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Vanguard customer reviews, complaints, financial services satisfaction rating from clients, pros and cons. Is Vanguard safe and good brokerage firm for investing account?

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Vanguard Customer Reviews

by Jeff, 12/3/2020

Pros: I have been with Vanguard for many years and many of complaints posted here I have not experienced. I use their advisory services and have an assigned account rep. Vanguard does control their costs and their site is not intended for hand-holding rather for folks with 500+k. I have used Fidelity and their security is very similiar to Vanguard.

Cons: Like all brokers, you get what you pay for. Vanguard has the lowest cost ratio of everyone.

Because I use the advisory service, I do not experience any of the issues that have been mentioned in this post. They manage my retirement nest egg and am extremely pleased. All the tax forms are picked up electronically from Turbo Tax and my accountant with no issues. And I like the fact that they use 2-step authentication - the more security the better.

by john fitzpatrick, 11/30/2020

Pros: on hold one hour

Cons:

Vanguard obviously has a 'designed' Staffing issue which due to costs they refuse to address. Clients continue to suffer accordingly.

by kevin, 11/30/2020

Pros:

Cons:

A horrible company with a customer is always wrong attitude. I have accounts at Schwab, TDAmerica, Fidelity, FirstTrade, and Morgan Stanley and Vanguard is the worst of all, by far. They absolutely suck.

First of all they keep changing their funds around in terms of allocations and merging their faiures.

Secondly they do not accurately track your cost basis in taxable accounts, so you will immediately be in conflict with the IRS.

Then they change the rules to access your account after you open in, with nonsense like two factor authentication, or decide suddenly they don't like the address you have used for years.

And then there is the WRONG answers they give regarding their own 401K plans from their CSRs.

Avoid this 5th rate company with a major attitude problem.

by RON Garthus, 11/28/2020

Pros: None

Cons: dont invest with Vanguard

wont give me my money.

by THOMAS BURKE, 10/4/2020

Pros: YOU ARE INEXPENSIVE

Cons: BUT YOUR PROCESSES SUCK

I JUST TRANSITIONED MY ACCOUNT TO YOUR NEW FORMAT. WHAT A FREAKING HASSLE----MORE COMPLICATED THAN MY 1040. DO THIS--- DO THAT--- THEN AFTER 3 DAYS GO TO MY BANK ACCOUNT AND FIND THE CENTS YOU SENT ME--- THEN GO TO YOUR WEB SITE AND VERIFY IT , ONLY TO FINDI THERE IS NO PLACE ON YOUR WEB SITE TO VERIFY IT.
NOW I WILL HAVE TO WASTE MORE OF MY TIME CALLING ONE OF YOUR CLERKS----THEN BEING PUT ON HOLD FOR 30 MINUTES-- THEN TELLING HER i VERIFIED IT. I AM SURE SHE WILL BE CLUELESS.
WHAT KIND OF JACK ASS DESIGNED THIS NIGHTMARE SCENARIO?
I SURE AM GLAD YOU HAVE ONLY A PIDDLING AMOUNT OF MY INVESTMENTS. AND BELIEVE ME YOU WILL NEVER GET ANOTHER PENNY!

by Ross, 9/15/2020

Pros: Low Fees

Cons: Long telephone waits. Does not accept TOD (transfer on death). Difficult website.

A brokerage relationship is a trust. A brokerage that does not position themselves to support their customer can represent a severe risk to the wealth and wellbeing of the customer ... and hence is untrustworthy.

I have experienced several adverse service experiences with Vanguard. The first is an unacceptable wait time to speak to an advisor ( greater than 30 minutes). Delays of this kind can be very concerning and costly $$$ . The second is late posting of transactions on their website. Again, delays of this kind can be very concerning and costly $$$. The third is a website that is difficult to navigate. A fourth is Vanguards' inability to offer the TRANSFER ON DEATH (TOD) option at the passing of the account holder. This forces probate expense and risk exposure for the customer wealth.

Savings realised on investments may be mitigated by losses incurred by Vanguard service performance.

All the preceding should be carefully considered before investing with Vanguard. We are considering closing our experience with Vanguard and returning that portion of our investments to our conventional brokerage. We most certainly will not invest further with Vanguard.

by Thomas Linton, 9/12/2020

Pros: Low expenses

Cons: Virtually no service except by snail mail.

