bizarre letter from Vanguard

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
Post Reply
Topic Author
fru-gal
Posts: 495
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:41 am

I got a bizarre letter from Vanguard saying my account balance was below $50,000 and if I didn't increase it, I would lose Voyager services. My balance is well above that and has been for like forever.

So I sent them an email, since they don't have customer service at this hour. Note to self: finally get to transferring account to Schwab.

Anyone know what this is about? In all the posts about bizarro Vanguard things, I have not seen this one, unless it's related to people who have had assets disappear (the website still shows mine.)

User avatar
Conch55
Posts: 228
Joined: Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:03 am

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Conch55 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:13 am

My spouse received a similar letter stating she would be "downgraded" from Voyager Select to whatever is lower than that. She should have been Flagship based on our household combined assets. I called them and they made a note to "upgrade" her account to Flagship. That appears to have happened.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9364
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:21 am

Is there any redeemable value to being Flagship or Grand Pubah class at Vanguard? I'm "Private Client" at Fidelity which gets me free Turbo Tax at the expense of having to tell them "NO" when I call and they ask if I want to be transferred to my dedicated manager's voicemail. If Fidelity gave me the choice of being sub-peon class for a $25 Burger King gift card, I'd take the gift card.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
Dialectical Investor
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:41 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Dialectical Investor » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:26 am

In OP's case, losing Voyager status might mean they have to pay certain account service fees, depending on the type(s) of accounts they have. A downgrade in status sometimes has consequences other than making customers feel special.

Longdog
Posts: 1300
Joined: Sun Feb 09, 2014 6:56 pm
Location: Philadelphia

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Longdog » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:32 am

You need over $50K in Vanguard funds or ETFs. If you have more than that, but it is in mutual funds or ETFs from other companies, individual stocks, individual bonds or CDs, etc., then you would not qualify.

Or... could just be a strange glitch.
Steve

stan1
Posts: 7003
Joined: Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:35 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by stan1 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:33 am

fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 5:41 am
I got a bizarre letter from Vanguard saying my account balance was below $50,000 and if I didn't increase it, I would lose Voyager services. My balance is well above that and has been for like forever.
They only count money in Vanguard mutual funds and ETFs towards "status". Does that apply to you?
Eligibility is based on total household assets held at Vanguard, with a minimum of $50,000 to qualify for Vanguard Voyager Services®, $500,000 for Vanguard Voyager Select Services®, and $1 million for Vanguard Flagship Services®. We determine eligibility by aggregating assets of all qualifying accounts held by you and your immediate family members who reside at the same address.

Assets that qualify
Vanguard mutual funds.
Vanguard ETFs®.
Certain annuities through Vanguard.
The Vanguard 529 Plan.
Certain small-business accounts.
Note: Assets in employer-sponsored retirement plans for which Vanguard provides recordkeeping services may be included in determining eligibility if you also have a personal account holding Vanguard mutual funds or Vanguard ETFs.

Assets that don't qualify
Stocks.
Bonds.
CDs.
Non-Vanguard mutual funds.
Non-Vanguard ETFs.

Swimmer
Posts: 283
Joined: Tue Dec 29, 2015 4:24 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Swimmer » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:40 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:21 am
Is there any redeemable value to being Flagship or Grand Pubah class at Vanguard? I'm "Private Client" at Fidelity which gets me free Turbo Tax at the expense of having to tell them "NO" when I call and they ask if I want to be transferred to my dedicated manager's voicemail. If Fidelity gave me the choice of being sub-peon class for a $25 Burger King gift card, I'd take the gift card.

My question as well. We got a similar letter wrt Flagship status. I looked up perks of Flagship and I don’t think we’ll notice when they downgrade us. We like our rep but have only called on him perhaps 3 times in the past five years.

livesoft
Posts: 66502
Joined: Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:00 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by livesoft » Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:48 am

Quite a few people have reported this "got a demotion" letter from Vanguard which they have ignored. It seems to be a typical IT mail-merge issue.
Wiki This signature message sponsored by sscritic: Learn to fish.

Topic Author
fru-gal
Posts: 495
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am

I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.

