Author Topic: Vanguard Run Around Question  (Read 4379 times)

whitetailugys

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Vanguard Run Around Question
« on: April 10, 2016, 10:23:06 AM »
I've posted before and the forum got me to the point where I printed off my Edward Jones documents and I'm ready to send them to Vanguard. I have had plenty of conversation with Vanguard and they are just waiting for my documents.
But, I have read numerous reviews about the Vanguard Customer Service and many of the reviews are not good. In a nutshell, many are saying that if there is an issue they just get the run around when they call. After reading deeper in to some of the notes I've concluded there are some knuckleheads out there that maybe shouldn't be doing it alone or simply can not hear the advice they are given, etc....

I don't want to stay with EJ, and I want to feel good about moving to Vanguard. But not all of the reviews have my wife and I fully on board yet. Please advise.

seattlecyclone

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2016, 10:46:09 AM »
I have had perfectly fine experiences with Vanguard customer service every time I have called. The key thing is that you don't need to call them all that often. You can do most everything through the website.

peppaz

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #2 on: April 10, 2016, 10:56:05 AM »
I've asked them questions a few times and they definitely respond in the window they claim. They have a lot of my money and I feel more comfortable with them than any other institution I've given money to.

nereo

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2016, 11:43:16 AM »
I've had a lot of dealings with Vanguard, and while not all of them are "outstanding" they've been good enough that I recommend them without reservation.

Here's a summary of my latest interactions.
I decided to make 2015 my "financial clean-up year" - converting a bunch of old 401(k)s, money market accounts, stocks, mutual funds etc. and moving everything to one brokerage - Vanguard.

In order to do this I rolled over three 401(k)s to my IRA, did a tIRA to ROTH conversion, and swept several of my mutual funds and a few random stocks I had picked up to a Vanguard Brokerage account.

For each transaction I was able to quickly have the paperwork generated.  I did need to get several "Medallian Signatures" - but that wasn't too big of an issue since my bank gives them for free.  Most of hte time (80%) I was able to do this all online, with an average of about ~10 minutes per account.  For about 3 accounts I had to call their concierge number for one reason or another.  In those instances the person at the phone was able to help me, but it took longer and I was sometimes put on hold for 5-10 minutes while they figured out the problem.

The bad:
I'll preface this by saying the "bad" wasn't annoying but ultimately hasn't stopped me from doing business with me. 
I'll highlight two issues I've had;
1) at one point on a phone call I asked if they could send the documents to Canada where I am studying.  I am a US citizen who's studying abroad.  No problem!  Except it wound up being a problem, as this triggered me to be changed to a Canadian customer, and I suddenly could not add to or change my accounts because I was listed as a 'foreign investor'.  It took two phone calls and mailing documentation (copy of my passport and a pay stub) before it could be changed back.  I'd avoid ever having them add a foreign mailing address for this very reason.

2) in most instances they were slow to post updates online.  For example, one mutual fund would "close" and it would take 3-5 days for the money to show up in my Vanguard account.  It always did, but in the meantime there were no new messages, not even a "pending transfer" notice. It was a bit worrisome to know that money was gone from one place but I could see no record of it at Vanguard for a while.  Twice I called just to check and after a 5-10 minute hold they were able to verify that it was in processing, but it would have been helpful to see that online. 


Reynolds531

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2016, 01:37:26 PM »
I really like their ownership structure versus banks or brokerages.

forummm

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2016, 02:14:55 PM »
I've been with VG since 1999. I've never had problems with them. They've always been helpful. Once I was trying to do something semi complicated and they couldn't quite answer all my questions the first time. But it worked out the way it should in the end.

BlueMR2

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2016, 02:35:13 PM »
I've never had to call them, I've been able to do all my transactions either online or by mail.  My wife has had to call them and has received excellent customer server.  My accountant has had to call them on my behalf with some tax reporting questions and said it was the worst company she's ever dealt with.  YMMV apparently.  :-)

SwordGuy

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2016, 03:02:53 PM »
I bought into two different vanguard funds on the same day, within a minute or so of each other, both for the same amount.

The money showed up in Vanguard and it didn't occur to me to check that it left my bank account.

(Only one of the two transactions left my bank account.)

A couple of weeks later I see a transaction reversal for the 2nd fund.

I contacted my bank to find out if they had refused the 2nd transaction but they had never seen it.

