Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

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michaeljc70
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by michaeljc70 »

One thing I would add to this conversation is that how routine a transaction is could impact the performance of that transaction. Of course, every transaction should be implemented as specified. But the more it is an outlier (not frequent) probably more the chance for issues. I am currently trying to repay a Covid tIRA withdrawal with a certain large brokerage. They gave me bad information on how to repay it. Also, it must be done via a form and check sent in the mail. It is 2021. I am not happy. I do not want to do business via fax or mail. However, given that I imagine this is not a common thing, I am dealing with it.

I am not at all excusing Vanguard for the OPs situation as I would think that is not that uncommon.
Eat33
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Eat33 »

Vanguard: The WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

So I had arranged to have the director of my bank available for a conference call with my "rep" at Vanguard. A medallion signature guarantee was needed. This was to disperse funds to my ex-wife. On the agreed upon day the Vanguard "rep" was not available and no one else could help transfer the funds.

So the ex-wife called her attorney who called my attorney who said: What happened?

Vanguard would NOT send an e-mail, a letter, make a phone call indicating they had screwed up. I paid for all that attorney time and had no way to prove the truth.

Then they did transfer the funds to the wrong person.

They refused to admit a mistake. All remaining funds were transferred to Schwab. In 10+ years Schwab has been flawless.
toofache32
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by toofache32 »

Eat33 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:16 pm Vanguard: The WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

So I had arranged to have the director of my bank available for a conference call with my "rep" at Vanguard. A medallion signature guarantee was needed. This was to disperse funds to my ex-wife. On the agreed upon day the Vanguard "rep" was not available and no one else could help transfer the funds.

So the ex-wife called her attorney who called my attorney who said: What happened?

Vanguard would NOT send an e-mail, a letter, make a phone call indicating they had screwed up. I paid for all that attorney time and had no way to prove the truth.

Then they did transfer the funds to the wrong person.

They refused to admit a mistake. All remaining funds were transferred to Schwab. In 10+ years Schwab has been flawless.
I guess this is what we get for only 10 basis points....
neilpilot
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by neilpilot »

toofache32 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:32 am
Eat33 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:16 pm Vanguard: The WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

So I had arranged to have the director of my bank available for a conference call with my "rep" at Vanguard. A medallion signature guarantee was needed. This was to disperse funds to my ex-wife. On the agreed upon day the Vanguard "rep" was not available and no one else could help transfer the funds.

So the ex-wife called her attorney who called my attorney who said: What happened?

Vanguard would NOT send an e-mail, a letter, make a phone call indicating they had screwed up. I paid for all that attorney time and had no way to prove the truth.

Then they did transfer the funds to the wrong person.

They refused to admit a mistake. All remaining funds were transferred to Schwab. In 10+ years Schwab has been flawless.
I guess this is what we get for only 10 basis points....
Not me. I’m below 10 basis points with everything in Vanguard ETFs at TDA. The best of both worlds?
MishkaWorries
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by MishkaWorries »

goingup wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:37 pm
humbledinvestor wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 4:13 pm Thanks O2nz. I will call them and ask for the resolution team as you have suggested.

PAS has been cancelled and when resolved I am moving all VTI from my taxable account to Schwab.
Humbleinvestor-
I thought you updated on Friday afternoon that Vanguard and your PAS were involved and said it would take 3-5 days to resolve. It’s Monday. They don’t work weekends.

I say this to you as a 60 year old who has experienced many screw ups with all sorts of companies over the years. Let them do the work and complete it in the time frame they have committed to. Continually contacting them will likely make things worse. It seems like they know about your issue and it is working it’s way through their process to resolution. Personally I wouldn’t have ended my PAS service until this was completely resolved. You fired your best advocate.

Hope it all works out for you.
His best advocate? The guy who for 2 weeks wouldn't return any emails asking for help but calls within 30 minutes of cancelling his service?

Money-grubbers are going to grub.
We plan. G-d laughs.
Housedoc
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Housedoc »

I have been avoiding this site and others lately. An abundance of complaining and pilling on. I have had a few conversations with my Working From Home Flagship rep. No issues and always calls me on time for scheduled appointments. Love VG or leave it but please move on. The National Enquire could get gossip material from this site.
See y'all in February.
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goingup
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by goingup »

galawdawg wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 9:56 pm
goingup wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 5:37 pm Humbleinvestor-
I thought you updated on Friday afternoon that Vanguard and your PAS were involved and said it would take 3-5 days to resolve. It’s Monday. They don’t work weekends.

I say this to you as a 60 year old who has experienced many screw ups with all sorts of companies over the years. Let them do the work and complete it in the time frame they have committed to. Continually contacting them will likely make things worse. It seems like they know about your issue and it is working it’s way through their process to resolution. Personally I wouldn’t have ended my PAS service until this was completely resolved. You fired your best advocate.

Hope it all works out for you.
I believe we disagree with the reading of OP's posts and concerns. Here is what OP said on Friday.

I am only suggesting that the OP take a breath and let the resolution process play out. Vanguard has finally acknowledged their error and the fix is in work. Maybe with more phone calls and emails a person can bend the intransigence of a huge bureaucratic organization such as Vanguard. At what cost to one's sanity?

Otherwise, get the resolution in the 3-5 day time-frame they committed to, then pack up and head to Schwab. In theory, the PAS rep should be the OP's best advocate at Vanguard. This is the person who should help navigate the organization. Obviously this rep was not helpful, but severing the PAS arrangement could leave the OP in a less favorable position than maintaining a preferred client status.

