Vanguard Customer Service Issues

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bertilak
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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by bertilak » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:11 pm

neurosphere wrote:
nisiprius wrote:It's not an A because I'm ticked off that they called me and began by asking me security questions. Apart from that, everything was smooth.
I just had an idea, what if WE asked Vanguard "Security questions" when Vanguard initiates a call to us. I think I can come up with a few questions that, if answered correctly, would make me feel ok about the validity of the call.

For example, off the top of my head:

-- Who is the current CEO of Vanguard?
-- Vanguard has three call centers around the country. Where are they located?
-- What are vanguard's call center hours of operation?

:)
I like that creative thinking! I might add, you are free to initiate that without getting anyone's permission.
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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by dm200 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:28 pm

My experience with Vanguard and Vanguard customer service has generally been good or very good. In one or two cases where Vanguard made a mistake, they corrected the mistake and made me "whole".

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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by nisiprius » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:30 pm

TinyElvis, glad that things seem to be going better. When you get around to it, why not edit the thread title? You can do it yourself, just edit the first post and the "subject" line is the subject of the thread, changes it and the thread changes.

The subject line could be something like "Help me resolve Vanguard customer service issue." That's what the thread is about. It's not a discussion of whether we can complain about Vanguard in this forum.
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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by nisiprius » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:45 pm

neurosphere wrote:I just had an idea, what if WE asked Vanguard "Security questions" when Vanguard initiates a call to us. I think I can come up with a few questions that, if answered correctly, would make me feel ok about the validity of the call.
:D
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by selftalk » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:03 pm

I too never had a bad word to say about the Vanguard service except one situation when they most probably were short of help maybe a few years ago or so and I had to wait a long time to get to a live person to make a trade. Since I made myself familiar with their website I by pass the reps and do it myself. But these days no problem whatsoever. The reps treat me very nicely and are respectful when I have a question. Hopefully you will give Vanguard another chance and the staff there will meet your satisfaction level.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by CABob » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:14 pm

If I understood the posts above you are in the process of moving a 401k account that is with a former employers 401k administrator to a traditional IRA at Vanguard. Although my experience in doing this is limited (I've done it twice) there are certain things that need to be done both with Vanguard and your former employer and/or their administrator. First of all you need to open the account with Vanguard and indicate that it will be funded from your 401k. Second you need to contact your former employer and/or administrator to let them know what you are planning and get their advice as to what needs to be done. It sounds as if you have done part of this but may have neglected the other part.
Hopefully the problem has been resolved and you are on your way to a long and happy life with Vanguard. :greedy
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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by flyingbison » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:25 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
TinyElvis wrote:Thank you everyone input and allowing me to vent.

I want Vanguard to work. I have invested a lot of time and energy into Vanguard researching and my new financial adviser (fee-only) uses them as well. Our situation is somewhat complex so I felt like we finally have a handle on it.

I've turned it over to my wife and apparently she has had better luck getting someone competent during "normal" business hours. As of right now, we appear to be on the right track.
I'm glad it's working out. Fwiw, IME, and YMMV, I have found that "pushing" retirement accounts from old company to new company works better than "pulling" to new from old. Usually, companies have to be prodded to move assets out but are more willing to accept them in.
That was my experience when I moved an IRA from TIAA-CREF to Vanguard. Initiated the process with Vanguard, but T-C was unresponsive for months, until I finally contacted them myself and then they had an entirely different set of forms they wanted me to complete. Still took a few more weeks for them to send the money to Vanguard.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by stoptothink » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:32 pm

We recently moved and I have been trying to change the address on my account for 2wks. Tried to do it online every day, but get a red error code. I've now called customer service 4 days in a row. They can not figure out why and can't change it on their end. After hearing on Monday that it would be changed by the end of the day, nothing has happened and the only thing customer service was able to tell me this morning is that a help ticket has been sent.

I've had zero issues with Vanguard customer service in the nearly 10yrs I've been a customer, but this is bizarre.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by TinyElvis » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:37 pm

CABob wrote:If I understood the posts above you are in the process of moving a 401k account that is with a former employers 401k administrator to a traditional IRA at Vanguard.
She is/was a professor so it's a CALSTRS pension that we are moving. Perhaps we had missed a step - that is what I was trying to find out last night to no avail.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by livesoft » Thu Dec 10, 2015 2:53 pm

TinyElvis wrote:She is/was a professor so it's a CALSTRS pension that we are moving.

