Vanguard Customer Service 2021

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PinotGris
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Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by PinotGris »

Sorry for another thread on this. My customer rep informed me that she is moving a to a new position some time ago. I am supposed to be contacted by a new rep. In the mean time my call gets pricked up but I get a total trainee who knows less than I do and is unable to be of any help. They have no contact number for customer relations or anything like that so I can vent.
I am still on the old system, never "transitioned"over. I believe this means our accounts are not covered by SIPC.Is this something I should worry about?
Is anyone else in the same un-transitioned state? If you recently transitioned, what is the difference? What do I lose and what do I gain? Will I get better service?
And the question I needed to resolve: I just started my QCD distributions. Is there a way to find out if the checks get cashed? I can see the distribution, with Charity's name spelled out and the amount distributed to me. How do I confirm that it got cashed and did not get lost in the mail? Please share how you monitor this.
Thank you.
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Eagle33
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Eagle33 »

When you send the charity the QCD check in the cover letter state you wish to receive confirmation donation. Be sure to give your contact information. You can also send a self addressed stamped envelope with the check & cover letter to entice the charity provide the donation confirmation.
Rocket science is not “rocket science” to a rocket scientist, just as personal finance is not “rocket science” to a Boglehead.
Makefile
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Makefile »

PinotGris wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:09 am I am still on the old system, never "transitioned"over. I believe this means our accounts are not covered by SIPC.Is this something I should worry about?
Is anyone else in the same un-transitioned state? If you recently transitioned, what is the difference? What do I lose and what do I gain? Will I get better service?
The "transition" which really means "open a brokerage account and transfer your mutual funds from being held in your name with the transfer agent to being held in street name inside the brokerage account" has been discussed ad nauseam if you search for other threads. But in short, the SIPC is a non-issue because it's only needed when your assets are held in street name. When using a mutual fund only account, they are held in your name.

You lose a few miscellaneous features such as the ability to automatically redirect dividends between funds. You gain the ability to hold ETFs, buy treasury securities (more interesting if interest rates weren't zero), among other things. Vanguard has put new accounts in brokerage since 2016 or so and eventually wants to have everyone transfer their funds into such an account.
sport
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by sport »

QCD checks: There are two ways to address this:
1. If Vanguard writes the check, you should get a confirmation from the charity. If you do not get one, ask the charity for one. If they say they have not received the check, you can call Vanguard to ask if the check was cashed. If not, they can stop payment on that check and send a replacement. I had to do that one time.
2. You can have a MM fund in your IRA with check writing privileges. Then you can write the check. Using this method, you can see when the money is removed from your account. So, you know that the check was cashed. The charity still should send a receipt.

For some strange reason, Vanguard checks on mutual fund accounts are imprinted "not valid for less than $250". So, I use Vanguard checks for donations less than $250 and write my own checks for more. If you write your own checks, do not do it late in the year because they will not count towards your RMD until they are cashed. This might cause them to be cashed after the end of the year.
afan
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by afan »

I am not at the point of doing QCDs but wouldn't they show up as transactions on your account when the check is cashed? I would think it should be easy to tell when the charity received the money.
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sport
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by sport »

afan wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 3:17 pm I am not at the point of doing QCDs but wouldn't they show up as transactions on your account when the check is cashed? I would think it should be easy to tell when the charity received the money.
When Vanguard writes the checks, the money comes out of your account immediately, whether or not the check is cashed.
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nisiprius
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by nisiprius »

PinotGris wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:09 am...I am still on the old system, never "transitioned"over. I believe this means our accounts are not covered by SIPC.Is this something I should worry about?...
No.

Although it's very rare nowadays, you can own a stock directly, without a brokerage being involved. It's much more common to have a brokerage holding the stock for you. Similarly, with a mutual fund, you can have an account directly with the mutual fund company, and that is what the old Vanguard mutual fund accounts were. These are the ones with account numbers like 0040-xxxxxxxxxxx.

When you have an account directly at a mutual fund company, there is no SIPC protection. SIPC doesn't protect you against any problems within a stock or a mutual fund. If you buy Enron, the SIPC doesn't guarantee that Enron is OK. In a mutual fund, you have some protections in the regulations themselves, one being that the mutual fund company does not actually hold the securities, they are held by an independent custodial bank. In any case, mutual funds are what they are.

But you can also hold a stock or a mutual fund at a brokerage. In this case, it is really the brokerage that is holding the assets, not you.

