Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

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selftalk
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Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by selftalk » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:09 pm

I have tried 3 times today to get a Vanguard representative but I`m on hold and no one answers the phone. I just tried again 6:05 pm est. and still no one answers the phone. The market closed at 4 pm est. Does anyone know what`s going on ?

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snowshoes
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by snowshoes » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:18 pm

selftalk wrote:I have tried 3 times today to get a Vanguard representative but I`m on hold and no one answers the phone. I just tried again 6:05 pm est. and still no one answers the phone. The market closed at 4 pm est. Does anyone know what`s going on ?
Sounds like its busy eeh? DOW 20k and all. :wink: C'mon now.

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jhfenton
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by jhfenton » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:28 pm

Doesn't their system tell you how long the wait is going to be and offer you a call back in that amount of time as an alternative to waiting? That's been my experience on those rare occasions when I don't get an immediate live body.

selftalk
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by selftalk » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:33 pm

No it doesn`t. Try it yourself. The recording qualifies you and a recorded voice then says hold on and a representative will be with you soon but that never happens even after waiting on hold for 30 minutes. The same thing occurred 4 times today so far.

Horsefly
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Horsefly » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:37 pm

Sounds VG is suffering from their own success:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq- ... ness-.html

sambb
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by sambb » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:43 pm

I have learned here and have experienced that vanguard has some very serious flaws in its ability to handle customers, complaints, and provide information. It is subpar by modern standards of several people here. The bigger problem is whether or not management understands this and is trying to correct it, or if this indicates a systemic flaw in management that is structural. We will find out.

selftalk
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by selftalk » Wed Jan 25, 2017 6:51 pm

It may be suffering from it`s own success but it will lose investor confidence for sure. I just tried again 6:45 pm and still nothing has changed. Oh well maybe tomorrow.

GMT-8
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by GMT-8 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:00 pm

I just called and only waited 90 seconds to get to a Flagship representative (not my normal one). I am on the west coast and it's 4pm here, 7 pm in NY.

I'm not sure that delays in answering the phone reduce my confidence but they do aggravate me. However I have never waited more than 3-4 minutes for Vanguard.

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jhfenton
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by jhfenton » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:14 pm

selftalk wrote:No it doesn`t. Try it yourself. The recording qualifies you and a recorded voice then says hold on and a representative will be with you soon but that never happens even after waiting on hold for 30 minutes. The same thing occurred 4 times today so far.
It was really a rhetorical question. That is how their system works when I call, and that is how it should work when you call.
Horsefly wrote:Sounds VG is suffering from their own success:

http://www.philly.com/philly/blogs/inq- ... ness-.html
One of the anecdotes in that story makes no sense:
• Henry writes that bad information from a Vanguard rep caused him to miss out on $300 in gains from Selected Value’s distribution in his IRA because his shares were sold and the RMD was taken out before the fund’s mistakenly-delayed capital gains distribution was made. Even after taking it up to the rep’s supervisor Vanguard said they would do nothing about it, despite, it appears, admitting it was their mistake.
Huh? Distributions are not magical money that you miss out on by selling a fund early. They're included in the NAV prior to the distribution.
Last edited by jhfenton on Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

awval999
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by awval999 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:18 pm

I don't know why we continue to have these posts on this forum.

Vanguard clearly is a no-frills brokerage. There is very little hand-holding. Basic customer service. This is why they have industry low expense ratios.

If you want all bells and whistles there are many brokerages that will accommodate you. Fidelity for example has offices in many major cities. I've never had issues contacting them. But their fees are higher than Vanguards.

You get what you pay for.

selftalk
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by selftalk » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:24 pm

For once I had a relevant and important question to me to ask Vanguard but to no avail this time. I do use the internet 99.9% of the time to do my purchases etc. at Vanguard.

