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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-15-2007, 10:08 AM   #41
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

Olav - that sucks man, I'm sorry you had that happen to you. I have at times overlooked things and made costly financial mistakes, but as others have said, try to take it as a (relatively) cheap lesson that you will never forget. And maybe avoid making large transactions like that so late at night when you are tired and could possibly overlook something.

I do feel I need to respond to your assertion that Vanguard's customer service is lousy or that they have hidden fees. In my roughly 7 years as a Vanguard customer, I have always found their customer service to be just as good, if not better, than that which I receive from any other institution I deal with. Ditto for their website.

I understand your frustration, but strongly disagree with you about Vanguard.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-15-2007, 10:27 AM   #42
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by LOL!
I do not think tech support could help you because it is a psychological or mental issue.

To wit: As part of my job, I write graphical user interfaces. Recently I created a new feature for a program I developed and I wanted to test it. So I added a pop-up dialog with information for the user to read and act upon. Then I had my colleagues test the new feature. Without fail, users simply dismissed the pop-up dialog without reading it. So I added bold text "PLEASE READ THIS BEFORE CONTINUING". A new group of testers simply dismissed the dialog without reading it either. In essence, since the users didn't expect a warning or dialog or something to read, when it appeared, they simply ignored it and dismissed it.

I do such things myself, so I was only half surprised that my testers were blind.
Here's a "good" user interface: (turn sound on--not safe for work):
http://www.jibjab.com/jokebox/jokebo...6/jokeid/12760

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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-15-2007, 12:59 PM   #43
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

As others have said, always read the prospectus. Vanguard did nothing wrong here, short term fees are common.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-16-2007, 10:21 PM   #44
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

I just noticed that they have a calculator that you can use to estimate the redemption fee on the "Holdings Detail" page...

Just put the date you plan to move and how many shares and they will tell you how much it will be... couldn't be more simple...

To OP, I think you just missed the screen... so used to just clicking the screens until you get it moved... and not reading them..
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 10:27 AM   #45
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

This would be a nice feature: Be able to set your Vanguard profile so that all transactions resulting in redemption fees are disallowed. If you need to do a transaction like this, you can just change your setting (and you'll still get the warning).

I think I'll suggest that to Vanguard.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 10:44 AM   #46
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

Quote:
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I think I'll suggest that to Vanguard.
Why bother? They won't be able to implement it before we're all dead anyways.

I absolutely hate the fact that when searching funds on their site, you have to click on a radio button to designate Name, Ticker or Number. What a waste! The software could easily detect whether you entered a Name, Ticker or Number all by itself, so the radio buttons are redundant and a distraction. Anyways, when you submit your suggestion, add this to the list please.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 10:44 AM   #47
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

That is classic!!! Maybe I will put this as a feature into my demo on monday


Quote:
Originally Posted by samclem
Here's a "good" user interface: (turn sound on--not safe for work):
http://www.jibjab.com/jokebox/jokebo...6/jokeid/12760

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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 11:06 AM   #48
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

I'm suprised the website doesn't notify you of the short term redemption fee - it should note the fee before the trade and make you acknowledge it.

I think if you did the transaction with a "human" over the phone, they'd detail the early redeption fee before executing the trade - right ?
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 02:50 PM   #49
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees


I'm still with Vanguard, but I've had several annoying problems with them.

1. Even though I did it right, they put down my IRA contribution for the wrong year.

2. When I contacted customer service online about an option that should have been available for redemptions, but wasn't, the response I got from Vanguard was for ME to call Vanguard and report the problem; i.e. that person -- a Vanguard employee!! -- could not be bothered.

3. A fund I was making an exchange from had a redemption fee that was not calculated correctly.

4. When I wanted to make a rollover to Vanguard, they told me to do it, and send them a check. (Fidelity does nearly all of it for you.)

I'm not at Vanguard for the customer service.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 03:33 PM   #50
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

if only to counter ... i have never had a problem with vanguard. (though i have screwed-up on more than one occasion.)
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 05:24 PM   #51
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

I am glad that the reviews are mixed, and that I am not the only one with 'issues'.

I really have to wonder if we are all having mixed experiences due to our account sizes. My guess is the Admirals and Voyagers speak to a different "class" of customer service representative than the great unwashed...
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 05:38 PM   #52
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

I've never had a problem with them... Although I transact business online almost exclusively. Under $250k in assets with them. They did IRA's successfully. Rolled DW's 401k into a rollover IRA with them - no problems. No where near the headaches I had at Edward Jones...

Voyager and Flagship do get their own set of customer service reps. Flagship even has a particular CSR assigned to you.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 05:42 PM   #53
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

How you can blame Vanguard for this is beyond me. You read the prospectus, right? No ? what? when you bought the fund you just clicked the " I accept" button??

I hope you've at least learned something for your $450.00 (hint - next time read the &%$&^# prospectus!!)

PS - Good luck going forward!!
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 05:45 PM   #54
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

Olav...

