Complaint Resolution

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marbles
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Complaint Resolution

Post by marbles » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:29 pm

I recently had an bad experience with a rep from the Vanguard Flagship call center. In a nutshell, my RMD was cancelled without my consent.
So far I have talked to several people without resolution. Does any have a contact for me to escalation my problem or any suggestion what my next step would be to take.
Thank you for any help . . . .

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:37 pm

Why was it cancelled?

Can they reinstate it?

More details might generate more replies/help.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

livesoft
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by livesoft » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:40 pm

OK, RMD cancelled "recently". It seems that resolution is to do RMD again before year-end.
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marbles
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by marbles » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:44 pm

I called with a question about distributions to funds. Sometime in the call she cancelled the RMD. It cannot be set up the way I had it because they changed there procedures. The call was recorded but I have as of yet gotten someone to review it.

marbles
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by marbles » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:46 pm

Previously you could take from multiple funds and distribute to multiple funds in your taxable account. You cannot do that now.

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celia
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by celia » Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:56 pm

Please explain what you mean by your "RMD was canceled". This is an IRS requirement. Vanguard can't say "you don't have to take anything out this year".

If you mean, the "automatic RMD withdrawal was canceled", that's entirely something else. If you intend to take only the minimum this year, you should be cautious, since the resolution to this problem could take out the money while you also do/did it manually.

Edit: The previous comment seems to have been posted while I was writing mine. One problem you might be facing is that the fund in the taxable account may not yet exist and the amount you are trying to move to taxable is less than the minimum needed to open a new fund in taxable (usually $3,000 minimum per fund).
Last edited by celia on Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.

sport
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by sport » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:01 pm

It would seem that you can take your RMD to a money market fund/sweep account or your bank account. Then, reinvest that money in the taxable funds of your choice in the amounts you choose. Would that solve your problem?

marbles
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by marbles » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:06 pm

the "automatic RMD withdrawal was canceled", yes that is correct, without my approval during a call with a rep.

I am simply asking for any help in escalating the problem. Does anyone have a contact that could help?

I know the rules for rmd's, my original setup was cancelled and I am told can't be reinstated the way it was.

Broken Man 1999
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by Broken Man 1999 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:18 pm

marbles wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 3:44 pm
I called with a question about distributions to funds. Sometime in the call she cancelled the RMD. It cannot be set up the way I had it because they changed there procedures. The call was recorded but I have as of yet gotten someone to review it.
If it cannot be set up because of "their" procedures, it is unlikely escalation will help you.

Can you articulate exactly WHAT your request was, and perhaps someone could offer another method of accomplishing your end goal, whatever that might have been.

Broken Man 1999
“If I cannot drink Bourbon and smoke cigars in Heaven than I shall not go. " -Mark Twain

marbles
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by marbles » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:19 pm

This has gotten off the topic. Probably my fault for even mentioning RMD's.

The question is:
If your account was changed or altered in someway that was not authorized by you, what can you do?

Is there a help desk, hotline, a person, anyone you can contact at Vanguard, who can help resolve the matter?

My apologizes to eveyone, I appreciate your responses.

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celia
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by celia » Fri Nov 03, 2017 5:25 pm

marbles wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:06 pm
I am simply asking for any help in escalating the problem. Does anyone have a contact that could help?
In my 30+ years with Vanguard, I have had 2 problems that the usual phone reps couldn't report properly or get fixed. So I wrote a letter addressed to the CEO. The response was immediate. The CEO seems to have a team with authority to fix things that others can't. Be sure your letter is written clearly so that someone without any knowledge of your situation can understand what is wrong and what you think should happen. Possibly have another person read it and suggest edits before you send it. That's what I did.

Bill McNabb, CEO
Vanguard
P.O. Box 1101
Valley Forge, PA 19482-1101

marbles
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by marbles » Fri Nov 03, 2017 6:20 pm

Thank you very much.

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CABob
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by CABob » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:19 pm

I'm not sure you need to escalate the problem. You need to understand why it was "cancelled" and fix the problem perhaps dealing with a different rep.. It sounds as if you attempted to do something that was outside of the process and procedure VG follows. I am surprised the rep could not or did not explain what was wrong when it happened.
Bob

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BolderBoy
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by BolderBoy » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:38 pm

marbles wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 4:06 pm
the "automatic RMD withdrawal was canceled", yes that is correct, without my approval during a call with a rep.

I am simply asking for any help in escalating the problem. Does anyone have a contact that could help?
I have the same contact that you do: write a letter addressed directly to the CEO of Vanguard. You may get a phone call from a problem resolution person within a week after that.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Nate79
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by Nate79 » Fri Nov 03, 2017 7:54 pm

Any chance your account has been upgraded to brokerage account?

pkcrafter
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by pkcrafter » Fri Nov 03, 2017 8:38 pm

I called with a question about distributions to funds. In the call she cancelled the RMD. It cannot be set up the way I had it because they changed there procedures.
If this is true, then escalating the problem isn't going to help. Seems like you need to understand the procedure and redo the RMD.

