Horrible Experience with Vanguard [Login account security]

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Horrible Experience with Vanguard [Login account security]

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm

I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

By the way, I was also passed around from rep to rep because nobody knew how to remedy the problem. I finally got a rep who knew to send me the form.

To be fair, I should disclose that I was trying to move around money due to unexpected funeral expenses for a family member, so I was already under stress with little sleep and that added to my frustration. I also took the day off of work and this situation took up most of my day.
Last edited by skd on Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:44 am, edited 3 times in total.

retired@50
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by retired@50 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:28 pm

I wouldn't move my money over it. The story you tell sounds exactly like something an internet scam artist would come up with. Sounds like their security protocols are protecting you in an extremely rare and unlikely to be repeated circumstance.

Regards,
Boggle - a game from Parker Brothers. Bogle - investor, founder of Vanguard.

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm

So you take no comfort in these measures of account protection? Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?

Maybe you can call your old phone number and convince them to give you the security code?

FYI, you can configure multiple phone numbers to receive security codes.
Last edited by Cheez-It Guy on Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:38 pm, edited 2 times in total.

dbr
Posts: 31527
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by dbr » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:31 pm

It certainly sounds like a heads up to anyone with an account anywhere to be sure the security phone number is explicitly identified and kept up to date and it is not assumed that changing some random contact information manages this. I have also thought from time to time what happens if certain phone numbers or e-mail addresses are disconnected.

User avatar
StormShadow
Posts: 783
Joined: Thu Feb 09, 2012 6:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by StormShadow » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:31 pm

retired@50 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:28 pm
I wouldn't move my money over it. The story you tell sounds exactly like something an internet scam artist would come up with. Sounds like their security protocols are protecting you in an extremely rare and unlikely to be repeated circumstance.

Regards,
+1

I’d much rather they be extra paranoid about login security instead of the opposite.

bitdocmd
Posts: 40
Joined: Fri Oct 04, 2019 11:24 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by bitdocmd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:33 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
I would recommend you work on your operational security. This is only if you are not a troll. Otherwise I think Vanguard's security protocols worked.

JimmyD
Posts: 799
Joined: Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:03 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by JimmyD » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
Yes - I went through this exact same issue about a month ago.

At first, I was angry that I had to jump through these hurdles to change my phone number with them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I appreciated that extra layer of security.

FWIW, they processed the form quickly - it was done in just a few days upon receipt.

retiringwhen
Posts: 1601
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by retiringwhen » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:36 pm

Those are excellent security practices from Vanguard. If they did not do them, I would consider it a serious breach of security. Man in the Middle, social engineering and phone number theft are major growing cyber threats to financial companies these days.

Asking the company to go around their procedures to fix your problem is dangerous to you and all other Vanguard customers specifically because of those real and growing risks.

Take your lumps, get it fixed via snail mail and formal independent identity validation (Notary).

Lesson, maintain a list of accounts that use your phone number for identity validation and ensure that all information is up to date. This will happen at services as broadly defined as google/gmail to your bank account to your grocery store shoppers discount card.

BTW, I also believe it is proper and correct to disconnect the security key phone number from your personal account information. I have at least 6 different phone numbers associated with accounts in my Vanguard account. Only two of them are valid for security verification, the others are shared, work or non-family phone numbers.

As a point of reference, my Credit Union uses exactly the same separation of address/mailing/contact info from the 2FA security access methods.

baritone
Posts: 58
Joined: Sun Feb 05, 2017 12:33 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by baritone » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:38 pm

Nearly exact same thing happened to me about 2 months ago. I went through that same "fill out a form and get it notarized" episode.
Since then, no problems. I don't see any way around it and I would not move out of Vanguard over it. Chill.

User avatar
Brianmcg321
Posts: 561
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:23 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Brianmcg321 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:43 pm

You would have had the same experience anywhere else if you failed to update your security phone number. That's what its for, so someone can't just access your account. :oops:

I'm glad to know that Vanguard's security works as intended.
Rules to investing: | 1. Don't lose money. | 2. Don't forget rule number 1.

stan1
Posts: 8121
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by stan1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:46 pm

When you get control of the account back switch the security verification number to a Google Voice number rather than a land line. It will stay with you if you move.

Agree with the others that Vanguard should make it difficult to reset security features their customers have chosen to enable. I don't think you'll get anyone who agrees what you describe is a "horrible experience".
Last edited by stan1 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:46 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:46 pm

I think this is one of those topics where the replies tend to go a different direction than the OP expected.

Trader Joe
Posts: 1521
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:54 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
Thank you very much for posting your Vanguard experience. I recently had a similar experience.

