that there was an initial problem.

kapaoke
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is Vanguard customer service really so bad?

Post by kapaoke » Thu Sep 01, 2016 12:17 pm

I have opened an account with vanguard and transferred over 50k to it .
Now my assumption that i should be switched to Vonage account but that has not happend.
I tried calling and sent like 6 emails (most of which I never got reply ) via their website .
Person on phone could not tell me at which point status of account would change.. if it monthly process or immediate or how i could even check what account do i have now.
I am kind of shocked such bad service so far and wonder if i should keep money there given that level of customer support i got thus far .. for very simple request.
Especially when i have nothing but stellar to say about Fidelity customer service which have option to chat online immediately.
I don't know maybe i have special status with Fidelity because most of my $ there in my 401k .

Is it only me?
Last edited by kapaoke on Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Sep 01, 2016 4:05 pm

Welcome! I merged your post into the on-going thread.

A reminder to the members: Please describe your concerns in a civil and factual manner.
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woof755
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by woof755 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:08 am

I am in the process of transferring over $550k from a Fidelity 401k to a rollover brokerage IRA, as well as $160k internally from a 403b held at VG to either a rollover IRA or the same brokerage IRA (I got two different answers about whether it would be possible to roll it directly into the brokerage acct or not).

Fidelity had to send a check to me (in Hawaii) but I got that routed back to Vanguard within a day. Sent it certified and it got there on a Saturday. By Wednesday (yesterday) I still hadn't seen evidence of it on the site, so I called. A very very nice rep located in Arizona pledged to help me but said she saw no evidence that it had been received or processed. 3 business days, and a check for $561k couldn't be tracked. After giving her the USPS certified mail tracking number, I finally learned today that the check had been located.

The internal transfer seems to have gone through. I say *seems to have* been processed because my workplace retirement plan has indicated a zero balance for the past 48 hours, though there is no evidence that either a new rollover has been established, nor evidence that there is a new deposit into the brokerage settlement fund. I realize these things take time, but I don't really understand how $!60k can just disappear from my employer account (which is located on my general VG login page, and says the transaction has been completed) without the site at all acknowledging that that amount of money is pending somewhere.

Don't get me wrong. I love Vanguard and sing its praises (have been for 15 years). However, whether it is a problem with the website not being able to adequately indicate the movement of funds through its channels, or whether VG found a way to misdirect my *internal* transfer, I am a Voyager client about to become Flagship if this Fidelity rollover ever happens, and I feel like it will be an electronic marvel if / when these funds finally land safely.

Very loyal, staying patient, and moderately frustrated VG customer here in Honolulu.
It does make me wonder if one of the benefits of the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into VG every year should perhaps be a dramatic improvement of its processes.

Then again, if investment companies could cut the umbilical cord that is paper checks (and notary signatures, but this might always be a necessary evil) and step into the 21st century VG could save its dough and keep passing it on to us.
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing

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catdude
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by catdude » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:48 am

I keep reading these threads with complaints and horror stories about Vanguard's customer service (and I don't doubt that those doing the complaining are sincerely frustrated), and I have to wonder... what's the takeaway for someone like me and my boring two-fund portfolio? I've been a Vanguard customer for at least 15 years, and I've never had to deal with their customer service folks... never had to call them... I've been able to take care of everything on-line. God willing, I'll never have to call them; but ya never know. The only thing I expect to happen over the next few years is annual Roth conversions of $10K. I imagine I'm safe, under the circumstances, in sticking with Vanguard, but should I be concerned about their customer service issues? I mean, can they screw up a Roth conversion?
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woof755
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by woof755 » Fri Sep 02, 2016 12:58 am

I'm not concerned with my choice of Vanguard for what I really really need it to provide--excellent low cost investment options.

No, they aren't going to mess up a conversion.

I only feel frustration that I am transferring a large amount of funds. I'm no more important than the little guy, but keeping track of a single piece of paper that represents a half a million bucks is pretty high stakes stuff. At least to me. And I'm left feeling like VG could take it or leave it. Again, the people with whom I have spoken have been very nice, and helpful--if not in dogged pursuit of my rollover.
"By singing in harmony from the same page of the same investing hymnal, the Diehards drown out market noise." | | --Jason Zweig, quoted in The Bogleheads' Guide to Investing

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catdude
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by catdude » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:04 am

Yeah woof if I had half a million dollars on the line and they couldn't find the check, I'd definitely be popping the xanax...
catdude | | "I yield to the gentleman for a few feeble remarks." (Congressman Thaddeus Stevens)

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in_reality
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by in_reality » Fri Sep 02, 2016 1:17 am

woof755 wrote:I am in the process of transferring over $550k from a Fidelity 401k to a rollover brokerage IRA, as well as $160k internally from a 403b held at VG to either a rollover IRA or the same brokerage IRA (I got two different answers about whether it would be possible to roll it directly into the brokerage acct or not).

