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Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-14-2006, 05:17 PM   #1
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Vanguard Customer Service Story

Further to Nords comments on library service and others comments on Vanguard and other financial service companies I have just had an interesting exchange with Vanguard. My wife has been attempting to get her 403b transferred to Vanguard for over a month. Her 403b company keeps saying, hey, VG hasnít asked for any money yet. The initial VG rep was really dysfunctional and gave advice that had we not be conscious would have cost a lot. He said, no problem, have them send you a check and then send it to us. Now this is not an IRA transfer, it is a transfer from a 403b account. If we had a check issued we would have been taxed and would not have been able to put this money into the IRA.
The second VG rep could not have been better. He spent at least a half hour getting the forms we need filled out from the web and called the insurance company the 403b is with and confirmed everything that needed to be sent to both parties to initiate the transfer. This is a bit complicated because we do not want to transfer all the 403b funds initially to avoid surrender fees.
Anyway it is interesting whether it is a national or local government or a commercial representative it is amazing how different service can be from one agent to the next. And the more you know about a given transaction the better you can avoid really damaging incorrect information.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-14-2006, 09:23 PM   #2
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

It is like Uncle Scrooge said, "Good help is hard to find. Especially if you dinna want to pay them."
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-15-2006, 09:29 AM   #3
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Well Vanguard is a no-help company......what did you expect??
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-15-2006, 09:57 AM   #4
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

It could have been worse yakers! DW used to get the same kind of incompetence from the staff of the investment firm holding her 403b. And she was paying a whopping 1.25% annual fee for the experience!

There seems to be little relationship between what you pay and what you get when it comes to these matters. Go for the low cost firm.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-15-2006, 10:46 AM   #5
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

I have never had a bad experience with Vanguard but if I had received the shoddy advice that rep #! gave you, I would also be upset about it. I think that I would pursue it a step further and ask to speak to a supervisor at VG and relate your two expereinces with rep #1 and rep #2 and let them know that you are quite displeased with the quality of service that you received from #1. In the long run it would benefit all Vanguard investors and perhaps it would increase the over-all quality of their service to all of us.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-16-2006, 01:28 PM   #6
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by mickeyd
I have never had a bad experience with Vanguard but if I had received the shoddy advice that rep #! gave you, I would also be upset about it. I think that I would pursue it a step further and ask to speak to a supervisor at VG and relate your two expereinces with rep #1 and rep #2 and let them know that you are quite displeased with the quality of service that you received from #1. In the long run it would benefit all Vanguard investors and perhaps it would increase the over-all quality of their service to all of us.
Nice in theory............however, most Vanguard folks I have dealt with are not very well trained and don't know things they should. Strong had a similar problem before Wells Fargo bought them out..............scary customer service.

The managers at Fidelity and Vanguard aren't measured on customer service ratings...............it's all about how many calls the reps take per hour and menial crap like that.............

Bottom line, if you are dealing with Vanguard backoffice, make sure YOU know what needs to be done, or else you have a pretty good chance of being frustrated. I get pissed when I call on behalf of clients and have to keep educating their reps on what can and can't be done.............
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-16-2006, 01:46 PM   #7
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Interesting. I haven't had these difficulties with Schwab. Of course, I've never actually asked them a tax or investing question...
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-16-2006, 02:10 PM   #8
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Interesting.* I haven't had these difficulties with Schwab.* Of course, I've never actually asked them a tax or investing question...
Schwab is better than Fidelity or Vanguard at handling stuff.............
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-16-2006, 05:10 PM   #9
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

This will be a combo Fidelity and Vanguard evaluation.
First Vanguard. Recently moved (sold home and downsized), went online to do change addresses. Not a major issue for investment accounts but they do "lock" your accounts for 15 days after when change address online. Tried to do on my tiny define benefit pension from an employer of 20 years ago--not so easy. Finally had to call and do the voice mail dance to get a rep. Can't change addresses with him either--no mater that new address is already validated and I can confirm identity anyway he wants. "Plan rules" require a written request. Could fax it in on a Toll number with my Soc number--wow is that ever secure (NOT), or do a snail mail with all the info. Gave the guy some grief and he claimed it was all the plan sponsor--like they don't ever talk to the sponsor. Probably charge them extra every address change they process. No big economic deal but a pain in the #$$

I recently screwed up a bond purchase with Fidelity getting an extra zero in a purchase. Fortunately caught it before they filled on an orig issue. Nothing but cooperation and assistance. Finally canceling the order and re-entering so I could still get the orig issue with no commission. Bond guy did everything to make it easy and follow-ed up later in the day to confrim the transaction had been fixed.
GREAT JOB FIDELITY!
Score: Fidelty an "A+" Vanguard-C
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-16-2006, 06:17 PM   #10
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by FinanceDude
Schwab is better than Fidelity or Vanguard at handling stuff.............
Quote:
Originally Posted by nwsteve
This will be a combo Fidelity and Vanguard evaluation.
Score: Fidelty an "A+"* *Vanguard-C
I think we're getting what we pay for... heaven help us if we need it from Vanguard, because they might not be able to.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-17-2006, 01:44 PM   #11
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords
I think we're getting what we pay for... heaven help us if we need it from Vanguard, because they might not be able to.
Vanguard is good low cost index funds...........anything else...........we'll get back to you................
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-17-2006, 01:51 PM   #12
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Wife moved her 403B to Fidelity just fine. They answered any and all of our questions. No problem whatsoever.
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story
Old 08-17-2006, 02:10 PM   #13
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Re: Vanguard Customer Service Story

Fidelity is interesting. They put themselves out there as a no-load...........yet MORE of their money is in load versus no-load.

The same managers manage both..........conflict of interest??
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