I don't wish to agitate the OP further. Obviously he's had very poor service at Vanguard.
Wenonah
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Wenonah »

That is a huge error and with that amount of money, they should have double checked. That being said, I agree about social media and Vanguard's bad service being anecdotal. They are a huge company and we Bogleheads focus on them, so we hear more than the average person about mistakes.
But last week we had a meeting with a PAS advisor and we were impressed with his knowledge, patience, and ability to help us in our whole portfolio, not just what we have in Vanguard. Had to call them back a couple days later to ask about a suggestion the PAS advisor made for us, and the phone was answered almost immediately and they told me exactly what to do, looked at the notes of the PAS, and explained why.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by BolderBoy »

Housedoc wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 9:04 am I have been avoiding this site and others lately. An abundance of complaining and pilling on. I have had a few conversations with my Working From Home Flagship rep. No issues and always calls me on time for scheduled appointments. Love VG or leave it but please move on. The National Enquire could get gossip material from this site.
See y'all in February.
I'll second that sentiment.

I called VG this morning when I couldn't get an on-line function to work. Was on-hold for 1 minute. The rep (been at VG for 6 years) easily took care of what I wanted and then he asked if we could have a conversation. He spent 20 minutes with me discussing the bond market and current financial events, how bonds "work" and the state of the dollar, etc. His pre-VG employment was as a bond specialist. I told him I'm a BH and expressed concerns about the limitless printing of money by the fed and the planned multi-trillion dollar expenditures coming up. The conversational info he conveyed was outstanding. Not rushed in any way. As a result of our conversation I'm going to make some adjustments to the bond portion of my portfolio (moving from heavy intermediate term toward a mix of intermediate-term & short-term bond exposure going forward).

Please. If you hate VG vote with your feet. I'll stay behind and wave goodbye.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
marcopolo
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by marcopolo »

neilpilot wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:41 am
toofache32 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:32 am
Eat33 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:16 pm Vanguard: The WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

So I had arranged to have the director of my bank available for a conference call with my "rep" at Vanguard. A medallion signature guarantee was needed. This was to disperse funds to my ex-wife. On the agreed upon day the Vanguard "rep" was not available and no one else could help transfer the funds.

So the ex-wife called her attorney who called my attorney who said: What happened?

Vanguard would NOT send an e-mail, a letter, make a phone call indicating they had screwed up. I paid for all that attorney time and had no way to prove the truth.

Then they did transfer the funds to the wrong person.

They refused to admit a mistake. All remaining funds were transferred to Schwab. In 10+ years Schwab has been flawless.
I guess this is what we get for only 10 basis points....
Not me. I’m below 10 basis points with everything in Vanguard ETFs at TDA. The best of both worlds?

Yeah, people seem to keep conflating the funds with the brokerage business.

Funds are great, the brokerage business leaves much to be desired. Both of those things can be true.

Not sure why people get so defensive about any criticism of the brokerage business. These are anecdotal stories of real issues people are having. If you never have had a problem, that is great. But, that does not really diminish the aggravation the OP is feeling.
Once in a while you get shown the light, in the strangest of places if you look at it right.
VictorStarr
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by VictorStarr »

BolderBoy wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:49 pm Please. If you hate VG vote with your feet. I'll stay behind and wave goodbye.
Are suggesting that OP have to leave Vanguard before resolving an error made by Vanguard?
I think it is up to OP to decide where he want to keep his investments.
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galawdawg
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by galawdawg »

marcopolo wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm Not sure why people get so defensive about any criticism of the brokerage business. These are anecdotal stories of real issues people are having. If you never have had a problem, that is great. But, that does not really diminish the aggravation the OP is feeling.
Nor does it justify the efforts of some to stifle any criticism of certain brokerages or otherwise discourage such discussion.
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BolderBoy
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by BolderBoy »

VictorStarr wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:50 pm
BolderBoy wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 1:49 pm Please. If you hate VG vote with your feet. I'll stay behind and wave goodbye.
Are suggesting that OP have to leave Vanguard before resolving an error made by Vanguard?
I think it is up to OP to decide where he want to keep his investments.
Out of context.

OP's situation is in the process of being corrected. It is all the other folks wading in to complain about VG to which my comment was directed. Read the post again to see the context.
"Never underestimate one's capacity to overestimate one's abilities" - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
michaeljc70
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by michaeljc70 »

marcopolo wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm
neilpilot wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:41 am
toofache32 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:32 am
Eat33 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:16 pm Vanguard: The WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

So I had arranged to have the director of my bank available for a conference call with my "rep" at Vanguard. A medallion signature guarantee was needed. This was to disperse funds to my ex-wife. On the agreed upon day the Vanguard "rep" was not available and no one else could help transfer the funds.

So the ex-wife called her attorney who called my attorney who said: What happened?

Vanguard would NOT send an e-mail, a letter, make a phone call indicating they had screwed up. I paid for all that attorney time and had no way to prove the truth.

Then they did transfer the funds to the wrong person.

They refused to admit a mistake. All remaining funds were transferred to Schwab. In 10+ years Schwab has been flawless.
I guess this is what we get for only 10 basis points....
Not me. I’m below 10 basis points with everything in Vanguard ETFs at TDA. The best of both worlds?

Yeah, people seem to keep conflating the funds with the brokerage business.

