Baron Funds

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Regarding the complaint dated February 2, 2010 by Michael of Freehold, NJ:

We (Baron Funds) also directly received the complaint from this customer at our corporate headquarters in New York, NY and responded back to him. As soon as we received the complaint, we investigated what transpired and substantiated many of his claims. We promptly issued a $35 check to reimburse him for the check cancellation fee he incurred. We then opened his account after confirming with him that he still wanted to buy our mutual fund.

Although we never like to hear that we make mistakes, we were happy that he brought this to our attention so that we could address it. Excellent customer service is very important to us and we take these issues seriously. We are working to make sure this does not happen again.


On December 1, 2009, I sent the Baron Fund (P.O. Box, Kansas City, MO 64121-9946) a completed application form and a check in the amount of $2,500.00 to open a Baron Growth Fund account. On January 12, 2010, I became concerned that I did not hear back from the company about my application, so I called their Customer Service Department to inquire about it.

I was told that there was no record of my application being received, and of course, no check. Since it had been almost 45 days from the time I sent the application in, I asked what I should do about the check (which had not been cashed). The representative I spoke to suggested that I cancel the check, and he stated that he would send me out another application form.

On January 13, 2010, I went to the Capital One Bank and issued a Stop Payment Order on the check (#126), it cost me $35.00 to do that. On January 18, 2010, I received the new application form, which I promptly filled and sent back to the Baron Fund. On January 19, 2010, I received a letter from the Baron Fund stating that the original check (dated December 1, 2009), was not filled out completely and needed to be resubmitted. The letter included my check (#126). The letter was dated December 7, 2009. However; it was postmarked (by a postal machine at the Baron Fund on January 13, 2010).

The new application package was also postmarked (by a postal machine at the Baron Fund on January 13, 2010). So, it took until January 13 (or 37 days) to mail the letter dated December 7, 2009 from the Baron Fund. Was it a coincidence that my call of January 12, 2010 had something to do with the mailing? I think not.

On January 20, 2010, I called the Baron Fund to complain (I spoke to Christy) and requested that I be reimbursed for the $35.00 cost of the check cancellation fee charged by the bank. She said she did not have the authority to approve that, so I asked to speak to a supervisor. She said she would get one and then told me that the supervisor (James) was in a meeting and was not available, but that he (or she) would call me back. She also asked that I fax her a copy of the bank charge (which I faxed to her that day). No one ever called me. Some customer service!

On about January 23, 2010, I received a call from "Steve" at the Baron Fund about setting up my new account. He wanted me to send them a check for $500.00 to open the account, even though I indicated on the account form that the money should be taken from a specific bank account. I had provided the bank account number and access information on the form. After talking to his supervisor, he finally figured out that he did not need a check and could open the account the way I indicated on the second application form. I was not about to send them another check!

I inquired about my complaint and claim for reimbursement for the $35.00. He didn't know about it, but he said he would find out and get back to me. He returned my call, but he said a supervisor (James again) would need to look into it, but he was busy in meetings.

On January 29, 2010, I called the Baron Fund and asked to speak to Christy. She had been moved out of the Customer Service Department, and so I spoke to Alina. I regurgitated the whole story and was told that they had hired additional supervisors and my request would be looked into as soon as possible. I informed her that I would be filing a complaint with the appropriate institutions if I did not hear back from them soon. It is now February 2, 2010, and I have still not heard back from them. All this for $35.00 on an account I opened for $2500.00. They cost me $35.00, and I would like it reimbursed.

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Baron Funds