...

Very loyal, staying patient, and moderately frustrated VG customer here in Honolulu.
It does make me wonder if one of the benefits of the hundreds of millions of dollars flowing into VG every year should perhaps be a dramatic improvement of its processes.

Then again, if investment companies could cut the umbilical cord that is paper checks (and notary signatures, but this might always be a necessary evil) and step into the 21st century VG could save its dough and keep passing it on to us.
I think it just takes time and the nerve wracking uncertainty is what you put up with for having requested the transfer.

To me a problem is when Vanguard sends a transaction confirmation saying X number of shares were added to your account per your order, but your actual held number didn't change (although money was taken out of your money market). Or Vanguard sending a transactions confirmation that $Y was transferred in to your account, but really that reported amount was wrong and so trades you placed fail. Then they have no clue what is going on until the money is mysteriously found sometime later and then you see other people's names added as beneficiaries to your account and your accounts being titled as belonging to someone else's estate (presumably as a way to get misdirected funds back into your account).

Your experience is normal I think. Mine was well... in the past and seemingly the worst experienced by anyone on these boards. Just my luck :beer

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Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Pianocraft » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:07 pm

[Thread merged into here, see below. --admin LadyGeek]

I hope this isn't inappropriately posted on the wrong forum. I have sent vanguard support questions through their client support portal online and have not received a response after a week. In addition, I tried calling the brokerage support hotline today, but was placed on hold for 50 minutes and had to hang up to attend to other matters. Has anybody figured out a more efficient way of getting in contact with Vanguard?

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by xenial » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:25 pm

This problem has been discussed extensively here. Try googling something like vanguard customer service 2016 site:bogleheads.org.

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Flobes
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Flobes » Fri Sep 09, 2016 1:29 pm

I called Vanguard yesterday. Pick up was nearly immediate. I spoke to a very helpful and professional CSR, who patiently handled my issues.

user5027
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by user5027 » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:34 pm

I would imagine the market sell-off today is crushing the phones at Vanguard.

themesrob
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by themesrob » Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:56 pm

it's funny, I was actually googling bogleheads for threads about this earlier today -- I sent in a (relatively insignificant) request via the secure messaging system August 29, and it's been radio silence. Based on what I read, that's not anything new.

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El Greco
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by El Greco » Fri Sep 09, 2016 5:21 pm

Called Vanguard today. The call was picked up immediately by a nice young man who walked me through the process of transferring mine and my wife's Roth IRAs to Vanguard from Janus. He was on with me for a good 20 minutes and was very patient and helpful. Must be luck of the draw. Just saying' :happy

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by kiddoc » Fri Sep 09, 2016 6:58 pm

Pianocraft wrote:I hope this isn't inappropriately posted on the wrong forum. I have sent vanguard support questions through their client support portal online and have not received a response after a week. In addition, I tried calling the brokerage support hotline today, but was placed on hold for 50 minutes and had to hang up to attend to other matters. Has anybody figured out a more efficient way of getting in contact with Vanguard?
Their client support portal is terrible. Their usual response time to my queries was 3-6 weeks for any acknowledgment. Finally, you may end up getting a very generic reply not related to your query. I tried using it for 1 year and have now abandoned it.
They do pick up the phones unless things are busy due to heavy phone call volumes. Whether the information they give you is useful or "the run-around" is highly variable.
"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by LadyGeek » Fri Sep 09, 2016 7:18 pm

FYI - I merged Pianocraft's thread into here.
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TimeRunner
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by TimeRunner » Fri Sep 09, 2016 9:25 pm

I posted a secure message to TDAmeritrade re HSA investment account this morning and got a thorough reply within the hour. Wow, that raised the bar.
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Swansea
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Swansea » Sat Sep 10, 2016 10:26 am

I note that Vanguard's assets in the last 4 years have increased from about 1 trillion to a bit more than 3 trillion. That extra workload seems to be exacting a price in customer service.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by michaeljc70 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:10 pm

I've seen several of the posts saying Vanguard picked up immediately. Of course, there is a difference on when you call. I am wondering also if there is a big difference based on your level (Voyager, Flagship, etc.) and the number you call. I have to think there is.