Funds are great, the brokerage business leaves much to be desired. Both of those things can be true.

Not sure why people get so defensive about any criticism of the brokerage business. These are anecdotal stories of real issues people are having. If you never have had a problem, that is great. But, that does not really diminish the aggravation the OP is feeling.
I agree. I don't get it at all. Avoiding this site because you might hear something bad about Vanguard? If I read/hear something bad about any company I do business with and I haven't had any issues I don't take any action. Maybe I will make a mental note of it and even more so if I see a pattern in the complaints.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Mudpuppy »

galawdawg wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:55 pm
marcopolo wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm Not sure why people get so defensive about any criticism of the brokerage business. These are anecdotal stories of real issues people are having. If you never have had a problem, that is great. But, that does not really diminish the aggravation the OP is feeling.
Nor does it justify the efforts of some to stifle any criticism of certain brokerages or otherwise discourage such discussion.
Nor does it mean OP should just stay with Vanguard after having such a poor experience with the service. OP has experienced a very serious error and a very lackluster response. The personal autonomy of OP to make the decision to move to another brokerage should be respected. The advice in this thread should be focused on providing OP with assistance to get a resolution of the error, not anecdotal stories of how Vanguard worked fine for others or otherwise trying to convince OP to stay with Vanguard after the issue is resolved.

To that end, I hope OP has informed their divorce lawyer of this error, since Vanguard has botched executing the divorce decree. Should this need to move to legal action, the earlier a lawyer is involved, the better. If this is not in the divorce lawyer's expertise, they should be able to provide referrals to a lawyer or law firm that does have the proper expertise.
nalor511
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by nalor511 »

eye.surgeon wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:22 pm Am I the only one that actually prefers Vanguard's website? I find it easier to do things and navigate than Fidelity.
I greatly prefer VG website vs Fido or Schwab
mkc
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by mkc »

Mudpuppy wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 3:31 pm
Nor does it mean OP should just stay with Vanguard after having such a poor experience with the service. OP has experienced a very serious error and a very lackluster response. The personal autonomy of OP to make the decision to move to another brokerage should be respected. The advice in this thread should be focused on providing OP with assistance to get a resolution of the error, not anecdotal stories of how Vanguard worked fine for others or otherwise trying to convince OP to stay with Vanguard after the issue is resolved.

To that end, I hope OP has informed their divorce lawyer of this error, since Vanguard has botched executing the divorce decree. Should this need to move to legal action, the earlier a lawyer is involved, the better. If this is not in the divorce lawyer's expertise, they should be able to provide referrals to a lawyer or law firm that does have the proper expertise.
Agree completely with the above. OP has detailed a rather grievous error, and one that could complicate the divorce settlement.

Stating "I haven't had a problem" doesn't help the OP.
coachd50
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by coachd50 »

OldBallCoach wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 1:22 pm
coachd50 wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 11:56 am
OldBallCoach wrote: Sat Jan 09, 2021 9:45 am First of all I am really sorry for your hassle...about the LAST thing you need I am sure...one question I would ask is if Vanguard would be willing to make you whole for any lost gains during this 3-5 day period. I doubt they will but you never hit at a ball you dont at least swing at. If it was in cash I guess no big deal but the market has had a few good days lately...again I am really sorry for hassle...I gave up on Vanguard and moved my money to TIAA..I still have vanguard funds but with someone that will actually return a call or even better...answer the phone! Hopefully after the first of the year things will get better for customer service!
Willing? I would think they may be required to if it can be proven it was their error.
I am just guessing by your handle...but are a coach that has every gotten one of those letters from the conference or NCAA saying...yea...our refs blew that call...they dont change the score or give ya yards or anything...they just say Opps...I bet thats what Vanguard will do...?
Perhaps-- but brokerage firms and financial institutions operate under a different boundary than athletic associations, and financial transactions are different than plays in an athletic competition.
coachd50
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by coachd50 »

marcopolo wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 2:49 pm
neilpilot wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 6:41 am
toofache32 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 12:32 am
Eat33 wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 10:16 pm Vanguard: The WORST customer service I have ever experienced.

So I had arranged to have the director of my bank available for a conference call with my "rep" at Vanguard. A medallion signature guarantee was needed. This was to disperse funds to my ex-wife. On the agreed upon day the Vanguard "rep" was not available and no one else could help transfer the funds.

So the ex-wife called her attorney who called my attorney who said: What happened?

Vanguard would NOT send an e-mail, a letter, make a phone call indicating they had screwed up. I paid for all that attorney time and had no way to prove the truth.

Then they did transfer the funds to the wrong person.

They refused to admit a mistake. All remaining funds were transferred to Schwab. In 10+ years Schwab has been flawless.
I guess this is what we get for only 10 basis points....
Not me. I’m below 10 basis points with everything in Vanguard ETFs at TDA. The best of both worlds?

Yeah, people seem to keep conflating the funds with the brokerage business.

Funds are great, the brokerage business leaves much to be desired. Both of those things can be true.

Not sure why people get so defensive about any criticism of the brokerage business. These are anecdotal stories of real issues people are having. If you never have had a problem, that is great. But, that does not really diminish the aggravation the OP is feeling.
Very well put.
Again, don't walk into a Walmart and expect to be treated like you are shopping at Bloomingdales.
Silverado
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Silverado »

nalor511 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:54 pm
eye.surgeon wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:22 pm Am I the only one that actually prefers Vanguard's website? I find it easier to do things and navigate than Fidelity.
I greatly prefer VG website vs Fido or Schwab
Same here. We also have accounts at Fidelity and the entire site seems overly complex for what it need to do (for me of course...)
lostdog
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by lostdog »

The only reason we're at Vanguard is if I pass or become mentally unable, my wife is instructed to work with PAS.

