Horrible Experience with Vanguard [Login account security]

Have a question about your personal investments? No matter how simple or complex, you can ask it here.
jjface
Posts: 2628
Joined: Thu Mar 19, 2015 6:18 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by jjface » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:47 pm

I'm all for a good amount of security but sometimes vanguard is a bit too old school. Plus if you change the phone in one place it should change it everywhere.
Last edited by jjface on Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:49 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:48 pm

logos wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:45 pm
Yes. Vanguard customer service and website are both bad. Fidelity is much better. There are a couple of long threads about switching for this reason. But, you lose the ability to invest in admiral funds. That’s the reason I have not dropped them. That and some loyalty to the originator of all of this.

I disagree with those citing this as a security issue. It sounds more like a web design issue of which they have many - change your phone number in on place and it doesn’t change in the others. Even so, a paper form, really? Notary? In 2020? And how is that secure? All one would have to do is order a stamp...
Thank you for understanding my point. :happy

infinitejustice
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by infinitejustice » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:54 pm

I just checked what it reads in the Account Maintenance Section. It displays:
To update your address and/or phone number for any accounts except your employer-sponsored plan, select Edit address and phone information below.

To update the phone numbers in your Account activity alerts and Security code settings, you'll need to do so in addition to any phone number changes you make below.
Seems pretty clear to me.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:56 pm

Brianmcg321 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:43 pm
You would have had the same experience anywhere else if you failed to update your security phone number. That's what its for, so someone can't just access your account. :oops:

I'm glad to know that Vanguard's security works as intended.
At my other 11 financial institutions, I updated my phone number and my security code phone number was updated automatically. The other institutions also give me an alternative to use my email for my security code.

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:57 pm

Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:13 pm
galawdawg wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?
Respectfully, do you really believe that when a financial institution denies a customer use of or access to their funds that unless the customer has an urgent need for their money it is a mere inconvenience?

Are you by chance an employee of Vanguard or have some other interest beyond being an "owner-client"? Not accusing, just asking.
I don't see this as a financial institution actively denying a customer access. I see it as a financial institution establishing protocols and following them, and a customer failing to fully understand and/or adapt to those protocols and unintentionally creating a sub-optimal situation for themselves. I mean, we might as well blame Microsoft and their Windows updates as Vanguard for this situation.

I know it is frustrating to be on the receiving end of a situation like this. I have been. My question about it being an inconvenience was not intended to be snide, but rather an inquiry into the severity of the situation and a suggestion of mentally reframing it if in fact it was not a true emergency. So, yes, I actually do view being locked out of a financial account in the event of a non-emergency to be a mere inconvenience. It happened to me last year with TreasuryDirect. I didn't feel like someone was out to get me. Not everything unpleasant that happens in life is a crisis and horrible. Take a step back, calm down, and reevaluate. Consider how one can improve their own response to future stressors. Stoicism.

No, I am not employed by Vanguard or any other financial services company. I am just a boring engineer for a manufacturing company. You may well have noticed some positive comments from me regarding Vanguard, and this is really based on my own experiences and results as well as to present a counterbalance to some of the at times vitriolic negativity I've read about Vanguard on these forums. For a site named after the founder of Vanguard, I've found that quite surprising and a bit puzzling, and have similarly questioned the motivations of users on the opposite side of such arguments. I can separate John Bogle from Vanguard, but I have difficulty rationalizing that Vanguard is a bad as some say, and that others are as good as some say. In the end, I am glad there is choice and competition. There's room for all.
I agree that OP could have chosen a different word than "horrible", such as "poor", "disappointing", "frustrating", etc.

I empathize with OP, having recently had Vanguard freeze my own account improperly. I called and after being placed on hold a few times, I was told by the Flagship rep that a two week restriction was placed on the entire brokerage account due to a partial transfer out of shares of VTSAX that recently completed. Despite my pointing out that I understood FINRA did not permit Vanguard to "freeze" the entire account, including the unaffected shares of VMFXX, on a partial transfer out, they indicated that their "policy" was to restrict the entire account for two weeks. However, they promised that once the restriction was lifted, they would call. To their credit, I received a call back thirty minutes later telling me that I was correct, that they were in error, that the restriction was lifted, and I was free to transfer funds as I wished. But, that type of issue should simply not occur in the first place at a brokerage with the experience and resources of Vanguard.

