VanguardConsumerAffairs Unaccredited Brand
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My recent experience with Vanguard.com indicates that company may be trying to maintain its low operational cost by saving on customer security and compromising site consistency. Company will benefit from complete end to end review of Information Safety and Consistency of its customer facing website. I am long-term Vanguard customer and I was routinely kicked out of the system after entering sensitive personal financial information, in the middle of financial transactions. It appears as if Vanguard is not able to fund sufficient IT support and may be using junior IT workforce.
After certain hours Vanguard may have advisors and sales people available, but no support personnel to look into compromised or locked accounts from technical standpoint. This underlines my initial concerns about quality and reliability of Vanguard technical platform. As long term customer I am very concerned about safety of their system and adequate experience of Vanguard technical personnel and will be considering moving all funds to company with adequate security procedures and adequate quality of IT workforce.
For the last 18 years, Vanguard has been the poorest company I have ever not had the pleasure of doing business with. They are so poorly trained as how to conduct themselves with the age group of retired citizens. People who have worked for 20 yrs or more to obtain the retirement funds that Vanguard is distributing to us. This is MY MONEY, NOT THEIRS! Yet every time I need to make an address change, bank change or even just ask questions, they act like they don't know what they are doing. I spoke to one person and they told me one thing and when I called back 10 minutes later, I was told something completely different. I am now looking to have my funds transferred to another company.
Vanguard deserves zero stars for lack of caring and horrible customer service. They transferred ALL my retirement funds to another vendor without any communication on their part as to where funds were sent. The service specialist basically said it's my problem to sort out now that I am not with them.
This company failed to send me my Tax Forms for 2017. It took 4 phone calls and a FedEx letter to get this fixed. Also they changed me to electronic mail only, without my permission. I moved my money elsewhere. A bad company.
My 3 siblings and I have been trying to transfer 2 inherited IRAs to Vanguard since the beginning of February. I have redone my paperwork 5 times all because of their errors not mine. I have been constantly lied to. They blamed the holder of the assets until we conference them in and it came out all of the problems were by Vanguard and they hadn't even sent the paperwork out. All is needed is an acceptance letter but VG won't send it until they are happy with their paperwork. My siblings have called and receive the wrong forms, lies, and excuses. We have hours of time and hundreds of printed pages and aren't even close to getting this transaction completed.
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If I could give them ZERO STARS I would... I applied for a hardship withdrawal to complete the construction of my primary residence. I am in the middle of a construction loan and due to overages on materials and labor versus what the original bids were, I am stuck without a completed home. I contacted Vanguard and after explaining the situation to the Vanguard associate that was on the phone, they told me no problem, told me exactly what I needed in order to complete the hardship withdrawal, and sent me the packet in the mail. Upon receipt, I read again what was needed for a custom build construction loan, I got all the information together, and sent the completed packet to them via 2 day mail with tracking to ensure it was received. I also included a cover letter explaining the hardship situation.
I was contacted two days later stating that they needed additional information... so I called them. They told me that I could not get this hardship withdrawal unless the construction loan document dates were amended!!! Of course I was clueless as to why this was necessary and advised that my lender conducts pre close construction loans for a one time close situation versus closing after the loan is completed. Our bank actually specializes in construction loans. Vanguard then begins to explain that if I would have applied for a Hardship Withdrawal BEFORE we closed on the loan, that this would have been permitted. REALLY??? How in the world could we have predicted that we would need access to these funds for our primary residence BEFORE we entered into a construction loan agreement???
After 3 more phone calls and hardship withdrawal reviews, we continued to get the same messages... although the stories changed with each very uneducated associate I spoke to. Basically if I wanted to buy a home or build a home and didn't save money to do so, I could have access to MY money. But because my wife and I did everything right, had the appropriate funds to build a home up front (not foreseeing the increases in lumber that would come our way and a few other items) and then running short on the tail end of the loan and finding ourselves in a very large bind in trying to complete the construction on our home, we DIDN'T qualify for a hardship. This company actually asked us to have our CLOSING DOCUMENTS AMENDED... REALLY??? I'm not sure the FTC would agree with this advice or gave practices.