Received a letter by mail "conforming" a transfer of part of our account to another class of securities without prior notice. Told in the letter to contact Vanguard "immediately, " I called repeatedly - nine times - over three days, waiting at least fifteen and up to thirty-six minutes, and sent two emails on a form they have that promises a reply. The calls were not answered, and neither were the emails.
I am inclined to write and close our account if it is ever possible to communicate.

by LongTime Customer, 9/3/2020

Pros: Decent returns on index funds; variety of sector funds, money market accounts

Cons: Customer Service is SUBPAR

I have been an account holder at Vanguard for 28+ years. Recently I have to assist family members in managing their accounts (via financial POA) and an estate account. Vanguard's Customer Service is SUBPAR. Widely divergent instructions on required documentation to transfer and establish trust accounts or to be added to existing accounts, no follow up, and impossible to get a live person to assist you. It may be time to move to a competitor - Fidelity, Schwab.

by Greg N., 9/2/2020

Pros: None

Cons: Sudden and rapid decline in service

I was a Vanguard fan for a long time and within the past 6 months the service has gotten horrible. I have been provided misinformation on how to transfer securities, differing and conflicting information from different people - and changes made to my account without my knowledge. I have been a Flagship customer with supposedly a higher level of service based on my investment level but its a joke. I used to have a dedicated rep and that's been eliminated....30 minutes to wait for a rep? Im looking elsewhere....

by John, 8/26/2020

Pros:

Cons:

I have been a Vanguard mutual fund investor for about 50 years. Since John Bogle left service has gone downhill. I was supposed to get a call back but never did. They do not have enough phone support. I am considering moving my $800,000 to another fund company probably Fidelity.

by Derek, 8/26/2020

Pros:

Cons:

There are reports on the Bloomberg and AAstock websites that Vanguard HK and Japan will be closing down. Yet when I visit the HK Vanguard website there is no mention of such an event happening. What is going on? I'm invested in Vanguard ETFs. I thought ETFs are supposed to be for the long run.
I'm really surprised and disappointed that the Vanguard HK website has no announcement on its own website that it is closing down and investors find out this news from other sources. It's a bit like your best friend telling you that your wife is divorcing you rather than the wife telling you direct. I've now got to figure out what to do with my Vanguard ETFs.

by Cynthia, 8/24/2020

Pros:

Cons: No customer service

On hold for over an hour. Website doesn't deal with what I need. No "call back" option. So I sit here? All day????

by John, 8/7/2020

Pros: low fees

Cons: accounting

really liked Vanguard until they lost a 25000.00 check
I have a copy of the cashed check but they cant see where it was deposited, they are currently investigating it and I'm supposed to check back in five days, meanwhile the stock market goes up and i'm losing

by Matt, 7/15/2020

Pros: Not really sure

Cons: Support is a joke.

I opened a small biz 401k. I called to ask what my options were for enrolling employees. The customer service rep (Steven from Retirements) gave me two options that I had not heard of. When i asked what they were, his response was "It’s like a small business, where you can go ahead, similar to how other employers are where you can contribute to your 401K and you can match it. " and then got frustrated and transferred me when I told him I didn't know what that meant. Shit Service.

by Melvin, 7/7/2020

Pros: Fees

Cons: No support

So i had a simple question, just basically what is my account #. It's not very clear on statement. I callled many times, on hold of over an hour, no one picks up. Every five minutes you hear a ring then a pre-recorded message saying you can go online and do stuff. I called two other numbers, one of them allowed me to keep my place in line by them calling me back. Welp they call back and when i pick up, they hang up! WTF.

Do yourself a favor and do not give them your money. Use a competitor instead

by Dennis Wanlass, 7/3/2020

Pros: Friendly, always apologetic for shortfalls of customers service and commitments. Always can find blame within other departments. Are overly optimistic in their ability to solve Issues and problems

Cons: Never perform up to their commitment. A lot of finger pointing within the company to other silos or kingdoms within organization. You get lies, different information on same matters. You can always depend on what they say or commit to, to be wrong and never Happening on time