I was a Vanguard "client-owner" for nearly thirty years until moving the last part of my portfolio out recently. I hated to "abandon ship". I thought the world of Jack Bogle and what he created. Jack spent about thirty minutes with my wife and I several decades ago when we were newly married and his wisdom and advice was priceless but generously and freely given. We owe much to him.

Some of the vitriolic negativity you refer to may be the frustration expressed by those who admired and appreciated Jack and who are upset about what they see as a decline in Vanguard's excellence, as well as the deaf ear that Vanguard has turned to some of their most loyal long-term "client-owners".

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:59 pm

jjface wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:47 pm
I'm all for a good amount of security but sometimes vanguard is a bit too old school. Plus if you change the phone in one place it should change it everywhere.
Thank you! That was my point!

User avatar
Wiggums
Posts: 2741
Joined: Thu Jan 31, 2019 8:02 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Wiggums » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:02 pm

If you want to change your info on the social security website, you have to wait for a letter in the mail with a temporary code.

Microsoft has a mandatory waiting period before the change is activated.

wishy-washy
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Apr 23, 2015 5:05 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by wishy-washy » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:05 pm

OP, thanks for posting about this. I could easily see myself in this situation if not for you. I plan to enable voice authentication and make a mental note of the need to change my phone number in two different places when changing numbers. I have had the same number the whole time I have had my Vanguard account which has only been about 4 years.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:06 pm

galawdawg wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:57 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:13 pm
galawdawg wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:45 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:30 pm
Do you have an urgent need to transact or liquidate funds, or is this just an unfortunate and temporary inconvenience on the road of life?
Respectfully, do you really believe that when a financial institution denies a customer use of or access to their funds that unless the customer has an urgent need for their money it is a mere inconvenience?

Are you by chance an employee of Vanguard or have some other interest beyond being an "owner-client"? Not accusing, just asking.
I don't see this as a financial institution actively denying a customer access. I see it as a financial institution establishing protocols and following them, and a customer failing to fully understand and/or adapt to those protocols and unintentionally creating a sub-optimal situation for themselves. I mean, we might as well blame Microsoft and their Windows updates as Vanguard for this situation.

I know it is frustrating to be on the receiving end of a situation like this. I have been. My question about it being an inconvenience was not intended to be snide, but rather an inquiry into the severity of the situation and a suggestion of mentally reframing it if in fact it was not a true emergency. So, yes, I actually do view being locked out of a financial account in the event of a non-emergency to be a mere inconvenience. It happened to me last year with TreasuryDirect. I didn't feel like someone was out to get me. Not everything unpleasant that happens in life is a crisis and horrible. Take a step back, calm down, and reevaluate. Consider how one can improve their own response to future stressors. Stoicism.

No, I am not employed by Vanguard or any other financial services company. I am just a boring engineer for a manufacturing company. You may well have noticed some positive comments from me regarding Vanguard, and this is really based on my own experiences and results as well as to present a counterbalance to some of the at times vitriolic negativity I've read about Vanguard on these forums. For a site named after the founder of Vanguard, I've found that quite surprising and a bit puzzling, and have similarly questioned the motivations of users on the opposite side of such arguments. I can separate John Bogle from Vanguard, but I have difficulty rationalizing that Vanguard is a bad as some say, and that others are as good as some say. In the end, I am glad there is choice and competition. There's room for all.
I agree that OP could have chosen a different word than "horrible", such as "poor", "disappointing", "frustrating", etc.

I empathize with OP, having recently had Vanguard freeze my own account improperly. I called and after being placed on hold a few times, I was told by the Flagship rep that a two week restriction was placed on the entire brokerage account due to a partial transfer out of shares of VTSAX that recently completed. Despite my pointing out that I understood FINRA did not permit Vanguard to "freeze" the entire account, including the unaffected shares of VMFXX, on a partial transfer out, they indicated that their "policy" was to restrict the entire account for two weeks. However, they promised that once the restriction was lifted, they would call. To their credit, I received a call back thirty minutes later telling me that I was correct, that they were in error, that the restriction was lifted, and I was free to transfer funds as I wished. But, that type of issue should simply not occur in the first place at a brokerage with the experience and resources of Vanguard.

