Vanguard customer service

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Bdux
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:37 pm

Vanguard customer service

Post by Bdux » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:39 pm

Recently opened account for my 5013c with the objective of putting $ in vanguard prime MM and after long conversations with several vanguard employees and telling them my plan,i now find out that the fund is unavailable to me. I CANNOT BELIEVE how uninformed these people are. I have heard nothing but good things about vanguard for years. But now i am greatly disappointed with them. I am thankful i started out with a small amount of $.

GmanJeff
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 7:12 am

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by GmanJeff » Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:57 pm

Did you specifically research the criteria for such an investment be under your particular circumstances? Are you trying to say you wanted to use the fund as an investment vehicle for a charitable organization rather than as an investment for you as an individual? If so, have you inquired into available alternatives?

sawhorse
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Joined: Sun Mar 01, 2015 7:05 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by sawhorse » Fri Nov 09, 2018 9:44 pm

Yes, Vanguard customer service is very hit or miss. The ones outside normal business hours tend to be miss. There have been several threads on this so it's not an isolated problem.

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JamesSFO
Posts: 3111
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Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by JamesSFO » Fri Nov 09, 2018 10:00 pm

Sadly the prospectus makes it clear only natural persons can invest:
Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund
Vanguard has designated Vanguard Prime Money Market Fund as a retail money market fund.
Retail money market funds are defined as prime or tax-exempt money market funds that have policies and procedures reasonably designed to limit all beneficial owners of such money market funds to natural persons. Retail money market funds are permitted to continue to maintain a stable NAV through the use of amortized cost accounting. If a retail money market fund’s weekly assets fall below a certain threshold, retail money market funds are subject to fees and gates.
Source: https://personal.vanguard.com/pub/Pdf/p ... 2210140152

Always disappointing when customer service reps make mistakes.

cowboy737
Posts: 14
Joined: Wed Jul 25, 2018 10:37 am

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by cowboy737 » Fri Nov 09, 2018 11:49 pm

I completely agree. Worst customer service. Seems like they higher high school pass out with no experience and keep you on hold for long time and still dont have answer for you.

sbaywriter
Posts: 84
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 10:00 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by sbaywriter » Sat Nov 10, 2018 10:35 am

I wouldn't call it the worst - I had some good experiences and bad experiences at Vanguard, but most recently all good. Some definitely sounded clueless, others sounded really on top of things. Most explained things very clearly.

For a while I thought Fidelity was better but that was because I was dealing with their 401k department - once I converted over to IRA, the phone I encountered have been just as clueless and uncaring sounding as some of those at Vanguards. I had been considering consolidating at Fidelity to perhaps make it easier for my POA to handle my finances when needed but now am not sure - will wait a while.

Sounds like they do need a way to better handle more specialized inquiries such as yours, versus more general questions.

CPO_investor
Posts: 4
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:52 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by CPO_investor » Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:16 am

I opened a Vanguard account over the summer and was having issues with linking my bank account to the vanguard account in order to transfer funds. This caused major delays in investing my money and while dealing with this the market went up a couple of points, costing me thousands of dollars in lost capital gains. Two weeks into this, while on the phone with a customer service rep, he gave me instructions that clearly conflicted with a previous rep and basically told me that what the previous rep had told me was incorrect. Following the original set of instructions had required me to send certified documents via notary public via verified next day mail. I expressed frustration and questioned how I would know that the new instructions were correct since the last we’re not. The representative flippantly said he couldn’t control what someone else had told me and the delays weren’t his problem. I came unglued and had to talk to a manager. I almost cancelled my account, but luckily the manager actually knew what she was doing and got everything resolved. It’s very frustrating when you are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a company and their employees treat you like trash.

PatrickA5
Posts: 321
Joined: Mon Jul 28, 2014 1:55 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by PatrickA5 » Sat Nov 10, 2018 1:28 pm

I've had problems with VG and Fidelity customer service in the past. It's always hit or miss. My Flagship rep seems pretty good, but haven't used her much.

The worst lack of knowledge I've experienced was when a Fidelity rep told me there is no way to have after tax "basis" in a Traditional IRA. I told him I contributed non-deductible money into my Traditional IRA. He said "oh, you must be thinking about a Roth". His supervisor agreed with him. It wasn't until I asked to be transferred to someone that's an "expert" on IRA's that I found someone that knew something. It's always fun trying to educate the customer service reps.