I needed to separate an LLC account into 4 separate individual Accounts equally (tax basis of holdings would be the same). Completed as directed the paperwork required ( as sent to me), Signed, scanned and emailed it back as directed. Verified by phone they had everything needed and Received commitment that it would be completed within two days. That was June 12th. Since that time it is now many false statements have been made, many commitments not met, substantial errors made in the cost basis allocated to the 4 individual accounts that significantly modified the tax basis of the individuals. There are also significant technical issues with their platform interfaces canning delay in visibilities enabling the ability to trade. It’s now July 2nd and I see no end in sight that will bring this to a correct conclusion. This an 11 million dollar account but has very little attention, I guess Vanguard has lost their time of essence and commitment to quality and service. While they now tell me the account are separated Correctly, while not being able to see it on the customer platform, I can trade. Needless to say at this point I have little faith and hope in the back office of Vanguard getting it done correctly. All should be beware of Vanguards Inability to protect account integrity and follow direction to assure transactions are recorded properly and corrections as always needed are addressed as they should be. I have moved a separate account from Vanguard to Fidelity and the service, attention, quickness, robust information and tools are significantly much better. On a 1-10 scale , Vanguard is a 2 and Fidelity is a 9. Good luck if you stay with Vanguard. Do not say you were not warned
A frustrated Customer who has lost all hope and faith in Vanguard ability to record, correct and maintain the integrity for my large Flagship accounts. They have become slow, non responsive, bureaucratic, defensive , deceitful in responding to questions and defending their actions. It too bad , it was not always like this. My last issue and correcting their errors made, is still not uresolved after 3 weeks. Sad sad sad

by Frank, 6/12/2020

Pros: Nice paper printouts

Cons: Old data and social justice nonsense

Get with it, Vanguard. I am not paying you to enlighten me about social justice issues or interested in your bleeding hearts. You have MY accounts for business purposes. You want to start a chapter of BLM then take up a collection and pity party elsewhere. On the accounts page, try to have the user account in sync with the current market data for a change. The web design is pathetically pedestrian so please hire somebody that knows some dynamic HTML. That should keep you all busy enough so you have less time posting inane social justice messages on your website.

by Craig M, 6/11/2020

Pros: Low cost

Cons: Poor service

I have been trying to do a simple Roth conversion and over the course of three days I've had to contact Vanguard at least six times spending up to an hour on some occasions on the phone with them trying to get a simple Roth conversion completed. I have received inaccurate or incorrect information on several occasions and even when the information seems to be correct the next day someone new comes in and the processor decides that they don't want to do it the way that the customer service rep said we could and they throw a monkey wrench into the works. To make matters even more frustrating there is no information on their website with a number that you can use to call to make a complaint or to send an email. I'm looking to move my money from Vanguard so that I won't have to deal with this in the future.

by Kristin147, 5/27/2020

Pros: None

Cons: Incompetent, No Customer Service

I have been trying for 30+ days to get the distribution check from my 401K after retiring. The website for self service was very confusing. It appeared as though the check would be sent to my home. When I called to get status on the check (after 15 days) which I thought was coming to my home, it was sent the the custodian of my IRA. So they agreed to cancel that and send a new one to my home. Called today (another 15 days later) and turns out that check was also to the custodian of my IRA. I would have to pay to change the address. So the replacement check was never going to go to my home in the first place. No customer service, no taking responsibility, just wanting more of my money.

by EMSuanno, 5/22/2020

Pros: None that I've experienced thus far.

Cons: No Service whatsoever!

I have been experiencing the same situation as CATHY 4/7/2020, and I'm still waiting for an inheritance from my mother. The don't acknowledge receiving your mailing, so the only thing you can do, which I did, is send ALL YOUR MAILINGS to THEM via CERIFIED-Return-Receipt-Requested or via USPS Priority Express, so at least you have proof of what you have done. THEY WON'T CALL YOU and they said they mailed me something, which I've never received. I may have to hire an attorney, at $500. an hour, to get my inheritance from them, in which case I may sue to cover my expenses.

by Cathy 04/07/20, 4/7/2020

Pros: Worst experience I have ever had with any brokerage firm I have dealt with to date!

Cons: Poor communication, when something was needed that was missing NO ONE called to tell me, NO ONE gave me the same answer twice, never experience a worse runaround for anything in my life

Vanguard is poorly run, their staff, although courteous, are poorly trained and can't communicate the entire necessary instructions when asked. My father died in June, 2019 and the estate, which was perfectly done by my parents, has take until now(4/7/2020) to POSSIBLY be near the end. If I hadn't called to see what the status of my final inheritance amount was, I would have been sitting around thinking everything was completed, BUT NO, my brother had to sign the papers that I sent in already. No where did it say that this was necessary in the reams of pages they sent me! Now we have the Wuhan virus in the US and it need some kind of "medallion" on it from a bank, and they are all closed. Never, Never, Never invest at Vanguard.
I would have given them a NEGATIVE 5 stars if I could!!!!!