If we were to move to Fidelity, Schwab, E-Trade, my biggest fear is their advisors would steer her into high costs plans.
Brokerage: VTI+VXUS || Retirement: VTWAX || Short-Term: Cash+BSV || 33x Expenses
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TomatoTomahto
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by TomatoTomahto »

Silverado wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 7:56 am
nalor511 wrote: Tue Jan 12, 2021 5:54 pm
eye.surgeon wrote: Mon Jan 11, 2021 3:22 pm Am I the only one that actually prefers Vanguard's website? I find it easier to do things and navigate than Fidelity.
I greatly prefer VG website vs Fido or Schwab
Same here. We also have accounts at Fidelity and the entire site seems overly complex for what it need to do (for me of course...)
Glad to hear I’m not a Luddite for preferring Vanguard’s web site.

In a possibly related note, I was having a dickens of a time getting Quicken to download Fidelity updates. I “solved” it by having her make me an agent on her accounts and using my username/password on the Quicken downloads for her accounts. Got it? Now tell me how to have her make me an agent on her 401k under NetBenefits. :oops:
I get the FI part but not the RE part of FIRE.
megabad
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by megabad »

I would humbly suggest that others might be well advised to not conduct complex transactions at the busiest time of year. This is not an excuse for mistakes though. By the way, it sounds like some folks don’t know that Vanguard stops appointments and callbacks during busy times, so your only option is to wait on hold FYI.

However, in my opinion you have appeared to succumb to the grass is greener fallacy in your optimism regarding other IRA vendors. For example, I find Schwab much easier to get a hold of, and twice as incompetent. I can easily speak to someone...who knows nothing and can do nothing. Vanguard has made mistakes with my accounts, so has schwab, fidelity and a bunch of 401k vendors. The industry is pretty consistently bad in my opinion. All my issues were fixed retroactively though (albeit slowly). As long as there is a clear paper trail or voice recording you are good.
Stubbie
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Stubbie »

lostdog wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:30 am The only reason we're at Vanguard is if I pass or become mentally unable, my wife is instructed to work with PAS.

If we were to move to Fidelity, Schwab, E-Trade, my biggest fear is their advisors would steer her into high costs plans.
That used to be my plan also. Now my wife has been instructed to go to the local Schwab office and work with the representative we have met with in person. They know my current accounts contain only index ETFs and we are currently not interested in any of their managed products. She says she will be adamant with the Schwab rep about staying the course but hey, if she needs additional help down the road and it costs her a fee, then she will have to make that decision. I'd much rather her be able to sit across the table from a Schwab rep and work through these issues then rely on a Vanguard PAS rep to handle things remotely. We both feel good about this setup and it sure beats her looking online for local help and ending up at an Edward Jones or Merrill Lynch office.
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VictoriaF
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by VictoriaF »

OP's experience is reprehensible but he should not make a one-issue decision to leave. His decision should be influenced by several other factors including:
1. the likelihood of mistakes at various brokerages -- not from self-selected Bogleheads posts but from reliable statistics
2. the likelihood of mistakes after COVID-19 lock-ins are lifted
3. the likelihood of mistakes for typical-complexity transactions
4. the availability of relevant regulations and agencies resolving complaints
5. the trade-off between the likelihood of mistakes and the income loss due to higher expense ratios

On #3 - the OP is not likely to get another divorce any time soon. Even if Vanguard makes future mistakes, they will not involve a hostile party.
On #4 - contacting FINRA, SEC, and FTC--and telling Vanguard about it--would be more effective than threatening to leave Vanguard.
On #5 - the comparison to Walmart vs. Target is weak: In Target you may be overpaying discretionary small amounts; in an expensive brokerage you are experiencing an exponential loss from persistent fees.

I recently had my own setback at Vanguard when they switched their mailing address and my monthly rollover via the USPS took several weeks to reach them. I contacted Vanguard about getting a routing number and a bank account number to enable EFT. Vanguard responded that they are not a bank and can't accommodate my situation. I terminated my rollovers to Vanguard. But I did not decide to pull out my assets.

Wishing the OP good luck with resolving this conundrum,
Victoria
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megabad
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by megabad »

VictoriaF wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 12:13 pm I recently had my own setback at Vanguard when they switched their mailing address and my monthly rollover via the USPS took several weeks to reach them. I contacted Vanguard about getting a routing number and a bank account number to enable EFT. Vanguard responded that they are not a bank and can't accommodate my situation. I terminated my rollovers to Vanguard. But I did not decide to pull out my assets.
FYI, they do wires for rollovers if you ever encounter this again.
Mudpuppy
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Mudpuppy »

megabad wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:03 am I would humbly suggest that others might be well advised to not conduct complex transactions at the busiest time of year. This is not an excuse for mistakes though. By the way, it sounds like some folks don’t know that Vanguard stops appointments and callbacks during busy times, so your only option is to wait on hold FYI.
Vanguard botched handling a divorce decree (actually, at least two divorce decrees, see viewtopic.php?f=2&t=335860 for another user experiencing issues with assets being split for a divorce decree). It's not like the OP could have waited until after the holidays to comply with the divorce decree. I'd imagine the courts gave a deadline for the decree to be executed in a timely fashion.
radiowave
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by radiowave »

OP, hope things work out for you. Quite a saga.