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Svensk Anga
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Svensk Anga » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:27 pm

The first three decades I did business with Vanguard I don't think I ever talked to anyone there. (Started spring of 1982.) Everything was done through the mail and later on the web. That's probably typical of the folks they started with, so growth in assets did not translate into much growth in support staff needs. Now they have lots of folks with VG 401k's by the administrator's choice, not the investor's. More of these folks need help. There is also more complication now with traditional vs Roth, conversions, recharacterizations, rollovers, etc. My guess is that the help demand is growing far faster than assets or even accounts.

Questions via email might be the better way to go.

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jhfenton
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by jhfenton » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:40 pm

Svensk Anga wrote:Questions via email might be the better way to go.
Not in my experience. In my experience, email is practically useless for resolving anything that I can't do myself online. Responses come in days, not hours, and have typically been scripted non-sequiturs.

I've had nothing but easy experiences getting to people on the phone. And we've been Voyager/Voyager Select, not Flagship. I have a separate number to call, but I don't know that I get different reps.

stlutz
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by stlutz » Wed Jan 25, 2017 7:45 pm

Just for kicks I just tried calling and the call was picked up in one minute and 36 seconds. Used the general number and not the Flagship or Voyager numbers.

acanthurus
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by acanthurus » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:15 pm

Removed
Last edited by acanthurus on Tue Oct 31, 2017 4:17 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Grt2bOutdoors
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Grt2bOutdoors » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:26 pm

selftalk wrote:I have tried 3 times today to get a Vanguard representative but I`m on hold and no one answers the phone. I just tried again 6:05 pm est. and still no one answers the phone. The market closed at 4 pm est. Does anyone know what`s going on ?
They heard you were calling and left the office for a drink. :P

It just might be they were really busy, nothing intentional, but they were just really really busy helping other customers.
"One should invest based on their need, ability and willingness to take risk - Larry Swedroe" Asking Portfolio Questions

hawkfan55
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by hawkfan55 » Wed Jan 25, 2017 9:33 pm

I can't remember the last time I've waited for more than a minute or two :D
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itstoomuch
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by itstoomuch » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:21 pm

so, What's the question?
Perhaps we can answer it or lead you to the answer? :idea:
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Sheepdog
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Sheepdog » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:43 pm

I don't know why, but I called yesterday afternoon and did not have to wait to talk to someone. Yes, I did have to go through a recorded person first, but I just kept saying to the recording "I want to talk to a person....I want to talk to a person for 30 seconds or so...and I got someone right away. I am not a Flagship investor, by the way. I have no complaint.
It's not what you gather, but what you scatter which tells what kind of life you have lived---Helen Walton

kiddoc
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by kiddoc » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:57 pm

awval999 wrote: If you want all bells and whistles there are many brokerages that will accommodate you. Fidelity for example has offices in many major cities. I've never had issues contacting them. But their fees are higher than Vanguards.

You get what you pay for.
Ummm... not sure that's correct. I have accounts at Vanguard, Fidelity and TD Ameritrade. My weighted expense ratio and transaction costs are lowest at fidelity, followed by TD Ameritrade (where I hold mostly Vanguard and Fidelity ETFs) followed by Vanguard (the highest-partly because some of their funds are costlier than ishares ETFs and partly due to the asset classes like muni bonds I hold there).
Costs are largely comparable among these brokerages but customer service for the same cost is much better outside Vanguard unless you have Flagship status. One of my favorite quotes: "In investing, you get what you DON'T have to pay for".

My personal belief is that Vanguard is an amazing company for asset/ fund management but at the bottom rung and provides the worst value for money as an asset custodian. If possible, I would prefer to hold their funds/ ETFs at other brokerages. Unfortunately, I have 3 large legacy accounts there with large gains and admiral shares so can't move due to convenience/ laziness.
"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

kiddoc
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by kiddoc » Wed Jan 25, 2017 10:58 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Svensk Anga wrote:Questions via email might be the better way to go.
Not in my experience. In my experience, email is practically useless for resolving anything that I can't do myself online. Responses come in days, not hours, and have typically been scripted non-sequiturs.
+1 2 3 4 5- For the 5 times I have tried this before abandoning the email strategy for them.
"The four most dangerous words in investing are: 'this time it's different.'" - Sir John Templeton