As a long-time Vanguard customer, I am very concerned with Vanguard in this specific area.

I am assessing my own situation right now.

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:59 pm

What exactly is the source of concern in this case?

User avatar
Doom&Gloom
Posts: 3175
Joined: Thu May 08, 2014 3:36 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Doom&Gloom » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:03 pm

StormShadow wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:31 pm
retired@50 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:28 pm
I wouldn't move my money over it. The story you tell sounds exactly like something an internet scam artist would come up with. Sounds like their security protocols are protecting you in an extremely rare and unlikely to be repeated circumstance.

Regards,
+1

I’d much rather they be extra paranoid about login security instead of the opposite.
This. Seems like something that OP simply overlooked; not an issue with Vanguard.

arf30
Posts: 635
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:55 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by arf30 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:05 pm

It sounds like Vanguard did exactly what they should have to keep your account secure - if anything it's on you for not keeping your phone number up to date.

User avatar
goodenyou
Posts: 2104
Joined: Sun Jan 31, 2010 11:57 pm
Location: Skating to Where the Puck is Going to Be..or on the golf course

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by goodenyou » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:07 pm

I feel better that Vanguard is so cautious. I would rather read about this inconvenience than another fraud and ID theft thread. When my wife and I wired money from Vanguard for a transaction, we had to go through a 20 minute phone call and answer questions about each of us that were really difficult for both my wife and me to answer. If they could have been answered by someone else, they deserved the money. Vanguard is extremely cautious.
"Ignorance more frequently begets confidence than does knowledge" | Do you know how to make a rain dance work? Dance until it rains.

Expro
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Feb 08, 2016 3:37 am
Location: Girona

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Expro » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:08 pm

JimmyD wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm

Yes - I went through this exact same issue about a month ago.

At first, I was angry that I had to jump through these hurdles to change my phone number with them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I appreciated that extra layer of security.

FWIW, they processed the form quickly - it was done in just a few days upon receipt.
I too just went through with this exact scenario.

Vanguard sent a pdf of the form I needed. I printed out two copies. I went to a random Credit Union one block from my door. The kind folks there notarized the form and I mailed it in. Vanguard sent snail mail confirmation of my requested changes and I went online and sorted the changes I needed.

Vanguard also recommended I enable voice authentication to prevent this phone number changed/SMS code problem from arising in the future. But I haven't done this yet...

retired@50
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by retired@50 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:13 pm

Expro wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:08 pm
Vanguard also recommended I enable voice authentication to prevent this phone number changed/SMS code problem from arising in the future. But I haven't done this yet...
I did this several years ago. At Vanguard my voice is my password. I use this to authenticate over the telephone on occasion.

Regards,
Boggle - a game from Parker Brothers. Bogle - investor, founder of Vanguard.

rkhusky
Posts: 8109
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by rkhusky » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:14 pm

I had this happen when we moved last year. But I was transferred to someone who asked me some questions about my transactions and changed the number for me. No forms to mail.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:19 pm

I think people missed my point. I am not mad because Vanguard was securing my account. I am mad because I didn't get any alert when I changed my phone number that I had to change it for a security code. I am also disappointed that Vanguard doesn't have alternate ways to receive the security code. I work with 11 other institutions and all of them give you the choice of phone or email when your device is not recognized. Vanguard is the only one that doesn't.

However, when I talked to the customer service representative, he said Vanguard is in the process of changing this because they have had so many complaints and lost many clients. He said that they are also changing their user interface for the same reason.

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:21 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account.
According to OP, he gave Vanguard his new number when he moved.

If correct, I'm not sure why some are faulting OP. While I don't blame Vanguard for being cautious about this, you do have to wonder why Vanguard would send a security code to a phone number that OP had previously changed with Vanguard. Wouldn't most average customers believe that when they change their phone number with Vanguard it would be changed for all purposes for which Vanguard uses that number?

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:23 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:14 pm
I had this happen when we moved last year. But I was transferred to someone who asked me some questions about my transactions and changed the number for me. No forms to mail.
I asked if I could answer questions and the rep said, "no." I am glad it worked out for you. It took up several hours of my day and I was passed from one representative to the next because nobody knew what to do. I finally was passed to rep who sent me the form.

Trader Joe
Posts: 1521
Joined: Fri Apr 25, 2014 6:38 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Trader Joe » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:24 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:19 pm
I think people missed my point. I am not mad because Vanguard was securing my account. I am mad because I didn't get any alert when I changed my phone number that I had to change it for a security code. I am also disappointed that Vanguard doesn't have alternate ways to receive the security code. I work with 11 other institutions and all of them give you the choice of phone or email when your device is not recognized. Vanguard is the only one that doesn't.