We had a recent "adventure" with VG. Early December last year noticed a transfer from our bank to Vanguard. I traced it to a deposit into DW rollover IRA. She has a monthly rollover check from an annuity at another brokerage. Called and got a CSR in about 10 min, she apologized and said the check somehow got damaged and she would reimburse us. We asked how our bank got linked to the IRA account? She could not answer the question. We have a taxable brokerage acct at VG which the bank was linked to move cash assets. So someone at VG saw the check couldn't be deposited, found the bank linked to our brokerage account, linked that (unauthorized) to DW IRA, then transferred the amount of the "damaged" check from the bank to the IRA. OK so we waited patiently to get this resolved, when nothing was happening, DW called the other day and waited TWO HOURS for someone to pick up the phone, went through the same issues, apparently there were good notes, he went to check with someone and DW got disconnected. We did get a reimbursement check the day after the phone call which was probably mailed prior to the Jan call to VG. But . . . now the December and January annuity rollover checks have not been deposited yet and have always occurred the first week of the month.

I can see a mangled check once in a great while, stuff happens, but having someone at VG make an unauthorized link to our bank and withdraw money to cover the check in a tax deferred account is completely unacceptable. We've lost confidence in Vanguard to manage our funds, now in process of moving to Schwab.
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Eagle33
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Eagle33 »

Grass is not always greener. Here are some less than satisfied Fidelity customers. https://topratedfirms.com/brokers/customer/fidelity-review.aspx
Rocket science is not “rocket science” to a rocket scientist, just as personal finance is not “rocket science” to a Boglehead.
dropdx
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by dropdx »

If this were crypto, then you could have entered the contract yourself 😄
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humbledinvestor
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by humbledinvestor »

Thank you.
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humbledinvestor
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by humbledinvestor »

Update:

1) I got a call on Monday evening before closing, telling me it would take another 7 days. I have not called back since then and "letting them do their job." Let's see how long it takes?
2) My post was to ask IF others have experienced issues. Not to complain. I should have titled the post differently.
3) I am not expecting Bloomingdale's service at Walmart. I am not expecting white glove treatment at Vanguard, but what I do expect is timely resolution of my issue but also doing it right in the first place. Looking at their error it is so far off base than what was on paper that I have to only conclude the person was just trying to do their job as fast as they can taking zero care.
4) PAS is my biggest advocate? He literally told me that besides calling me to show empathy (which I appreciate) there was nothing he could do. He is not allowed to reach out to a different department to help.
5) Someone suggested I should have waited until after the holidays. The transaction was started after the holidays. I am also trying to comply with a court order.
6) Someone suggested I write a letter to have the error corrected and wait and relax. If I can't get help on the phone, a letter will help me?
7) Someone suggested that I should be zen about this, after all it's what we have learned in Covid times to be patient. Yes I am patient in traffic, supermarkets, waiting for my coffee. Hard to be zen when there is a 6 figure error in splitting your rollover IRA.
8) During my two year divorce, I stuck with PAS. All that was happening was rebalancing. I could not meet with them to plan my future because the money was to be divided. But I stuck with PAS and paid .03% (yes I know it's discounted).
9) No I don't hate Vanguard, I have been a loyal customer for 5-6 years. Quite frankly all my money was going to be there but due to divorce (had to invest new money elsewhere to keep post separation funds separate) and my former employer moved my 401k from Vanguard to Fidelity. But prior to my divorce, all money except for my Ex's 401k was at Vanguard. We had plans to roll that over also and have PAS manage everything in one place.
coachd50
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by coachd50 »

humbledinvestor wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:04 am Update:

1) I got a call on Monday evening before closing, telling me it would take another 7 days. I have not called back since then and "letting them do their job." Let's see how long it takes?
2) My post was to ask IF others have experienced issues. Not to complain. I should have titled the post differently.
3) I am not expecting Bloomingdale's service at Walmart. I am not expecting white glove treatment at Vanguard, but what I do expect is timely resolution of my issue but also doing it right in the first place. Looking at their error it is so far off base than what was on paper that I have to only conclude the person was just trying to do their job as fast as they can taking zero care.
4) PAS is my biggest advocate? He literally told me that besides calling me to show empathy (which I appreciate) there was nothing he could do. He is not allowed to reach out to a different department to help.
5) Someone suggested I should have waited until after the holidays. The transaction was started after the holidays. I am also trying to comply with a court order.
6) Someone suggested I write a letter to have the error corrected and wait and relax. If I can't get help on the phone, a letter will help me?
7) Someone suggested that I should be zen about this, after all it's what we have learned in Covid times to be patient. Yes I am patient in traffic, supermarkets, waiting for my coffee. Hard to be zen when there is a 6 figure error in splitting your rollover IRA.
8) During my two year divorce, I stuck with PAS. All that was happening was rebalancing. I could not meet with them to plan my future because the money was to be divided. But I stuck with PAS and paid .03% (yes I know it's discounted).
9) No I don't hate Vanguard, I have been a loyal customer for 5-6 years. Quite frankly all my money was going to be there but due to divorce (had to invest new money elsewhere to keep post separation funds separate) and my former employer moved my 401k from Vanguard to Fidelity. But prior to my divorce, all money except for my Ex's 401k was at Vanguard. We had plans to roll that over also and have PAS manage everything in one place.
Regarding the Bloomingdale's / Walmart comparison, since I was the one who made that statement originally, it wasn't so much directed specifically at you, just a general comment that much like shopping at Walmart vs Bloomingdale's, one has to realize that the low cost aspect that attracted the business may come with less than amazing customer service.
Stubbie
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Stubbie »

