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suckage of Vanguard's web site?
Old 10-11-2007, 01:00 AM   #1
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suckage of Vanguard's web site?

I just tried to sign up for a Vanguard account through their web site, and nearly changed my mind due to the bad impression I got. I'm hoping to open a general investing account with an ACAT transfer of a Vanguard fund from another brokerage.

1) The site wouldn't display the FAQs or begin the sign-up process using Firefox (under Linux). Had to switch to Internet Explorer, which I dislike and rarely use. I hope logging into my account once it's set up won't require IE as well. With so many folks using Firefox these days, I'm surprised they haven't done basic compatibility testing. My three other brokerage sites all work with Firefox.

2) Using the link to "Open a Vanguard account or transfer assets from another financial institution" took me through several pages of entering personal info, then didn't offer any choices to actually transfer assets from another institution. The closest choice was an electronic bank transfer - when selected, I was then prompted to select the funds I wanted to put my transferred $$ into.

Is their online account management similarly clumsy? I'm still on the fence about taking my money elsewhere.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:35 AM   #2
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Normally it's really good and easy to use IMO. They are having problems with the "Invest Now" section of their site and are aware of the problems.

If you call them and tell them what issue you are having, they will fix your account specially so that you can do whatever you need to do. I tried to set up a new account yesterday but couldn't because of a field glitch. They told me they would fix it in my account and this morning they called to tell me it was fixed. I was then able to set up my new account fine.

I have a couple of other accounts with them and do everything online. It's been great so far and I've been really happy with their service. The customer service people there actually seem to care and understand the issues I've raised.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:45 AM   #3
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I just opened a Roth IRA there yesterday. I timed it - it took 3 minutes. No problems. I saw the option when I signed up for "roll over assets from another institution", however I didn't select that but instead selected to exchange funds from another existing vanguard account.

In general I really like their web interface. Figner, it looks like you posted the message around 2:00 am. It is possible that Vanguard is temporarily down for maintenance/overnight account updates, etc. I'd try back later today maybe after 5:00 EST or during business hours and call them if it won't work - they are always helpful on the phone in my past experience with them. Good luck!


edited to add: I use firefox almost exclusively and haven't noticed any problems w/ Vanguard using it.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:50 AM   #4
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Never had a problem.

From time to time the site has had an outage. They usually post a message.


Many use FF. Even the formatting looks ok at VG with it. It may be that there is some incompatibility with the Linux version of FF.

You might consider reporting it to them. They will probably fix it.

One other thought. Many corporations only support mainstream combos. There is a cost. They are not going to spend the time and money testing anything more than mainstream configs. Linux on the desktop is still a blip... once you get past IT pros and wannabes ... it is not used.



Besides, it's not their site that has the problem... Its you. What is wrong with you anyway? Why haven't you been assimilated into the MS collective yet?
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Old 10-11-2007, 10:57 AM   #5
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Your responses give me hope - I'll try again today.

I realize I'm way in the minority using Linux clients, but so far haven't had problems with my many other online accounts. It would be a pain to boot into Windows just to access Vanguard. chinaco, guess you are right - that assimilation thing just isn't working out for me.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:41 PM   #6
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Well, I tried again using Windows browsers this morning and got the same results on their web site. So I called and found out that only retirement accounts have the "transfer assets" option online when opening an account. Apparently they need more/different forms for transferring non-retirement accounts.

Customer service was quite helpful, took my info and said they'd send out the transfer forms to me later today.

I also asked about Firefox on Linux support, and the service rep said Firefox was definitely supported but wasn't sure if it was tested under Linux - invited me to call back if I had any problems. Now that I know my second problem wasn't browser-related, I guess I can use IEs4Linux if it turns out to be necessary.

Thanks for the feedback.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:45 PM   #7
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Figner,

If you are transferring in $100,000 or more, you'll get access to the Voyager team of customer service reps. Supposedly they are even better than the commoner's CSR's. Luckily, since I have gained Voyager status, the website has served all my needs and I haven't needed to contact anyone at VG over the phone.
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:46 PM   #8
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I have a couple of things I suggest you do:
1. Do read all the materials that Vanguard sends you. Some of the stuff might not happen as expected and they tend to stick to their guns if you challenge them.
2. Also the Emerging markets fund etc have redemption fees. Some of the other funds - the tax managed ones also have fees if you sell quickly. Also not all things show up before you take an action.

