Vanguard Service problems in the news

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pshonore
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Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby pshonore » Fri Feb 17, 2017 10:56 am


xenial
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby xenial » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:08 am

Hopefully this sort of article will help to prod Vanguard toward improvement.

And Vanguard's fiercely loyal investors have proven to be one of their most effective markting tools, spreading the word about the advantages of low-cost, buy-and-hold investing. The Bogleheads board is filled with effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives.

Really? I haven't noticed much "effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives" around here lately.

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Youngblood
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Youngblood » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:19 am

Thanks for posting. Just a few days ago, I received an email from VG asking me to fill out a survey. I clicked the link and did. Perhaps another sign that Vanguard is at least planning to fix the problems customers are complaining about.

While I used to be impressed with access to and responses from representatives that is no longer the case. I suppose I'm one Boglehead who has not answered all survey questions with a 10.

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Youngblood
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Youngblood » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:20 am

xenial wrote:Hopefully this sort of article will help to prod Vanguard toward improvement.

And Vanguard's fiercely loyal investors have proven to be one of their most effective markting tools, spreading the word about the advantages of low-cost, buy-and-hold investing. The Bogleheads board is filled with effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives.

Really? I haven't noticed much "effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives" around here lately.


Me neither.
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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:27 am

Duplicate post deleted.
Last edited by ruralavalon on Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ruralavalon
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby ruralavalon » Fri Feb 17, 2017 11:29 am

xenial wrote:Hopefully this sort of article will help to prod Vanguard toward improvement.

And Vanguard's fiercely loyal investors have proven to be one of their most effective markting tools, spreading the word about the advantages of low-cost, buy-and-hold investing. The Bogleheads board is filled with effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives.

Really? I haven't noticed much "effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives" around here lately.

There are many other articles which also attribute recent customer service issues to the current massive inflows to Vanguard. So I am optimistic that Vanguard can resolve these issues, with a little time and with hiring and training more personnel.

I don't understand the comment in the article "we've heard a lot of complaints about required minimum distributions and reinvesting distributions". I have never experienced any problems in either of those areas. We are taking RMDs and do reinvest dividends.

It's only very recently that you find many complaints here about Vanguard customer service.
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livesoft
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby livesoft » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:02 pm

Vanguard clearly loves customers that make no transactions in years and years, ... like me.
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Fclevz
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Fclevz » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:29 pm

xenial wrote:Hopefully this sort of article will help to prod Vanguard toward improvement.

And Vanguard's fiercely loyal investors have proven to be one of their most effective markting tools, spreading the word about the advantages of low-cost, buy-and-hold investing. The Bogleheads board is filled with effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives.

Really? I haven't noticed much "effusive praise for Vanguard's customer service representatives" around here lately.

Probably a rushed writer who checked out the board for two minutes and saw positive comments about Vanguard's products. But if they read a little longer, it would be hard to miss the opposite opinion about Vanguard's service.

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KlingKlang
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby KlingKlang » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:37 pm

I had exactly the same situation as Mr. Salmans in the article with wanting to transfer funds from my daughter's UTMA account to her Roth IRA once she turned 18. I was a lowly Select investor back then but the representative understood exactly what I wanted, started the process, and then had me call the retirement accounts department to complete it. The whole transaction took maybe 20 minutes and went off without a hitch.

I agree with the board consensus that Flagship representatives seem to have no special knowledge or red tape cutting abilities. They are good at calling at scheduled times but after that they have no idea on how to answer anything ("Ummm... I'm not that familiar with the website.") Maybe the primary requirement is belonging to the same fraternity as Frederick William McNabb III.

mike_slc
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby mike_slc » Fri Feb 17, 2017 12:52 pm

Products - great. Service - god awful. I have wasted countless hours of my life trying to get the simplest things done with them. Takes 20 minutes usually to get to the right person on the phone, I'd say about 25% of the time I get disconnected, and when that happens whoever you were speaking with doesn't call you back, you gotta start all over again. Basic IRA transfer request has been in process since early November 2016 (> 3 months). Starting to look towards other options.

JW-Retired
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby JW-Retired » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:05 pm

Has anyone noticed any best time of the year for getting Vanguard service?

We have a slight name change to make to our taxable account and fear to burden the reps if the tax season is a bad time.
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whodidntante
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby whodidntante » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:15 pm

I want to thank vanguard for not spending money on customer service. I need those ERs low.

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Youngblood
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Youngblood » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:24 pm

whodidntante wrote:I want to thank vanguard for not spending money on customer service. I need those ERs low.


But if VG doesn't ante they won't be able to play the customer service game. :happy
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HueyLD
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby HueyLD » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:25 pm

I don't expect great service from a very low cost provider, but I demand adequate service.

Routine changes should not take months and that should be a minimum standard. For example, your mother recently passed away and you want to change the account ownership to yourself, the designated beneficiary. If you timely provide all required documentation (proper form, death certificate, signature guarantee, etc.), Vanguard should be able to process the ownership transfer within a few weeks, not months or even years. And they also should return your calls and/or emails when promised.

I have no idea when and how soon Vanguard is going to address such problems. At this rate, the company with the best products may lose many of their best customers.