When you are no longer holding your mutual funds directly, but letting a brokerage hold them for you, you are adding a layer of risk. The risk is that you pay the brokerage to buy something for your account... stocks, mutual funds, whatever... and that the brokerage takes your money but doesn't buy the asset. Or buys it and loses track of exactly where your shares are. These things really happened in brokerages in the 1970s, stock certificates went missing. And it happened with Madoff around 2008, when it turned out that clients had received phony statements that said they owned things that they didn't really own. SIPC protection is basically "statement protection," it guarantees that your brokerage account really has the things you paid for; if it doesn't, then the SIPC will make you whole.

With the new platform, you are no longer holding your Vanguard mutual funds directly. You are holding them with Vanguard's brokerage. So that adds a new risk, and the new SIPC protection protects you against it. You aren't any safer than you were before.
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Gnirk
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Gnirk »

PinotGris wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:09 am Sorry for another thread on this. My customer rep informed me that she is moving a to a new position some time ago. I am supposed to be contacted by a new rep. In the mean time my call gets pricked up but I get a total trainee who knows less than I do and is unable to be of any help. They have no contact number for customer relations or anything like that so I can vent.
I am still on the old system, never "transitioned"over. I believe this means our accounts are not covered by SIPC.Is this something I should worry about?
Is anyone else in the same un-transitioned state? If you recently transitioned, what is the difference? What do I lose and what do I gain? Will I get better service?
I hear you. Our Flagship Rep, who was excellent, also accepted a new position at Vanguard, and though we rarely call to ask a question, we did call recently and the first rep couldn't answer the question, nor could the second though they did finally rout me to a specialist who was able to give me the info I needed. Total hold time was around 45 minutes!

As for the 529 my DH holds for my our granddaughter, we can never get a clear, concise answer to our questions, and when he calls back to get a clarification, he gets a completely differnt, and often opposite, answer. Grrrr.

We have never before experienced this in the 21 years we have been with Vanguard.
Swimmer
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

Gnirk wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 6:07 pm
PinotGris wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:09 am Sorry for another thread on this. My customer rep informed me that she is moving a to a new position some time ago. I am supposed to be contacted by a new rep. In the mean time my call gets pricked up but I get a total trainee who knows less than I do and is unable to be of any help. They have no contact number for customer relations or anything like that so I can vent.
I am still on the old system, never "transitioned"over. I believe this means our accounts are not covered by SIPC.Is this something I should worry about?
Is anyone else in the same un-transitioned state? If you recently transitioned, what is the difference? What do I lose and what do I gain? Will I get better service?
I hear you. Our Flagship Rep, who was excellent, also accepted a new position at Vanguard, and though we rarely call to ask a question, we did call recently and the first rep couldn't answer the question, nor could the second though they did finally rout me to a specialist who was able to give me the info I needed. Total hold time was around 45 minutes!

As for the 529 my DH holds for my our granddaughter, we can never get a clear, concise answer to our questions, and when he calls back to get a clarification, he gets a completely differnt, and often opposite, answer. Grrrr.

We have never before experienced this in the 21 years we have been with Vanguard.
At least you got through to a human. We struggled for a couple of days trying to get an answer to a question after trying everything possible online. Calling the “Flagship “ number yields no advantage. It has become very frustrating trying to open a VG account and deposit your money at VG. I really miss our Flagship rep. We rarely called him but when we did, he was on it. I gave a very honest evaluation and asked them to call me to discuss. We’ll see. Come back, Matt!
More Please
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by More Please »

I’ve been rolling over ira’s into vanguard. I takes a couple of weeks. I contacted them to see how far the rollover had progressed. Sent a secure email. Received a letter that did not answer my question. Sent another letter rephrasing my question. Got a customer service questionnaire and gave a bad review. They called, I told them that I was a Boglehead and some of my friends were considering switching to fidelity since the flagship customer service is finished.

My service has been stellar ever since.
Swimmer
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

More Please wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:10 pm I’ve been rolling over ira’s into vanguard. I takes a couple of weeks. I contacted them to see how far the rollover had progressed. Sent a secure email. Received a letter that did not answer my question. Sent another letter rephrasing my question. Got a customer service questionnaire and gave a bad review. They called, I told them that I was a Boglehead and some of my friends were considering switching to fidelity since the flagship customer service is finished.

My service has been stellar ever since.
I’m glad they called you to discuss your review. I hope they call me.