Jack FFR1846
Posts: 9364
Joined: Tue Dec 31, 2013 7:05 am

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:44 am

fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am
I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.
You should ask for the phone number here. As I found, calling the "normal" number gets you to the "wrong answer" line. I talked about my problems here and was given the double secret handshake correct answers hotline. I asked Dick Grayson, my ward to call and get the right answers I needed. Then I moved everything out to TDAmeritrade, where I didn't have to deal with any of that non-sense.
Bogle: Smart Beta is stupid

User avatar
Dialectical Investor
Posts: 476
Joined: Mon Dec 03, 2018 11:41 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by Dialectical Investor » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:20 am

fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am
I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.
What do you mean they hide their phone number? Vanguard.com > Contact Us > [select topic] > Get contact info. Despite the topical breakdown, I am still transferred sometimes.

Topic Author
fru-gal
Posts: 495
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:41 am

Dialectical Investor wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:20 am
fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am
I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.
What do you mean they hide their phone number? Vanguard.com > Contact Us > [select topic] > Get contact info. Despite the topical breakdown, I am still transferred sometimes.
The phone number used to be a click away on any page. There's a limit to how many clicks down I will go in menus, or in Vanguard's case stuff spread over an entire page or two, particularly when I have to decide at each step which is the next thing that might apply.

cherijoh
Posts: 5754
Joined: Tue Feb 20, 2007 4:49 pm
Location: Charlotte NC

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by cherijoh » Tue Jun 11, 2019 8:56 am

Jack FFR1846 wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 6:21 am
Is there any redeemable value to being Flagship or Grand Pubah class at Vanguard? I'm "Private Client" at Fidelity which gets me free Turbo Tax at the expense of having to tell them "NO" when I call and they ask if I want to be transferred to my dedicated manager's voicemail. If Fidelity gave me the choice of being sub-peon class for a $25 Burger King gift card, I'd take the gift card.
Here is a table summarizing the costs/benefits of various VG levels.

User avatar
jhfenton
Posts: 4039
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by jhfenton » Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:52 am

fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am
I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.
Phone numbers are 3 clicks from the front page: "Contact Us" -> click on a topic -> "Get Contact Info".

You may not like the middle step, but you'll find they give you different numbers depending on the subject you pick. And if someone finds the answer to their question without a phone call after clicking on a topic, then everyone wins.

Topic Author
fru-gal
Posts: 495
Joined: Wed Jan 02, 2019 9:48 pm

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by fru-gal » Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:20 pm

jhfenton wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:52 am
fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am
I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.
Phone numbers are 3 clicks from the front page: "Contact Us" -> click on a topic -> "Get Contact Info".

You may not like the middle step, but you'll find they give you different numbers depending on the subject you pick. And if someone finds the answer to their question without a phone call after clicking on a topic, then everyone wins.
There is no option on the page for bizarre letter. Plus if it takes me ten minutes, scrolling, and thought vs. one click, I do not win.

User avatar
TheGreyingDuke
Posts: 1598
Joined: Fri Sep 02, 2011 10:34 am

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by TheGreyingDuke » Wed Jun 12, 2019 8:55 am

The phone number?? I go to my dialer and enter 826 (=VAN) and the number appears, no need to go to website at all.
"Every time I see an adult on a bicycle, I no longer despair for the future of the human race." H.G. Wells

User avatar
jhfenton
Posts: 4039
Joined: Sat Feb 07, 2015 11:17 am
Location: Ohio

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by jhfenton » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:11 am

fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:20 pm
jhfenton wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 9:52 am
fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 7:11 am
I spoke to Vanguard. The people saying they only count Vanguard mutual funds, etc. and not CDs or other companies' mutual funds are apparently correct. Not that I care about Voyager status, since even with it Vanguard hides their phone number from peons like myself and I have to google to find it.
Phone numbers are 3 clicks from the front page: "Contact Us" -> click on a topic -> "Get Contact Info".

You may not like the middle step, but you'll find they give you different numbers depending on the subject you pick. And if someone finds the answer to their question without a phone call after clicking on a topic, then everyone wins.
There is no option on the page for bizarre letter. Plus if it takes me ten minutes, scrolling, and thought vs. one click, I do not win.
I don't understand what that means. You said that they hide their phone number. They don't. It takes less than a minute after logging into your account to find a phone number for the department you need.

clip651
Posts: 322
Joined: Thu Oct 02, 2014 11:02 am

Re: bizarre letter from Vanguard

Post by clip651 » Wed Jun 12, 2019 9:23 am

fru-gal wrote:
Tue Jun 11, 2019 4:20 pm
There is no option on the page for bizarre letter. Plus if it takes me ten minutes, scrolling, and thought vs. one click, I do not win.
Would you prefer a single 1-800 number, and then a very long phone tree that starts out with "please listen carefully to the following options because they have recently changed"? Lots of companies of all types provide that.

Post Reply