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vanguard fyi
Old 09-16-2020, 10:59 AM   #1
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vanguard fyi

Spouse had an IRA CD come due with company x. She transferred it to Ally and Vanguard. It took 2 days to get to Ally and after 6 weeks Vanguard
said the got it (I got it meaning FLOAT?) and will take 48 more hours to process.
Reminds me of the famous saying "Never give you customer a reason to look elsewhere"

just our experience
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:11 AM   #2
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I almost posted yet another great experience (NOT) with Vanguard yesterday. Started transferring DW and I IRA from Vanguard three weeks ago. I called V prior to make sure I knew exactly what I needed to do as I also transferred IRA's last yr and Vanguard almost cost me 3.5% because it took well over a month with the mess V made. Thankfully NF Honored the 3.5%. I did exactly as V instructed and have been waiting 2 1/2 weeks, nothing, so called yesterday. Spent 15 min trying to get the automated to direct me while it hung up on me multiple times. Finally got a human that proceeded to put me on hold 4 times adding up to over 45 min on hold finally coming back to tell me my IRA had been put somewhere that was being held in limbo...wth?? She wouldn't even begin to check to see if DW ira was there also as it hasn't gone through either. So DW will have to go through all this to get her ira moving. We've moved well over 7 figures from V in the last yr. Once these are completed, we will not use V again.
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:28 AM   #3
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No idea how some folks are unlucky with Vanguard.

Yesterday I moved money, a lot of money, from VG to my CU. It was there by this morning!

Called them for general Customer Services, Got a call back in 15 minutes and got all my questions answered.

Go figure.
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Old 09-18-2020, 08:55 AM   #4
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I'm pretty sure they have humans there and humans sometimes make mistakes. I don't think it is fair to generalize based on an anecdote or two. I also don't think it is likely that the big retail brokerages like VG, Fido, and Scheab are, in the big picture, going to vary a lot in overall customer service. The business is too competitive

I would expect more uneven service from the brokers who are chasing the heavy hitters; Morgan, Wells, RBS, Merrill, etc. They are more likely to have tiers of service/different support groups depending on a customer's assets. Just a guess on my part, though.
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Old 09-18-2020, 10:55 AM   #5
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How did you transfer it? I had to use USPS, check delivered to me (that is the only way Fido would do it), then I sent it to VG (priority mail with delivery confirmation). Nice part was I knew when VG got it, 48 hours later it was in my account. Took a week for Fido to send it to me, so about 10 business days total.
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Old 09-18-2020, 11:49 AM   #6
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I'm pretty sure they have humans there and humans sometimes make mistakes. I don't think it is fair to generalize based on an anecdote or two. I also don't think it is likely that the big retail brokerages like VG, Fido, and Scheab are, in the big picture, going to vary a lot in overall customer service. The business is too competitive
.
I agree that it is hard to generalize based on anecdotes but compared to Fido and Schwab, Vanguard has a long history of slightly lower quality customer support (no walk-in offices, less staff, inferior website, etc). The generally accepted "excuse" for this has long been their track record of lower expenses - basically saying that they rather keep administration leaner than up expenses. In fact, many of us felt we could do with slightly inferior customer service in exchange for lower cost and this was a main driver for becoming a Vanguard customer. I myself used to have quite a large fraction of my assets with Vanguard. The problem that has emerged for Vanguard over the past few years is that the competitors have all but matched (or in some cases even exceeded) the low expense ratios, whilst still maintaining their small edge in customer service. This has left Vanguard as the clear third choice, in my opinion. Don't get me wrong, I am not saying it is a rag-tag outfit. Overall, they are fine. It's just that the others are BETTER than "fine" now, and so, MY money has moved away from Vanguard entirely, over the past years.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:40 PM   #7
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I agree that it is hard to generalize based on anecdotes but compared to Fido and Schwab, Vanguard has a long history of slightly lower quality customer support (no walk-in offices, less staff, inferior website, etc). The problem that has emerged for Vanguard over the past few years is that the competitors have all but matched (or in some cases even exceeded) the low expense ratios, whilst still maintaining their small edge in customer service. This has left Vanguard as the clear third choice, in my opinion.
+1 I would add that on the admin side, V effectiveness has gone from adequate to unpredictable and more prone to disappoint than impress.
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Old 09-18-2020, 03:59 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by OldShooter View Post
I'm pretty sure they have humans there and humans sometimes make mistakes. I don't think it is fair to generalize based on an anecdote or two. I also don't think it is likely that the big retail brokerages like VG, Fido, and Scheab are, in the big picture, going to vary a lot in overall customer service. The business is too competitive

I would expect more uneven service from the brokers who are chasing the heavy hitters; Morgan, Wells, RBS, Merrill, etc. They are more likely to have tiers of service/different support groups depending on a customer's assets. Just a guess on my part, though.
+1

I've been in datacenters and back offices of the majority of US based fund companies during my career. There's only three places I'll invest, Fidelity, Vanguard, Schwab... I currently use the first two. I'm thinking about ditching Fidelity for Schwab.