FWIW, in the process of helping granddaughter open a Roth, I gave up on VG and tried Fido. Sorry to say, couldn’t talk with a human there either. Full disclosure..only tried once.
UpperNwGuy
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by UpperNwGuy »

Swimmer wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:38 am FWIW, in the process of helping granddaughter open a Roth, I gave up on VG and tried Fido. Sorry to say, couldn’t talk with a human there either. Full disclosure..only tried once.
Are Fidelity's brick and mortar locations fully open again? If so, that might be a better experience than calling on the phone.
Swimmer
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

Swimmer wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:38 am
More Please wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:10 pm I’ve been rolling over ira’s into vanguard. I takes a couple of weeks. I contacted them to see how far the rollover had progressed. Sent a secure email. Received a letter that did not answer my question. Sent another letter rephrasing my question. Got a customer service questionnaire and gave a bad review. They called, I told them that I was a Boglehead and some of my friends were considering switching to fidelity since the flagship customer service is finished.

My service has been stellar ever since.
I’m glad they called you to discuss your review. I hope they call me.

FWIW, in the process of helping granddaughter open a Roth, I gave up on VG and tried Fido. Sorry to say, couldn’t talk with a human there either. Full disclosure..only tried once.

They did not call me. Rather, I received an email thanking me for sharing my feedback. They take all feedback seriously. VG will “soon be upgrading its call center technology to deliver a better client experience...” Blah, blah, blah. Signed by Timothy Norwood, Supervisor, The Vanguard Group. No contact info provided for “Mr. Norwood” of course.
Topic Author
PinotGris
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by PinotGris »

nisiprius wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 5:35 pm
PinotGris wrote: Fri Jun 18, 2021 10:09 am...I am still on the old system, never "transitioned"over. I believe this means our accounts are not covered by SIPC.Is this something I should worry about?...
No.

Although it's very rare nowadays, you can own a stock directly, without a brokerage being involved. It's much more common to have a brokerage holding the stock for you. Similarly, with a mutual fund, you can have an account directly with the mutual fund company, and that is what the old Vanguard mutual fund accounts were. These are the ones with account numbers like 0040-xxxxxxxxxxx.

When you have an account directly at a mutual fund company, there is no SIPC protection. SIPC doesn't protect you against any problems within a stock or a mutual fund. If you buy Enron, the SIPC doesn't guarantee that Enron is OK. In a mutual fund, you have some protections in the regulations themselves, one being that the mutual fund company does not actually hold the securities, they are held by an independent custodial bank. In any case, mutual funds are what they are.

But you can also hold a stock or a mutual fund at a brokerage. In this case, it is really the brokerage that is holding the assets, not you.

When you are no longer holding your mutual funds directly, but letting a brokerage hold them for you, you are adding a layer of risk. The risk is that you pay the brokerage to buy something for your account... stocks, mutual funds, whatever... and that the brokerage takes your money but doesn't buy the asset. Or buys it and loses track of exactly where your shares are. These things really happened in brokerages in the 1970s, stock certificates went missing. And it happened with Madoff around 2008, when it turned out that clients had received phony statements that said they owned things that they didn't really own. SIPC protection is basically "statement protection," it guarantees that your brokerage account really has the things you paid for; if it doesn't, then the SIPC will make you whole.

With the new platform, you are no longer holding your Vanguard mutual funds directly. You are holding them with Vanguard's brokerage. So that adds a new risk, and the new SIPC protection protects you against it. You aren't any safer than you were before.
Thank you Nisiprius. I am going to stay until they try to force me to transition.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

And then what?
Tony
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Tony »

My husband has died. I have tried many times to get through to Vanguard. The last few times I haven't even gotten a message saying they are experiencing high call volumes. I haven't been asked to leave my number so someone to call me back. What to do??? (I'm a Flagship customer but as far as I can tell, that's making no difference.) :annoyed
Tony
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by sycamore »

Tony wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:10 pm My husband has died. I have tried many times to get through to Vanguard. The last few times I haven't even gotten a message saying they are experiencing high call volumes. I haven't been asked to leave my number so someone to call me back. What to do??? (I'm a Flagship customer but as far as I can tell, that's making no difference.) :annoyed
Tony, condolences to you and your family.

One thing to try is sending an electronic message instead of calling. It's possible you'll get a faster response that way. Login to vanguard.com, then browse to https://personal.vanguard.com/us/SMCInformationCenter, then click on the Compose button and type in your question, then click the Send button.

Another thing to do is to see if there's an online form that helps you do what you want to do (presumably related to the passing of your husband). Browse to https://personal.vanguard.com/web/c1/ne ... bapp/forms and search the list of forms.