I was a Vanguard "client-owner" for nearly thirty years until moving the last part of my portfolio out recently. I hated to "abandon ship". I thought the world of Jack Bogle and what he created. Jack spent about thirty minutes with my wife and I several decades ago when we were newly married and his wisdom and advice was priceless but generously and freely given. We owe much to him.

Some of the vitriolic negativity you refer to may be the frustration expressed by those who admired and appreciated Jack and who are upset about what they see as a decline in Vanguard's excellence, as well as the deaf ear that Vanguard has turned to some of their most loyal long-term "client-owners".
Thank you. I agree that I could have used a better adjective, but I was so mad that Vanguard took up most of my vacation day today that "horrible" just slipped out. I think your assessment is spot on. I too think highly of Jack Bogle, but Vanguard's customer service and website need a lot of improvement. I think Jack would agree if he were still with us today.

rkhusky
Posts: 8096
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by rkhusky » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:11 pm

Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:33 pm
Additionally, if you choose, it appears you can disable two-factor authentication entirely, but I'd be prepared for more nag dialogs.
If you disable two-factor, you can't log it until you set it up again. At least that was my experience.

infinitejustice
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by infinitejustice » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:17 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:56 pm


At my other 11 financial institutions, I updated my phone number and my security code phone number was updated automatically. The other institutions also give me an alternative to use my email for my security code.
What if I have a separate phone for 2FA and another for general point of contact? I wouldn't want Vanguard to "automatically" change one without telling me they were changing the other.

As I posted above, the page tells you to change 2FA also if you want to.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:20 pm

rkhusky wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:11 pm
Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:33 pm
Additionally, if you choose, it appears you can disable two-factor authentication entirely, but I'd be prepared for more nag dialogs.
If you disable two-factor, you can't log it until you set it up again. At least that was my experience.
The last rep told me that I would receive an email, be able to login, and then have to re-enable the security code. I guess I will find out.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 pm

arf30 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:05 pm
It sounds like Vanguard did exactly what they should have to keep your account secure - if anything it's on you for not keeping your phone number up to date.
I did update my phone number, but that doesn't update it for the security code.

quantAndHold
Posts: 3869
Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:39 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by quantAndHold » Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:54 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 pm
arf30 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:05 pm
It sounds like Vanguard did exactly what they should have to keep your account secure - if anything it's on you for not keeping your phone number up to date.
I did update my phone number, but that doesn't update it for the security code.
Most people use their cell number to get security codes. I agree it should have asked when you changed the number, but it probably shouldn’t just automatically change the number.

I’m not a huge fan of Vanguard’s customer support, or their technology. I never have been. But in my working life I did work in computer security and deal with fraud controls, and what you were trying to do is a common fraud vector. Since you didn’t have any other way set up to access the account (voice verification, etc), they did the only thing they could do that would still maintain account security.

FWIW, my wife did the same thing on her Social Security account when we moved. It took months to resolve. I think she eventually had to go to the Social Security office to sort it out in person.

arf30
Posts: 633
Joined: Sat Dec 28, 2013 11:55 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by arf30 » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:04 pm

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:41 pm
I did update my phone number, but that doesn't update it for the security code.
I agree with you there - it should be more clear.

infinitejustice
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by infinitejustice » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:05 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 9:54 pm
I agree it should have asked when you changed the number
arf30 wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:04 pm

I agree with you there - it should be more clear.

It does tell you that you have to change the number for 2FA separately, when you change your contact number. At least it does now.

User avatar
JAZZISCOOL
Posts: 550
Joined: Sat May 18, 2019 11:49 am
Location: Colorado - 5,700 ft.

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by JAZZISCOOL » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 pm

quantAndHold wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:36 pm
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:34 pm
Sorry about your experience. It seems Vanguard should have other, state-of-the-art ways to authenticate your identity. I do understand the point about the need to be extra cautious with all of the scammers out there, however.

I closed my Vanguard account recently to consolidate all of my accounts at Schwab which has very good customer service (over 10 years of experience).