by Paul Gravatt, 3/10/2020

Pros: None

Cons: Bad service

These people poorly trained stay away if you have a choice. Horrible to deal with I'm ready to retire no way will leave my money with guys.

by NIKOS, 3/6/2020

Pros: Was good before it grew into a behemoth

Cons: CAN'T GET MY INCOME TAX FORM TO FILL OUT OUT MY TAXES

I HAVE BEEN GIVEN THE RAN-AROUND WHILE TRYING TO GET MY 2019 TAX RETURN DOCUMENTS. LONG WAIT ON PHONE TO TALK TO A SERVICE REP; THEN TOSSED TO ANOTHER, ANOTHER LONG WAIT, AND WHEN TRIED E-MAILS I RECEIVED A COMPUTER PRE-RECORDED MESSAGE TO DIAL A PHONE. DIALED IT, LONG-LONG WAIT, AND i HUNG UP. THEN I RECEIVED AN EMAIL TO "CALL THE NUMBER BELOW" FOR MY CASE, BUT THERE WAS NO NUMBER BELOW!!!!!!!!! I MAILED A LETTER ASKING FOR MY TAX RETURN DOCS, I RECEIVED A COMPUTERIZED MAIL NOTICE THAT i WOULD GET MY INCOME TAX DOCS BY LATE FEBRUARY 2020, BUT IT IS MARCH 6, 2020 TODAY AND I HAVE GOTTEN NOTHING. VANGUARD HAS BECOME A BEHEMOTH AND ITS SERVICES HAVE BECOME CLOGGED. I DECIDED TO EXPOSE THIS BECAUSE I UNDERSTAND THAT IF I CANNOT GET MY INCOME TAX RETURN FILES FROM VANGUARD, LESS EDUCATED VANGUARD CLIENTS TRYING TO GET SERVICES WOULD GO BERSERK IN THE VAST VANGUARD COMPUTERIZED FINANCIAL BOG!
Nikos Retsos, retired professor of political sciences

by Michael Bantner, 1/11/2020

Pros: Low fees

Cons: Customer service, it platform, security uirty

I retired from the federal government and wanted to transfer my 401k to Vanguard. After sending me an email that stated all my paperwork had been processed and mailed to TSP, I received an email that my transfer was cancelled. The person handling my transfer was in training and nobody could help me. Finally a week later I received a call that my paperwork had been sent. ? The woman on the phone said I received the confirmation email and the cancellation email by mistake. I pushed it up the ladder and never heard back. Then I received another cancellation email! Finally a month later the person handling my transfer called and left a message. Too late, I had already visited a firm (in person not online) and invested with that company. Low fees at Vanguard but even lower IT platform and customer service. I now pay a broker slightly more to be fully engaged with me and help me with decisions. To all TSP members, avoid Vanguard if you want to protect your life savings....,,

by F,W. Street, 12/30/2019

Pros: NONE

Cons: worst Company ever...you will not get your money back !

Have been trying to transfer funds for 30 days from my mom's inherited IRA...keep getting run around waiting on hold for 2 hrs...team says waiting for dividends to get deposited which is BS....they cant even send money from one account to another account inside their own company. I transferred money from Schwaab to E trade took me 3 days...Ameritrade to Schwab 2 days......this company is corrupt as they come !

Hold time on phone is at least 2 hrs....hope you didn't make any plans for your day !

DO NOT GIVE THEM ANY MONEY !

by anonymous, 12/8/2019

Pros: Low Fees

Cons:

Vanguard is good at taking in your money. But when an account holder dies, Vanguard goes out of their way to add to you grief. You will wait over an hour every time you call. When you reach a live person, you are given insincere condolences, provided with no useful information, and told to submit a series of redundant forms. We are your customers who deserve to be treated as something other than criminals. When I straighten out my relative's account, the money will go to Fidelity along with my wife and my Vanguard IRA accounts. I will not put my family through this when I die. Shame on you Vanguard management. If your bonuses depended on retained customers rather than keeping costs to a minimum, maybe there would be a different result. In the meantime, I will reward this unprofessional and unacceptable behavior by pulling my accounts.

by Joe- LT Investor, 10/15/2019

Pros: Low cost funds

Cons: They act as if YOUR money is THEIR money

I have several brokerage accounts - all except Vanguard have fast, dependable transfer of my money to various external accounts- really...I only transfer to my personal checking account.

