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Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 1:20 pm
by pkcrafter
eucalyptus wrote:
Fri Dec 29, 2017 12:54 pm
We have invested with Vanguard for many years.

After another bad experience today, I don't dare trust Vanguard with any account I might need help with someday.

My elderly father needs to resign as trustee of a trust for my daughter. Vanguard cannot accomplish this task.

More and more of our money is moving elsewhere.

Vanguard, pretty clearly, doesn't care about any of this.
I think Vanguard employees do care, but there seems to be a serious flaw in communication across departments when more than one has to get involved. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. My best advice is NEVER try to do more than one request at a time as the odds of something going wrong seem to be very high.

Paul

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Wed May 16, 2018 6:42 pm
by Chan_va
Another datapoint on Vanguard growing faster than it's support and systems can handle. I have enough assets at Vanguard to move from one tier to the next. But Vanguard wont move me since they don't have enough staff to support clients at the next tier. As someone else mentioned, I would gladly pay a few bps extra for better systems/service. At this point, all that is keeping me at Vanguard is inertia.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 12:34 pm
by jeffyscott
Reading this as my first rollover attempt becomes a hassle...

I don't know why rollovers need be so convoluted in the first place...but, anyway, my employer mailed check made out to Vanguard to me, which I promptly put in the mail to them. Now 9 days later Vanguard says:
...we have no record of your rollover check being received
at Vanguard.

You may wait an additional few more days and contact us again to inquire if
we have received the check or contact the financial institution who issued
the check and request a stop payment and reissue of the check.
At least it was only a partial rollover and a fairly small amount that I was doing first to see how the process works.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:24 pm
by drzzzzz
I had this problem when I was helping a family member with a rollover - it was sitting in some area in Vanguard and was ultimately returned to start over again since they either didn't have the correct paperwork or instructions weren't clear - they didn't even bother letting my niece know they were returning the check to her until the day prior (after it had been sitting there for 10 days) when they said she had to get another form from her ex-employer. I have since done two rollovers to Fidelity for my mother from a difficult annuity company and Fidelity went out of their way to get paperwork done in a timely fashion to meet pretty immediate deadlines that the other company was imposing - it was also nice to speak to a person at a local branch to explain what needed to get down as well as receiving phone calls back from Fidelity reps explaining what was happening. Lastly, their track transfer site on their accounts is a nice touch to keep you updated. Someday maybe Vanguard will get its IT and suport people up to the job - just too much money coming in to them and service suffers.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 2:33 pm
by jeffyscott
In this case there's no paperwork, just a check in an envelope. And I verified before mailing that was really what I was supposed to send. I did leave the check attached to the stub, which has my address on it.

I figure I'll let it fester for another week or two. But if I ultimately have to start over, I may go elsewhere...

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Thu May 17, 2018 4:37 pm
by MrPotatoHead
Index Fan wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 7:52 am
I think average customer service in the business world as a whole is is poor.
Once again corporate culture. You can view customer service in different ways.

For some companies it is a chance for value add to your clients, a way to cement relationships, solidify your asset base, and hopefully bring in future generations of assets to your company. In other words it is an opportunity.

Other companies view customer service as a pure cost, something to be minimized. Those firms actively monitor call volumes and try to get CSRs to empty the queue as quick as possible without regard to the quality of the service.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Thu May 24, 2018 11:47 am
by jeffyscott
So money has appeared in my account, a week after Vanguard had given me this written response to my inquiry:
...we have no record of your rollover check being received at Vanguard. You may wait an additional few more days and contact us again to inquire if we have received the check or contact the financial institution who issued
the check and request a stop payment and reissue of the check.
It's not like they ever said that it can take them two weeks to figure out that they have a check. To the contrary, in intervening messages they continued to suggest stopping payment on the check and having it reissued.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 1:21 am
by smectym
I’ve been a Vanguard customer for many years and like most on this forum recognize the value of their low-cost investment philosophy.
But I must concur that customer service is increasingly a farce.

We finally dropped Vanguard Personal Advisor because of a revolving-door of coming-and-going Advisor contacts that make it impossible to establish a stable relationship with a particular advisor. Among other problems.

Recently when I attempted to contact my Flagship representative by email (through Vanguard’s clunky proprietary, closed “secure” email portal) it never happened – mysterious messages popped up admonishing me that I had entered “invalid input“ without specifying what the offending input was; I reviewed my message repeatedly to divine what problem might exist, but I could never send it.

Then I tried calling, but could never reach my contact because I was trapped in a voice-chip dominated menu that never gave me the option to just leave a voicemail for my Flagship representative. Instead I was repeatedly exhorted by the Robot Dominatrix to chant into the telephone “At Vanguard, my voice is my password.”

I don’t consider myself a “needy“ customer and I wouldn’t lightly consider transferring assets out of Vanguard. But yeah, I’m starting to get concerned

Smectym

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 2:00 am
by MrPotatoHead
smectym wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 1:21 am
Instead I was repeatedly exhorted by the Robot Dominatrix...
That was awesome. Really...!!!