That only took 2 pages of posts to pry that information out of you. ;) I'm sure you see no irony in my comment.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by CABob » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:17 pm

TinyElvis wrote:She is/was a professor so it's a CALSTRS pension that we are moving. Perhaps we had missed a step - that is what I was trying to find out last night to no avail.
Has Calstrs been contacted? Is a lump sum benefit available from Calstrs?
I would suspect that the delay might be with them rather than Vanguard.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by pkcrafter » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:31 pm

Even if you have transfer authority it doesn't help if you can't talk to someone. Vanguard employees often read this forum, and I hope they read your post. Low cost on not, it's just not good enough.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by TinyElvis » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:34 pm

livesoft wrote:
TinyElvis wrote:She is/was a professor so it's a CALSTRS pension that we are moving.

That only took 2 pages of posts to pry that information out of you. ;) I'm sure you see no irony in my comment.


I actually had to sign the CALSTRS document as well as that is how California works (glad to be out of that state). So, I'll stick with "we". :)

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by TinyElvis » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:35 pm

CABob wrote:
TinyElvis wrote:She is/was a professor so it's a CALSTRS pension that we are moving. Perhaps we had missed a step - that is what I was trying to find out last night to no avail.
Has Calstrs been contacted? Is a lump sum benefit available from Calstrs?
I would suspect that the delay might be with them rather than Vanguard.
Yes. We addressed the CALSTRS side of the equation first because we assumed that would be the most complex. I just naively assumed that the Vanguard rep I had contacted could provide me guidance and assurance that we had made all the appropriate steps.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by TinyElvis » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:36 pm

pkcrafter wrote:Even if you have transfer authority it doesn't help if you can't talk to someone.
Yes! :beer

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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by sawhorse » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:01 pm

flyingbison wrote:That was my experience when I moved an IRA from TIAA-CREF to Vanguard. Initiated the process with Vanguard, but T-C was unresponsive for months, until I finally contacted them myself and then they had an entirely different set of forms they wanted me to complete. Still took a few more weeks for them to send the money to Vanguard.
That's funny and interesting because that was the exact opposite of my experience! Here is what I wrote on another thread at the time.
sawhorse wrote: I'm in the midst of yet another Vanguard hiccup, and it looks like this may be the worst one yet.

I submitted an application to have my IRA transferred from TIAA CREF to Vanguard last month. After two weeks, the money still wasn't showing up in my account, so I called them on June 12 to see what was going on.

Vanguard rep: You need to fill out a form with TIAA CREF. That's why the funds haven't been transferred yet.

Me: I haven't heard anything about that, and it doesn't say anything about that on the TIAA CREF website. But that's what TIAA CREF told you?

Vanguard rep: My manager has handled some transfers from TIAA CREF, and he said that in his experience they require the client to fill out a form.

Me: But no one contacted TIAA CREF about my account?

Vanguard rep: No, we suggest that you contact them.

Me: Why didn't I get any notification from you that my transfer was being held up for this? If I hadn't called, my transfer application would still be sitting there?

Vanguard rep: I'm not sure. I'm not in charge of that.

I contacted TIAA CREF immediately after getting off the phone with Vanguard. No form required :oops: They said that they've dealt with this before with Vanguard, and they would contact Vanguard to initiate the transfer. So they contacted Vanguard, and the money was gone from my TIAA CREF account last Tuesday. But my Vanguard "Track your transfer" page still said, "Awaiting client paperwork". I called Vanguard yesterday and was told that it'll be there today. Today indeed it shows a pending transaction for the amount, but all to the money market rather than the allocation I specified in my transfer application. So I called again about an hour ago.

Me: Do you handle all transfers by putting them in the money market first and then initiating the transfers to the allocations on the IRA transfer form?

Vanguard rep: I think so. I'm looking at your account, and it shows
  • with zero balance. So that means that they will be transferred from the money market soon. The funds wouldn't be listed in the account if they weren't going to do it.

    Me: But those funds have been listed in the account with zero balance since I filled out the application online to have my IRA transferred. They were there even before I mailed the paperwork.

    Vanguard rep: Oh. Maybe you can initiate a transfer from the money market into the funds you want.