Contacted Vanguard and the re-reversed everything so it was as if the boo-boo never happened.  I even got credit for the dividends that were issued in the interim.


ltt

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2016, 09:35:59 AM »
I've had to call Vanguard a few times recently.  On the first call, we had some questions that were answered, but not as in-depth as we would have liked.  I actually had to ask the question on this MMM  board and google some more to find some more direct answers.  When I called them the second time, I received lots of information that was very useful.  We've had Vanguard accounts for years.  Like the above poster mentioned, so much can be handled on-line.

frugaliknowit

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2016, 09:44:21 AM »
No complaints here.  I avoid calling them (maybe once per year at the most...), but when I do I feel they are extremely courteous and are thorough.

misshathaway

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #10 on: April 11, 2016, 10:33:15 AM »
I've had a Vanguard account for years but very passively and never needed to call. After I retired in 2015 I decided to move a bunch of 401Ks in to Vanguard to consolidate and simplify.

They practically filled out the transfer paperwork for me. I also got a one-time detailed investment plan, geared to simplicity, and my objectives, that I can rebalance on my own. It was easy to implement once everything was in my Vanguard account, and has been simple to monitor each month.

The worst thing I can say about Vanguard so far is that their forms will not recognize my primary email address b/c it has hyphens in it (perfectly legal chars). Other than that, it has been a good experience.


hyla

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #11 on: April 11, 2016, 02:01:55 PM »
I've think the reports of subpar customer service at Vanguard are a non-issue, because it's easy to do most things on their website without ever calling them.  I've had an IRA and taxable account with Vanguard for about 5 years, and I've never had to call - was super easy to transfer money from bank to start the accounts, set up monthly deposits from my bank account, and get all the tax information and documents I needed on the website. 

Vanguard's business model is to prioritize low fees on the funds, which perhaps means fewer customer service reps to talk to than some financial companies.  I know I've seen notices on their website suggesting people delay calls for a few days on busy days (usually tax deadlines) if they have a non-urgent issue.  A company like EJ might get back to you sooner and smile more when you have a question, but is that worth the fees they charge? 

Also, keep in mind that people who right online reviews tend to be the minority that had a bad experience and want to rant.  People who call Vanguard customer service and have their problem resolved quickly and without drama are less likely to write about it on the internet. 

mlejw6

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #12 on: April 11, 2016, 03:36:24 PM »
I've had a Vanguard account for years but very passively and never needed to call. After I retired in 2015 I decided to move a bunch of 401Ks in to Vanguard to consolidate and simplify.

They practically filled out the transfer paperwork for me. I also got a one-time detailed investment plan, geared to simplicity, and my objectives, that I can rebalance on my own. It was easy to implement once everything was in my Vanguard account, and has been simple to monitor each month.

The worst thing I can say about Vanguard so far is that their forms will not recognize my primary email address b/c it has hyphens in it (perfectly legal chars). Other than that, it has been a good experience.

Interesting. My company has our 401ks with Vanguard and my work email has a hyphen. I've never had a problem. I wonder if it's a difference between employer accounts and personal accounts?

I love being able to do everything I need online. The only complaint I have is that they are slow to send out confirmation emails when I make a change, and they are slow to send out quarterly statements (example: I still haven't received 1st quarter 2016 statement). The former is a problem if I forget I made a change. The latter is a problem because I am impatient. =P

AZDude

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #13 on: April 11, 2016, 03:40:10 PM »
If you are someone who likes to call and ask "dumb" questions to your broker every week, Vanguard might not be the best place. Try some less-predatory full service brokerage. Or find a flat fee financial adviser to give you advice, then execute via the web interface. 

2Birds1Stone

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #14 on: April 11, 2016, 03:50:55 PM »
Been with Vanguard for 4 years. Never had any issues and they have been quite helpful both via phone & email.

MMMWannaBe

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Re: Vanguard Run Around Question
« Reply #15 on: April 11, 2016, 04:23:27 PM »
I have been with Vanguard for 15+ years. I am investing to minimize fees that erode my returns. I have been fully satisfied with the customer support. Truly, I have low support requirements though. I reached flagship status a couple of years ago so it is probably not fair to base my satisfaction on recent years. I do not tend to follow Vanguards asset allocation methodology. The market is quite forgiving....as long as you stay in the market a lot of mistakes can be made.