Author Topic: Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?  (Read 532 times)

coppertop

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Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?
« on: June 18, 2021, 08:04:24 AM »
I have been invested through Vanguard for about 20 years.  I have both taxable and IRA accounts, and when I retired, I moved my 401(k) funds into Vanguard, as well as my husband's.  I have been telling people for years how great they are - and I had extensive experience with them, since I was an estates and trusts paralegal for eleven years.  A relative had a terrible time with Vanguard recently when she was trying to settle her mother's estate.  I thought she was mistaken at first, until I began to experience difficulty with them myself. In particular today, a CSR was so rude to me that I was shocked.  I am so disappointed in Vanguard that I am seriously considering moving my funds elsewhere. Has anyone else experienced difficulty with Vanguard? 

TheGibberingPotato

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Re: Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2021, 09:49:11 AM »
I have been invested through Vanguard for about 20 years.  I have both taxable and IRA accounts, and when I retired, I moved my 401(k) funds into Vanguard, as well as my husband's.  I have been telling people for years how great they are - and I had extensive experience with them, since I was an estates and trusts paralegal for eleven years.  A relative had a terrible time with Vanguard recently when she was trying to settle her mother's estate.  I thought she was mistaken at first, until I began to experience difficulty with them myself. In particular today, a CSR was so rude to me that I was shocked.  I am so disappointed in Vanguard that I am seriously considering moving my funds elsewhere. Has anyone else experienced difficulty with Vanguard?

In my experience, Vanguard's customer service is mediocre.  They can help with basic things, but wont know more advanced strategies like what is discussed here.  And therefore, I'm not surprised that they wouldn't be great for settling an estate.

I have been exceedingly impressed with Fidelity's customer service.  They are extremely knowledgeable, at least for 401k issues.  Given that they compete head-to-head with Vanguard's mutual funds, I think many people will or already have jumped over to them... it is probably Vanguard's biggest threat.

Sibley

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Re: Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?
« Reply #2 on: June 22, 2021, 10:53:55 AM »
I would say that at least recently Vanguard's customer service is down. I had to call them to figure out something and never got through to them. They dropped the call after 15min on hold, then I called back and sat on hold for an hour before I gave up. I sent them a rather scathing (but still polite) message and got the canned response I expected.

I still like their ownership structure. I will withhold judgement for now, as it's possible they're struggling with what COVID WFH did to that entire department. I'll be having to deal with them quite a bit more over the next couple years due to my dad's retirement. We'll see how they do.

theolympians

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Re: Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?
« Reply #3 on: June 22, 2021, 12:35:31 PM »
When I moved to vanguard I sort of expected canned assistance. If you want more, you will likely have to pay for it the once or twice a year you might need assistance. I had an account with EJ, and the advisor was very responsive, and the company killed trees with mail from them. At the end of the day I didn't  want to pay for someone to just be nice to me and complete a few key strokes for me.

Vanguard might be a little more self-serve, but in the end that is what I wanted and accept the downside.

SunsetRN

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Re: Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2021, 01:48:18 PM »
I agree there has been a decline with customer service at Vanguard. I transferred all my accounts over to fidelity and have no regrets. Their customer service is 24/7 and top notch. Their app and web page run circles around vanguards. Fidelity asset transfer tracker is easy to use while setting up a transfer.

Some key things to consider prior to transferring assets over:

I exited all vanguard mutual funds in my IRA's and bought their ETF equivalent prior to transferring. This is because you can hold vanguard ETF's in fidelity with no fees, unlike the mutual funds version of the same asset.

In my taxable account I only hold VTI so that rollover was simple as I didn't occur any tax consequences.

You can have the best of both worlds and not settle for poor customer service.
« Last Edit: June 24, 2021, 01:50:12 PM by SunsetRN »

FIPurpose

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Re: Vanguard - Decline in Customer Service?
« Reply #5 on: June 24, 2021, 02:01:19 PM »
Their customer assistance is down, however, they have also continued to lower their mutual fund fees, lowered their trading fees, and their website has improved immensely over the past 5 years or so. So it's unfortunate that their customer service has gone downhill, but other parts of their service have improved. :)