Paul
When times are good, investors tend to forget about risk and focus on opportunity. When times are bad, investors tend to forget about opportunity and focus on risk.

Naikansha
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by Naikansha » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:29 pm

I had an experience in July with a RMD transfer from an IRA to a taxable fund. The RMD lot was placed in the fund's nonqualified shares section of the cost basis. Eventually I learned that this had to do with not transferring the lot first to the taxable account's money market fund, from which it could be exchanged to the equity fund. After over three months' attempt to have the lot switched to the qualified shares section, my representative and other personnel managed to have the cost basis people make the change. No reason has ever been given as to why this procedure - IRA - to money market fund -to equity fund in taxable account had to be used. (I'd be most grateful if any BH can say why ), nor why they refused to make the switch at first.

To answer the OP's question, my advice is to keep requesting your RMD be made and state that you have already let people know your displeasure as a VG customer on our BH forum, and that you plan to write to the CEO about it. Keep at it no matter what a rep will tell you or how exhausted you may feel. Each time to make the legitimate request another rep or even a supervisor (if you ask) will be given the chance to help you out, and eventually something positive will result.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by JamesSFO » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:39 pm

Naikansha wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:29 pm
I had an experience in July with a RMD transfer from an IRA to a taxable fund. The RMD lot was placed in the fund's nonqualified shares section of the cost basis. Eventually I learned that this had to do with not transferring the lot first to the taxable account's money market fund, from which it could be exchanged to the equity fund. After over three months' attempt to have the lot switched to the qualified shares section, my representative and other personnel managed to have the cost basis people make the change. No reason has ever been given as to why this procedure - IRA - to money market fund -to equity fund in taxable account had to be used. (I'd be most grateful if any BH can say why ), nor why they refused to make the switch at first.
Likely because it causes them cost-basis accounting problems based on what you just described above.
Naikansha wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:29 pm
To answer the OP's question, my advice is to keep requesting your RMD be made and state that you have already let people know your displeasure as a VG customer on our BH forum, and that you plan to write to the CEO about it. Keep at it no matter what a rep will tell you or how exhausted you may feel. Each time to make the legitimate request another rep or even a supervisor (if you ask) will be given the chance to help you out, and eventually something positive will result.
I'm going to disagree with you. If OP is trying to do what you did and that does not work in Vanguard's systems at present, then banging your head against that wall isn't going to be very productive. Either OP needs to switch custodians to someone who would work the way you describe OR accept the processes Vanguard is using.

But we do not know what OP really was doing but what you described was my personal guess.

Naikansha
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by Naikansha » Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:52 pm

My point about repetitive requests is that eventually someone will give the correct information as to what happened, and hopefully why it happened. That was my experience but it took some time before one of the reps told me it had to do with my not requesting a transfer to the money market.
I don't understand why there should be a cost basis accounting problem with a transfer of funds from one account directly to another, particularly as 'specific identification' is listed under each of my taxable account funds. Please explain your understanding.

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JamesSFO
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by JamesSFO » Fri Nov 03, 2017 10:08 pm

Naikansha wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:52 pm
My point about repetitive requests is that eventually someone will give the correct information as to what happened, and hopefully why it happened. That was my experience but it took some time before one of the reps told me it had to do with my not requesting a transfer to the money market.
Sure, but my guess is that the OP knows the answer here but rather than sharing the situation is looking to escalate which she/he can do, just they might already have the answer and/or the folks here know it if the OP shared more.
Naikansha wrote:
Fri Nov 03, 2017 9:52 pm
I don't understand why there should be a cost basis accounting problem with a transfer of funds from one account directly to another, particularly as 'specific identification' is listed under each of my taxable account funds. Please explain your understanding.
I'm going from what you described and concluding bad computer programming limitations they coded account-to-account xfers of shares to preserve basis. (Aside, this somewhat makes sense, NORMALLY cross account transfers preserve basis information so maybe that's the default.)

Anyhow, again you happened to highlight my guess about the OP's issue which is likely something to do with the relatively new brokerage account structure at Vanguard. But again we're both speculating here.

mouses
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by mouses » Sat Nov 04, 2017 7:34 am

My experience with difficult problems, at Vanguard and elsewhere, is that after awhile trying to resolve them with phone people even if you escalate it becomes a waste of time.

A letter to the CEO almost always works. Be polite. Include all the information in an easy to read form. Keep it to one page. The only time this has failed for me was with the post office, but even there the area manager they punted it to finally was able to resolve the problem once she understood it.

It may be that Vanguard's system will no longer let you do what you want, and so there is no fix once the original phone person messed up. It sounds like you can do it by hand, though. So, fix it yourself and move on.

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CAsage
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Re: Complaint Resolution

Post by CAsage » Sat Nov 04, 2017 8:13 am

Procedures can change. The most productive approach might be to just ask - what is the new way to get what I need done? Escalating to complain that an old process was changed/cancelled without your approval won't fix it, takes up your time, and increases your stress level. It's unfortunate that the reason does not seem to have been made clear to you, and perhaps a better explanation could be found - but at what effort?
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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