If you have an interest in VG's Advantage Checking account, don't call customer service. They haven't even heard of it. Talked to 3 reps and a couple of Flagships before I found someone that could answer the simplest questions.

Mr. Jelly
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Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2018 5:12 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by Mr. Jelly » Sat Nov 10, 2018 3:52 pm

First of all I'd like to say I can't imagine a customer service phone jockey having all the answers that may come up in investing. I get that. But that could be solved my compartmentalizing. My experience has been that VG helped me and led through rolling over my 401K into Vanguard. It was scary and while we did work through it all, they were not very empathetic of someone like me giving my life savings to voices on the phone that were being ping bonged around the country. They were young and tried to be business like. I felt that it should have been taken care of in allot more of a professional manner. Especially given most all of their business is done on the phone and the internet. One would think that they would take special care in those areas. Their webpage still has areas that need work as the only way you will know how to accomplish some tasks is if you do it often after figuring it out. In other words it isn't evident or that user friendly. I hesitate suggesting to someone to do business with VG for these reasons. If a persons life savings came up missing and you explained what happened to the uninitiated they would ask "You mean you sent your life savings to someone on the internet? How stupid can you be?"

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celia
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Location: SoCal

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by celia » Sat Nov 10, 2018 4:12 pm

I also wanted to put money in Prime MM for a non-profit, but called to verify it was possible (since many custodians (or the SEC?) limit what organizations can invest in). The agent or I usually refers such a detailed question (ie, "for a non-profit") to another department while I stay on hold. I don't expect the phone reps to know everything, but to get answers from someone else. So far, when they put me on hold to inquire on my behalf, I have not been disappointed with how the call was handled (although I may not like the answer).

But to put this in context, when I call with what appears to be a "simple" question, they can see I have many accounts (and have Agent Authorization for others) and have invested with them "forever". So that probably raises a red flag in their head (so to speak) of why I am asking such a "simple" question. I can see how new customers might not get the same treatment since the 99 calls they had before me from prospective new members regarding the same question were from new investors who weren't as knowledgeable as a long time investor. They get the short basic answer, since it is not obvious their situation is really more complex.

FYI, Although Prime MM is not available to non-profits, Federal MM **IS** available. The growth is a little less, but better than any CDs we can find that non-profits can invest in.

Bdux
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Oct 07, 2018 5:37 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by Bdux » Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:14 pm

GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:57 pm
Did you specifically research the criteria for such an investment be under your particular circumstances? Are you trying to say you wanted to use the fund as an investment vehicle for a charitable organization rather than as an investment for you as an individual? If so, have you inquired into available alternatives?
GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:57 pm
Did you specifically research the criteria for such an investment be under your particular circumstances? Are you trying to say you wanted to use the fund as an investment vehicle for a charitable organization rather than as an investment for you as an individual? If so, have you inquired into available alternatives?
CPO_investor wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:16 am
I opened a Vanguard account over the summer and was having issues with linking my bank account to the vanguard account in order to transfer funds. This caused major delays in investing my money and while dealing with this the market went up a couple of points, costing me thousands of dollars in lost capital gains. Two weeks into this, while on the phone with a customer service rep, he gave me instructions that clearly conflicted with a previous rep and basically told me that what the previous rep had told me was incorrect. Following the original set of instructions had required me to send certified documents via notary public via verified next day mail. I expressed frustration and questioned how I would know that the new instructions were correct since the last we’re not. The representative flippantly said he couldn’t control what someone else had told me and the delays weren’t his problem. I came unglued and had to talk to a manager. I almost cancelled my account, but luckily the manager actually knew what she was doing and got everything resolved. It’s very frustrating when you are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a company and their employees treat you like trash.
I did not research other alternatives for my 5013c,, i was happy getting 2.2% with check writing. But after filling out app. Which took several weeks because multible signature was needed and i made several calls to VG to help with different sections of the app, i kept telling them of my plans to use prime as my investment they all agreed that it was ok. They should have people who specialize in these matters.
I may be alittle spoiled because my personal Fidelity IRA rollover went so well at a local Fidelity office and the rep is very good. The only reason i went to VG was that expense ratios at Fidelity were high on MM. I guess you get what you pay for.