I've never had a similar problem with Schwab. In fact, they have been using voice authentication for a while. Not sure that would have helped in your situation but V needs to put additional measures in place IMO.
Vanguard has had voice authentication for years. I know I used it when I was buying a house 7 years ago. Apparently, OP never went to the bother of setting it up.
I find that interesting as I had my account at V for over 15 years and they never offered it to me as an option that I recall. Schwab, on the other hand, proactively set it up. :happy

infinitejustice
Posts: 7
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2019 5:51 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by infinitejustice » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:20 pm

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 pm
I find that interesting as I had my account at V for over 15 years and they never offered it to me as an option that I recall. Schwab, on the other hand, proactively set it up. :happy
Vanguard is conservative. I don't want my financial institutions to set up voice authentication without my permission (or ever). Thank you, Vanguard, for letting me decide what I want instead of forcing things on me.

multiham
Posts: 310
Joined: Sun Jan 08, 2017 11:28 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by multiham » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:20 pm

Hi Op

I feel exactly the way you do. Vanguard should have other ways to handle this then having a notarized form sent to them. I didn't realize it was the 1990's. Maybe they can have a fax machine where you can send it to. Things like this will drive some of their younger, more tech savvy users to change to someone who gets it. In fact, it would probably drive me to change. Of course I wouldn't be allowed for a couple of weeks so that the form I mailed in can be reviewed by someone. Hopefully that form isn't stolen in the mail with all my information on it.

Someone mentioned Social Security is like this. I expect that from a government agency. I don't expect that from a private company that should constantly be investing in security to protect my account and to give me a better experience. Are you telling me that with everything I read about artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc that there is no better way to do this than a process that was outdated 10 years ago?

User avatar
wander
Posts: 2854
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by wander » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:25 pm

I've been with Vanguard for 20 years, changed computers many times, changed phone many times, change Email addresses many times but never had to call Vanguard for access problem.

User avatar
nisiprius
Advisory Board
Posts: 39971
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 9:33 am
Location: The terrestrial, globular, planetary hunk of matter, flattened at the poles, is my abode.--O. Henry

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by nisiprius » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:26 pm

skd, where did you change your phone number? Was it in "My Accounts, Account Maintenance, Address and Phone information?"

Image

Regardless of assigning blame, it seems to me that you could help other Vanguard customers by communicating with Vanguard and suggest that they improve that screen. Point out that you were put through the wringer because the notice on that screen is easy to miss and doesn't stress how important it is.

(I agree that logically, it would seem as if once "Vanguard" knows your new phone number, they ought to "know" it everywhere, but maybe the 2FA-security-code stuff is contracted out to a third party that has their own IT system, and maybe they'd prefer that their customers disclose it directly to them, rather than their disclosing customer information to a third party.)

(By the way, for the record, I don't have any connection with Vanguard except as a customer.)
Last edited by nisiprius on Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:36 pm, edited 3 times in total.
Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure nineteen nineteen and six, result happiness; Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery.

User avatar
celia
Posts: 10048
Joined: Sun Mar 09, 2008 6:32 am
Location: SoCal

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by celia » Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:28 pm

Ok, so you have a new address and a new phone number. When that happens, whose responsibility is it to tell all the places who need to know about it? Oops, you forgot to tell Vanguard where to send your security validation code.

I’m pretty sure this won’t be the only place you forgot to notify. It’s just a part of life that some things change when you move.

VT1964
Posts: 19
Joined: Fri Sep 09, 2016 2:37 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by VT1964 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 6:57 am

Ha. I just started a thread a few days ago on Vanguard Customer Service. I agree, having good security is a good thing. What i did note is that the OP said he was bounced around and many reps did not know what to do. I have had less than stellar experience with many reps as well, vs Schwab whose reps are very polite, knowledgeable and helpful. Last week I used their message center to ask a basic question. Got a reply 2 days later; wrong answer to my question!

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:32 am

nisiprius wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:26 pm
skd, where did you change your phone number? Was it in "My Accounts, Account Maintenance, Address and Phone information?"

Image

Regardless of assigning blame, it seems to me that you could help other Vanguard customers by communicating with Vanguard and suggest that they improve that screen. Point out that you were put through the wringer because the notice on that screen is easy to miss and doesn't stress how important it is.

(I agree that logically, it would seem as if once "Vanguard" knows your new phone number, they ought to "know" it everywhere, but maybe the 2FA-security-code stuff is contracted out to a third party that has their own IT system, and maybe they'd prefer that their customers disclose it directly to them, rather than their disclosing customer information to a third party.)