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Makaveli
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Makaveli » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 am

Bumping. 4 calls this morning and continued 'busy tone'. They sent me an urgent message saying I didn't cover my recent purchases although there is more than enough money in my fed money market fund.

blackburnian
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by blackburnian » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:17 am

Makaveli:
See this thread: viewtopic.php?f=1&t=245408

calendario
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by calendario » Tue Mar 27, 2018 10:36 am

Makaveli wrote:
Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:11 am
Bumping. 4 calls this morning and continued 'busy tone'. They sent me an urgent message saying I didn't cover my recent purchases although there is more than enough money in my fed money market fund.
From the Vanguard landing page...

Trouble reaching us by phone?
We're working to address a technical issue with our phone lines. We apologize for any inconvenience. For answers to common tax questions, see our Q&A.

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spdoublebass
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by spdoublebass » Tue Mar 27, 2018 12:41 pm

are you calling 855-327-1214?

I just called and got through.

I'm not defending them, but my experience has only been positive. I been with them for a year and have called probably 10-12 times. Never more then a 3 minute wait and they always knew what what going on.

I do believe every complaint I read about them, but I've really never had an issue.
I'm trying to think, but nothing happens

JBTX
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by JBTX » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:31 pm

I rarely call them. Maybe a couple of times a year. I do everything i can on web.

Couple of weeks ago I was away from home and saw a transaction I didn’t recognize. I tried to call, got out on hold queue for about 20 minutes and finally just hung up. Subsequently remembered what transaction was.

colemanst13
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by colemanst13 » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:49 pm

Their customer service is just plain awful. I moved my company’s 401k plan to Vanguard several months ago. It’s been a ridiculous transition. Completely incompetent. It makes me seriously question my decision.

bikechuck
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by bikechuck » Tue Mar 27, 2018 1:58 pm

Response time must be vary depending on traffic. I have always been surprised by the low wait times and good service that I have experienced with Vanguard compared to my other financial services providers.

Dandy
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Dandy » Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:26 pm

VG's unbelievable growth has got to have had major damage to their ability to handle calls properly - i.e. timely and with well trained people. I ran several mutual fund call centers and staffing, training and tax season were major challenges when growth was modest - I can't imagine when you rake in more assets than most?/all? other fund companies combined. New customers need the most hand holding statements are new, website is new, asset transfers are often subject to delay, tax forms are new, yikes it brings back bad memories. :happy

The norm was you get college grads as starting CSRs who knows very little about investments/mutual funds/checking accounts/taxes/retirement accounts etc. So, it takes a minimum of 5 or 6 weeks of training to get them barely functional - usually with a experienced buddy nearby - which lowers the buddy's productivity. The job itself is an easy burnout with most CSRs probably lasting less than 2 years. Think of it you are tied to a desk, taking say 80 or more calls a day, the calls are recorded, you get several nasty people a day hollering at you for things that are beyond your control, your area performance is measured in seconds, you are scheduled for start time/lunch time/break time etc. and it is noticed if you are a few minutes late/there are hundreds of people doing the same job so hard to stand out. yeah sign me up. :oops:

Having a systems issue in the midst of tax season is just throwing gas on the fire. More calls, more complaints, faster burnout.

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whodidntante
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by whodidntante » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:22 am

I hold Vanguard's world class, low cost funds at better brokerages. They give me money, free trades, and TurboTax, and have good customer service.

TIAX
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by TIAX » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:32 am

whodidntante wrote:
Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:22 am
I hold Vanguard's world class, low cost funds at better brokerages. They give me money, free trades, and TurboTax, and have good customer service.
They don't give you money and TurboTax is cheaper on amazon than with the fake Vanguard discount.

Captain kangaroo
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Re: Why is Vanguard not answering the phone

Post by Captain kangaroo » Wed Mar 28, 2018 10:59 am

Imagine if Vanguard funds were ntf at fidelity or schwab. That would be the perfect combination

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