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Fri May 25, 2018 10:04 am
by jeffyscott
smectym wrote:
Fri May 25, 2018 1:21 am
Recently when I attempted to contact my Flagship representative by email (through Vanguard’s clunky proprietary, closed “secure” email portal) it never happened – mysterious messages popped up admonishing me that I had entered “invalid input“ without specifying what the offending input was; I reviewed my message repeatedly to divine what problem might exist, but I could never send it.
I kept getting that when I had asked about using mobile check deposit and the response was that it was not available for brokerage accounts and so I was copying and pasting from their own FAQ that said mobile deposit is available for brokerage accounts. Eventually discovered the offense was a long hyphen where the copied text had "...amount—the...".

Of course, even though the faq says "yes", it seems that it does not actually work.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:14 am
by darkhorse346
Chapter MMXVIII (Subpart T, Section 3(b)) - Another Vanguard Customer Support Odyssey

I recently spoke with an acquaintance, who lives overseas and inherited both Vanguard and Fidelity accounts early this year.

Fidelity account transfers were simple. One call, that's all. Done. This was taken care of months ago.

Vanguard account transfers are still not totally finalized. Sadly, you all have seen this movie before, e.g., medallion signatures, having to resend forms, long wait times on the phones, leaving messages, Fedex, etc. He actually had to wait until visiting the US to get a medallion signature. Fortunately, as a new Fidelity account holder, he went by a Fidelity office to get medallion signatures on the Vanguard forms.

Now Vanguard says the funds are not available because of an address issue. He has not moved in years, Not once during this adventure did the address ever come up, until now. He has no idea where Vanguard got this...

I know the number of Vanguard customer support threads seem to have gone down over the last several months, but folks, I think we can all agree that this is type of thing is totally unacceptable and serious problems still exist.

:shock:

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:21 am
by Tdubs
Opened IRAs with Vanguard a couple months ago. Just a terrible, needlessly delayed job. TIAA seemed more ready and willing to transfer my money than Vanguard was willing to take it.

I did a similar transfer at the same time to my federal Thrift Savings Plan. I didn't expect to get better service from TSP than Vanguard, but I did.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:54 am
by darkhorse346
Re: the prior posts:

Vanguard's competitors are actually helping Vanguard's customers get accounts set up at Vanguard. :annoyed

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:57 pm
by drzzzzz
Was on the phone with my Vanguard Flagship rep recently and shared how easy it was to open up new accounts and rapidly rollover annuity and IRA accounts for my parents at Fidelity in comparison to Vanguard where there seem to be so many roadblocks and he was not at all surprised.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:05 pm
by sambb
When service is this bad it is not the customer service dept fault. It is the leaderships fault. This all points to systemic failure in vanguard leadership. Simply they must know and they must not really care about the investors it is more important to cost less even if it means more risks. Not all risks are in the market. Some risks are with the service. And if it affects you, then you will suffer. I hope they turn it around. They just need to have their mgmt care about it and it will turn around.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sat Aug 18, 2018 9:30 pm
by Dottie57
bryansmile wrote:
Wed May 16, 2018 8:39 am
My experience with Vanguard lately has been perfectly fine.
A long long time ago though, when VG was my 401k provider, they messed up big time due to software glitches. My 401k contributions were stopped mid-year after I'd met the year's max, which was fine. But the next year, VG did not start the contribution. I didn't notice it until I got my W2 the following year. I guess I was partially responsible for not checking, but since my contribution election was unchanged all that time, I just relied on auto pilot.
Vanguard was not responsible for the goof. It is the employer payroll system which is responsible for starting the deduction and sending it to 401k provider.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:08 am
by J295
Accounts at VG and Fido. In our experience Fido provides significantly better online and telephone experiences.

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:25 am
by Nowizard
Hopefully, this is a blip, but customer service is generally poorer with many businesses these days. Personally, we have had no issues in at least a decade with Vanguard, including a series of recent transactions that were complicated. At first I thought there were several errors, which turned out to be accurate even though they were mine, not Vanguard's. Good luck. I suspect that errors have more impact with relatively new users who see them as a trend. Not sure whether that applies for the OP.

Tim

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sun Aug 19, 2018 3:20 pm
by welderwannabe
My most recent call to Vanguard was about a year ago and was related to a backdoor Roth conversion. The gentleman on the phone told me it wasn't possible to do it online. While I was talking to him I figured it out, and walked him through how I did it.

My experience with Fidelity has been the opposite. They have been great. I continue to maintain accounts at both places, but I see a night and day difference in customer service between the two.

Just my experience. I know there are a lot of Vanguard fanboi's on here, and I definitely like a lot of their funds, but this has been my experience.

If Fidelity had a bunch of really good low fee money markets and municipal bond funds, I probably would leave Vanguard entirely...

Re: This is Unbelievable - another Vanguard customer support odyssey

Posted: Sun Feb 10, 2019 6:36 pm
by A Boglehead
I've tried 2x to give mutual funds to my church. Initially Vanguard gave me multiple steps to follow, but I asked whether it could be done by converting the specific lots to ETFs, then given that way, which simplified the process. Unfortunately, Vanguard converted the wrong lots 2x.

Some Vanguard employees are more knowledgeable than others, but I've had more reliable service w/Fidelity. Vanguard may be cheaper than Fidelity, but you pay in other ways.