(By the way, for the record, I don't have any connection with Vanguard except as a customer.)
It was over a year ago. I don't remember how or where I changed my phone number. (I had to change it with over 30 places...financial institutions, doctors, work, etc.) I did do exactly what you said and the last rep said he would put it in their system for improvements. He said that it was already under way because I was one of many clients who had complained about this situation.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:42 am

celia wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:28 pm
Ok, so you have a new address and a new phone number. When that happens, whose responsibility is it to tell all the places who need to know about it? Oops, you forgot to tell Vanguard where to send your security validation code.

I’m pretty sure this won’t be the only place you forgot to notify. It’s just a part of life that some things change when you move.
I did notify Vanguard of the phone number and address change. Reread the post!

Coburn
Posts: 91
Joined: Sat Jun 08, 2019 12:46 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Coburn » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:52 am

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

By the way, I was also passed around from rep to rep because nobody knew how to remedy the problem. I finally got a rep who knew to send me the form.

To be fair, I should disclose that I was trying to move around money due to unexpected funeral expenses for a family member, so I was already under stress with little sleep and that added to my frustration. I also took the day off of work and this situation took up most of my day.
Sorry. but failing to update your phone number for validation purposes is entirely on you. It should not automatically update if your change your phone number on the account for two reasons. Moreover, you should have listed more than 1 validation number.

I suggest that you add another validation number after your access is restored.
Last edited by Coburn on Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:57 am, edited 2 times in total.

rkhusky
Posts: 8096
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by rkhusky » Sat Feb 15, 2020 7:56 am

nisiprius wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:26 pm
(I agree that logically, it would seem as if once "Vanguard" knows your new phone number, they ought to "know" it everywhere, ...
Many people might have multiple phone numbers. For example, give their home phone as a contact number and use their cell phone for the security code.

But when someone is changing their contact number, Vanguard should note if the security code number is different and ask if the person wants to change that too.

carolinaman
Posts: 4006
Joined: Wed Dec 28, 2011 9:56 am
Location: North Carolina

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by carolinaman » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:09 am

I am sorry this happened to you at such an inconvenient time. However, I like the process Vanguard uses which greatly minimizes the risk of someone hacking your account. Although your situation was legitimate, it could have easily been someone trying to illegally access your account. There is no way for Vanguard to tell the difference without the notarized form.

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:13 am

JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 pm
I find that interesting as I had my account at V for over 15 years and they never offered it to me as an option that I recall. Schwab, on the other hand, proactively set it up. :happy
This is accessible in account maintenance screen at Vanguard, and they also prompt about whether you want to set it up in the phone tree every time you call customer service.

User avatar
wander
Posts: 2854
Joined: Sat Oct 04, 2008 9:10 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by wander » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:37 am

Nice thing about Vanguard is while other instructors use cookies, Vanguard uses something else so even if you manually clear the cookies, Vanguard still doesn't ask you for your second step verification. It only happens once when you change the internet browser. This is good and bad since nothing reminds you for a few years until one day you upgrade a computer. I access Vanguard from different browsers/computers so when something like this happens I can always use another browsers (The one that doesn't get upgraded yet) to access and update profile. I don't want to waste time with customer service for this stuff.

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:39 am

Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:13 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 pm
I find that interesting as I had my account at V for over 15 years and they never offered it to me as an option that I recall. Schwab, on the other hand, proactively set it up. :happy
This is accessible in account maintenance screen at Vanguard, and they also prompt about whether you want to set it up in the phone tree every time you call customer service.
YMMV, but I have not been prompted to set up voice authentication when calling Vanguard, including during my most recent call about ten days ago. Perhaps it is because I call from a phone number listed in my account profile.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:41 am

wander wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:37 am
Nice thing about Vanguard is while other instructors use cookies, Vanguard uses something else so even if you manually clear the cookies, Vanguard still doesn't ask you for your second step verification. It only happens once when you change the internet browser. This is good and bad since nothing reminds you for a few years until one day you upgrade a computer. I access Vanguard from different browsers/computers so when something like this happens I can always use another browsers (The one that doesn't get upgraded yet) to access and update profile. I don't want to waste time with customer service for this stuff.
The rep told me that Vanguard uses cookies and that my cookies were deleted. What is really confusing is that I didn't change computers and I have had multiple updates without this happening. I tried two browsers and received the same request for a security code.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:42 am

