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Vanguard Customer Service: Very bad so far

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  • #16

    I've seen plenty of complaints about the customer service with Vanguard.  That's not vanguard's strength.  Their strength is their investement products. 

    They have good funds.  Many brokerage firms allow you to buy their funds for nothing or almost nothing. You can buy ETF versions of most of them and just hold them at whatever brokerage you like.  

    The main reason to actually have an account at Vanguard is that they waive fees on their own funds.  So if you have a lot of vanguard funds, you'll save a little bit by holding them at Vanguard.  For a lot of people here the amount saved (on a percentage basis) is so minute that it's barely worth mention.  So if you have another broker that you feel gives you better customer service, just hold your Vanguard funds and ETFs there and get customer service that is more suited to your needs.


    • #17

      Really old post, but I'll throw in my .03 for anyone else reading.

      +1 if you need someone to hold your hand, probably best to hire your own fee-only advisor you can meet with personally.  Or even an AUM advisor if you're going to be using them extensively.  Again, as others said before, Vanguard is a low-cost firm.  You provide your own warm and fuzzies, and you save a boatload in commissions, fees and expenses.

      Given the scenario outlined by OP, I have a feeling the experience would have been similar with most other large firms.  And then phone tag is phone tag. Scheduled meetings and doctors in general (especially residents), just don't really seem to coincide.  

      I have had to deal with Vanguard on a handful of occasions for very high net worth clients and they were always very prompt and very professional, very flexible on setting up phone calls, etc.  The distinct understanding I get is that as you move up, the quality of your service increases dramatically.  

      I personally really like their website and their phone app, which lets me manage all of my family's accounts with just one login.  When I have called on my own accounts, it has been hit and miss.  I have only called on a few occasions where I needed to do something the website wouldn't let me do.  First call didn't get it done, but the second call did.  Another time I mailed paperwork and missed a check box or a signature or something, and it dragged for weeks.  After calling, discovering my error, and faxing in the corrected paperwork, it was handled the same day.  I would have appreciated them telling me my problem without having to call, but c'est la vie and I moved on.  

      If I signed up with a local boutique investment advisor firm, I would hope to receive a lot faster service on the rare occasion that I need it, but I would be paying exponentially higher fees year round even when I don't use them.  



      • #18
        To give an update, once I actually got the accounts set up it's been very smooth sailing. I don't believe I had any other customer service issues, and did have a couple of very positive ones. Also my investments have done well, so that's nice... Thanks for reminding me to circle back.