But your problem was not caused by a customer rep... it was an online issue and I don't think that making a trade we have different screens... You were not happy with them not giving you back your money, but that is not 'bad' customer service...

Now others have said they had problems with them and with what some has told them... that is too bad... but did you follow through with a complaint to a supervisor. Mostly the people are low paid people with not much knowledge... and they can't do a lot out of the ordinary...

I had a friend who had a small account and had some problems getting her 403 moved to them... but most of it was with AIG and her HR dept not signing things right or using the correct forms... then she mailed the form in and the next day a Vanguard rep in town called her and said 'send it to me'... well, it took some time to track it down so he could finish the transfer.. took over three month, but only a small part was Vanguard..

EVERY company has bad reps.. it is just the way it is.. you can not police them all.. to me it is how they respond when you elevate it to the next ore even the next one after that that will tell you about the company...
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 05:48 PM   #55
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

If you use customer service a lot may I recommend Fidelity? They have great customer service and have a index funds with ER less than Vanguard's in some cases. I have both fidelity and vanguard accounts but I have never called vanguard's custimer serive till now. Vanguard is more oriented towards people who pay attention the details and also Vanguard sticks to the rules are rules policy - They don't bend the rules to be nice.

-h
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-17-2007, 06:43 PM   #56
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

I had a problem with Vanguard once about 10 years ago. Fund trade got lost. I could not get the Customer Service Rep to fix it. I called them multiple times and moved my way up to the supervisor. After several calls, I called corporate headquarters and complained. Come to find out VG had outsourced the call center (for Variable Annuities). Long-story short, they fixed it.


I have had no problems since. The CR reps are always courteous and helpful.

The cost savings at VG far outweigh the infrequent problem.



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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-18-2007, 03:16 AM   #57
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

Quote:
Originally Posted by lswswein
Vanguard is more oriented towards people who pay attention the details and also Vanguard sticks to the rules are rules policy - They don't bend the rules to be nice.

-h
true.
Also there is way on Fidelity online to cancel a trade which hadn't occur. That is what he was trying to do on the phone. Vanguard needs to do a little bit better here. Overall there is a consensus that Fidelity online experience and customer service is better. They could be loosing some customers to Fidelity since Fidelity seems to have lowered some expense ratios.
Specially good companies with otherwise good products may loose customers in instances like this one. Customer service can make a BIG difference. This whole thread is just the proof of it.

For example my son got a gift last Xmas that didn't work right thought that this company was not any good until just a phone call and they sent a replacement. No questions asked. I was ready to badmouth that company. Instead I now feel pretty good about the whole thing.
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees
Old 03-18-2007, 06:20 AM   #58
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Re: Why vanguard's expenses are so cheap, lousy customer service/hidden fees

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Also there is way on Fidelity online to cancel a trade which hadn't occur.
It seems to me that the differences are in the policies instituted (by mutual fund companies) and how they may interprest certain SEC regulations and their fundamental beliefs and goals. If you read VGs liturature, they tell you to go elsewhere if you trade frequently. On the regualtory side... I know from experience that if you two different people will interpret regulatory rules (that are fuzzy) differently. Look at GAAP accounting and FASB. Think about how HR works in most large corporations. Nowadays they tend (try) to operate fairly consistently with everyone for fear of being sued. While some of VG practices may not seem convenient... I believe they are trustworthy and take a conservative point of view on how they process transactions.

I believe Vanguard is very conservative (look at Bogle) with these type of issues to be even handed cusotmers so there is no doubt that they are adhering to the laws and regulations. Plus they are a Mutual company. Look at the scandal a few years ago where certain firms were allowing hedge funds to do late trades.

Fidelity on the other hand... Is probably instituting policies that they feel are legal and give them a competitive advantage in the area of customer satisfaction. From their perspective, they probably do not want to lose any customer (naturally). If they are operating in a grey area with regard to canceling trades on mutual funds... I do not know. If fidelity was really interested in your best interest as a customer, they would lowerer their fees and loads on all funds. Let's face it, canceling trades does not impact Fidelity, rather it potentially impacts the long-time share holders of shares in those funds. Most long-terms share holders are not canceling trades.


All in all, I will stick with VG. I have been with them for about 15 years and am satified. I have had some fidelity funds. In fact we hold one now (in a 401k) mainly because of limited options available. I believe their fees are high and because of that, I believe it puts me at a disadvantage. The proof is in the long-term performance and total return of the investments.

To sum it up VG and Fidelity are in the same industry, but they have fundamentally different attitudes and base beliefs... not to mention their missions. VG is about giving customers/indirect owners the lowest cost ,fair deal with a no BS approach. Fidelity is a bit more flash and about making boat load of money for shareholders. Nothing wrong with making money... but as a customer, I would like things tilted my way. I look at it like this. over the last 15 years If I had invested with Fidelity instead of VG, I would probably be lighter in the asset dept because of the compounded 1%-1.25% difference in the maint fees. As far as front-end loads go forget it. There are very few funds that I will pay a load to enter. I have done it, but it is very rare.

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