If you have a couple hundred thousand at Vanguard and have to wait 45 minutes, knowing someone that has $5 million at Vanguard has their calls answered immediately doesn't really help you.

sawhorse
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by sawhorse » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:23 pm

Swansea wrote:I note that Vanguard's assets in the last 4 years have increased from about 1 trillion to a bit more than 3 trillion. That extra workload seems to be exacting a price in customer service.
It's also given them more than enough money to improve their customer service. I'm guessing that their average expense ratio across all funds is around 0.10% which is 300 million. If they put just 2% of that as a mostly one-time cost in restructuring their internal communications systems, that's a lot fewer unhappy customers and a lot fewer frustrated employees as well. It's pretty unpleasant to have to spend your whole day dealing with upset customers.

Their internal communications is atrocious. They make us use postal mail sometimes in addition to online, but their online department seems to have no coordination with their mailroom. The phone representatives in different departments don't communicate with each other, so you have to repeat your question several times and get told different things each time.

Their communication with their customers is also unacceptable. Several times I've had to call them about things, important things, that they should have notified me about. They need to be more proactive.

Is there anything we can do to make these problems known to Vanguard? This board surely brings them many new customers, so I would think that they'd want to avoid having these problems broadcast on this board.
michaeljc70 wrote:I've seen several of the posts saying Vanguard picked up immediately. Of course, there is a difference on when you call. I am wondering also if there is a big difference based on your level (Voyager, Flagship, etc.) and the number you call. I have to think there is.

If you have a couple hundred thousand at Vanguard and have to wait 45 minutes, knowing someone that has $5 million at Vanguard has their calls answered immediately doesn't really help you.
It's weird, I have about $15k with them, and I've never been on hold more than 5 minutes, and I've never had to wait more than 3 business days for a secure message reply. Same when I had less than $10k. They may give me false and/or conflicting information, but they don't make me wait.

As someone said, it's hit or miss with their customer service.

sawhorse
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by sawhorse » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:32 pm

Is there a way to get the $20 charge for paper communications refunded?

First, I think it's pretty tacky and petty to charge $20 per fund for each fund with less than $10k (as opposed to $10k total), especially given their poor record with electronic communication and the fact that their IT system is a mess.

I was especially bothered by the fact that they deducted this fee without notifying me. I keep all their emails, and there was nothing from them. There was also no notification through the mail.

I'm sure there was something about that in the file print, but they should have sent a reminder when the charge was about to be applied. A subscription that I have reminds me every month that it is about to charge $4.95 again. Vanguard doesn't bother to notify me once a year when they are about to deduct $100 total from my account.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by SueG5123 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:23 am

Are others aware of customer service problems with Vanguard? I'm a big Vanguard booster, but DH is having major problems with even getting anyone on the phone. He's been trying to move some funds from a 403(b) at Vanguard to purchase pension years--there is a narrow window of time for accomplishing this. He sent Vanguard the paperwork on September 12th, and despite innumerable follow up phone calls and emails, Vanguard has yet to forward the requisite document to the pension fund. Getting anyone on the phone seems to take more than 30 minutes on hold. I am really astounded and dismayed. Has anyone else noticed problems in this arena?

dbr
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by dbr » Tue Nov 22, 2016 9:43 am

SueG5123 wrote:Are others aware of customer service problems with Vanguard?
Yes, there is a quiet drumbeat of complaints posted on this forum. I don't think research into general rating of brokers and fund companies turns up anything but a pretty positive rating for Vanguard. I don't know if those rating are specifically sensitive to customer service as such.

I don't know how to make a statistically valid judgement from anecdotes, especially in a forum self-selected by people highly likely to hold assets at Vanguard.

If there is a preliminary conclusion, my opinion is that Vanguard customer service has some problems that can be avoided by holding investments elsewhere.

Disclaimer: I don't have accounts at Vanguard and am very happy with service elsewhere. The above is just an opinion based on what I read here.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Dan999 » Tue Nov 22, 2016 10:19 am

I tried to move some funds from Fidelity to Vanguard and it was a truly frustrating experience with the wait times and transfer of calls.
I did it but was not happy with the telephone wait time.
The Vanguard people are nice, but the Fidelity are really nice and appreciate my business.
Dan999

catchingup888
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by catchingup888 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 9:57 pm

Dealing with this myself.