Then the last guys we spoke to BLAMED IT ON THE IRS. Typical!!! Always a blame game in the world today. Bottom line, DO NOT invest with this company... do not recommend anyone use this company for a rollover or as an entrepreneur seeking to invest. They employee sub-par uneducated regarding specific industries in which they support. The last guys we talked to advised that he was NOT familiar with the construction loan process... why is he employed to help assist customers with their needs??? Very pitiful excuse for an investment company. I am raising this awareness with my employer's HR department and will push to have Vanguard resourced from managing my company's 401K investments. They are not a consumer driven or a consumer supporting company. They offered nothing but lies.
It's like pulling teeth to open an account with Vanguard. Many other financial institutions, including brokerages, value their clients and leverage technology to provide exceptional customer service. Not so with Vanguard. Plan on a minimum of three weeks to a month to open a new account as it has to be done in multiple steps via USPS or other hard-copy messenger. There are other options of course, if you prefer telegraph or -- wait for it -- facsimile transmission! (Pony Express would probably be faster.) Congratulations, Vanguard, on making simple processes complex and quick transactions interminably lengthy. In fact, I entered this comment while on hold with Vanguard Customer Service for 25 minutes and counting...
On March 28 I started a process for a HARDSHIP withdrawal, hence the word HARDSHIP. Today April 6, I'm still have not completed step 1 of the process. Vanguard SUCKS. I've had 401K in the past and had to withdraw and it took all of 3 days. I'm hoping I can move my 401K to a much better company. I don't recommend anyone to use Vanguard, every representative I've talked to has a different way of doing things. Khiana ** the supervisor was no better, in fact she needs a few lessons in customer service.
This company is an absolute joke. We went for 6+ months without going into the account and they refuse to let us back in. They have a lot of our money and will not help us log in. We've wasted over 10 hours on the phone with them and they are not helpful at all. We are filing a complaint with the CA Attorney General and hiring a lawyer to sue them for access to the account.
I just recently helped my wife switch over her Roth IRA from USAA to Vanguard. I've tried to get help with basic account and online functions twice. Both times, customer service has been very rude and not helpful, particularly when they see that the account is in my wife's name. As I manage my family's finances, I made the phone call. Yesterday, the guy told me he would not help me because the account was in my wife's name, then he asked to speak with my wife. I let him speak with her and she gave the answers to her security questions and handed the phone back to me. The customer service rep was still a complete jerk and not helpful at all. I'll probably be looking for a new investment company soon.
Low fees and no broker pushing something for his personal profit And no churning. They offer Solid mutual funds and ETFs that have made me money for nearly 30 years.
I retired in 2014 and had my 401K account with Vanguard. I left it there as it was doing well and I did not want to withdraw funds. Last November, 2017 I called Vanguard to inquire about withdrawing some after tax money. I was told my 401K had to be rolled over from my employer account to Vanguard. I agreed and the agent walked me through the steps. Fast forward to Feb. 1, 2018. I called Vanguard to make a withdrawal. After being transferred to several agents, it was determined my rollover was not done correctly, a 'human error' - my 'after tax' money was not moved to the correct area, whatever that means.
It is now the middle of March and I have talked to no less than 12 agents, each telling me it was 'human error' and I am 'on the list'. None of this was my fault and why should it take a month and half to correct? I ask to speak to Managers and Supervisors, but have no idea who I am really speaking to. One agent told me it is 'really a busy time of year for them', and to be patient. I called once again this morning to an agent who gave me her personal office number, but only got her voice mail. Waiting once again for a phone call. I am so aggravated and frustrated with Vanguard and reading the other complaints only makes it worse. I would not recommend anyone do business with Vanguard.
Vanguard's website more difficult to use than Fidelity. The information I look for seems easier to retrieve and gives me more of the information when I start up on the site cost bases, how much have I earned, and percent of loss or gain.
I don't have many transaction with VG but my entire IRA is with them because they are very clear in their processes plus prompt and reliable. I have been with them for over 40 years.
