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Vanguard Customer Service: Very bad so far

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  • CinciResident
    replied
    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • Craigy
    replied

    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.  


     

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  • AR
    replied

    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.

    Leave a comment:


  • beagler
    replied

    If you're going to pay the % asset fee for advisory service, I'd expect better service. Either pick something else or better yet DIY. You'll get better service asking about allocations on this board for free.


    I love Vanguard for and try to do everything online - shouldn't have transfers once it's all set up.

    Leave a comment:


  • FIREshrink
    replied

    I guess if you need a cheap advisor, Vanguard PAS is your ticket and maybe your experience is typical. I have never heard of a two way webinar with Vanguard. Why does that need to happen?


    I only use Vanguard for low cost mutual funds and ETFs. Very happy with their service. I will concur Vanguard is not always the fastest. But they always get the job done, and make sure to follow through.

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied

    Fidelity has much better customer service in my experience.


    It's true that you can do just about everything online, but you'll still have an occasional question or problem. Fidelity reps are responsive and knowledgeable. When they don't know the answer they track it down promptly. 

    Leave a comment:


  • CM
    replied



    I have never really dealt with them as setting up an account or transferring something can be done online in about 7 minutes. With Vanguard I dont find it that hard to believe as they have to deliver low costs from somewhere.


    If you want to benefit from Vanguards fees you dont have to use their actual firm, just buy their products, which is what I do since their website is also curmudgeonly.


     


    After residency I basically have figured this out about life. If you expect or even have a notion that the rest of the world has the kind of follow through, sense of commitment, tenacity, etc…that you experience and expect to deliver yourself as a doctor, you’re in for a big disappointment. It just does not work that way in the rest of the world. Things that are world changing important in communications at 330pm are never thought of again at 445 when its prep time to go home.


    Its pretty amazing and I see this almost everywhere. I am fully convinced that most businesses could be making a lot more money if not for behavioral issues. I have never had a quick response or return of call for lawn services, and very few companies for anything house related are prompt and on the ball. Sometimes I feel like Im standing on the corner with a wad of cash waving it to people and they simply refuse to be bothered (this happened once literally, grounds guy told my wife he had no time). I have tried several times in the last year to get things done, once blinds for the house and then a new patio door and both times tried to go with big box stores installers to save time and they were so slow and unresponsive I did it myself.


    Another surgeon and I at my practice always joke about putting together a home services company with doctor style work ethics, we’d make a killing, but couldnt grow since it’d be hard to find enough people with the same qualities. We have what is apparently way too high of expectations for these kinds of things.


     


    Click to expand...



    Amen.

    Leave a comment:


  • Scottaazz
    replied
    That is basically what happened to me. I got the “i will be your advisor” with a phone and extension. The person was never available and sometimes called me back many days later. I tried to connect with another advisor and had to start from the bottom again and felt like crap dealing with them. After this horrible experience I am switching to fidelity.

    Why does anyone put up with vanguard?

    Leave a comment:


  • CinciResident
    replied
    Are you enrolling in the Vanguard advisory program or just DIY using Vanguards funds?

    The advisory program


    Bottom line:  Vanguard is fine.  Give them another chance.






    Vanguard is a fine brokerage firm, if that is what you are looking for, but their cost of production comes before your personal interests.

    With Vanguard I dont find it that hard to believe as they have to deliver low costs from somewhere.


    Probably should be a bit more patient with their customer service.

    Vanguard does two of the three extremely well (high quality and low expenses). If service/investor experience is your priority, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

    I would like to show some love for Vanguard’s customer service, as my experience has been outstanding.

    All worthy points, thanks all. I envisioned Vanguard indeed as the triple crown king of low cost/quality/service, but I suppose something must give to facilitate the low cost. Ah well. I'll try again and hope for M's experience...
    Another surgeon and I at my practice always joke about putting together a home services company with doctor style work ethics, we’d make a killing.

    Let me know when you get the service together. I'll be your first customer

     

    Leave a comment:


  • M
    replied
    I would like to show some love for Vanguard's customer service, as my experience has been outstanding.  Disclaimer: I am a "Flagship" client, so the level of service I receive may not be replicable for a non-Flagship client (Flagship status is automatic once $1m in assets with Vanguard is reached).  That said, I have received concierge-level service on numerous occasions, most recently for a complicated paper stock-certificate transaction that involved so many moving parts that I thought it would never get done.  The Vanguard rep handled everything, sometimes even doing a conference call with me and a third party brokerage, to walk me through the process.  He even phoned me on an every-week basis for awhile, to followup on all the transactions that were supposed to be occuring between another brokerage and Vanguard.  It was awesome.

    Leave a comment:


  • VagabondMD
    replied
    I would agree with all of the above.

    Specifically, do as much online as you can.

    Be patient.

    If you want concierge level of service, be prepared to pay for it.

    Once you get things set up, it is a well-run machine.

    As you know, health care has an impossible (IMO) triple aim of great service/patient experience, high quality, and low cost. I have oft heard that you can have two of the three, but all three are impossible.

    Similarly, I would say the same about the investment and personal finance business (and maybe all retail business, for that matter). Vanguard does two of the three extremely well (high quality and low expenses). If service/investor experience is your priority, you might be better off looking elsewhere.

    Leave a comment:


  • Virajith Wijeweera
    replied
    Vanguard is a mutual company that offers investment advice/brokerage services.  From dealing with their customer service, one can tell that they are still learning the trade.  Probably should be a bit more patient with their customer service.

    Leave a comment:


  • Zaphod
    replied
    I have never really dealt with them as setting up an account or transferring something can be done online in about 7 minutes. With Vanguard I dont find it that hard to believe as they have to deliver low costs from somewhere.

    If you want to benefit from Vanguards fees you dont have to use their actual firm, just buy their products, which is what I do since their website is also curmudgeonly.

     

    After residency I basically have figured this out about life. If you expect or even have a notion that the rest of the world has the kind of follow through, sense of commitment, tenacity, etc...that you experience and expect to deliver yourself as a doctor, you're in for a big disappointment. It just does not work that way in the rest of the world. Things that are world changing important in communications at 330pm are never thought of again at 445 when its prep time to go home.

    Its pretty amazing and I see this almost everywhere. I am fully convinced that most businesses could be making a lot more money if not for behavioral issues. I have never had a quick response or return of call for lawn services, and very few companies for anything house related are prompt and on the ball. Sometimes I feel like Im standing on the corner with a wad of cash waving it to people and they simply refuse to be bothered (this happened once literally, grounds guy told my wife he had no time). I have tried several times in the last year to get things done, once blinds for the house and then a new patio door and both times tried to go with big box stores installers to save time and they were so slow and unresponsive I did it myself.

    Another surgeon and I at my practice always joke about putting together a home services company with doctor style work ethics, we'd make a killing, but couldnt grow since it'd be hard to find enough people with the same qualities. We have what is apparently way too high of expectations for these kinds of things.

     

    Leave a comment:


  • jfoxcpacfp
    replied
    You are asking for a personal relationship with a low-cost, large-scale brokerage providing commodity investment advice. Vanguard is a fine brokerage firm, if that is what you are looking for, but their cost of production comes before your personal interests.

    Leave a comment:


  • DarrVao777
    replied
    I second wci's advice, why do you need to speak with someone?

    I would do everything online to avoid the hassle of customer support reps in general

    Leave a comment:

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