Vanguard's hierarchical and grasping manner is all about treating you like it's THEIR money. They make it difficult and long- all designed to say "We know what's best for your money, not you."

I'll be closing my account shortly.

by Scott, 10/9/2019

Pros: Fair money market rates

Cons: Employees are not focused on the customer and managing portfolios

The employs are forced to attend town halls and meetings where LBGQT people have hijacked the meetings for attention. This is really prevalent in the last 5 years. I don't need sexuality focus in the workplace. I need competent brokers with their minds on the work of trading and managing portfolios.

by ej, 10/8/2019

Pros: decent money market rates

Cons: phone people cannot help, "security code" games

I am angry that even when I have proper log-in information and even when I answer pre-asked questions correctly I cannot access my account online. To call is a waste of time. The people are polite, but cannot resolve the problem. I don't carry a phone, so I cannot access my account. I have already moved most of my Vanguard accounts. I suspect I'll close it all very soon.

by Daniel, 8/13/2019

Pros:

Cons:

Since last night ability to access accounts has been ranging from erratic to impossible.
Law suits should be considered for inability to trade or see holdings.
Impossible to get thru by phone or leave message (told message box full).

Is it time to find another place to have your funds?

by Laura, 8/7/2019

Pros:

Cons: Can’t believe anything they tell you

If you want your money, good luck! They will give you the run around endlessly. They will make up “rules” as they go to delay giving you your money or closing an account. They out right lie to you saying things will be done or mailed and don’t do it. And when you call to see what happen they have another lie for you. Sometimes they said they need something else, an error , or some kind problem or give you a “rule” why things didn’t happen as they said it would. Liars, cheats, thieves.

by James, 7/20/2019

Pros: none

Cons: the absolute worst experience of my investing life

This will be a very abbreviated saga of torture. I'm a retired lawyer. A dear friend died in January. I am the power of attorney for the widow. Once a spouse dies the joint account must be closed and a new individual account opened. We have managed to accomplish this without turmoil at Fidelity, Santander, and BNY. The mandatory restructuring at Vanguard has been torture. My Friend had a 401(k) and a non-retirement account at Vanguard. After months they finally recognized my POA in the non-retirement account and we got that account resolved. You might think having jumped through all the hoops and being recognized as the POA would be company wide. WRONG. After 4 submissions of POAs to the "retirement" side including a lawyer form, their form, different their forms, following the oral instructions from different reps, more different instructions, more different reps, I finally threatened to sue last Friday with the 88 year old widow on the phone with me as they insisted.That at least got me a designated rep with an actual extension number. Ahhh progress after only 7 months. She promised to send the 401(k) rollover forms immediately. Yesterday a week later I called Ms Rep to ask where the forms where. Of course she didn't answer the phone nor call me back as requested. Ms. Rep called the 88 year old widow who understands none of this and has never written a check, which is why I'm involved in the first place. Apparently, Ms Rep proceeds to spend the entire call emphasizing that she will not deal with me only with her. Said she would resend the "lost" forms. The poor widow's attempts to explain that she understands none of this, has known me for 44 years, trusts me implicitly to take care of this mess and requested that they deal with me were ignored and rejected. The widow called me upset and on the verge of tears.Tell everyone you know to get away from Vanguard as quickly as possible unless they hate their heirs in which case Vanguard is the perfect torture chamber..

by Walsh, 5/21/2019

Pros: None

Cons: Can’t get my money

As others have said, making a withdrawal is fraught with problems and delays. You annot speak with a live person in processing. You call the main line and get nowhere, and the call center people cannot research the “issue” and call you back, as they cannot make outgoing calls, so you call back and get a new person. Obviously Vanguard strategy is to hang onto your money as long as possible. I will be taking my money elsewhere....if I can get it out, that is.

by JM Miller, 5/15/2019

Pros: Low costs

Cons: Pseudo Customer Service

Amid the hype about Vanguard’s consumer orientation, I’ve never seen discussed what I take to be their paralyzing risk aversion. I’ve had significant retirement assets invested with Vanguard, and here are two of my experiences:

[1] I was assigned a Vanguard advisor to help with my investments. He made several errors, including recommending a certain roll-over, which turned out to have tax consequences of over $10,000. I complained about the erroneous advice and was told that Vanguard did not give tax advice. However they had, and were now just avoiding responsibility. Discussions with advisors are recorded by Vanguard, and I asked for the recording to prove my contention, but they refused to provide it.