I have communicated with many Vanguard representatives, while especially within their Flagship area. Over many past years, I have spent time with Male representatives & I feel are not personally helping me out compared with other females representatives that I feel care more. But either/or, they fully & clearly including extensive support, while psychologically reviewing my overall responses & reassuring that everything was fully right on my side.
I've used Vanguard for almost 6 years. First with funds acquired through my divorce, that was put away and I watched it dramatically grow. Then this year I acquired fund from the death of a family member, and funds that they had acquire the same way. I got a personal VG assistant to help me put the funds where they would best grow. They have been wonderful at helping increase all my funds quite a bit in 10 months!
I contacted John ** with Vanguard in reference to transferring my IRA of $500,000 to Vanguard. After a brief discussion John sent me a portfolio of making only 5% over 20 years. I responded through email I would like to make more since I am working and do not need access to it. He emailed me back that based on my attitude about the market he would not offer any more.
Follow up conversation resulted in the first thing from Mr **, "You are not a good fit with Vanguard" and refused to go any further with me. Needless to say I thought over 20 years I should have some input if my life changes and Vanguard does not allow that. Good luck to anyone thinking Vanguard is there for you. I had exactly one conversation with my statistics and a follow up of I am not a good fit due to my attitude. How disrespectful can you be? Like he said 'He is on salary' so customer service need not be included.
My father passed away early October 2017 and it took until late February 2018 for the trust funds to be sent to us heirs. Other similar companies my father invested with, such Fidelity, completed the trust work within a few months. Vanguard's slowness for 5 months, losing records, back and forth with their Resolution Team, and whatever they were doing with his money, cost us many thousands in lost investment income, such as benefiting from Bitcoin's rise.
My mother has done business with Vanguard for about 15 years. She passed away recently, and my brother and I were to inherit 50% each of her TOD accounts. Documentation has been in place since 2006. Vanguard partially filled in forms that we were to finish and return to them with our wishes. I had chosen to set up a new account with my half of the funds. My brother wanted to cash his half out. Our forms were sent in, and weeks passed with no word from Vanguard. I called to see what the status was and was kept on hold for 25 minutes before I hung up in frustration.
My brother called me today to say he had received a check for the entire amount of her accounts. Incredible! I called to voice my opinion of their ineptness, and someone stated they were working on reissuing checks, etc. I said "forget it". We will cash our checks made out to my brother and split the amounts. What idiots!!! I told them I would never again do business with Vanguard, and to be sure my recorded conversation went straight to their CEO.
I had a 401K plan through Vanguard with a prior employer. I have been attempting to roll the Vanguard funds into the 401K I have with my current employer (administered by another institution). It seems to be a pretty common and straightforward transaction but it has been an absolute nightmare. The "first level" customer support at Vanguard doesn't ever seem to be able to answer questions or give me the necessary information or documentation and almost always escalates my calls. After a MONTH and countless hours of phone calls to Vanguard it was determined that Vanguard was unable to supply my new plan administrator with the paperwork that my current employer-funded 401K requires in order to roll the funds into my current 401K.
Subsequently I had to open a personal IRA with the new institution and have the Vanguard funds rolled into that personal account. A representative from my current investment institution called Vanguard with me to get it all finalized. 3 weeks later I called when the funds still were not showing in my new IRA and was told that there was no record of that phone call and the disbursement was never sent! It's infuriating and I hope to NEVER EVER have to invest a penny with Vanguard again.
This January, 2018, I began going over all the documents required to file my 2017 federal income tax return. A letter came in from Vanguard, who I and my wife have our IRA retirement accounts with. I opened the mail and found that Vanguard had mistakenly sent not one, but, two required minimum distributions from my wife's account in December. I attempted to log in to the Vanguard account to verify this error, to no avail. Seems that Vanguard has locked the account. Next, I call Vanguard and, after speaking to no less than 5 "customer service representatives" over a two hour period and being hung up on several times, I was sent a form via email to fill out, have notarized, and return via snail mail to Vanguard to get the account password reset.
Fast forward several weeks -- got an email from Vanguard today that indicated that I needed to check something on the account by logging in. Tried again to log in to find my wife's account was still locked out and spent another hour on the phone with unhelpful and useless "customer service representatives". Now I know why Vanguard has slightly lower fees than other providers of investment services. They offer absolutely NO CUSTOMER SERVICE AT ALL. Do business with this company at your own risk. I'll be moving funds somewhere else shortly.