    Me: I don't mind that at all. But if Vanguard is already going to initiate it, and I initiate a transfer myself, then I'll have double the amount of money going into each fund, and I'm worried that will cause problems.

    Vanguard rep: Then why don't you wait a few more days to see. Maybe if it's not done within a week you can go ahead and initiate it yourself.

    :annoyed

    I love Vanguard's funds but their customer service has been seriously frustrating. No one has ever spoken to me rudely; that's not the problem. It's that the representatives seem undertrained.

    I'm strongly considering moving my IRA again, maybe to Fidelity or something. I'll keep some in Wellesley and Wellington. On second thought, maybe I'll keep it at Vanguard because I'm entirely expecting to have to deal with another mess if I try to transfer it out. :annoyed
I transferred part of my Roth at Merrill Edge to Fidelity recently to invest in one of the Fidelity funds and because I had fulfilled the requirements to get the Merrill Edge bonus. The process was amazingly smooth and fast. Filled out the form online, uploaded a copy of my statement. Two days later the funds were gone from Merrill and showing as "pending" at Fidelity. Two more days and the funds were available to invest.

At every stage Fidelity sent email updates on the progress of the transfer.

I was not transferring in kind, and it might have been different if I were. Certainly would have been more complicated.

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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by flyingbison » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:17 pm

sawhorse wrote:
flyingbison wrote:That was my experience when I moved an IRA from TIAA-CREF to Vanguard. Initiated the process with Vanguard, but T-C was unresponsive for months, until I finally contacted them myself and then they had an entirely different set of forms they wanted me to complete. Still took a few more weeks for them to send the money to Vanguard.
That's funny and interesting because that was the exact opposite of my experience! Here is what I wrote on another thread at the time.
Yes, I think there is a ton of variation from case to case, depending on which customer service rep is handling the process.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by LadyGeek » Thu Dec 10, 2015 5:23 pm

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by LadyGeek » Sat Dec 12, 2015 9:23 pm

This thread is now unlocked to continue the discussion. The previous post still applies.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by SGM » Sun Dec 13, 2015 5:37 am

Changing a brokerage account solo 401k to a Vanguard IRA went smoothly but took a little longer than I expected. It would have happened quicker if I changed the solo 401k at the brokerage to an IRA before transferring to a Vanguard IRA. Overall I am very happy with the service I have had at Vanguard.

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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by sawhorse » Wed Dec 30, 2015 4:35 pm

bertilak wrote:
neurosphere wrote:
nisiprius wrote:It's not an A because I'm ticked off that they called me and began by asking me security questions. Apart from that, everything was smooth.
I just had an idea, what if WE asked Vanguard "Security questions" when Vanguard initiates a call to us. I think I can come up with a few questions that, if answered correctly, would make me feel ok about the validity of the call.

For example, off the top of my head:

-- Who is the current CEO of Vanguard?
-- Vanguard has three call centers around the country. Where are they located?
-- What are vanguard's call center hours of operation?

:)
I like that creative thinking! I might add, you are free to initiate that without getting anyone's permission.
I'm so glad I found this post before today! A pharmaceutical company called about a pre-authorization form that my doctor had sent. They asked me some questions to verify identification.

So I quizzed them: What is the company's stock ticker symbol? Who is the CEO?

They didn't know! So I told them to communicate with me through the written mail.

I'm inclined to think it was really them since I know my doctor sent a pre-authorization form for the medication they mentioned, but I wasn't 100% sure, and I don't like this practice of calling you and asking you to verify your information.

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Re: Secure Message

Post by Doc » Tue Jan 12, 2016 9:55 am

I have a need to send a secure message to Vanguard with an attachment. I called to try to find out what formats are acceptable attachment formats - Word, Excel, whatever. After several minutes trying to get through the voice menu which didn't understand what "secure message" was, I got a rep who thought "secure message" was an email that Vanguard might not be able to accept. I was then put on hold for several minutes and finally got the response "Nobody around here knows. Just try something and see if it goes through."

At least Vanguard Customer Service made me laugh for a change.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by statman » Tue Jan 12, 2016 4:04 pm

OK, let me give 3 examples of Vanguard's failure to provide adequate service for a Flagship client. Granted, this is over a decade, but still ...