Of course that won't help if you don't know what to look for in the first place, so maybe start a new topic on Bogleheads (or just post in this one) to give us some info about what you're trying to do. With any luck, you just need to find a new form or two to fill out.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Tony »

Thanks Sycamore. I'll try those ideas!!
Best wishes, Tony
Tony
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Bluce »

Wow, the stories. I had some of my assets at VG 6-8 years ago or so for maybe a year. My main man has been Schwab since 1997. VG's customer service back then was notably worse than Schwab's -- it must be even worse now.

For reference: I called Schwab today, about 5:30, on a big up-day after two big down-days. I was expecting to have a bit of a delay problem.

After going through the security requirements, I had a very nice, live, female human on the phone. Overall, it was a minute or less from dialing to talking to her. I just had a question about my disappearing Schwab app on my phone, which she helped me with, and offered to connect me with tech help if I wished. No thanks, I'm all set. :)

In 24 years, I cannot recall one incident with Schwab that was anything other than pleasant.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by DSBH »

I tried to do some Roth IRA conversion last week around 30 minutes before the market close, and the software did not work. The software did not even allow me to cancel the transactions so I killed the session. After trying unsuccessfully several times I called VG for help. Got connected to my Flagship rep voicemail, which suggested that I set up an appointment (!). Fortunately I finally got to a rep who did the conversion for me using his system with only a few minutes left.

Could be because of Covid, but the service is definitely not what it used to be imo.
John C. Bogle: "Never confuse genius with luck and a bull market".
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Tony »

sycamore wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:03 pm
Tony wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:10 pm My husband has died. I have tried many times to get through to Vanguard. The last few times I haven't even gotten a message saying they are experiencing high call volumes. I haven't been asked to leave my number so someone to call me back. What to do??? (I'm a Flagship customer but as far as I can tell, that's making no difference.) :annoyed
Tony, condolences to you and your family.

One thing to try is sending an electronic message instead of calling. It's possible you'll get a faster response that way. Login to vanguard.com, then browse to https://personal.vanguard.com/us/SMCInformationCenter, then click on the Compose button and type in your question, then click the Send button.

Another thing to do is to see if there's an online form that helps you do what you want to do (presumably related to the passing of your husband). Browse to https://personal.vanguard.com/web/c1/ne ... bapp/forms and search the list of forms.

Of course that won't help if you don't know what to look for in the first place, so maybe start a new topic on Bogleheads (or just post in this one) to give us some info about what you're trying to do. With any luck, you just need to find a new form or two to fill out.
Hi again Sycamore,
In reply to your suggestion to say more about what I'm trying to do: my husband and I have had a trust in both our names and I want to change it to my name only.
Thank you
Tony
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by bondsr4me »

Bluce wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 8:27 pm Wow, the stories. I had some of my assets at VG 6-8 years ago or so for maybe a year. My main man has been Schwab since 1997. VG's customer service back then was notably worse than Schwab's -- it must be even worse now.

For reference: I called Schwab today, about 5:30, on a big up-day after two big down-days. I was expecting to have a bit of a delay problem.

After going through the security requirements, I had a very nice, live, female human on the phone. Overall, it was a minute or less from dialing to talking to her. I just had a question about my disappearing Schwab app on my phone, which she helped me with, and offered to connect me with tech help if I wished. No thanks, I'm all set. :)

In 24 years, I cannot recall one incident with Schwab that was anything other than pleasant.
+1

IMHO Schwab has excellent customer service…..I also like their StreetSmartEdge platform.
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PinotGris
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by PinotGris »

Tony wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 10:02 pm
sycamore wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 7:03 pm
Tony wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:10 pm My husband has died. I have tried many times to get through to Vanguard. The last few times I haven't even gotten a message saying they are experiencing high call volumes. I haven't been asked to leave my number so someone to call me back. What to do??? (I'm a Flagship customer but as far as I can tell, that's making no difference.) :annoyed
Tony, condolences to you and your family.

One thing to try is sending an electronic message instead of calling. It's possible you'll get a faster response that way. Login to vanguard.com, then browse to https://personal.vanguard.com/us/SMCInformationCenter, then click on the Compose button and type in your question, then click the Send button.

Another thing to do is to see if there's an online form that helps you do what you want to do (presumably related to the passing of your husband). Browse to https://personal.vanguard.com/web/c1/ne ... bapp/forms and search the list of forms.

