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How to Cross the Customer Service Moat
Old 02-09-2010, 02:36 PM   #1
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How to Cross the Customer Service Moat

Long story short - my old employer switched from Fidelity to ACS for their 401(k) administrator. I'm in the process of closing out my 401(k) so I can do rollovers. ACS has it all screwed up and I'm at my wit's end trying to get anything done. Every call first goes to India, then is transferred to a clerk in the US. The clerk types your concern into a computer file and says you will hear something in 48 hours. No one calls within 72 hours and you call again. Rinse and repeat. Now you ask to speak to a supervisor. They are all in meetings but will call you back . No one calls back. Rinse and repeat and rinse and repeat.

Does anyone have any good tips for notching this up to get it resolved? I've tried good cop and I've tried bad cop, but these clerks are just drones. I'm afraid that working through my old employer's HR department would be the same or worse, as it has all been outsourced.
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Old 02-09-2010, 02:41 PM   #2
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If you are rolling it over to a big outfit, like Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, etc., even if you have not set it up yet, you could try calling them--they should be able to generate the roll-over and you won't have to have anything else to do. Maybe try that?
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:10 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bestwifeever View Post
If you are rolling it over to a big outfit, like Vanguard, Fidelity, Schwab, etc., even if you have not set it up yet, you could try calling them--they should be able to generate the roll-over and you won't have to have anything else to do. Maybe try that?
Thanks. I'm rolling it to Fido. They asked me to get two checks from ACS, both made out to Fido, FBO Travelover, Acct 123 Roth and Acct 456 Rollover. ACS reversed the account numbers on the checks they issued which reverses the after tax and pretax amounts. So bringing Fido into it at this point will only make things worse, I fear.

This should be a simple problem to remedy if I could just talk to a single responsible person.
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Old 02-09-2010, 03:28 PM   #4
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That sounds like a red tape nightmare, getting through to the right person at ACS to take care of it. Good luck.

(Personally I would might just write in the right account numbers on the check and initial them but I know that's not really the solution).

Our paper has a problem solver column (Health insurance: Humana gave OK for surgery, then wouldn't pay - chicagotribune.com is this week's issue). Maybe you can tell ACS and your employer that you will need to go to your local ombudsman about the problem?
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Old 02-09-2010, 04:55 PM   #5
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This sounds like a nightmare. I've been there with DW's HSA funding issues a couple years ago. Her HR/benefits were outsourced to Hewitt (main benefits), Payroll to ADP, Insurance/HSA to Aetna who subs out HSA issues to JPMorganChase (who I have a feeling contracted out the actual HSA operations). 3-4 sets of fingers pointing in every direction besides themselves. An eventual 4 way conference call solved the problem after only 50 calls or so (no exaggeration) to the various parties separately. It got to the point where as soon as I mentioned my name to the main HR people (who were in a huge call center), they chuckled, apologized that they haven't been able to resolve the issue and worked on it some.
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