However, when I talked to the customer service representative, he said Vanguard is in the process of changing this because they have had so many complaints and lost many clients. He said that they are also changing their user interface for the same reason.
Thank you very much for the additional information. Hopefully Vanguard is really working to make improvements in this area.

Other financial institutions (where I also hold significant assets) send me security codes via email.

I expect no less from Vanguard.

stan1
Posts: 8121
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by stan1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:25 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:23 pm
It took up several hours of my day and I was passed from one representative to the next because nobody knew what to do. I finally was passed to rep who sent me the form.
OK, with that additional information now I'll agree with you it should have been handled better.

User avatar
rh00p
Posts: 102
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 1:21 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by rh00p » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:28 pm

Looks like this "horrible experience" was caused on your end. Go for a walk and never make financial decisions emotionally.
Preparing for the worst. Hoping for the best.

User avatar
samsoes
Posts: 1415
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2013 9:12 am
Location: Northeast Rat Race

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by samsoes » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:30 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
I hate to be the discordant note in this chorus of Vanguard praise, but yes, move your money to Schwab or Fidelity where you can access a local branch office in the event you are ever blocked from your online account again. Being locked out with no access to your money for any length of time is very unsettling.
"Happiness Is Not My Companion" - Gen. Gouverneur K. Warren. | (Avatar is the statue of Gen. Warren atop Little Round Top @ Gettysburg National Military Park.)

User avatar
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 552
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:34 pm

Sorry about your experience. It seems Vanguard should have other, state-of-the-art ways to authenticate your identity. I do understand the point about the need to be extra cautious with all of the scammers out there, however.

I closed my Vanguard account recently to consolidate all of my accounts at Schwab which has very good customer service (over 10 years of experience).

I've never had a similar problem with Schwab. In fact, they have been using voice authentication for a while. Not sure that would have helped in your situation but V needs to put additional measures in place IMO.

fru-gal
Posts: 1373
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm
Location: New England

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by fru-gal » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:38 pm

I'm confused by the changing phone number doesn't change the verification phone number stuff....

I'd a lot rather have a financial institution be overcautious, and I have money at more than one just in case something happens to one.

jb1
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by jb1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:38 pm

Getting upset at them for being overly safe


Ok.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 39975
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by nisiprius » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:43 pm

So, for those interested in avoiding problems, what do we need to know about updating the phone number for getting a security code? I'm using voice verification now, but... I'm reading this on Vanguard's website:

I'm reading
How do I update my phone number and security code settings?

If you change carriers but keep your same phone number, no change is required to your security code service. Your security codes will automatically be re-routed to your phone number through your new carrier. If you update your phone number, you must also update your Vanguard security code settings in the security code section of the Account maintenance area, or the My Profile section if you're accessing the Retirement Plans area of the site. Vanguard will send a validation code to the updated phone number you provide using the contact method you select. You will then need to enter that validation code in order to update the service.
I'm reading this to mean that you can update the phone number yourself on the website, without mailing notarized paper.

Is this information wrong?

Or is the issue that you need to remember that this is a chore you need to get done before you cancel your old phone service or otherwise lose access to your old phone number?
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:54 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm

Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?
Respectfully, do you really believe that when a financial institution denies a customer use of or access to their funds that unless the customer has an urgent need for their money it is a mere inconvenience?

Are you by chance an employee of Vanguard or have some other interest beyond being an "owner-client"? Not accusing, just asking.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:53 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:43 pm
So, for those interested in avoiding problems, what do we need to know about updating the phone number for getting a security code? I'm using voice verification now, but... I'm reading this on Vanguard's website:

I'm reading
How do I update my phone number and security code settings?

If you change carriers but keep your same phone number, no change is required to your security code service. Your security codes will automatically be re-routed to your phone number through your new carrier. If you update your phone number, you must also update your Vanguard security code settings in the security code section of the Account maintenance area, or the My Profile section if you're accessing the Retirement Plans area of the site. Vanguard will send a validation code to the updated phone number you provide using the contact method you select. You will then need to enter that validation code in order to update the service.
I'm reading this to mean that you can update the phone number yourself on the website, without mailing notarized paper.

Is the issue that you need to remember to get this chore done while you still have your old phone and it's still working?
The issue is that I updated my phone number on my Vanguard account, but I was not alerted at the time that I had to update it in another place for the security code. Now I cannot access my account online because I am locked out. I changed phone numbers over a year and a half ago.

jb1
Posts: 349
Joined: Sun Nov 27, 2016 8:33 am
Location: NC

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by jb1 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:53 pm

galawdawg wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?
Respectfully, do you really believe that when a financial institution denies a customer use of or access to their funds that unless the customer has an urgent need for their money it is a mere inconvenience?