Of course that won't help if you don't know what to look for in the first place, so maybe start a new topic on Bogleheads (or just post in this one) to give us some info about what you're trying to do. With any luck, you just need to find a new form or two to fill out.
Hi again Sycamore,
In reply to your suggestion to say more about what I'm trying to do: my husband and I have had a trust in both our names and I want to change it to my name only.
Thank you
Sorry about your loss. I would think you should contact your lawyer who set up the trust?
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Tony »

Thanks for all these replies. They are a great help.
I did finally manage to get through to a person today and I am just now awaiting a call back. It's been an hour and a half so far - but that's OK because I will get that call!
Thank you and best wishes to all. :happy
Tony
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Moving Vanguard accounts?

Post by Birddawg1947 »

[Post moved into here --admin LadyGeek]

Just curious... is anybody who loves VG funds, but is not happy with their customer service moving their VG accounts to Schwab, Fidelity or other brokerage houses? Thanks from Georgia
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by LadyGeek »

Birddawg1947, Welcome! I merged your post into an ongoing discussion. The combined thread is in the Investing - Theory, News & General forum (general discussion).

If you need assistance with your portfolio, may I suggest you start a new thread in the Personal Investments forum and post your portfolio information in that thread using the Asking Portfolio Questions format? It will make you think about the "big picture" while giving us the information we need to point you in the right direction.

If you have any questions, ask them in the new thread.
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Re: Moving Vanguard accounts?

Post by ScottyDog »

Birddawg1947 wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 3:48 pm [Post moved into here --admin LadyGeek]

Just curious... is anybody who loves VG funds, but is not happy with their customer service moving their VG accounts to Schwab, Fidelity or other brokerage houses? Thanks from Georgia
As I noted in another post I am meeting with Fido rep down the street here in Raleigh...more personal help for widow vs. trying to set up PAS and pay $3,000 for a $1m portfolio. Comparable ER's on funds-some at zero. For those of us that have a local Fido and/or Schwab office I see some benefits.
Services at VG have been taken away over the years and now pushing PAS.
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Re: Moving Vanguard accounts?

Post by dbr »

ScottyDog wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 5:00 pm
Birddawg1947 wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 3:48 pm [Post moved into here --admin LadyGeek]

Just curious... is anybody who loves VG funds, but is not happy with their customer service moving their VG accounts to Schwab, Fidelity or other brokerage houses? Thanks from Georgia
As I noted in another post I am meeting with Fido rep down the street here in Raleigh...more personal help for widow vs. trying to set up PAS and pay $3,000 for a $1m portfolio. Comparable ER's on funds-some at zero. For those of us that have a local Fido and/or Schwab office I see some benefits.
Services at VG have been taken away over the years and now pushing PAS.
Be sure you do not start paying Fido too much for advice or letting yourself get placed in more expensive funds. There are lots of Fido funds with ERs in the 0.5-1.0% range as well as very low cost funds.

Whatever one thinks of paying 0.3% at Vanguard they will not sell you funds with too high expense ratios. That is not, however, advice to use VPAS or advice to avoid Fido, Schwab, or anyone else.

Disclaimer: I hold Vanguard ETFs at Fidelity. I have never had a Vanguard account but my relationship with Fidelity goes back 40 years more or less.
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Re: Moving Vanguard accounts?

Post by Doc »

Birddawg1947 wrote: Sat Jun 26, 2021 3:48 pm [Post moved into here --admin LadyGeek]

Just curious... is anybody who loves VG funds, but is not happy with their customer service moving their VG accounts to Schwab, Fidelity or other brokerage houses? Thanks from Georgia
Yep. We moved all our Vanguard assets that had ETF equivalents to another firm some 18 months ago. Vanguard funds and ETFs are top of the hill. VBS not so much.
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.
Swimmer
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

DSBH wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:57 pm I tried to do some Roth IRA conversion last week around 30 minutes before the market close, and the software did not work. The software did not even allow me to cancel the transactions so I killed the session. After trying unsuccessfully several times I called VG for help. Got connected to my Flagship rep voicemail, which suggested that I set up an appointment (!). Fortunately I finally got to a rep who did the conversion for me using his system with only a few minutes left.

Could be because of Covid, but the service is definitely not what it used to be imo.
how is it you still have a Flagship rep? Just last week, when I finally spoke with a human, he told me there are no longer Flagship reps—instead it’s a “team” approach.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by DSBH »

Swimmer wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 10:00 am
DSBH wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 9:57 pm I tried to do some Roth IRA conversion last week around 30 minutes before the market close, and the software did not work. The software did not even allow me to cancel the transactions so I killed the session. After trying unsuccessfully several times I called VG for help. Got connected to my Flagship rep voicemail, which suggested that I set up an appointment (!). Fortunately I finally got to a rep who did the conversion for me using his system with only a few minutes left.