1. I wrote a check for $100,000 on my Tax-Exempt MM account. VG debited the account $200,000. No question they were wrong: the check image was sitting there. Despite this, it took a week to restore the funds. And the next check to be debited was an estimated tax payment.

2. I regularly receive substantial sums by EFT to my bank account. I tried to have the EFT go to my Vanguard MM account instead. The code VG gave the payer did not work. No one at VG could figure out how to receive the deposit. Back to the bank, which never had any problem with this routine transaction.

3. I ordered by phone the transfer of $100,000 from two separate $50,000 mutual fund sales to a charity. VG thought it more convenient to first exchange one of the funds into the other so that they had to make only one transfer -- this of course kills the tax advantage of direct transfer of appreciated shares to charity. I (not VG) caught this, and they corrected it after the fact.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Doc » Wed Jan 13, 2016 4:34 pm

Did anyone else get a quality performance survey from Vanguard or do you to complain a lot first?
Vanguard wrote:Vanguard is continuously working to improve its products and services. In this regard, we are interested in your opinions about Vanguard overall.
I gave them my opinion and I didn't swear once.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by shiody » Tue May 17, 2016 8:16 am

I have been a long-time participant with Vanguard through my work TIAA-CREF accounts and as a retail customer. I've always touted Vanguard as a model company for smart investors, but I have been very disappointed with recent changes to the Vanguard culture and the effect this has had on customer service and performance. I initiated several direct transfers from TIAA to Vanguard on 5/3/16. Most of the transfers took place on 5/9-10, once the check was received from TIAA. However the largest transfer of $xxxxxxx still has not gone through, although my TIAA paperwork shows the check cut 5/6. I spoke with Cust Servive last week and they stated there was a hitch and it should go through in 2 days...5 days later still nothing.

I know Vanguard has had tremendous growth and has initiated positive changes in retirement planning, but I must believe that this growth and aggressive push towards paid Vanguard advisor services has had a negative impact on your performance and image as great institution. Customer Service is non-existent with emails going unanswered, even though response time is stated as 2 -days. I am considering pulling all of my retail accounts out of Vanguard and back to TIAA.

This seems to be a constant issue with the Bogleheads site as well- IT and customer service problems are well-documented.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by TomatoTomahto » Tue May 17, 2016 8:35 am

My son had made an excess contribution to his Roth. His phone call (yesterday) was answered promptly, the CSR asked him a few questions, and he was done. If anything gets mishandled down the road, I will update.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by goingup » Tue May 17, 2016 9:28 am

shiody wrote:I have been a long-time participant with Vanguard through my work TIAA-CREF accounts and as a retail customer. I've always touted Vanguard as a model company for smart investors, but I have been very disappointed with recent changes to the Vanguard culture and the effect this has had on customer service and performance. I initiated several direct transfers from TIAA to Vanguard on 5/3/16. Most of the transfers took place on 5/9-10, once the check was received from TIAA. However the largest transfer of $xxxxxxx still has not gone through, although my TIAA paperwork shows the check cut 5/6. I spoke with Cust Servive last week and they stated there was a hitch and it should go through in 2 days...5 days later still nothing.

I know Vanguard has had tremendous growth and has initiated positive changes in retirement planning, but I must believe that this growth and aggressive push towards paid Vanguard advisor services has had a negative impact on your performance and image as great institution. Customer Service is non-existent with emails going unanswered, even though response time is stated as 2 -days. I am considering pulling all of my retail accounts out of Vanguard and back to TIAA.

This seems to be a constant issue with the Bogleheads site as well- IT and customer service problems are well-documented.
I know it's frustrating, but just try to be patient. I have done at least 1/2 dozen rollovers over the years from TIAA, Janus, TRowe, CityBank, etc. They always take longer than I want them to take. While the rollover is in transit, it is almost as though the money is lost in the ethers.

The TIAA check got cut on a Friday May 6th. I'd seriously give it 10 business days before I'd start raising heck. Constant calls and emails probably aren't helping anything.