Are you by chance an employee of Vanguard or have some other interest beyond being an "owner-client"? Not accusing, just asking.
Like how you can’t touch 401k and ira funds until you’re 60?

User avatar
bottlecap
Posts: 6274
Joined: Tue Mar 06, 2007 11:21 pm
Location: Tennessee

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by bottlecap » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:56 pm

You are making a huge issue out of a small inconvenience.

You could go back to a paper provider to avoid these security measures. But then you’d have to wait three weeks for everything to happen.

JT

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:58 pm

nisiprius wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:43 pm
So, for those interested in avoiding problems, what do we need to know about updating the phone number for getting a security code? I'm using voice verification now, but... I'm reading this on Vanguard's website:

I'm reading
How do I update my phone number and security code settings?

If you change carriers but keep your same phone number, no change is required to your security code service. Your security codes will automatically be re-routed to your phone number through your new carrier. If you update your phone number, you must also update your Vanguard security code settings in the security code section of the Account maintenance area, or the My Profile section if you're accessing the Retirement Plans area of the site. Vanguard will send a validation code to the updated phone number you provide using the contact method you select. You will then need to enter that validation code in order to update the service.
I'm reading this to mean that you can update the phone number yourself on the website, without mailing notarized paper.

Is the issue that you need to remember to get this chore done while you still have your old phone and it's still working?
If that link means you have to change your phone number both in your contact information section of your account AND in the security code settings section, perhaps the better practice for Vanguard from a customer service perspective would be when the phone number is changed online on one of those settings to ask the customer if they want to also change it in the other settings as well.

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 327
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:59 pm

jb1 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:53 pm
galawdawg wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?
Respectfully, do you really believe that when a financial institution denies a customer use of or access to their funds that unless the customer has an urgent need for their money it is a mere inconvenience?

Are you by chance an employee of Vanguard or have some other interest beyond being an "owner-client"? Not accusing, just asking.
Like how you can’t touch 401k and ira funds until you’re 60?
But you can. You'll just share a larger portion with your Uncle Sam....

sambb
Posts: 2731
Joined: Sun Mar 10, 2013 3:31 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by sambb » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:02 pm

Poor service again. Good luck to the OP.

retiringwhen
Posts: 1601
Joined: Sat Jul 08, 2017 10:09 am
Location: New Jersey, USA

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by retiringwhen » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:03 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:53 pm
The issue is that I updated my phone number on my Vanguard account, but I was not alerted at the time that I had to update it in another place for the security code. Now I cannot access my account online because I am locked out. I changed phone numbers over a year and a half ago.
Vanguard does allow for a phone call with voice numbers being read out. I have that set to our legacy land-line as a deep backup.

There were multiple places for you to not fall into this trap (setup at least two numbers).

BTW, this entire discussion is a good example of how security has become the tail that wags the dog...

Better verification schemes are required. Don't think voice verification or 2FA keys are the answer either. They can also fail badly (unless the user still have other backups, which in the case of 2FA makes it much less secure, many folks have stated they have left or consider leaving Vanguard over that issue.)

There is no happy answer that does not involve complicated customer issues or reduced security.

retired@50
Posts: 1326
Joined: Tue Oct 01, 2019 2:36 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by retired@50 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:11 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:19 pm
...
Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted.
...
I am mad because I didn't get any alert when I changed my phone number that I had to change it for a security code.
Did Microsoft or Windows give you a prompt before they deleted your cookies? Why aren't you upset with Microsoft?

Regards,
Last edited by retired@50 on Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Boggle - a game from Parker Brothers. Bogle - investor, founder of Vanguard.

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:13 pm

galawdawg wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?
Respectfully, do you really believe that when a financial institution denies a customer use of or access to their funds that unless the customer has an urgent need for their money it is a mere inconvenience?

Are you by chance an employee of Vanguard or have some other interest beyond being an "owner-client"? Not accusing, just asking.
I don't see this as a financial institution actively denying a customer access. I see it as a financial institution establishing protocols and following them, and a customer failing to fully understand and/or adapt to those protocols and unintentionally creating a sub-optimal situation for themselves. I mean, we might as well blame Microsoft and their Windows updates as Vanguard for this situation.