[2] I hold Google stock through Vanguard, and wished to present a proposal at the Alphabet Inc stockholder meeting. Alphabet naturally required a letter from Vanguard stating that I actually was a stockholder, and to my surprise, Vanguard refused to provide it, effectively depriving me of my stockholder rights. Several weeks of emails, phone calls, threatened complaints to the SEC, and lawyer letters followed, until Vanguard finally relented and provided the required statement.

Vanguard’s transaction costs may be low, but the hidden costs of trusting one’s investments to them can be high.

by Aurel, 4/6/2019

Pros: NONE

Cons: Numerous account errors

Numerous account errors. Can't get corrections even after talking to a customer representative.

by Aurel, 4/6/2019

Pros: NONE

Cons: Numerous account errors

Numerous account errors. Can't get corrections even after talking to a customer representative.

by Chris Wiedemer, 3/21/2019

Pros: none

Cons: none

I have been a Vanguard individual investor for years, and I have considerable funds I have been trying to transfer from another mutual fund institution into Vanguard. Yes into Vanguard. The process starting late January and I just got off the phone with Vanguard and they are stil not able to transfer the monies, even though I have sent them all the documentation with signature guarantee TWICE. Their customer service has been absolutely terrible and if someone just looks at the notes recorded, they will read or even hear the frustrations. I suggest folks consider using Fidelity or some other low cost firm. And if someone does not resolve this for me in the next 72 hours, ( it is 3/21/2019) I am pulling all my money out of Vanguard and will go on social media to alert potential customers how difficult it is to try to GIVE Vanguard business, not to mention their absolutely annoying and almost abusive commercials that I could not seem to bypass when calling the "contact us" phone number listed on their website under account transfers. Vanguard Senior Management, if you read this and would like to keep my business, have a senior person call me to resolve my transfer once and for all. You can reach me at 585 576 4879.
Sincerely
Chris Wiedemer

by Paul, 12/20/2018

Pros: Can't think of any

Cons: Too many to list

Worst website on the Internet, hands down. I always have trouble logging in, and they make it impossible to reset your account. Hyperlinks take you in circles or to dead-ends/404, and when you phone for help, their automated answering service asks questions which are not relevant (enter your six digit account, when the number has eight), etc.

When you finally speak to someone, they transfer to someone else, and then that person transfers you to someone else, AND THEN THAT PERSON TRANSFERS YOU TO SOMEONE ELSE!!!!

I am getting all of my investments out of there. My wife uses Fidelity and their website is light years better.

by Leo Jones, 10/15/2018

Pros: None I can think of.

Cons: Their Web Site and their Customer Service

We have been trying to get a Rollover of a 401k from Vanguard to Edward Jones done for over a month and still do not have it accomplished despite numerous calls to Vanguard's Customer Service number. During a call on Oct. 10th. the Customer Service Rep. told us a check would be cut and sent over night to be with guaranteed delivery before 3:00 pm on Friday Oct. 12th. When the check was not delivered by the guaranteed time we called back to find out why and were told the check had not been cut. We asked to speak with a supervisor to try and get to the bottom of why it has been over a month and this rollover has still not been accomplished. The supervisor we spoke with told us they would do a wire transfer to Edward Jones, but as of today, Oct. 15th. we are still waiting for that to happen.

by IWantMyMoney, 9/24/2018

Pros: None.

Cons: I have a list. Read my review below.

Unfortunately, my husband and I fell on hard times about two weeks ago and we were behind on the rent. We received a three-day notice on our door, and after exhausting all our resources, I decided to take a withdrawal from my 401K with Vanguard.

On 9/15 submitted my request via their website and on Monday, 9/17, I faxed all supporting documents (application and three-day notice) to the 1-800 number provided on the application. I waited about 2-3 days on the decision of my withdrawal request. I decided to call on Wednesday and I was told my documentation would not suffice as it was not on company letterhead. OK, no problem. Our leasing office reprinted the letter on their letterhead and I re-faxed the document on 9/20.

Mind you, during this week I called Vanguard NUMEROUS times asking, "is anything else is missing from the documentation and all I was told was that the three-day notice needs to be on company letterhead." Alright, easy and fair enough.