Called about 6 times to do a simple institution-to-institution transfer of my ROTH IRA to Vanguard and not one phone rep seems to know the mechanics of how it should be done. I even told the last phone rep to take an entire hour to ask his colleagues/superior for advice and then call me back. In the end, no call was received.

I'm starting to thinking they (don't want/need) my business. I can't imagine being in a similar position with customers banging down my door with money in their hands to give to me and I just shrug my shoulders and tell them I don't know how to turn the doorknob.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by StevieG72 » Tue Jan 03, 2017 10:17 pm

I have always received acceptable service.

Voyager Select doesn't get you a more knowledgeable CSR, maybe Flagship does? I just upgraded from paddle boat to jon boat, same service level.

I am pleased that it has not been outsourced to another country! It can be frustrating and time consuming when dealing with a language barrier.
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Nthomas
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Nthomas » Wed Jan 04, 2017 2:44 pm

I logged onto my account yesterday and there was a banner basically stating the call volumes were so high don't bother calling until tomorrow (today). :(

Calhoon
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Calhoon » Wed Jan 04, 2017 3:12 pm

My experience with vanguard customer service has been dismal.

Transferred 500k from my 401k account to vanguard, and they managed to screw it up in about four different ways.

The ira transfer specialist told me to have them just send a check. He said that wiring the money would be "too hard."

Well, he was right about that. Had a three way conference with me, Vanguard, and my former 401k company to ensure we'd get the transaction right, and this new vanguard ira transfer specialist came across as a complete buffoon. I could sense that 401k rep was wondering if the vanguard rep was mentally retarded, and I was thinking to myself, do I really want to transfer everything to vanguard? But of course the expenses were so much cheaper with vanguard, which I could start another thread on (despite the new disclosure laws, 401k companies do an excellent job at obfuscating fee information and downright when asked about it).

Anyway, after all that I was all excited to see my new balance in my vanguard fund. Called them the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that, and whenever I called they were completely mystified. Just sort of vanished. Eventually, it came evident that vanguard had screwed up again and the wire transfer hadn't happened. It had gone through the mail instead.

You want to freak yourself out, give vanguard a call and talk to one of the reps.

catchingup888
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by catchingup888 » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:14 pm

I'm completely where you are at.
On my seventh call with Vanguard (putting up with this buffoonery because I want the cheap rates), and the CSR is tell me to press buttons which don't exist. I end up schooling him on how the website it set up! This is some guy who is an expert in investment services!

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by MittensMoney » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:26 pm

I work with a handful of folks who used to work at Vanguard. General consensus is that their workforce is overworked, underpaid, and using archaic systems. Vanguard has amazing prices, which means they have to cut costs.

evestor
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by evestor » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:48 pm

Wait times during really busy periods aside, I've found most of what I have had to do w/Vanguard to be acceptable. The customer support is clearly not exceptional, and IMO their website is pretty bad. Their processes leave a lot to be desired...acct upgrades failing and instead creating two accts because the form you fill out for the upgrade had a different address than the acct you are upgrading (and nothing tells you this), taking forever to process paperwork sent in (their e-signature upgrades have helped here), etc. But for me at least they have gotten the job done.

For anything complex I'd take it elsewhere and enjoy better customer support. But for pretty basic brok. / IRA accts, they have been fine to work with. At least so far. :)

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Crisium » Wed Jan 04, 2017 5:52 pm

I had a terrible time attempting to set up a Roth IRA account. Not proceeding with this company, even though it is the de facto sponsor of this website (while John Bogle is Saint Jack, his former company might as well be a Church), and every modern portfolio theory website. I don't take kindly to giving my bank account info to buggy websites. Charles Schwab index ETFs have a lower ER, and since I don't know whose basic index funds will perform better moving forward, the logical course is to try them.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Jan 04, 2017 10:02 pm

catchingup888 wrote:On my seventh call with Vanguard (putting up with this buffoonery because I want the cheap rates),
Switch to ETFs and you can get the low ERs at any custodian you like.
This week's fortune cookie: "Your financial life will be secure and beneficial." So I got that going for me, which is nice.

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in_reality
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by in_reality » Thu Jan 05, 2017 12:48 am

Crisium wrote:I had a terrible time attempting to set up a Roth IRA account. Not proceeding with this company, even though it is the de facto sponsor of this website (while John Bogle is Saint Jack, his former company might as well be a Church), and every modern portfolio theory website. I don't take kindly to giving my bank account info to buggy websites. Charles Schwab index ETFs have a lower ER, and since I don't know whose basic index funds will perform better moving forward, the logical course is to try them.
The difficulty (if you will) at Schwab is that their international funds are broken into large developed (top 87.5% of the market), small developed (bottom 12.5% of the market), and emerging (top 87.5% of the market), so you need three funds for international. I like it myself since it gives more tax loss harvesting opportunity.