Could be because of Covid, but the service is definitely not what it used to be imo.
how is it you still have a Flagship rep? Just last week, when I finally spoke with a human, he told me there are no longer Flagship reps—instead it’s a “team” approach.
The same person had been our Flagship rep for quite some time. I guess Vanguard now calls him a relationship manager.
John C. Bogle: "Never confuse genius with luck and a bull market".
Swimmer
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

Swimmer wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 3:48 pm
Swimmer wrote: Mon Jun 21, 2021 6:38 am
More Please wrote: Sun Jun 20, 2021 5:10 pm I’ve been rolling over ira’s into vanguard. I takes a couple of weeks. I contacted them to see how far the rollover had progressed. Sent a secure email. Received a letter that did not answer my question. Sent another letter rephrasing my question. Got a customer service questionnaire and gave a bad review. They called, I told them that I was a Boglehead and some of my friends were considering switching to fidelity since the flagship customer service is finished.

My service has been stellar ever since.
I’m glad they called you to discuss your review. I hope they call me.

FWIW, in the process of helping granddaughter open a Roth, I gave up on VG and tried Fido. Sorry to say, couldn’t talk with a human there either. Full disclosure..only tried once.

They did not call me. Rather, I received an email thanking me for sharing my feedback. They take all feedback seriously. VG will “soon be upgrading its call center technology to deliver a better client experience...” Blah, blah, blah. Signed by Timothy Norwood, Supervisor, The Vanguard Group. No contact info provided for “Mr. Norwood” of course.

Just to follow up about trying to set up a Roth for granddaughter...we finally gave up on VG after one debacle after another. I called Schwab and within 2 minutes had a rep on the phone. I made an appointment at a local brick-and-mortar Schwab office. They tell me she’ll walk out of there with her Roth. Also, I will serve as custodian until she’s 18 but I don’t need to open a Schwab account. I will consider moving all my VG accounts to Schwab after this experience. I feel like VG really let us down. The canned email from Timothy Norwood didn’t help.
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Bluce
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Bluce »

Swimmer wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:25 am Just to follow up about trying to set up a Roth for granddaughter...we finally gave up on VG after one debacle after another. I called Schwab and within 2 minutes had a rep on the phone. I made an appointment at a local brick-and-mortar Schwab office. They tell me she’ll walk out of there with her Roth. Also, I will serve as custodian until she’s 18 but I don’t need to open a Schwab account. I will consider moving all my VG accounts to Schwab after this experience. I feel like VG really let us down. The canned email from Timothy Norwood didn’t help.
You will not regret going to Schwab. :sharebeer
"There are no new ideas, only forgotten ones." -- Amity Shlaes
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

Until they become like Vanguard.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 3:11 pm Until they become like Vanguard.
Yes. There’s always that. I often wonder if working at home is the cause of this deplorable decline in customer service. I feel like celebrating when something is done right. I’ve become such a crab!
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Bluce
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Bluce »

Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 3:11 pm Until they become like Vanguard.
They will eventually. Corporations seems to have a lifespan like all living things. They start out small, aggressive, pay very close attention to customer and market signals and react to them quickly.

As they grow, at some point they become cumbersome, bureaucratic, and unresponsive. The right hand doesn't know what the left hand is doing. They soon start living off their fat (like VG is doing) and ride it out. There usually is no way of turning it around, and if somebody (or a group) maybe does know, the PTB won't allow them to. So eventually most corps collapse, and the resources and customer base then ends up with someone (a small company) who will use them more efficiently.

A buddy and I worked for General Motors (Rochester Products) in the late '70s to early '80s. What a joke that place was, and we kept telling each other "this cannot last." It took another 30 years, but we were right.

Note what happened to Kodak, and entirely missing digital photography.