Cheez-It Guy wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:13 am
JAZZISCOOL wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 10:11 pm
I find that interesting as I had my account at V for over 15 years and they never offered it to me as an option that I recall. Schwab, on the other hand, proactively set it up. :happy
This is accessible in account maintenance screen at Vanguard, and they also prompt about whether you want to set it up in the phone tree every time you call customer service.
I wasn't prompted when I called.

tibbitts
Posts: 9506
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:50 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by tibbitts » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:45 am

logos wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:45 pm
Yes. Vanguard customer service and website are both bad. Fidelity is much better. There are a couple of long threads about switching for this reason. But, you lose the ability to invest in admiral funds. That’s the reason I have not dropped them. That and some loyalty to the originator of all of this.

I disagree with those citing this as a security issue. It sounds more like a web design issue of which they have many - change your phone number in on place and it doesn’t change in the others. Even so, a paper form, really? Notary? In 2020? And how is that secure? All one would have to do is order a stamp...
I think overall this isn't a bad situation but that as with many sites, it would be nice if when you change a phone number, it changes (or offers you the option to change) in all places. This has happened to me with other providers.

But I don't understand what you would want Vanguard to do at this point - if not a notary, you know the infamous medallion guarantee would be the other choice. What would be more efficient, again given that the account is in the state it's in?

Theseus
Posts: 677
Joined: Sat Jan 23, 2016 9:40 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Theseus » Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:48 am

logos wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:45 pm
But, you lose the ability to invest in admiral funds.
This is no longer true. I had quite a bit of money at Vanguard that were all in Admiral funds. Last month transferred all of them to my fidelity account. My rep ensured me that it will remain Admiral (he double and triple checked with his internal team as well). And it has remained Admiral. However two things to keep in mind.

1. I should have converted them to ETF while I was at Vanguard. I don't think I can do it now. There is no capital gain with this conversion as I understand it. This could possibly lower some gains distribution and easier on taxes. But I am not sure how much.

2. Didn't check if I can invest new money in the Admiral shares. But I don't have new money coming in and I am hoping you can.

User avatar
galawdawg
Posts: 325
Joined: Thu Dec 14, 2017 12:59 pm
Location: Georgia

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by galawdawg » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:02 am

Theseus wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:48 am
logos wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:45 pm
But, you lose the ability to invest in admiral funds.
This is no longer true. I had quite a bit of money at Vanguard that were all in Admiral funds. Last month transferred all of them to my fidelity account. My rep ensured me that it will remain Admiral (he double and triple checked with his internal team as well). And it has remained Admiral. However two things to keep in mind.

1. I should have converted them to ETF while I was at Vanguard. I don't think I can do it now. There is no capital gain with this conversion as I understand it. This could possibly lower some gains distribution and easier on taxes. But I am not sure how much.

2. Didn't check if I can invest new money in the Admiral shares. But I don't have new money coming in and I am hoping you can.
No, once you transfer in-kind out of Vanguard, you no longer can convert to ETF. I don't know if you could transfer them back to Vanguard, convert them, then transfer them out again.

You can hold Vanguard mutual funds at a number of brokerages. However, most charge transaction fees to buy, sell or both. Fidelity does charge a fee of $49.95 to purchase Vanguard mutual funds Schwab also charges the same transaction fee.

The only brokerages that I am aware of where you can buy, sell and hold Vanguard mutual funds without transaction fees are E*TRADE and Chase YouInvest. There may be others, but those are the two that I am aware of.

Nowizard
Posts: 2508
Joined: Tue Oct 23, 2007 5:33 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Nowizard » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:05 am

We always want things to go smoothly, but they do not always do so. The role of Vanguard is to meet our requests and protect our security which is a primary reason for your difficulty. It may be that another company could have performed this particular task more efficiently, but you contributed to the circumstances resulting in the issue. I would prefer the inconvenience over the possibilities of difficulty if they accepted a significant account change over the telephone without additional documentation.
Thanks for the post. Your difficulty has alerted us to consider the impact of changing telephone numbers, and our responsibility for informing Vanguard.

Tim
Last edited by Nowizard on Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

bradinsky
Posts: 195
Joined: Sat Jul 21, 2018 6:32 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by bradinsky » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:08 am

OP,
I would be thankful that they take the security of their clients seriously. How upset would you be if they had allowed someone access to your accounts/funds? Any day of the week, I’d much rather they lock me out, than let an unauthorized person have access. Regardless of the financial institution, maybe you should take the time to understand all of their security protocols. That way, you can possibly prevent this from happening in the future, or at least understand that it was a self-inflicted problem. You also might consider an emergency fund at a local financial institution. Good luck to you!