I transferred 5500 into account for the IRA. Call taker said I transferred it into the brokerage account. But was walked through by a previous call taker who confirmed. Result: stocks sold at a loss today to cover the error. Fortification: call taker said the site is hard to navigate, you may have been confused. Conflict: I had never seen the brokerage transfer page which is totally different than the IRA. Brokerage is GUI interface with buttons and IRA is multi selection boxes which looks like old format which I was used to. They offered no solution. Even though my brokerage acct had 5500 in it they would not transfer to IRA account to fix issue and told me to wait 7 days. Wow. Bye.
I tried to transfer funds into a money market fund before the close as the market had gone down considerably that day. The website froze and when I called to talk to someone at Vanguard the lines weren't being answered and many times it would go right to a busy signal. The market closed and it wasn't until after a half hour later I was able to finally talk to someone. I thought because their website froze and they didn't answer their phones that they could do a manual entry to get me the market's close price. On the contrary, I was given a speech about Vanguard's market philosophy. The speech went "you really shouldn't sell because the market may go back up and you'll miss the opportunity." Really? How about the market already went down over 1400 points, it could go down another 1000, and I want to stop the losses.
They wouldn't honor the market close price and they said I could put an order in to sell at tomorrow's close. I told them I feared the market would go down another thousand points and they said there's nothing they could do. I had received nothing less than great service before this incident, but it was a real eye opener concerning Vanguard. I found out that when things go wrong, they won't stand behind their customers. Very disappointing.
I've been trying to rollover money from my previous employer's to my current employer's 401K, Vanguard. The website said they were still waiting for my check, which was sent January 10th, 2018. I called Vanguard today, 01/22/2018, to inquire why my balance was still low. They said no check was received and all they could do was leave a message with someone to possibly find it. I then went back and forth between Vanguard and my previous 401K company a total of five times as Vanguard requested more and more information.
All of this requested info wasn't listed in one sitting. Instead, over hours on the phone, it was all finally compiled by me. As I said, hours later, it turns out that they cashed the check January 18th, 2018. As of this moment, they still can't find my money and it isn't even close to being rolled into my 401K through them. I don’t understand how a company can lose nearly 30k. This is my future retirement that is getting unprofessionally dealt with.
Vanguard has taken a month to open my account, then double draft. I agreed to $10,000 for 2020 retirement fund. They took 10,000 then 6 days later took another 10,000 leaving me with enough cash to buy groceries for a week. To top it all, they had put my money in a Money market account, the same as a toilet account. I had been specific in my opening that it was for the 2020 Retirement fund that made 6.9 % in 2016; 15% last year. Instead it made 3 cents in January. So they had 20,000 to play around with. When I called to inquire they left me on hold for more than 10 minutes. I called back after the weekend and through all the bull they wanted to discuss they said they would wire it today, but my bank may charge me for the wire!? Wow. I said no, just send it by cheapest way, I made a mistake and since my money is still in MONEY MARKET, send me a copy of the application where I specified RETIREMENT FUND 2020.
Vanguard exhibits a pattern of retaining client funds. They have onerous procedures to delay and frustrate clients hoping many give up. That is certainly my experience and as I read the reviews of Vanguard that appears to be the experience on most reviewers. I have dealt with other brokerage firms and never encountered anything similar. Unfortunately clients look for reviews such as these when they are frustrated and not before they commit funds to Vanguard. As in my case my company used Vanguard for deferred income and 401K accounts; therefore, I assumed Vanguard had a good reputation. My experience since my retirement three years ago has not been good. I began trying to withdraw the funds immediately after my retirement and to date they still retain a small portion of my funds which they refuse to relinquish to me.
I had Vanguard for my 401k which was then transferred to a private IRA when I left my company. They had done a great job of investing for me. I suggested my husband roll his 401K money into an IRA there as well. We recently tried to transfer some of HIS money out to HIS checking account and what a disaster they have been - it is a bit of a story I won't bore you with - but basically we keep sending in the form since they wanted to verify who my husband was since I was involved, as well as verifying his identity on the phone 4 times with his security questions.