So yes, I doubt Schwab will escape this seemingly inevitable fate. But for now they are on top, and hopefully for the rest of my life.
"There are no new ideas, only forgotten ones." -- Amity Shlaes
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Swimmer »

Swimmer wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 3:17 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 3:11 pm Until they become like Vanguard.
Yes. There’s always that. I often wonder if working at home is the cause of this deplorable decline in customer service. I feel like celebrating when something is done right. I’ve become such a crab!
Me too.
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galawdawg
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by galawdawg »

Bluce wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 3:09 pm
Swimmer wrote: Sun Jun 27, 2021 11:25 am Just to follow up about trying to set up a Roth for granddaughter...we finally gave up on VG after one debacle after another. I called Schwab and within 2 minutes had a rep on the phone. I made an appointment at a local brick-and-mortar Schwab office. They tell me she’ll walk out of there with her Roth. Also, I will serve as custodian until she’s 18 but I don’t need to open a Schwab account. I will consider moving all my VG accounts to Schwab after this experience. I feel like VG really let us down. The canned email from Timothy Norwood didn’t help.
You will not regret going to Schwab. :sharebeer
+1. The difference between Schwab and Vanguard is like night and day.
mr_brightside
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by mr_brightside »

this thread is relevant to me. been a VG guy for decades.

helping my kids get IRAs set up. really not liking the concept of 'a struggle' to get a simple Roth IRA set up in a single 'invest and forget' balanced MUTUAL FUND.

do NOT want a brokerage account format for them. i realize it gives benefits -- but for a 'non investor' imo the platform is confusing.

we are considering T Rowe Price, Schwab, Fidelity etc instead. hmmmm. decisions.

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beyou
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by beyou »

I just emailed customer service with a question last night for first time in a while.
Got a response next day in the early afternoon.

For almost anything I would do this is satisfactory if the answer is accurate and relevant (which it was).
I don't need to speak to a person immediately nor at all, though it was nice to have the option back when I had a flagship rep.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Makefile »

mr_brightside wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:46 am this thread is relevant to me. been a VG guy for decades.

helping my kids get IRAs set up. really not liking the concept of 'a struggle' to get a simple Roth IRA set up in a single 'invest and forget' balanced MUTUAL FUND.

do NOT want a brokerage account format for them. i realize it gives benefits -- but for a 'non investor' imo the platform is confusing.

we are considering T Rowe Price, Schwab, Fidelity etc instead. hmmmm. decisions.

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Of those three, T. Rowe Price is the only one that offers a "mutual fund account" for new accounts. They have index funds although the expense ratios are pricier. Their target date funds are active and around 0.70% or so, too. At least, with this being a Roth IRA, they can always switch to something else later with no tax consequences if they choose to do so.
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PinotGris
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by PinotGris »

Update on my VG customer service experience.
Our excellent Rep for the past 4 years or so left for another position and I received a note from the person assigned to us as the new rep. We are yet to set up a meeting.
In the meanwhile, today I gifted some shares from my taxable account to my son's taxable brokerage account which will later be sold and transferred to his Roth IRA. With the help of a rep I did all this online. Very smooth and quick and I can easily do this on my own now. The resp was professional and efficient. Very happy.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by bondsr4me »

PinotGris wrote: Fri Jul 09, 2021 1:37 pm Update on my VG customer service experience.
Our excellent Rep for the past 4 years or so left for another position and I received a note from the person assigned to us as the new rep. We are yet to set up a meeting.
In the meanwhile, today I gifted some shares from my taxable account to my son's taxable brokerage account which will later be sold and transferred to his Roth IRA. With the help of a rep I did all this online. Very smooth and quick and I can easily do this on my own now. The resp was professional and efficient. Very happy.
+1....it's nice to hear some positive comments about Vanguard.
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Cheez-It Guy
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by Cheez-It Guy »

mr_brightside wrote: Wed Jul 07, 2021 7:46 am this thread is relevant to me. been a VG guy for decades.

helping my kids get IRAs set up. really not liking the concept of 'a struggle' to get a simple Roth IRA set up in a single 'invest and forget' balanced MUTUAL FUND.

do NOT want a brokerage account format for them. i realize it gives benefits -- but for a 'non investor' imo the platform is confusing.

we are considering T Rowe Price, Schwab, Fidelity etc instead. hmmmm. decisions.

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How do you choose which anecdotal experiences are meaningful for your decision-making?

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windaar
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service 2021

Post by windaar »

Called VG for the first time time in a long time recently, with a question about zeroing out a MM fund. Spent 12 min on hold. Service rep was on a very echo-y speaker phone and I could hardly understand him. He asked me why I was moving the funds. (??) That's my business. The whole thing was weird and not like the crisp communications I had w/ VG 10 years ago.
Nobody knows nothing.
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RickBoglehead
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Amazing support from Vanguard

Post by RickBoglehead »

[Thread merged into here --admin LadyGeek]

Last week we transferred 403(b) funds from Fidelity NetBenefits to Fidelity IRAs. We then initiated a transfer when the funds appeared in the Fidelity accounts (Roth and Traditional) on the morning of 7/8.

