Author Topic: vanguard shittiness  (Read 6096 times)

dilinger

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vanguard shittiness
« on: January 04, 2016, 06:39:49 PM »
In the past month I've had to call Vanguard numerous times (related to IRA transfers and stuff like that).  Every time I've called, they've had a 30+ minute wait time, regardless of the time of day.  Their system allows a callback for when you're next in the queue, which would be great if it actually worked properly.  Instead, I get the callback, and then I'm immediately put on hold.  This is typically a minute or two, although I've had numerous issues including hangups or transfers.  The transfers are ridiculous - I talk to a real person, who transfers me to another person, where I'm placed on hold for 10 minutes before giving up.

What's the deal?  Has phone support been this way for a while, or is Vanguard just getting slammed for the holidays?  How could they not expect this, when half the time I try to do something on their website it tells me to call their support number?

kendallf

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2016, 06:55:05 PM »
I'm guessing the end of the year is insane with people trying to get in under the deadline (as it sounds like you might be).  My wife works for Fidelity and they're the same; angry people on hold all day.  It's hard for a financial services firm to temporarily staff up because nearly any type of service response requires them to be certified (Series 7 and 63).

BlueBeard

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2016, 07:29:37 PM »
I had no problem getting a hold of someone in the small business dept middle of last month.

iamlindoro

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2016, 07:54:47 PM »
Not a defense of what happened to you, but Vanguard is a low-cost provider and forgoes a lot of niceties, especially where technology/customer-facing interfaces are concerned.  Their web site and phone systems are very utilitarian.  However, do your best not to let it get to you, because it means they aren't raising your expense ratio to add widgets to their phone system or web site!  Every time you get disconnected or sit on hold, remember that your bottom line is better for it in the long run.

fattest_foot

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2016, 08:03:01 PM »
I called Vanguard a few months ago for the same thing (IRA transfer) and I was on the phone with someone pretty much immediately.

I think you just picked a poor time of year to call. I don't think it's indicative of their customer support.

dilinger

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2016, 08:07:00 PM »
Well, I'm glad it's not a normal thing.  Maybe it was bad timing, but it was multiple days over the past few weeks (including today).

The upside was that when I finally talked to humans, they were usually very competent.

JZinCO

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #6 on: January 04, 2016, 08:08:24 PM »
I called Vanguard a few months ago for the same thing (IRA transfer) and I was on the phone with someone pretty much immediately.

I think you just picked a poor time of year to call. I don't think it's indicative of their customer support.
+1 Had no problem with a rollover last spring.
Must be that time of year..

tj

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #7 on: January 04, 2016, 09:09:50 PM »
I did a rollover from Fidelity to Vanguard. I never had to talk to anyone. I did it all on Vanguard's website.

AdrianC

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #8 on: January 05, 2016, 08:16:15 AM »
No issues for me. I did an IRA transfer mid December, they called back within a half hour or so and that one call took care of it.

I've been impressed with Vanguard so far.

matchewed

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #9 on: January 05, 2016, 08:26:27 AM »
Yeah vanguard sacrifices customer service for lower fees. If this really puts ants in your pants I'd recommend paying higher fees or getting over it. I prefer the 2nd choice in framing this as "not a problem" and moving on w/ my life.

Paul der Krake

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #10 on: January 05, 2016, 08:34:46 AM »
Vanguard's phone support for us plebeian individual investors pales in comparison of Fidelity's. I am aware that Fidelity's knowledgeable reps are being paid out of the pocket of the folks who pay high fees for advice and funds, but it doesn't matter if you stick to their low-cost offering. I have never been pressured or upsold to their expensive services.

Vanguard has longer wait times (also outside of tax season), their reps often sound exhausted, and I've had flat out wrong information given over the phone before.

Maybe folks at the Voyager levels and above get better reps?

Zamboni

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #11 on: January 05, 2016, 08:56:34 AM »
It seems to me like they have different phone numbers for:
1) rich people (personal advisors for investors that have more than $50K, or an even more personal advisor for richer people with a minimum of $500K who want to set up something fancy like a trust.)
and
2) employees of certain companies.

I could be mistaken on #2, but I could swear that I called some different number listed in the benefits section of my HR website and got the most patient and relaxed Vanguard person ever on the phone. Ah yes, now I see that the phone number on my company's HR contact page is definitely not their main number listed at the top of the page but instead as listed lower down on their website as "Vanguard Participant Services." I think if you call the top number you will get the least enthusiastic level of service from a person who is the least likely to be able to actually help you sort out your issue . . . that has been my experience. Try to dig around more on their website to make sure you are calling a specialized number for the type of service you need.

Good luck!

BarkyardBQ

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #12 on: January 05, 2016, 09:15:18 AM »
They answered call during hi-call-volume yesterday within 5 minutes, the first person couldn't handle VBA, transferred me and I was done in less than 10 minutes total. I think it's just the luck of the draw. I definitely don't want them to hire more staff to handle call times though.

NoraLenderbee

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #13 on: January 05, 2016, 03:10:25 PM »
It's just a busy time of year, kind of like calling the IRS on April 14th.

soccerluvof4

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #14 on: January 05, 2016, 04:28:38 PM »
I have spoken to them several times in the last month and have had no issues and if fact just the opposite. I agree with others it probably was just the end of the year....I hope!

TheDude

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #15 on: January 05, 2016, 06:32:59 PM »
It's just a busy time of year, kind of like calling the IRS on April 14th.

Ha nope its like calling the IRS on July 15th (or any other day). If you try to call on the 14th you will probably never get through. It once took me 363 days to get my refund it was one of the worst experiences of my life. I must have spent a total of 10hrs on the phone with them. Most of the time was on hold.

ThatGuy701

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Re: vanguard shittiness
« Reply #16 on: January 06, 2016, 07:31:38 AM »
I have also recently conducted a rollover from a Fidelity 401k to a Vanguard IRA. The costumer service with Vanguard has been way better and more knowledgeable than Fidelity's costumer service. Fidelity doesn't have the call back feature, so I ended up sitting on hold with them for 20 mins to finally get a hold of someone just to have them tell me they weren't qualified to help with rollovers so they would have to transfer me to someone else and that I would have to call back the next day. When I called Fidelity back the next day to talk to a 401k rollover "specialist" she had no clue what a Roth 401k was. I needed to explain to her the difference between a Traditional 401k and a Roth 401k as I had money in both. Fidelity also wouldn't send the rollover check directly to Vanguard. They will only send it to your house then you will have to send that on to your new provider. This whole process will probably take around 3-4 weeks which is rather annoying as I know others that were with different providers and the process only took 1 week start to finish.

One question I do have with Vanguard is do they offer a re-balancing feature? I was messing around on the website but I couldn't find this feature. Does anyone recall if that feature is offered or do you need to manually sell and buy to re-balance?