FWIW I'm a 15 yr Vanguard customer and I've never had an issue that wasn't addressed to my satisfaction.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Doc » Tue May 17, 2016 10:28 am

goingup wrote:FWIW I'm a 15 yr Vanguard customer and I've never had an issue that wasn't addressed to my satisfaction.
FWIW I'm also a 15 yr Vanguard customer and I am averaging an issue that wasn't addressed to my satisfaction about once a year. But that is misleading. The customer service problems started in 2008 when Vanguard stopped using Pershing to do it's trade processing. It became much worse with the implementation of the new IRS reporting requirements since then.
Investment News wrote:The move is designed to increase efficiency and provide cost savings, according to Ms. Chain, who did not give an estimate of how much Vanguard will save as a result of the change.
http://www.investmentnews.com/article/2 ... self-clear

The cutback in customer service hours in 2015 (?) added to the problems significantly.

IMO as other fund companies have become more competitive by reducing expense ratios most often by reducing their profit, Vanguard has been forced to reduce service costs to remain the "low cost leader". I would prefer to pay a few more basis points than have to wait several weeks for a "2 or 3 day" response to a secure message.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Rowan Oak » Tue May 17, 2016 10:53 am

I've had very good customer service over the years. Sometimes email response is slow (2 or more days), but I'm sure they are dealing with very high volume.
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A long-time Vanguard investor.

Post by Taylor Larimore » Tue May 17, 2016 12:42 pm

Bogleheads:

I have enjoyed being a Vanguard customer for 30 years.

I stay-the-course so there is seldom a reason for me to contact Vanguard. When I do, I have (nearly) always received good service.

Keep investing simple.

Best wishes.
Taylor
"Simplicity is the master key to financial success." -- Jack Bogle

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Da5id » Tue May 17, 2016 12:54 pm

I have received good service too, though they are still fixing a messed up cost basis for me.

I wonder if at least some of the distinction between those with more complaints and those with less is how much money they have at Vanguard. Not true for everyone of course, but maybe those with Voyager Select or personal Flagship reps are happier than those who get a random different person each time. I'd assume that Vanguard puts their better trained folks on the account levels with more money (or perhaps as supervisors for the general account holders rather than first line contacts). Again, just speculation though.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Doc » Tue May 17, 2016 5:36 pm

Da5id wrote: I'd assume that Vanguard puts their better trained folks on the account levels with more money ...
That's what it says in the "what you get". But it ain't necessarily so.
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Called Vanguard today and after 1/2 hour hold the service was terrible

Post by akpk » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:58 pm

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

Today i had to go through vanguard customer service experience. Last time i called them was about 9-10 years back if i remember it right. It was terrible experience today. Had to hold the telephone for about 28-29 minutes before some rep became available. Recently i upgraded my mutual fund account to brokerage and all my automatic transfers to vanguard have been blocked. Vanguard is asking to send a signed "updated bank designation form". I had two checking accounts linked. Last week i deleted and added one checking out back as new bank. I have verified one account last monday but status still shows:

"You've completed the micro-deposit authentication process. We're now in the process of verifying your bank information. Once this process is complete, you'll be able to use this bank to move money from eligible accounts"

Vanguard has probably grown too big and doesn't care about smaller customers like me :dollar

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Re: Called Vanguard today and after 1/2 hour hold the service was terrible

Post by livesoft » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:03 pm

Since Vanguard does not answer the phone on the weekends, I suspect Monday is a big phone day for them. While I call them about once every 20 years years, I would think twice before calling them at the beginning of the week.
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nanoanalyzer
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Re: Called Vanguard today and after 1/2 hour hold the service was terrible

Post by nanoanalyzer » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:07 pm

This topic is now locked (non-actionable, general rant).

Forum rule 4b:
Non-actionable (Trolling) Topics

If readers can't do anything with the content of a topic other than argue about it, it does not belong here.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by LadyGeek » Tue Aug 16, 2016 4:11 pm

Upon further review, appk's thread thread is unlocked and merged into here to discuss Vanguard's customer service.

We certainly will allow complaints, but please stay focused on your specific situation. General rants about Vanguard are off-topic.

Use this thread as a "catch all" for complaints unless your concerns need a focused discussion (and we can help you work through it).

Vanguard website (online access) complaints go here: [Vanguard Online Access Problems]
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Yesterdaysnews
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Yesterdaysnews » Tue Aug 16, 2016 10:28 pm

Why not use only Vanguard ETFs exclusively but hold them at Fido or Schwab? You can buy them for $7 or $8.

I understand prior to the creation of ETFs holding mutual funds at Vanguard made sense to access Admiral shares, however, I don't see the advantage anymore.