coachd50 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 7:29 am Regarding the Bloomingdale's / Walmart comparison, since I was the one who made that statement originally, it wasn't so much directed specifically at you, just a general comment that much like shopping at Walmart vs Bloomingdale's, one has to realize that the low cost aspect that attracted the business may come with less than amazing customer service.
True this. The thing that disappoints me the most about this whole situation is the lack of assistance from PAS. OP is paying extra to Vanguard for personalized service and it did not help him in this situation. I guess I did not realize the limitations of the PAS rep. They can help you invest but are of no use in advocating for you within their own company. I was hoping that they could be more effective in getting things fixed if there was a problem than I could be on my own. For this reason, I will not be using PAS in the future.
AJS
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by AJS »

No, I have not experienced any errors with Vanguard.
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by MikeG62 »

humbledinvestor wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:04 am Update:
...I got a call on Monday evening before closing, telling me it would take another 7 days. I have not called back since then and "letting them do their job." Let's see how long it takes? ...
Despite what the Vanguard fanboy's and fangirl's on this site say, Vanguard's handling of your situation (and their error) is disgraceful. I'd be moving the funds elsewhere once this has been sorted if in your shoes.
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michaeljc70
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by michaeljc70 »

The idea that paying more is always going to get you a better product/service is unfounded.

There is no way this should be taking more than a week. Making a mistake is one thing, but it being difficult to fix or it taking a long time is where it becomes unacceptable.
MishkaWorries
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by MishkaWorries »

MikeG62 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:42 am
humbledinvestor wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:04 am Update:
...I got a call on Monday evening before closing, telling me it would take another 7 days. I have not called back since then and "letting them do their job." Let's see how long it takes? ...
Despite what the Vanguard fanboy's and fangirl's on this site say, Vanguard's handling of your situation (and their error) is disgraceful. I'd be moving the funds elsewhere once this has been sorted if in your shoes.
Agree with this 100%. I don't think too many people would be upset that Vanguard made a typo error in entering the split amounts from the divorce decree.

What people are reacting to is the atrocious customer service after the error. A well run company would have immediately identified the issue after the first complaint. They should have said "we are so sorry. We see the error and we'll get that correct ASAP. So sorry for the inconvenience but we'll get it straightened out right away!"
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by bondsr4me »

MishkaWorries wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 10:01 am
MikeG62 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 9:42 am
humbledinvestor wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 6:04 am Update:
...I got a call on Monday evening before closing, telling me it would take another 7 days. I have not called back since then and "letting them do their job." Let's see how long it takes? ...
Despite what the Vanguard fanboy's and fangirl's on this site say, Vanguard's handling of your situation (and their error) is disgraceful. I'd be moving the funds elsewhere once this has been sorted if in your shoes.
Agree with this 100%. I don't think too many people would be upset that Vanguard made a typo error in entering the split amounts from the divorce decree.

What people are reacting to is the atrocious customer service after the error. A well run company would have immediately identified the issue after the first complaint. They should have said "we are so sorry. We see the error and we'll get that correct ASAP. So sorry for the inconvenience but we'll get it straightened out right away!"
+1...Agree with this.
megabad
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by megabad »

First off, thanks for keeping this thread updated. Info like this can help everyone make informed decisions. Also, there are Vanguard folks that see parts of this forum...I know this first hand as some of them have brought specific things up in [Philadelphia --admin LadyGeek] at a certain conference.

To specifically answer your question. Yes, my family has experienced what I would call major issues with Vanguard. Yes it took too long to fix. They bought the wrong fund. It was a large amount of money and the difference in valuation was substantial over the time it took to correct (scary substantial). I believe it took approximately 5 weeks to fix and yes I was impatient and ticked off the whole time. When they fixed, it was retroactive to the applicable date as if nothing had happened though (thank goodness). Yes, I was still mad at them. We don't have PAS but have a specific "rep". They were of no use. This was all handled by an escalated department (which was probably for the best).

I have had multiple problems with Schwab as well. They usually took about as long to fix and it required about twice as many phone calls. But the result was still ok in the end.

I have had few problems with Fidelity. I don't use them as much and my only issue is getting to someone who knows what I am talking about. usually takes one call back/escalation to get to these people there in my experience.

Good luck. Hope they fix it soon for you.
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by femmefire »

I'll add my Fidelity experience.

I received a letter from fidelity about my upcoming transfer of funds due to a divorce. However, I was and am still happily married. So I called up Fidelity and assure them I am NOT going through a divorce and after a bit of investigation they found that another customer of theirs with a completely different name had entered their intended account number wrong. They transposed two numbers, which is mind-boggling that my account number is that close to someone else's and that they did not check the name on the account. Whatever, Fidelity said they would take care of it. A month later I get another letter and we go through the same charade. They said they took care of it again. A couple of months later I receive a sizable sum from the gentleman in this scenario. Now it's an even bigger problem and longer phone call. They did offer to change my account number after some insistence, but it was going to be a huge pain that I decided that it was easier to switch to someone else. I just can't even comprehend how they transferred funds to someone with a completely different name into my account.
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by galawdawg »

femmefire wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:30 am I'll add my Fidelity experience.