Anyway, here is a cap weighted view of the ETFs. It pulls data from Morningstar when you load the page.

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/ ... sp=sharing

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Doc » Thu Jan 05, 2017 9:16 am

in_reality wrote:The difficulty (if you will) at Schwab is that their international funds are broken into large developed (top 87.5% of the market), small developed (bottom 12.5% of the market), and emerging (top 87.5% of the market), so you need three funds for international. I like it myself since it gives more tax loss harvesting opportunity.
The "difficulty" opportunity at Schwab is that their international funds are broken into large developed (top 87.5% of the market), small developed (bottom 12.5% of the market), and emerging (top 87.5% of the market), so you only need three the one or two funds that you want for international.

1) At my age I don't want the risk associated with EM.

2) At any age I question whether large cap international as a good diversifier to my domestic portfolio. Do I get much diversification from large cap multinationals just because they are headquartered in London or Tokyo instead of New York? How much difference is there between Exxonmobil and Royal Dutch Shell or Ford and Toyota or The S&P 500 vs the the FTSE 500? Not very much I would think. The only thing you may get is currency differences if Vanguard doesn't hedge it away.
The fund may enter into forward foreign currency exchange contracts, which are types of derivative contracts, in order to maintain the same currency exposure as its respective index.
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.

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in_reality
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by in_reality » Fri Jan 06, 2017 10:25 am

Doc wrote:
in_reality wrote:The difficulty (if you will) at Schwab is that their international funds are broken into large developed (top 87.5% of the market), small developed (bottom 12.5% of the market), and emerging (top 87.5% of the market), so you need three funds for international. I like it myself since it gives more tax loss harvesting opportunity.
The "difficulty" opportunity at Schwab is that their international funds are broken into large developed (top 87.5% of the market), small developed (bottom 12.5% of the market), and emerging (top 87.5% of the market), so you only need three the one or two funds that you want for international.

1) At my age I don't want the risk associated with EM.
Well then you'd might like Schwab's Target Index Funds (0.13%ER) that tapers out of Emerging by retirement. You are probably happily managing your portfolio at this point.

https://www.csimfunds.com/secure/file/P-9430864
Doc wrote: 2) At any age I question whether large cap international as a good diversifier to my domestic portfolio. Do I get much diversification from large cap multinationals just because they are headquartered in London or Tokyo instead of New York? How much difference is there between Exxonmobil and Royal Dutch Shell or Ford and Toyota or The S&P 500 vs the the FTSE 500? Not very much I would think. The only thing you may get is currency differences if Vanguard doesn't hedge it away.
Yeah and currency difference can be large.

BMW is profiting nicely from the high Dollar. If Ford does have profits overseas, they'll take a currency hit bringing it back home. They can try to hedge it, as Apple has done at points but it's sometime a little hit and miss it seems.

I'd worry more about this in accumulation. I wouldn't want to be buying overvalued US stocks for 10 years only to see them and the dollar fall and international rise. Once you are in retirement though, you aren't making contributions and spending USD anyway ...

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Doc
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Doc » Fri Jan 06, 2017 12:58 pm

in_reality wrote: Yeah and currency difference can be large.
Yes, but a lot of funds hedge it away. I took a short look at Vg's prospectus and couldn't decide what their currency hedging purpose is. They do hedge currency but I'm not sure exactly how.

If you are interested take a look at Tweedy Browne's funds. They have two foreign funds that are essentially identical except one is hedged and the other isn't. Unfortunately there is not enough data on the unhedged fund to get a full (currency) market cycle. I am aware of data from somewhere that over a long time period the hedging averages out. But if you are looking at your foreign component to have low correlation with domestic I would think you would want no currency hedging and/or small and/or EM and/or maybe value.

Question for the Peanut Gallery: What does all this have to do with Vanguard Customer Service? :beer
A scientist looks for THE answer to a problem, an engineer looks for AN answer and lawyers ONLY have opinions. Investing is not a science.