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arcticpineapplecorp.
Posts: 3337
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2012 9:22 pm

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:21 pm

Bdux wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:39 pm
Recently opened account for my 5013c with the objective of putting $ in vanguard prime MM and after long conversations with several vanguard employees and telling them my plan,i now find out that the fund is unavailable to me. I CANNOT BELIEVE how uninformed these people are. I have heard nothing but good things about vanguard for years. But now i am greatly disappointed with them. I am thankful i started out with a small amount of $.
I did not research other alternatives for my 5013c,, i was happy getting 2.2% with check writing. But after filling out app. Which took several weeks because multible signature was needed and i made several calls to VG to help with different sections of the app, i kept telling them of my plans to use prime as my investment they all agreed that it was ok. They should have people who specialize in these matters.
I may be alittle spoiled because my personal Fidelity IRA rollover went so well at a local Fidelity office and the rep is very good. The only reason i went to VG was that expense ratios at Fidelity were high on MM. I guess you get what you pay for.
Is this a spoof? You wrote 5013c twice (above) yet it's called a 501c3, not a 5013c (see below). I find it hard to believe that if you are running a nonprofit organization you would not know that.

source:
https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... zPZ_xr6p2E

Even Google knows it's a 501c3, not a 5013c

https://www.google.com/search?client=fi ... 2ovpZ1Y5jM

Also, did you talk to the insitutional investing arm of Vanguard or the retail arm? If you're setting up a 501c3 you'd go through the institutional part of Vanguard because you're running a non-profit organization, presumably. When I go to that site and go to the following link there are several money market funds available:

https://institutional.vanguard.com/VGAp ... quivalents

Image

Perhaps you're asking the wrong people (retail, not institutional) and/or the wrong questions?

Care to comment on these issues?
"Invest we must." -- Jack Bogle | “The purpose of investing is not to simply optimise returns and make yourself rich. The purpose is not to die poor.” -- William Bernstein

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dwickenh
Posts: 1398
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Location: Illinois

Re: Vanguard customer service

Post by dwickenh » Sat Nov 10, 2018 6:24 pm

Bdux wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 5:14 pm
GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:57 pm
Did you specifically research the criteria for such an investment be under your particular circumstances? Are you trying to say you wanted to use the fund as an investment vehicle for a charitable organization rather than as an investment for you as an individual? If so, have you inquired into available alternatives?
GmanJeff wrote:
Fri Nov 09, 2018 6:57 pm
Did you specifically research the criteria for such an investment be under your particular circumstances? Are you trying to say you wanted to use the fund as an investment vehicle for a charitable organization rather than as an investment for you as an individual? If so, have you inquired into available alternatives?
CPO_investor wrote:
Sat Nov 10, 2018 11:16 am
I opened a Vanguard account over the summer and was having issues with linking my bank account to the vanguard account in order to transfer funds. This caused major delays in investing my money and while dealing with this the market went up a couple of points, costing me thousands of dollars in lost capital gains. Two weeks into this, while on the phone with a customer service rep, he gave me instructions that clearly conflicted with a previous rep and basically told me that what the previous rep had told me was incorrect. Following the original set of instructions had required me to send certified documents via notary public via verified next day mail. I expressed frustration and questioned how I would know that the new instructions were correct since the last we’re not. The representative flippantly said he couldn’t control what someone else had told me and the delays weren’t his problem. I came unglued and had to talk to a manager. I almost cancelled my account, but luckily the manager actually knew what she was doing and got everything resolved. It’s very frustrating when you are investing hundreds of thousands of dollars with a company and their employees treat you like trash.
I did not research other alternatives for my 5013c,, i was happy getting 2.2% with check writing. But after filling out app. Which took several weeks because multible signature was needed and i made several calls to VG to help with different sections of the app, i kept telling them of my plans to use prime as my investment they all agreed that it was ok. They should have people who specialize in these matters.
I may be alittle spoiled because my personal Fidelity IRA rollover went so well at a local Fidelity office and the rep is very good. The only reason i went to VG was that expense ratios at Fidelity were high on MM. I guess you get what you pay for.
Per Jack Bogle, "You get what you don't pay for"
The market is the most efficient mechanism anywhere in the world for transferring wealth from impatient people to patient people.” | — Warren Buffett

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