Brad

rkhusky
Posts: 8096
Joined: Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:09 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by rkhusky » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:09 am

skd wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:41 am
wander wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:37 am
Nice thing about Vanguard is while other instructors use cookies, Vanguard uses something else so even if you manually clear the cookies, Vanguard still doesn't ask you for your second step verification. It only happens once when you change the internet browser. This is good and bad since nothing reminds you for a few years until one day you upgrade a computer. I access Vanguard from different browsers/computers so when something like this happens I can always use another browsers (The one that doesn't get upgraded yet) to access and update profile. I don't want to waste time with customer service for this stuff.
The rep told me that Vanguard uses cookies and that my cookies were deleted. What is really confusing is that I didn't change computers and I have had multiple updates without this happening. I tried two browsers and received the same request for a security code.
It could be that you changed Internet providers. Or your IP address or something else about your system and its connection to the Internet changed.

I erase cookies every time I quit my browser, which is every time after I log into a financial institution, and Vanguard still recognizes my computer. But when I moved and changed Internet providers, Vanguard did not recognize the computer anymore, although nothing else changed. Their system recognizes the computer even through browser and system updates, although I never tried using a completely different browser to see if the system was robust to that.
Last edited by rkhusky on Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:50 am, edited 1 time in total.

sixtyforty
Posts: 382
Joined: Tue Nov 25, 2014 12:22 pm
Location: USA

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by sixtyforty » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:19 am

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

By the way, I was also passed around from rep to rep because nobody knew how to remedy the problem. I finally got a rep who knew to send me the form.

To be fair, I should disclose that I was trying to move around money due to unexpected funeral expenses for a family member, so I was already under stress with little sleep and that added to my frustration. I also took the day off of work and this situation took up most of my day.
Personally, I'm thankful Vanguard has this type of security. It may seem like a big headache but if someone has a lot of your personal information, you don't want it easy for them to access your accounts which would be a much bigger problem.
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:26 am

galawdawg wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 8:39 am
YMMV, but I have not been prompted to set up voice authentication when calling Vanguard, including during my most recent call about ten days ago. Perhaps it is because I call from a phone number listed in my account profile.
Curious. I just called, even knowing they were closed, and the automated system still made mention of voice verification.

I called +1 (800) 345-1344.
Same result at +1 (800) 528-4999.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:57 am

JimmyD wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm
skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
Yes - I went through this exact same issue about a month ago.

At first, I was angry that I had to jump through these hurdles to change my phone number with them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I appreciated that extra layer of security.

FWIW, they processed the form quickly - it was done in just a few days upon receipt.
Thank you for letting me know that they processed it quickly.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:00 am

Expro wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:08 pm
JimmyD wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:35 pm

Yes - I went through this exact same issue about a month ago.

At first, I was angry that I had to jump through these hurdles to change my phone number with them, but the more I thought about it, the more I realized I appreciated that extra layer of security.

FWIW, they processed the form quickly - it was done in just a few days upon receipt.
I too just went through with this exact scenario.

Vanguard sent a pdf of the form I needed. I printed out two copies. I went to a random Credit Union one block from my door. The kind folks there notarized the form and I mailed it in. Vanguard sent snail mail confirmation of my requested changes and I went online and sorted the changes I needed.

Vanguard also recommended I enable voice authentication to prevent this phone number changed/SMS code problem from arising in the future. But I haven't done this yet...
Thank you for actually answering my question. I set up voice authentication yesterday.

Topic Author
skd
Posts: 52
Joined: Tue Feb 12, 2019 3:53 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by skd » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:04 am

Nowizard wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:05 am
We always want things to go smoothly, but they do not always do so. The role of Vanguard is to meet our requests and protect our security which is a primary reason for your difficulty. It may be that another company could have performed this particular task more efficiently, but you contributed to the circumstances resulting in the issue. I would prefer the inconvenience over the possibilities of difficulty if they accepted a significant account change over the telephone without additional documentation.
Thanks for the post. Your difficulty has alerted us to consider the impact of changing telephone numbers, and our responsibility for informing Vanguard.