Since we are in a bind, I called Friday and the representative acknowledged receipt of the letter and said they will review within 2-3 days (so much for a hardship! When you're in a mind, you sort of need the money ASAP). Anyway, I called Friday afternoon and was told the review department could not get to my files and I will have a decision on Monday.

Monday, 9/24, I called Vanguard around 9:00AM to find out my paperwork was AGAIN denied because 1. The reviewers did not "like" or accept the leasing company's letterhead. Apparently, the reviewers noted "the logo looks like it was stamped" and they questioned the verbiage under the logo (which is the leasing companies slogan). WHAT? I, in no way, have control over my leasing office's letterhead, so I am sorry you don't like how it looks. 2. The date is wrong on the letter (WHY DIDN'T SOMEONE TELL ME THIS LAST WEEK WHEN I CALLED ABOUT 8X?) AND 3. THE LETTER NEEDS TO BE SIGNED. When I called Vanguard I specifically asked if the new document on the letterhead needs to be signed and this young man (probably right of college with the hopes of being an investment banker) told me "no, it doesn't need to be signed if it's on letterhead."

The misinformation is UNREAL at Vanguard and moving forward, I will no longer contribute to this 401K plan.

If they want to reach out to me and "resolve" this issue, send my money to my bank as noted on my account. If not, there is no use in trying to resolve this matter. I WANT MY MONEY.

by Evan, 2/26/2018

Pros: N/A

Cons: Where do i begin?

Well to say the least, this is the worst company I have ever had the displeasure to have contact with. They have a system set up with my employer to automatically set up an account for you without your consent. Pretty crazy to have an account in your name taking money out of your paycheck without any consent whatsoever (having direct deposit really hides this until tax season). After contacting vanguard, i was met with a stern one hour and thirty minute wait which left me with the following knowledge: 1.) Even with every ounce of information to prove your identity and ownership of an account you still have zero authority over it. 2.) The only way to close the account in your name that you had no part in creation, you must terminate employment with your current company and lose all benefits gained just to get rehired without the account.
3.) After asking for a manager and waiting on hold for over 10 minutes I was told the manager was working on an important spreadsheet and didn't have any time for me and that he'll take down my number and call me within 48 hours. Absurd is it not?
In conclusion, If you like to do business with people who prefer spreadsheets over customer service, force you into an account without your consent, and then lock you out of that account until you terminate your employment, then Vangaurd is for you. Otherwise use your common sense, take my words of advice, and stay away from this Business.

by Jen, 2/23/2018

Pros:

Cons: The website is busted and there is no browser capable to deal with it.

Soooo bad. I cannot access my account for over a month now.

by Blaze, 2/12/2018

Pros: Vanguard brokers not helpful at all. Furthermore look like cheaters. Calling them multiple times about getting my money back after 2 weeks still they operate my money.

Cons: Totally disorganized. Two weeks of calling trying to get my money back, still waiting.

This is 21st century and average transaction lasts fraction of a second. After waiting for 2 weeks still can not get my money back from the account I did not ask to invest to. Scary. Will have to notify authorities.

by Blaze, 2/12/2018

Pros: Vanguard brokers not helpful at all. Furthermore look like cheaters. Calling them multiple times about getting my money back after 2 weeks still they operate my money.

Cons: Totally disorganized. Two weeks of calling trying to get my money back, still waiting.

This is 21st century and average transaction lasts fraction of a second. After waiting for 2 weeks still can not get my money back from the account I did not ask to invest to. Scary. Will have to notify authorities.

by TK, 2/2/2018

Pros: Absolutely none!!

Cons: Very Poor, very high brokerage fees, no trailing stop to protect your positions!

Vanguard has very good ETFs, but very poor and rude customer support, and high brokerage fees. Also, they like to push income averaging and don't like for you to trade!! My advice is to put you money at a major brokerage and trade and/or invest in Stocks and ETFs. Again, Vanguard has great ETFs and are available through any brokerage.

by Dale Painter, 1/19/2018

Pros: None

Cons: Vanguard exhibits a pastern of retaining cclient funds.

Vanguard exhibits a pastern 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.

by elizabeth jagla -, 10/19/2017

Pros:

Cons: the worst

I am pulling all my money out of vanguard. After months of trying to setup a simple CD under my trust they still haven't got it straight. I no longer trust this company. Beware! They have wasted months of my time.

by T. Green, 10/11/2017

Pros:

Cons:

Requesting a HARDSHIP withdrawal should not be a longer process than requesting a loan! The 1-3 day cycle restarts each time additional information is needed and being that mines is for dental work which can not begin until I receive the funds I’m pissed and very dissatisfied with Supervisor Sehloth who tried yelling at me and also with the agent Alshara who doesn’t communicate well!

by Amy D., 9/20/2017

Pros:

Cons:

Customer service is very slow. An all day long event to contact someone.

by Lucinda, 9/16/2017

Pros: I would not be giving them any star. V gives prompt response on the phone if they believe you will be putting money in their hands, but you must beware!