IowaGuy25
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby IowaGuy25 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 1:52 pm

I've always found http://www.investmentnews.com/ to be Pro-Advisor for what it's worth.

wolf359
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby wolf359 » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:04 pm

HueyLD wrote:I have no idea when and how soon Vanguard is going to address such problems. At this rate, the company with the best products may lose many of their best customers.


Probably not. If someone gets frustrated and moves to Betterment or Wealthfront, they'll get invested in.. Vanguard ETFs.

For that matter, a number of Vanguard ETFs are available commission-free from Ameritrade.

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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby littlebird » Fri Feb 17, 2017 2:26 pm

ruralavalon wrote:
I don't understand the comment in the article "we've heard a lot of complaints about required minimum distributions and reinvesting distributions". I have never experienced any problems in either of those areas. We are taking RMDs and do reinvest dividends.


Perhaps because you haven't reached a point in life where you are disabled and your spouse needs to claim your RMD and deposit it into your Vanguard trust account of which you are the beneficiary and s/he is your trustee. Even with V."s special sooper dooper type of "Agent Authorization" in place, I was not allowed to do that. I would have had to request the RMD (allowed to do that), deposit it to our checking account (allowed to do that) then write a check to V. to deposit it into the trust (allowed to do that).

That means that in the not unlikely event that I become unable to carry out that routine, we have no way making it happen. (My POA can't take charge of his IRA).

Needs change as we age. Vanguard worked fine for my spouse when he was 69. Not so well at 89.

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whodidntante
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby whodidntante » Fri Feb 17, 2017 5:12 pm

Youngblood wrote:
whodidntante wrote:I want to thank vanguard for not spending money on customer service. I need those ERs low.


But if VG doesn't ante they won't be able to play the customer service game. :happy


I keep my chips elsewhere and own a few vanguard etfs. They can cut their customer service spending in half, as far as I'm concerned. :twisted:

neilpilot
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby neilpilot » Fri Feb 17, 2017 8:23 pm

whodidntante wrote:I want to thank vanguard for not spending money on customer service. I need those ERs low.


...but I pay the same low ERs on my holdings of Vanguard ETFs at Scottrade, and get excellent customer service.

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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Alan S. » Fri Feb 17, 2017 9:31 pm

Poor customer service affects more than Vanguard's customers.

It takes a toll on the existing employees who have to deal with second and third requests from unhappy customers. In addition, when backlogs are piled high pressure increases on current employees to be ever more productive. Overall morale suffers as backlog issues become entrenched. Turnover will increase. There was a comment in the article regarding not being able to ignore the complaints any longer. Well, perhaps they shouldn't have been ignoring them as long as they did. With the growth rate they have experienced, service problems are inevitable so they should have been expected. This growth rate has been going on steadily in recent years, it was not a sudden unexpected deluge of new accounts.

Then they hire 1700 new employees - guess who has to take more time to train them, check their work etc.

Service therefore might deteriorate further before it gets better.

afatcat
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby afatcat » Sat Feb 18, 2017 4:59 pm

I'm not too worried about the current service issues at VG, they apparently recognize them and are taking steps to improve. If Fido or TDA had the inflows that VG has, I'm sure service would degrade there as well.

Though I can understand the frustration if someone if someone is caught in the wash at the moment.
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Toons
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Toons » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:11 pm

" We handled more than 10 million phone calls, answered 1.4 million emails, and transacted 17 million brokerage trades"


This speaks volumes.
Patience.
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Toons
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Toons » Sat Feb 18, 2017 5:12 pm

Alan S. wrote:Poor customer service affects more than Vanguard's customers.

It takes a toll on the existing employees who have to deal with second and third requests from unhappy customers. In addition, when backlogs are piled high pressure increases on current employees to be ever more productive. Overall morale suffers as backlog issues become entrenched. Turnover will increase. There was a comment in the article regarding not being able to ignore the complaints any longer. Well, perhaps they shouldn't have been ignoring them as long as they did. With the growth rate they have experienced, service problems are inevitable so they should have been expected. This growth rate has been going on steadily in recent years, it was not a sudden unexpected deluge of new accounts.

Then they hire 1700 new employees - guess who has to take more time to train them, check their work etc.

Service therefore might deteriorate further before it gets better.


It usually gets darkest before the dawn :happy
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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Earl Lemongrab » Tue Feb 21, 2017 1:07 pm

neilpilot wrote:
whodidntante wrote:I want to thank vanguard for not spending money on customer service. I need those ERs low.


...but I pay the same low ERs on my holdings of Vanguard ETFs at Scottrade, and get excellent customer service.

I think that was the point. If you aren't using their customer service, you don't want ERs to go up to improve it. By using ETFs you can choose your product and custodian separately.

If anyone is thinking of trying another custodian, here's something to consider:

The Final, Definitive Thread on Brokerage Transfer Bonuses
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Time traveler
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Re: Vanguard Service problems in the news

Postby Time traveler » Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:16 pm

I called Vanguard customer service today for the first time (as far as I can recall) since I opened the account seventeen years ago. Fortunately for me I was able to get through after about a one minute wait and then transferred to the specialist who handled my issue after another one minute of holding. The entire call took less than ten minutes. Maybe I just got lucky or maybe my issue was so common/simple that it could be handled by a less experienced employee. I can't say why my issue was resolved so easily but I thought I would share my experience with you all. Also I would like to thank you all for sharing your knowledge and experience. I've been reading here for several months and I've learned a lot already but I still have a long way to go.
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