Now about 3 months later we still do not have a password so we can't transfer out the money. We are on our 6th notary payment sending in their SAME exact form and they keep finding BS reasons that something is wrong with it. My husband put only a tiny bit of money here just to try them out and they have FAILED miserably and he is closing his account. I have money here as well which has done well but I am also in search of a new company since our treatment has been so disgusting. Sad to see what a cluster they have made of our business. Do NOT put your money here as they have very very very poor customer service and even slower service in responding.
I was forced to deal with Vanguard because my employer had them as the retirement fund administrator for their plan. They were extremely difficult to deal with. In one case they waited three days from the date they received my transaction order (verified delivery by return receipt from post office) until they acted on it. The transaction value in that time moved nearly a thousand dollars in their favor, and they refused to even discuss it! Happiness is Vanguard in the rear view mirror!
Long time investor and I have all of my retirement savings. One day my password stops working. I try the online reset. No dice... I wait a few days and the same. Then I call in and while I am certain about the questions they didn't pass their system and I have to wait two weeks to get resetting stuff in snail mail... They can't (won't) email me a reset. Turns out it was a bug in their system. All said it was the condescending tone that bothered me.
I have been a client since 2003. Until 3 years ago I never experienced any negative event with Vanguard. I was praising the company anytime its name came up in a discussion. I do strongly believe that did an amazing job to make investing affordable, straightforward, and "honest". Vanguard is truly a gift to any customer. Also, I am aware that Vanguard is a low-cost solution and no-frills.
However, in the last 3 years, the quality of their associate/customer support has decreased quite substantially, to say the least. Before 3 yrs ago I would always get my questions answered in a timely, competent, and nice fashion. Since about the beginning of 2015 I had at least 25 episodes in which their associates provided a 1) blatantly wrong answers. 2) Could not answer my question at all and when asked to talk to a more senior associate I was re-routed to a peer. 3) Generally quite ignorant about products' main/basic features, not to mention when I asked for a little bit more sophisticated questions. 4) I would receive 3 different answers from same question in 3 different occasions (I unfortunately learned to not trust them, so I called multiple times with same question). More importantly: those 20 episodes coincide more or less to the number of times I called them...
Other than customer service, in the last 3 years I noticed quite clearly the followings: 1) the website, which used to be top notch, shows several glitches and sometimes some accounts literally disappear for a while from your holding page. 2) More "sophisticated" services such as transfer of shares are below sub par, in some cases taking 2 months to transfer from another brokerage house. I am aware that since early 2016 several articles have highlighted how Vanguard customer services has worsened substantially and that the company was under strain due to the fast rise in asset under management. Those articles also quoted Vanguard executives saying they were aggressively hiring and training new associates. Well, we are in October 2017 and I have not seen any noticeable improvement, if any, quite the opposite.
Vanguard expert review by Barbara Friedberg
The Vanguard Group is one of the oldest and most highly regarded mutual fund companies on the market. This company is known for its pioneering creation of low-cost index funds. Their robo-advisor offering is targeting the baby boomers with a combination of automated and human advisor services.
Financial advisors: The Vanguard Personal Advisor Services begins with a meeting between the client and the advisor in order to map out the user’s goals and to create an investment plan. Vanguard implements the plan and allows the consumer to decide upon their level of input.
Fees and minimums: The annual management fee is 0.30 percent of AUM with a $50,000 minimum investment account. There are no commission charges for transactions.
Low cost index mutual funds and ETFs: As is the case with most of the automated advisors, the account is populated with low fee ETFs.
Other features: Vanguard offers rebalancing as well as consideration for tax consequences. The Vanguard site provides access to valuable educational and investment tools as well.
Not comprehensive: The Vanguard Personal Advisor Services minimum $50,000 entrance investment rules out lower net worth individuals. The platform is limited to Vanguard funds.
Best for: Higher net worth investors that prefer contact with a human advisor.
Vanguard Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- Vanguard P.O. Box 1110
- Valley Forge
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (877) 662-7447