I love Vanguard products, especially their ETFs, but the Vanguard website / internet platform is lighyears behind Fido and Schwab. The latter two also have sit down offices and superior customer service.

I feel the traditional mutual fund may someday be a relic of the past and fully replaced by ETFs anyway, especially for index investors.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Aug 17, 2016 12:15 pm

Yesterdaysnews wrote:Why not use only Vanguard ETFs exclusively but hold them at Fido or Schwab? You can buy them for $7 or $8.

I understand prior to the creation of ETFs holding mutual funds at Vanguard made sense to access Admiral shares, however, I don't see the advantage anymore.
Even better is TD Ameritrade with a good selection of commission-free ETFs including many from Vanguard, or Merrill Edge if you have sufficient assets to get the free trades. And of course, having ETFs allows one to move assets to custodians for bonuses, which gives me an opportunity to hawk the The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Caduceus » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:14 pm

After having had to deal with many different financial institutions, I think there's no such thing as one place, whether Vanguard or TdAmeritrade, etc., having the "best" service. It's really a matter of who you get on the phone. Some of them are really experienced or good, others are not. So here's my advice.

If you get the sense you caught someone inexperienced, hang up and call again. Make sure you call the right department or experiment with departments. Try to get the backoffice tax folks if it's a 1099 that's bothering you and the rep is going around in circles. Speak to an actual trader if you can't figure out why your order didn't go through when it should have. It's usually just a matter of getting to the correct person.

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Vanguard Brokerage Rated "BEST"

Post by Taylor Larimore » Wed Aug 17, 2016 1:50 pm

Bogleheads:

My September 2016 issue of Consumer Reports rates Vanguard "Best" (out of 67 mutual fund companies) in a combination of things which included "Customer Service."

Best wishes.
Taylor
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Doc » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:26 pm

Taylor Larimore wrote:Bogleheads:

My September 2016 issue of Consumer Reports rates Vanguard "Best" (out of 67 mutual fund companies) in a combination of things which included "Customer Service."

Best wishes.
Taylor
I think we need to make a distinction between mutual fund companies and brokers.

I rate Vanguard at the top of my list for mutual funds and the bottom for brokerage.

(Caveat: I have a very short list.)
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by cfs » Wed Aug 17, 2016 2:28 pm

Contact via secure email.

As I have said before, [IF/WHEN I need to talk to anyone at Vanguard] I log on to my account and send Vanguard a secure email requesting Vanguard to give me a call whenever they are available. This seems to work for me. IF you have the time then sending a secure email could be the solution. Good luck with your investments, good luck dealing with Vanguard.

Thanks for reading.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by pkcrafter » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:47 pm

I suspect this is a big part of the problem.
in the year ending June 30, Vanguard had about $151 billion in inflows, the most of any fund family in the industry
http://news.morningstar.com/cover/video ... ?id=759905

Too much, too fast. Ats a lotta money :moneybag :moneybag :moneybag

Got to be taxing the staff and the system. You can't hire and train that fast. Also interesting that Fidelity has outpaced Vanguard in the last 2 months.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by HueyLD » Wed Aug 17, 2016 4:51 pm

cfs wrote:Contact via secure email.

As I have said before, [IF/WHEN I need to talk to anyone at Vanguard] I log on to my account and send Vanguard a secure email requesting Vanguard to give me a call whenever they are available. This seems to work for me. IF you have the time then sending a secure email could be the solution. Good luck with your investments, good luck dealing with Vanguard.

Thanks for reading.
How long did it take for a Vanguard rep to call? One day? 10 days? 100 days?

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Re: We're not allowed to complain about Vanguard here?

Post by Engineer250 » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:06 pm

TomatoTomahto wrote:
TinyElvis wrote:Thank you everyone input and allowing me to vent.

I want Vanguard to work. I have invested a lot of time and energy into Vanguard researching and my new financial adviser (fee-only) uses them as well. Our situation is somewhat complex so I felt like we finally have a handle on it.