Tim
I hope my post alerted people that you have to change your phone number in two places. Even the first rep I talked to didn't know that. I had changed my phone number on my account when I moved, but that didn't help me in this situation.

dbr
Posts: 31524
Joined: Sun Mar 04, 2007 9:50 am

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by dbr » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:10 am

skd wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:04 am
Nowizard wrote:
Sat Feb 15, 2020 9:05 am
We always want things to go smoothly, but they do not always do so. The role of Vanguard is to meet our requests and protect our security which is a primary reason for your difficulty. It may be that another company could have performed this particular task more efficiently, but you contributed to the circumstances resulting in the issue. I would prefer the inconvenience over the possibilities of difficulty if they accepted a significant account change over the telephone without additional documentation.
Thanks for the post. Your difficulty has alerted us to consider the impact of changing telephone numbers, and our responsibility for informing Vanguard.

Tim
I hope my post alerted people that you have to change your phone number in two places. Even the first rep I talked to didn't know that. I had changed my phone number on my account when I moved, but that didn't help me in this situation.
Thank you, and that could apply to accounts with any broker, bank, or what have you. It is absolutely unacceptable that customer service reps might not know how their own system works, and I would apply the word horrible to that.

User avatar
Cheez-It Guy
Posts: 582
Joined: Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:20 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Cheez-It Guy » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:14 am

You are right. Any one of thousands of human customer service representatives should know the correct and most efficient answer to every conceivable question they might receive starting from day one on the job. Totally unacceptable. Lucky for me, I've never had anything come up on my job that I didn't already know the answer to. Probably never will.

Target2019
Posts: 410
Joined: Sat Mar 03, 2007 5:30 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Target2019 » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:16 am

samsoes wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:30 pm
skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 6:25 pm
I tried to access my online Vanguard account and the site did not recognize my computer. Apparently when I received a Windows update last night, my cookies were deleted. To make matters worse, I moved and changed my phone number on my account over a year ago. However, the phone number for getting a security code doesn't automatically change when you update your phone number on your account. Therefore, the security code was sent to my old phone number. I called Vanguard and they said they could not change my security phone number nor send me a security code via email. Instead I had to complete a form, have it notarized, and mail it to Vanguard. Vanguard will then need to process the form before I can access my account. This could take up to 2 weeks.

Has anyone else had this experience? Were you able to get around it in any way?

I am seriously considering moving all of my money based on this experience.
I hate to be the discordant note in this chorus of Vanguard praise, but yes, move your money to Schwab or Fidelity where you can access a local branch office in the event you are ever blocked from your online account again. Being locked out with no access to your money for any length of time is very unsettling.
Very good advice, I agree. We have Schwab and Vanguard accounts. Schwab customer service has never left me disappointed. Schwab provided me with a hardware key, and that in itself has made for flawless 2FA logins. As I understand it, the same capability can be provided through a phone app.

I will soon consolidate 401(k) accounts to rollover IRA, and it will be either Schwab or Fidelity.

wootwoot
Posts: 425
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2009 7:37 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by wootwoot » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:17 am

User error

/Endthread

Housedoc
Posts: 497
Joined: Thu May 24, 2018 4:25 pm
Location: Alabama

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by Housedoc » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:21 am

I keep some funds at Discover Bank, online savings for these types of urgent needs. Pays close to VG prime money mkt.
Be glad your account is safe.

H-Town
Posts: 2410
Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2017 2:08 pm

Re: Horrible Experience with Vanguard

Post by H-Town » Sat Feb 15, 2020 10:31 am

skd wrote:
Fri Feb 14, 2020 7:19 pm
I think people missed my point. I am not mad because Vanguard was securing my account. I am mad because I didn't get any alert when I changed my phone number that I had to change it for a security code. I am also disappointed that Vanguard doesn't have alternate ways to receive the security code. I work with 11 other institutions and all of them give you the choice of phone or email when your device is not recognized. Vanguard is the only one that doesn't.

However, when I talked to the customer service representative, he said Vanguard is in the process of changing this because they have had so many complaints and lost many clients. He said that they are also changing their user interface for the same reason.
If I were a hacker and trying to get into your account, what prevent me from doing exactly what you did and Vanguard rep would give me access right on the phone? I'd wipe out your funds before you know it.

Post Reply