There's a number of "dead dogs" in the industry I know where some are buried(I may have helped bury them). It's pretty easy to impress a fewer number of investors, try scaling it! Most fail badly. Look what happened during the '08 financial crisis and what organization went from #3 in AUM to #1. Hint, it wasn't Fidelity.
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Old 09-18-2020, 04:54 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
Yesterday I moved money, a lot of money, from VG to my CU. It was there by this morning!
I have had so much trouble trying to get any money out of Vanguard. I've had two different credit unions I tried to pull money from Vanguard into them, and VG tells me they need some notarized form from my CU, even from the CU from which all my after-tax funds entered VG from.

Did you have to jump through such hoops? I'm extra curious because I just assumed my troubles had something to do with my using credit unions as every now and then an ATM or CC processor just seems to barf on and reject my CU cards because they're not in the right club or something. So I figured VG was doing the same thing.

And then I tried to link VG to my Schwab brokerage checking account, and I swear the day after it was verified they removed the bank link before I could transfer money. Something to do with going from their self-proclaimed old broken unsafe system to their new system* (* - brokerage acct required).

I've had most of my money with them for almost 30 years, even when I was working for competing institutions, but some of their actions lately have me on tilt. It's not just the service; I feel kind of betrayed after almost 30 years of loyalty.

Edit: And by "so much trouble", I mean I haven't been able to take a penny out of my VG accounts except for 10 years ago when I bought this house, and I had to pay to have them wire the money because they wouldn't/couldn't ACH it to my CU. I've had no luck yet with withdrawals in my early retirement. Fid gave me issues trying to link my CU, too. No prob at Schwab, no hoops. I did a test IRA distribution, and there it was. Same CU my other institutions freak out over.
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Old 09-18-2020, 05:29 PM   #10
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Besides waiting and having to fill out forms and FEDEX them, I've never had any significant problems with VG. Here are my more annoying experiences:

In 2015, when I transferred a 401(k) to an IRA, the sending institution mailed a check to VG. It took about 7 or 10 days for the $ to appear in the account.

2017. When I recharacterized mutual funds to ETFs, the $ in the accounts "disappeared" for a few days, and the online status showed no pending transactions. Boy, was I tense during that time, as I had no proof that the $ existed anywhere.

2018: Filling out the paperwork for inherited IRAs and rollovers from other institutions was a bit tedious, but I had no significant problems.

September 2020. I had to spend 45 minutes on the phone with VG to set up four wire transfers from separate accounts to buy a house. All of the data had to be entered separately for each wire transaction, even though the sending and receiving institution info and notes remained the same.
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Old 09-19-2020, 10:06 AM   #11
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I have been with Vanguard for close to 25 years. In my early investing years I opened accounts all over the place with no real plan having accounts at Schwab, Merrill Lynch, Century Funds, Berger Funds, 401K with Vanguard and several others that escape me at present. When I retired, I decided to simplify my money management so I rolled everything into accounts at Vanguard except my after tax which I keep at Schwab just because it's so easy to trade on their web site. The consolidation process was pretty painless as I just had Vanguard do the dirty work to make it happen. Eight years ago I set up monthly distributions from my IRA at Vanguard and it has been flawless. Sometimes I go online and transfer from one of my accounts at Vanguard and it is completed quickly. I have had no complaints but that could be due to never really having an issue that required special handling to accomplish.