I've turned it over to my wife and apparently she has had better luck getting someone competent during "normal" business hours. As of right now, we appear to be on the right track.
I'm glad it's working out. Fwiw, IME, and YMMV, I have found that "pushing" retirement accounts from old company to new company works better than "pulling" to new from old. Usually, companies have to be prodded to move assets out but are more willing to accept them in.
This has been my experience. When people on this forum want to roll their funds into Vanguard I am always surprised by the "just call Vanguard, they'll handle everything for you!" response. The first two times I was rolling into Vanguard I called them. The third time I set up the Rollover IRA online (easy peasy). Then I call the place where the money is leaving and tell them what I want. Schwab and my spouse's former 401k were easy and did it all on the phone. My former pension I had to fill out 15 pages of paperwork and get my spouse's signature notarized so that was a pain. I've also rolled money out of Vanguard and they were fairly easy. My new locale wanted them to fill out paperwork (which they won't do as long as you are removing money from them) but I called and they gave me an explanation and offered to send me a letter that stated what the new place wanted. They promptly sent me a letter and a check. Easy peasy.

So if you want the money to move over in a timely fashion do yourself a favor; set up the Rollover IRA or Roth with Vanguard online (this is easy). Get your new account number. Then call your old broker and tell them you want to rollover the money. They will tell you if you can just give them the info on the phone, if they require paperwork, and then if the check is going to you or to Vanguard. Then wait a few weeks for snail mail. Easy stuff.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by cfs » Wed Aug 17, 2016 6:23 pm

HueyLD wrote:
cfs wrote:Contact via secure email.

As I have said before, [IF/WHEN I need to talk to anyone at Vanguard] I log on to my account and send Vanguard a secure email requesting Vanguard to give me a call whenever they are available. This seems to work for me. IF you have the time then sending a secure email could be the solution. Good luck with your investments, good luck dealing with Vanguard.

Thanks for reading.
How long did it take for a Vanguard rep to call? One day? 10 days? 100 days?
Good question , my last time dealing with Vanguard was last year due to a ROUTINE issue with one of my accounts during the upgrade. Sent the secure email at night, and the issue was corrected the same day [the rep left a voice message on my cell and sent me a secure email to let me know that the issue was corrected]. As I said before, IF you have the time then sending a secure email could be the solution [IF I had an urgent issue to be resolved by Vanguard I would stay on the phone for HOURS], member of the Retiredforce, with plenty of time at hand. Thanks for reading.
~ Member of the Active Retired Force since 2014 ~

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Fidelity Customer Service Is Outstanding

Post by duffer » Thu Aug 18, 2016 10:26 pm

Excellent customer service is the reason I prefer Fidelity to Vanguard.

My experience with Vanguard customer service is exactly the same as the Op: they don't know the answer and give you their best guess. Fidelity's customer service reps are very impressive: they usually know the answer. If they don't , they go find the answer and they sometime reach deep into their organization to find someone who is authoritative. And they almost always happily go an extra mile to help.

In fact, once I was trying to get an explanation from Vanguard about an aspect of purchasing a particular Vanguard fund. But I couldn't get an answer from Vanguard--the rep "wasn't sure he knew" but "thought it might be such and so." I asked Fidelity the same question about the same Vanguard fund. the rep said he didn't know, but asked if he could put me on hold. He came back in 3 minutes with the correct technical answer about the VANGUARD fund!!! Fidelity provided better info about a Vanguard fund than Vanguard did!

Even the software tools on Fidelity are superior to those on Vanguard. For example, the Fidelity Retirement Income Planner makes the Vanguard retirement planning tools look like a joke. Take a look at the two of them sometime.

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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Doc » Tue Aug 23, 2016 8:01 am

ALERT

We received an email notification sometime last night confirming an asset transfer to Vanguard from another broker. There is no transfer current request. Vanguard is saying that it was a glitch. The transfer request date was over two years ago.

Be aware.
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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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Issues

Post by Independent George » Tue Aug 23, 2016 9:40 am

I've been with Vanguard for ten years now, and I don't think I've ever called/emailed them. I have no idea what their customer service is like.

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Vanguard- Worst Support Ever

Post by cantlogin » Thu Aug 25, 2016 7:11 pm

I am 24 and wanted to start putting money away for retirement.
Everyone told me how good vanguard is, low cost fees, etc.

So I made an account, and for whatever reason, it glitched during the sign up process.

I cannot log in, tried forgot password, new user, etc.

I've received a welcome eMail from them, received letters in the mail, etc.

I've called them THREE DAYS IN A ROW, and waited over 1 hour each time. No one ever picks up.

This is 3 hours on hold...this is the worst support I have ever received in any company.

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