I know it is frustrating to be on the receiving end of a situation like this. I have been. My question about it being an inconvenience was not intended to be snide, but rather an inquiry into the severity of the situation and a suggestion of mentally reframing it if in fact it was not a true emergency. So, yes, I actually do view being locked out of a financial account in the event of a non-emergency to be a mere inconvenience. It happened to me last year with TreasuryDirect. I didn't feel like someone was out to get me. Not everything unpleasant that happens in life is a crisis and horrible. Take a step back, calm down, and reevaluate. Consider how one can improve their own response to future stressors. Stoicism.

No, I am not employed by Vanguard or any other financial services company. I am just a boring engineer for a manufacturing company. You may well have noticed some positive comments from me regarding Vanguard, and this is really based on my own experiences and results as well as to present a counterbalance to some of the at times vitriolic negativity I've read about Vanguard on these forums. For a site named after the founder of Vanguard, I've found that quite surprising and a bit puzzling, and have similarly questioned the motivations of users on the opposite side of such arguments. I can separate John Bogle from Vanguard, but I have difficulty rationalizing that Vanguard is a bad as some say, and that others are as good as some say. In the end, I am glad there is choice and competition. There's room for all.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:15 pm

JimmyD wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm
skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
Yes - I went through this exact same issue about a month ago.

At first, I was angry that I had to jump through these hurdles to change my phone number with them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I appreciated that extra layer of security.

FWIW, they processed the form quickly - it was done in just a few days upon receipt.
What made me angry was that I was passed around from rep to rep and put on hold over and over. Thank you for letting me know that your form was processed in a few days.

mhalley
Posts: 7877
Joined: Tue Nov 20, 2007 6:02 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by mhalley » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:16 pm

Sounds like problems on both sides. I agree vanguard should make it clear that when you update your phone number you need to update it in security settings also, so thanks for pointing this out. Vanguard should also have an easily accessible plan for regaining access to your accounts that all the reps know off the top of their head.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:22 pm

arf30 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:05 pm
It sounds like Vanguard did exactly what they should have to keep your account secure - if anything it's on you for not keeping your phone number up to date.
I did update my phone number with Vanguard, but that does not automatically update the security code and there is no alert to do so.

EHEngineer
Posts: 926
Joined: Sat Feb 28, 2015 4:35 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by EHEngineer » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:24 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
I think vanguard has done a good job. When you update your 2 factor methods, you should confirm the new ones work. Lesson learned for all of your accounts with 2 factor authentication. If you had done this with a no-human-service company you might have lost the account permanently (depending on...). You are lucky vanguard is so helpful. my 2c.
Or, you can ... decline to let me, a stranger on the Internet, egg you on to an exercise in time-wasting, and you could say "I'm probably OK and I don't care about it that much." -Nisiprius

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 586
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:33 pm

Folks, Vanguard has offered voice verification for YEARS. You have to set it up BEFORE there is a problem. I myself have not established this service, but I DO have multiple phone numbers set up to receive codes.

Additionally, if you choose, it appears you can disable two-factor authentication entirely, but I'd be prepared for more nag dialogs.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3877
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:36 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:34 pm
Sorry about your experience. It seems Vanguard should have other, state-of-the-art ways to authenticate your identity. I do understand the point about the need to be extra cautious with all of the scammers out there, however.

I closed my Vanguard account recently to consolidate all of my accounts at Schwab which has very good customer service (over 10 years of experience).

I've never had a similar problem with Schwab. In fact, they have been using voice authentication for a while. Not sure that would have helped in your situation but V needs to put additional measures in place IMO.
Vanguard has had voice authentication for years. I know I used it when I was buying a house 7 years ago. Apparently, OP never went to the bother of setting it up.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:37 pm

Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:33 pm
Folks, Vanguard has offered voice verification for YEARS. You have to set it up BEFORE there is a problem. I myself have not established this service, but I DO have multiple phone numbers set up to receive codes.

Additionally, if you choose, it appears you can disable two-factor authentication entirely, but I'd be prepared for more nag dialogs.
That is what the form does. It disables the security code so that you can go in and enable it again with a new phone number.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Bad Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:44 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

By the way, I was also passed around from rep to rep because nobody knew how to remedy the problem. I finally got a rep who knew to send me the form.

logos
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Dec 10, 2013 3:47 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by logos » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:45 pm

Yes. Vanguard customer service and website are both bad. Fidelity is much better. There are a couple of long threads about switching for this reason. But, you lose the ability to invest in admiral funds. That’s the reason I have not dropped them. That and some loyalty to the originator of all of this.

I disagree with those citing this as a security issue. It sounds more like a web design issue of which they have many - change your phone number in on place and it doesn’t change in the others. Even so, a paper form, really? Notary? In 2020? And how is that secure? All one would have to do is order a stamp...

Post Reply