I received a letter from fidelity about my upcoming transfer of funds due to a divorce. However, I was and am still happily married. So I called up Fidelity and assure them I am NOT going through a divorce and after a bit of investigation they found that another customer of theirs with a completely different name had entered their intended account number wrong. They transposed two numbers, which is mind-boggling that my account number is that close to someone else's and that they did not check the name on the account. Whatever, Fidelity said they would take care of it. A month later I get another letter and we go through the same charade. They said they took care of it again. A couple of months later I receive a sizable sum from the gentleman in this scenario. Now it's an even bigger problem and longer phone call. They did offer to change my account number after some insistence, but it was going to be a huge pain that I decided that it was easier to switch to someone else. I just can't even comprehend how they transferred funds to someone with a completely different name into my account.
So do I understand correctly that it was another Fidelity customer that entered the account number incorrectly, that other customer did so twice, Fidelity followed that customer's instructions but when you contacted Fidelity, they both fixed the error made by the other Fidelity customer and offered to change your account number, you declined Fidelity's offer because it would "be a huge pain" and instead you moved your account to another brokerage??
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by michaeljc70 »

galawdawg wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:48 am
femmefire wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:30 am I'll add my Fidelity experience.

I received a letter from fidelity about my upcoming transfer of funds due to a divorce. However, I was and am still happily married. So I called up Fidelity and assure them I am NOT going through a divorce and after a bit of investigation they found that another customer of theirs with a completely different name had entered their intended account number wrong. They transposed two numbers, which is mind-boggling that my account number is that close to someone else's and that they did not check the name on the account. Whatever, Fidelity said they would take care of it. A month later I get another letter and we go through the same charade. They said they took care of it again. A couple of months later I receive a sizable sum from the gentleman in this scenario. Now it's an even bigger problem and longer phone call. They did offer to change my account number after some insistence, but it was going to be a huge pain that I decided that it was easier to switch to someone else. I just can't even comprehend how they transferred funds to someone with a completely different name into my account.
So do I understand correctly that it was another Fidelity customer that entered the account number incorrectly, that other customer did so twice, Fidelity followed that customer's instructions but when you contacted Fidelity, they both fixed the error made by the other Fidelity customer and offered to change your account number, you declined Fidelity's offer because it would "be a huge pain" and instead you moved your account to another brokerage??
Would you be changing the account number in case the other customer happens to gets divorced again and transposes those same 2 digits again accidentally?

Even though the customer made the mistake the brokerage should have caught it.
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by BogleFan510 »

Stubbie wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:30 am
lostdog wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:30 am The only reason we're at Vanguard is if I pass or become mentally unable, my wife is instructed to work with PAS.

If we were to move to Fidelity, Schwab, E-Trade, my biggest fear is their advisors would steer her into high costs plans.
That used to be my plan also. Now my wife has been instructed to go to the local Schwab office and work with the representative we have met with in person. They know my current accounts contain only index ETFs and we are currently not interested in any of their managed products. She says she will be adamant with the Schwab rep about staying the course but hey, if she needs additional help down the road and it costs her a fee, then she will have to make that decision. I'd much rather her be able to sit across the table from a Schwab rep and work through these issues then rely on a Vanguard PAS rep to handle things remotely. We both feel good about this setup and it sure beats her looking online for local help and ending up at an Edward Jones or Merrill Lynch office.
In over 40 years of customer experience with Schwab, Ive never had them push expensive products or advisory services. At Fidelity over 10 years and the same.
Stubbie
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by Stubbie »

BogleFan510 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:58 am
Stubbie wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:30 am
lostdog wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:30 am The only reason we're at Vanguard is if I pass or become mentally unable, my wife is instructed to work with PAS.

If we were to move to Fidelity, Schwab, E-Trade, my biggest fear is their advisors would steer her into high costs plans.
That used to be my plan also. Now my wife has been instructed to go to the local Schwab office and work with the representative we have met with in person. They know my current accounts contain only index ETFs and we are currently not interested in any of their managed products. She says she will be adamant with the Schwab rep about staying the course but hey, if she needs additional help down the road and it costs her a fee, then she will have to make that decision. I'd much rather her be able to sit across the table from a Schwab rep and work through these issues then rely on a Vanguard PAS rep to handle things remotely. We both feel good about this setup and it sure beats her looking online for local help and ending up at an Edward Jones or Merrill Lynch office.
In over 40 years of customer experience with Schwab, Ive never had them push expensive products or advisory services. At Fidelity over 10 years and the same.
That is good to know. Thanks for the feedback.
BogleFan510
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by BogleFan510 »

Stubbie wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:02 pm
BogleFan510 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:58 am
Stubbie wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 9:30 am
lostdog wrote: Thu Jan 14, 2021 8:30 am The only reason we're at Vanguard is if I pass or become mentally unable, my wife is instructed to work with PAS.