MI_bogle
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by MI_bogle » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:10 pm

First call center experience with Vanguard yesterday (have never needed to call before, or use customer service at all, I'm low-maintenance I guess)

Wife called Vanguard, a live person picked up on the 2nd ring, call took 5 minutes, very helpful, issue resolved

Just to add a positive anecdote to all the negative stuff on here

2015
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by 2015 » Fri Jan 06, 2017 1:25 pm

MI_bogle wrote:First call center experience with Vanguard yesterday (have never needed to call before, or use customer service at all, I'm low-maintenance I guess)

Wife called Vanguard, a live person picked up on the 2nd ring, call took 5 minutes, very helpful, issue resolved

Just to add a positive anecdote to all the negative stuff on here
This has been my repeated experience with Vanguard, so much so that after reading these negative threads I wondered if I was calling a different Vanguard. The few issues I've had were resolved quickly, completely, efficiently. Recent roth recharacterizations went without a hitch. OTOH, this thread helped me inadvertently in that when I called SS yesterday they said the wait time was 50 minutes. I almost hung up when I decided to just read the BH forum while waiting. Wait time turned out to be actually 30 minutes but I was distracted with reading the forum so it didn't bother me.

jamesrs
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Who's in charge?

Post by jamesrs » Wed Apr 12, 2017 10:33 am

I have a transaction that went bad recently. Just a simple contribution. It mysteriously worked out. In the end I am out $70. But, it was a mess.

I want to write to someone. Who is the head of customer services?

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JamesSFO
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Who's in charge?

Post by JamesSFO » Thu Apr 13, 2017 7:30 am

jamesrs wrote:I have a transaction that went bad recently. Just a simple contribution. It mysteriously worked out. In the end I am out $70. But, it was a mess.

I want to write to someone. Who is the head of customer services?
Have you tried just calling first to see if the issue can be addressed quickly?

tm1900
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by tm1900 » Thu Apr 13, 2017 8:07 am

I was wondering if anyone knows any good/effective escalation path with Vanguard customer service. I changed employers last year and accidentally over-contributed to 401K. I sent Vanguard the "letter of instruction" with all the info they requested a couple weeks ago, they assured me it would be no problem to get the 1099-R by April 15. It is now 4/13 and I have not yet received the form (nor the check) and time is running out. Every time I call the number, I do get someone to answer pretty quickly, the CSRs are very professional, however it's always the same story along the lines of:

1. We have noted this on your account.
2. An agent has been assigned to your case.
3. You should be getting the form any moment now.

If anyone has experience in this area or any ideas on how I can get this to a prompt resolution, I would really, really appreciate it. I don't know how huge the impact of missing the 4/15 date is, however it sounds like I would get double taxation on that amount that was over-contributed.

THANK YOU!!!!

jamesrs
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Who's in charge?

Post by jamesrs » Thu Apr 13, 2017 10:05 am

JamesSFO wrote:
jamesrs wrote:I have a transaction that went bad recently. Just a simple contribution. It mysteriously worked out. In the end I am out $70. But, it was a mess.

I want to write to someone. Who is the head of customer services?
Have you tried just calling first to see if the issue can be addressed quickly?
I have made many calls. Each time the Representative I talk to has almost no knowledge of previous calls, etc. The last time I spoke to someone they promised they would sort this out with a Supervisor and I would be called back and things would be made right. That never happened.

I would much rather document this on paper and let someone get an idea of the limitations in their system. I want a name!

Countermoon
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by Countermoon » Thu Apr 13, 2017 12:25 pm

This is disappointing. I was considering Vanguard v. Fidelity for a Roth IRA this year and this thread (along with others in a similar vein) are tilting the scales in favor of Fidelity.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service

Post by JamesSFO » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:50 pm

Countermoon wrote:This is disappointing. I was considering Vanguard v. Fidelity for a Roth IRA this year and this thread (along with others in a similar vein) are tilting the scales in favor of Fidelity.
Take the posts here in context, this is a VG-focused forum that will draw out a disproportionate amount of VG complaints. Consumer Reports surveys suggest VG does quite well.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Who's in charge?

Post by JamesSFO » Thu Apr 13, 2017 2:52 pm

jamesrs wrote: I have made many calls. Each time the Representative I talk to has almost no knowledge of previous calls, etc. The last time I spoke to someone they promised they would sort this out with a Supervisor and I would be called back and things would be made right. That never happened.

I would much rather document this on paper and let someone get an idea of the limitations in their system. I want a name!
Write a letter,

Vanguard
P.O. Box 1101
Valley Forge, PA 19483-1101

Put attention customer service and see what happens. I've never seen anyone here post with a "magic" executive address or similar.

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