I am saying all this because, though I have almost all my stuff at vanguard, I don't recommend them to everyone. If you are very detail oriented and read all your stuff then Vanguard is great otherwise Fidelity has some phenominal Customer Support and if great as long as you invest in their Index funds only

-h
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Old 10-11-2007, 01:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by figner View Post
Your responses give me hope - I'll try again today.
Instead of having issues with their website and customer service, Vanguard clients should be turning backflips over the low low expenses they're paying.

And make darn sure you read the fine print, because you'll be ruthlessly fined for exceeding their customer-service limits... that's why they call it "fine" print.
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:04 PM   #10
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Thanks for the tips, I'm usually ok about fine print, but will make sure to check these over especially carefully.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords View Post
Instead of having issues with their website and customer service, Vanguard clients should be turning backflips over the low low expenses they're paying.
Are you saying you get what you pay for?
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:15 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by figner View Post
Are you saying you get what you pay for?
Caveat emptor. Exactly!
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Old 10-11-2007, 02:33 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by figner View Post

1) The site wouldn't display the FAQs or begin the sign-up process using Firefox (under Linux). Had to switch to Internet Explorer, which I dislike and rarely use. I hope logging into my account once it's set up won't require IE as well. With so many folks using Firefox these days, I'm surprised they haven't done basic compatibility testing. My three other brokerage sites all work with Firefox.
I think it may be an issue on your side. I just tried those options you mentioned, as well as logged into my account, from my Linux box, using Firefox 1.5.0.3 and Suse 10.1 linux, no problems at all. Looks just like on windows or mac.

Vanguard is my favorite financial website, besides my credit union. I couldn't wait to rollover my 401(k) just to get away from Fidelity's crummy site.

Mark
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:14 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by work4beer View Post
I think it may be an issue on your side. I just tried those options you mentioned, as well as logged into my account, from my Linux box, using Firefox 1.5.0.3 and Suse 10.1 linux, no problems at all. Looks just like on windows or mac.
Thanks Mark - I'm not able to test logging in yet since my account isn't opened. So I'm glad to hear that FF/linux is an option.

The part I had problems with yesterday (and again today) was getting to some of the site info such as the Frequently Asked Questions:

Start at:
https://personal.vanguard.com/VGApp/hnw/home

Click on "open an account"

Click on one of the FAQs on the right side of the page such as
"What information do I need to invest with Vanguard?"

At that point I get "Your session has timed out." using Firefox 2.0.0.5/Fedora7.
It doesn't happen using IEs4Linux or when booted into Windows. Cookies and javascript are allowed.


Probably no biggie if a few site features don't work, as long as the account login is fine. I appreciate your taking the extra time to check!
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:26 PM   #14
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I just tried your links on Opera 8 running on a Linux handheld. No problemo.

FWIW, I have accounts at both Fido and Vanguard. No problems with either. I've been with Vanguard for over 20 years, and I have no complaints. I don't get the FUD that some posters try to create....
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:27 PM   #15
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And make darn sure you read the fine print, because you'll be ruthlessly fined for exceeding their customer-service limits... that's why they call it "fine" print.
Hmm. I've never read the fine print. Nor have I been fined. I have talked to the Vanguard reps several times though. They have always been helpful and courteous (which is a rarity nowadays).

I have never tried to hit the site running Linux, but I use FF exclusively at every site I go to. Never had any issues with Vanguard.
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:53 PM   #16
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I just tried wiping out all my cookie preferences in Firefox and that seems to have solved the problem. I probably overlooked something before.

Now a happy camper - thanks all!
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:56 PM   #17
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It's hard to call the purchase/redemption fees "fine print" when they are clearly stated on the main page listing all the vg funds (see pdf below). When in doubt, click on the fund, then click "fees and minimums" and there is a more detailed explanation of fees.
Attached Files
File Type: pdf vanguard.pdf (85.2 KB, 1 views)
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Old 10-11-2007, 03:58 PM   #18
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Are you saying you get what you pay for?
actually, you get (to keep) what you don't pay for
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Old 10-11-2007, 04:00 PM   #19
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oh yeah, figner, if you're transferring less than $100,000, sign up for all electronic statements and that will save you a $20 annual fee per account (for each account w/ less than $10,000 in it).
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Old 10-11-2007, 08:19 PM   #20
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I can't recall having any problems accessing Vanguard's site on a variety of browsers on a Mac (Safari, FireFox, Camino). Never tried with IE though, I only fire that up if all else fails (very rare).

Let us know if they have issues with Linux, just curious.

-ERD50

Whoops - had this up for a while and did not look for new posts - thanks for the replies everyone - good to know it works
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