If we were to move to Fidelity, Schwab, E-Trade, my biggest fear is their advisors would steer her into high costs plans.
That used to be my plan also. Now my wife has been instructed to go to the local Schwab office and work with the representative we have met with in person. They know my current accounts contain only index ETFs and we are currently not interested in any of their managed products. She says she will be adamant with the Schwab rep about staying the course but hey, if she needs additional help down the road and it costs her a fee, then she will have to make that decision. I'd much rather her be able to sit across the table from a Schwab rep and work through these issues then rely on a Vanguard PAS rep to handle things remotely. We both feel good about this setup and it sure beats her looking online for local help and ending up at an Edward Jones or Merrill Lynch office.
In over 40 years of customer experience with Schwab, Ive never had them push expensive products or advisory services. At Fidelity over 10 years and the same.
That is good to know. Thanks for the feedback.
PS. MIL needed help when FIL passed. Due to her personality, it wasnt advisable for me to help her. Schwab PAS was well worth the small fee, as they mitigated many behavioral issues she has with market fears.
femmefire
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by femmefire »

galawdawg wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:48 am
femmefire wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:30 am I'll add my Fidelity experience.

I received a letter from fidelity about my upcoming transfer of funds due to a divorce. However, I was and am still happily married. So I called up Fidelity and assure them I am NOT going through a divorce and after a bit of investigation they found that another customer of theirs with a completely different name had entered their intended account number wrong. They transposed two numbers, which is mind-boggling that my account number is that close to someone else's and that they did not check the name on the account. Whatever, Fidelity said they would take care of it. A month later I get another letter and we go through the same charade. They said they took care of it again. A couple of months later I receive a sizable sum from the gentleman in this scenario. Now it's an even bigger problem and longer phone call. They did offer to change my account number after some insistence, but it was going to be a huge pain that I decided that it was easier to switch to someone else. I just can't even comprehend how they transferred funds to someone with a completely different name into my account.
So do I understand correctly that it was another Fidelity customer that entered the account number incorrectly, that other customer did so twice, Fidelity followed that customer's instructions but when you contacted Fidelity, they both fixed the error made by the other Fidelity customer and offered to change your account number, you declined Fidelity's offer because it would "be a huge pain" and instead you moved your account to another brokerage??
Yes, it was another Fidelity customer. I do not know if they entered it incorrectly more than once. I guess you can say that Fidelity "fixed" the problem after three long calls with them over six months. They had three chances to fix it before they transferred money and failed to resolve it on their own. And yes changing the account number would have a been a huge pain involving multiple phone calls again according to them and significant action on my part. I am still in the process of deciding where to move my account. If I was previously a very happy customer maybe I would not move my money. You might think it is an overreaction. I do not. I take account security very seriously.
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humbledinvestor
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by humbledinvestor »

Mistakes happen everywhere it seems, I get it. What upset me the most their relaxed attitude about it saying it would be done in 7 days or so. Not until I insisted that someone track this and get back to me, cancel PAS and threaten to leave was I taken seriously. There is an easy way to deal with this, they chose a different way. Yes I know it's a low cost investment house. Take some lessons from Amazon. The customer comes first is their culture. Yes I also know Vanguard is "owned" by it's customers. I sure was not treated like an "owner." Finally some sort of customer service ticket system would be nice where you call is logged into a ticket with automatic updates. Something that has been available for years.
femmefire
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by femmefire »

michaeljc70 wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:55 am
galawdawg wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:48 am
femmefire wrote: Fri Jan 15, 2021 11:30 am I'll add my Fidelity experience.

I received a letter from fidelity about my upcoming transfer of funds due to a divorce. However, I was and am still happily married. So I called up Fidelity and assure them I am NOT going through a divorce and after a bit of investigation they found that another customer of theirs with a completely different name had entered their intended account number wrong. They transposed two numbers, which is mind-boggling that my account number is that close to someone else's and that they did not check the name on the account. Whatever, Fidelity said they would take care of it. A month later I get another letter and we go through the same charade. They said they took care of it again. A couple of months later I receive a sizable sum from the gentleman in this scenario. Now it's an even bigger problem and longer phone call. They did offer to change my account number after some insistence, but it was going to be a huge pain that I decided that it was easier to switch to someone else. I just can't even comprehend how they transferred funds to someone with a completely different name into my account.
So do I understand correctly that it was another Fidelity customer that entered the account number incorrectly, that other customer did so twice, Fidelity followed that customer's instructions but when you contacted Fidelity, they both fixed the error made by the other Fidelity customer and offered to change your account number, you declined Fidelity's offer because it would "be a huge pain" and instead you moved your account to another brokerage??
Would you be changing the account number in case the other customer happens to gets divorced again and transposes those same 2 digits again accidentally?

Even though the customer made the mistake the brokerage should have caught it.
I wanted to respond. Yes, changing the account number does not address what I think is the problem. Fidelity moved a large sum of money based on single point of information, an account number. They should be checking something else as well, such as a name, address, or birthdate. Not doing this is a huge security breach. I can't even make a doctor's appointment without providing multiple points of identification.
notPatience
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Re: Ugh Vanguard! May have to leave. They made a huge error.

Post by notPatience »

OP wrote:
Take some lessons from Amazon. The customer comes first is their culture.
I choked on my soup reading this. Then had to reheat the soup because you froze my soul at the idea of Vanguard taking lessons from Amazon.

Bless your poor benighted heart. Amazon talks a great line. In reality, it allows -- even encourages -- spammers and scammers, false products, etc., etc., to abound to the cost of customers and sellers. As someone who's sold through Amazon for a decade, I would rather pile my money up and light it on fire than have Amazon handle it. At least I'd be warm for a while.

Won't sidetrack into more info on Amazon, but will say, Vanguard, if you're reading, please, please, please do NOT look to Amazon as a model. Of anything. Ever.

Now I have to go re-reheat the soup because I'm shivering.
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