DGF has been at Fidelity for over 20 years and I manage her accounts there. I'm not a fan.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:28 AM   #12
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We closed our accounts at Vanguard last year. Several reasons, but customer service was one large factor. We consolidated to Fidelity. It is great. If I need to move 100K out, I call and they handle the wire out over the phone, no paper work. I use their bill pay feature and routinely move money between our linked banks. Service is simply getting even better. We had to drive from Redmond to Bellevue to go to a Fido office (about 8 miles), but now they opened an office next to our credit union in Redmond making it super convenient if we need to do any paper work. I can say we had several issues and delays trying to work with Vanguard remotely. We had used the Schwab office for a while, but I guess we had the wrong person for a contact and it fell short of our needs.
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Old 09-19-2020, 11:53 AM   #13
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... We had used the Schwab office for a while, but I guess we had the wrong person for a contact and it fell short of our needs.
IMO this is an important point that tends to get short service in these discussions. Whenever I suggest Schwab or Fido to someone I suggest that they contact the branch manager, discuss the kind of rep they want (sex, age, experience, investment interests, etc.), then arrange to interview at least two candidates. "Fit" is important, probably more important than the name on the sign outside.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:04 AM   #14
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We are Vanguard Flagship with an assigned advisor and I have my 403b at Fidelity. Our service has been consistently great at both for years and years, as it was at Schwab when we used to have accounts there.
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Old 09-20-2020, 06:32 AM   #15
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Did you have to jump through such hoops? I'm extra curious because I just assumed my troubles had something to do with my using credit unions as every now and then an ATM or CC processor just seems to barf on and reject my CU cards because they're not in the right club or something. So I figured VG was doing the same thing.
Not at all. When I get a new Credit union, I always set up a link to them. Usually a checking account as savings accounts do not typically allowed for ACH Clearing.

I have a lot of CU accounts because I have a lot of ~4% CDs. They were all funded from Vanguard about a year ago. I do find it a little more tedious going to Vanguard from a CU as they typically limit transfers out to ~$5000 a day, but not incoming funds.

I have done these transfers with success in the past and still currently do some from Vanguard to: PENFED, VYSTAR, NFCU, Space Coast CU, FFCU and Sun coast CU with minimum effort.

Going out with TIRA, IRA etc. involve extra paperwork that is governed by Federal Law and take approximately 2 weeks in either direction.

Cash Accounts have been no issue at all.

I think the key is setting up the ACH as that can take up to a week.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:21 PM   #16
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I have done these transfers with success in the past and still currently do some from Vanguard to: PENFED, VYSTAR, NFCU, Space Coast CU, FFCU and Sun coast CU with minimum effort.
Thanks. Penfed is one of the ones I couldn't transfer to. I guess I'll try again and screenshot the notary message if I get it again.

Now I'm wondering if it's something to do with me and not my accounts. But when I first had trouble withdrawing to buy it was before I was directly employed by a financial institution and I wasn't under any trading and reporting restrictions that I recall.
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Old 09-20-2020, 12:32 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
No idea how some folks are unlucky with Vanguard.

Yesterday I moved money, a lot of money, from VG to my CU. It was there by this morning!

Called them for general Customer Services, Got a call back in 15 minutes and got all my questions answered.

Go figure.
60 years plus. AND the late Mr B's 'Folly' saved me from most of my 'legend in my own mind' investment decisions over the same time frame with perhaps -psst Wellesley the exception.

heh heh heh -
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ShokWaveRider View Post
No idea how some folks are unlucky with Vanguard.

Yesterday I moved money, a lot of money, from VG to my CU. It was there by this morning!

Called them for general Customer Services, Got a call back in 15 minutes and got all my questions answered.

Go figure.

I do not have problems moving money from Vanguard to my bank... I do have problems moving money from outside Vanguard to them or transferring an account from one person to another...


They seem to not care either...
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Old 09-22-2020, 09:49 PM   #19
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Vanguard sent me a notice about change in the timing of money taken out for PAS Services. I never signed up for the PAS.

I was upset, called & sent a message to my Flagship Rep. the phone Rep apologized & Vanguard sent me an email apologizing for the error.

Mistakes at Vanguard are getting worse, I too have been with Vanguard around 25 years & have a Flagship Select Account.

I am moving my accounts to Fidelity & Schwab, enough already.

Fidelity & Schwab both are working with Vanguard to get accounts transferred, let us hope Vanguard does not bungle that up. Makes me sad seeing they are making a mess of a great Investment Broker.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:30 PM   #20
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Also with VG for over 25 years. Every now and then, if i try to do something very complex, I have to spend time on the phone making sure they are doing what I want. Rolled over a 401k to them about 6 years ago and I had a lot more trouble with Principal, where the 401K was than with VG. Principal just did not want to let go of my money.
As far as withdrawing money from VG, it's been seamless. You can have several accounts listed where you want the money to go and you just pick one. I do it all online, so no issues. On Sunday I initiated a transfer to my CU and it was posted today. Very fast, no issues. My wife's accounts are with TRP and they are equally fast and painless.
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