Later in the day, Vanguard sent an email saying that action was required, and to call a specific toll-free number. That number prompted an electronic message that there was no problem... I held for a representative, and was routed automatically to my Flagship rep, and then the team since he wasn't free.

Rep came on the phone, and said we needed to talk to the transfer area, and he would connect me. Then he said, "since they have a 40 minute wait, I'm going to suggest that you hang up and I'll call you and bring you on the line once they are free, no sense in your waiting with me for 40 minutes.

I have never had this happen with Vanguard, or any other company. Yes, I've had "we're busy, do you want us to call you back in approximately X hours?". But this rep waiting on the line internally, then he called me, then he put the transfer area on the phone.

Perhaps the message that has been drummed out day after day here has been heard by Vanguard? :shock:

By the way, I suggested they try again the next day, which they did, and the transfer started fine.
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whereskyle
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Re: Amazing support from Vanguard

Post by whereskyle »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:18 am Last week we transferred 403(b) funds from Fidelity NetBenefits to Fidelity IRAs. We then initiated a transfer when the funds appeared in the Fidelity accounts (Roth and Traditional) on the morning of 7/8.

Later in the day, Vanguard sent an email saying that action was required, and to call a specific toll-free number. That number prompted an electronic message that there was no problem... I held for a representative, and was routed automatically to my Flagship rep, and then the team since he wasn't free.

Rep came on the phone, and said we needed to talk to the transfer area, and he would connect me. Then he said, "since they have a 40 minute wait, I'm going to suggest that you hang up and I'll call you and bring you on the line once they are free, no sense in your waiting with me for 40 minutes.

I have never had this happen with Vanguard, or any other company. Yes, I've had "we're busy, do you want us to call you back in approximately X hours?". But this rep waiting on the line internally, then he called me, then he put the transfer area on the phone.

Perhaps the message that has been drummed out day after day here has been heard by Vanguard? :shock:

By the way, I suggested they try again the next day, which they did, and the transfer started fine.
In my experience, the terrible Vanguard customer service is grossly exaggerated.
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Re: Amazing support from Vanguard

Post by mkc »

RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:18 am

Later in the day, Vanguard sent an email saying that action was required, and to call a specific toll-free number. That number prompted an electronic message that there was no problem... I held for a representative, and was routed automatically to my Flagship rep, and then the team since he wasn't free.
Going to guess this is a "Flagship Select" rep?

Have not seen assigned "regular Flagship" reps in a couple of years, and our queries have been responded to by a number of random representatives, both by phone and by secure message. Even a back and forth on a secure message topic has different Vanguard names each time.
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SmileyFace
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Re: Amazing support from Vanguard

Post by SmileyFace »

Taking funds from Fidelity - yeah - I am sure you got some prioritization especially if the transfer amounts were significant - and it didn't hurt that you were a flagship client to begin with. I wonder what the experience would have been had you not been flagship (wait - plenty of posts here for that - it would not have been amazing).
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Picasso
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Re: Amazing support from Vanguard

Post by Picasso »

whereskyle wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:36 am
RickBoglehead wrote: Mon Jul 12, 2021 7:18 am Last week we transferred 403(b) funds from Fidelity NetBenefits to Fidelity IRAs. We then initiated a transfer when the funds appeared in the Fidelity accounts (Roth and Traditional) on the morning of 7/8.

Later in the day, Vanguard sent an email saying that action was required, and to call a specific toll-free number. That number prompted an electronic message that there was no problem... I held for a representative, and was routed automatically to my Flagship rep, and then the team since he wasn't free.

Rep came on the phone, and said we needed to talk to the transfer area, and he would connect me. Then he said, "since they have a 40 minute wait, I'm going to suggest that you hang up and I'll call you and bring you on the line once they are free, no sense in your waiting with me for 40 minutes.

I have never had this happen with Vanguard, or any other company. Yes, I've had "we're busy, do you want us to call you back in approximately X hours?". But this rep waiting on the line internally, then he called me, then he put the transfer area on the phone.

Perhaps the message that has been drummed out day after day here has been heard by Vanguard? :shock:

By the way, I suggested they try again the next day, which they did, and the transfer started fine.
In my experience, the terrible Vanguard customer service is grossly exaggerated.
Agree
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