Cons: significant, see below

in my interactions with V the representatives misrepresented what V would do to help me establish my clear wishes on a recorded line. They used an inadequately prepared form to close an account, and then held onto the money for at this point more than two weeks, using my money presumably for their secondary gains. How the government allows them to continue doing this seems concerning. V did not uphold the fiduciary relationship they had with me as a client, and they have caused consistent harm in a number of circumstances that I can see on the internet. I have contacted FINRA and my states Attorney General's office. I believe that government action is needed to actual require V to maintain an ethical standard. As everyday citizens we are reasonable to ask that be protected by such corporate greed. I encourage folks that have had this kind of disrespectful and illegal behavior to contact FINRA and your respective state's AG office to file appropriate complaints against V. If enough of us stand up, maybe there is some recourse for our needs against what such companies feel entitled to do.

by JRFITCH, 8/31/2017

Pros:

Cons:

I have been with Vanguard since 1979. Last year Sept 2016 vanguard wanted accounts to be upgraded I did so. All cost bases were gone. I have call a number of times on this problem most of the accounts were IRA's and no help from vanguard. Since I have been investing since 1979 and now retired I buy and sell securities to either make money by buying or make money selling. The cost bases is one way to do that. Now since I use Quicken 2017 Premier I tried to down load just a vanguard file. I found out that the account number use to down load and the account number showing when I log into vanguard are not the same. Why ?? who knows and who cares not VANGUARD. It seems as if the fools and buffoons are running the ship. Not a Boggle way to do things. Will be moving my IRA's from Vanguard .

by Hillary Bressler, 8/29/2017

Pros: They answer the phone.

Cons: They lie.

They lie. Horrible customer service. Tried for 3 month to set up an account for my mother. They continue to say they have everything and then send my check back twice. I have given them everything they have asked for. 3 month to open an account with $67k. Ha!

Do not invest with them especially if it involves a parent or trust account.

by AngryVanguardCustomer, 8/8/2017

Pros: Nothing

Cons: Everything

According to my own experience, do NOT use their service for trading!

by Tony, 5/24/2017

Pros: Cheap expense ratios

Cons: Horrible Customer Service and Online Website

I switched to vanguard. The experience, has been nothing short of horrendous as far as the customer service to get things up and running. They send all their forms to you. They require many of the forms to be notarized, which is a pain but understandable. However, they continually tell you different information as far as what needs to be filled out and notarized, leading to several trips to the notary and expenses. It is beyond frustrating. The only positive is the cheap prices for Admiral shares for their funds. Other than that, I would give them 1 star for their brokerage. Their interface is also lousy. The website looks like it was built 10 years ago. I was far more impressed with the website of the competitor I switched from, but their prices weren't as good. So their's the compromise.

by Amy, San Marcos, 4/28/2017

Pros:

Cons:

Vanguard has been horrible to deal with after the death of my father. It's taken multiple mailings and several phone calls to get his IRA transferred to my mother, and after 6 months still isn't resolved. The same transaction at Ameritrade's brick and mortar office was completed in less than an hour. They may or may not be good portfolio managers but do your beneficiaries a favor and invest elsewhere.

by Steve McEvoy, 3/16/2017

Pros: Some good mutual funds.

Cons: Making multiple mistakes that waste my time and causes aggravation.

Vanguard does have some great no-load/no-transaction-fee mutual funds, but so do Schwab and Fidelity.
As a brokerage, Vanguard seems to have some poorly qualified people and they do not seem to care. I have had several problems with Vanguard and none ever with Fidelity or Schwab.
My current problem has to do with a transfer of specific broker CDs from my IRA account to our joint account to thereby create a necessary IRA distribution. Fidelity and Schwab take such instructions orally on a recorded line, without requiring any paperwork.
Vanguard requires six pages of paperwork, and a medallion signature guarantee, which is not easy to get.
I sent in the proper paperwork, and it was initially rejected. I called and was told that I had to have federal tax withheld and they therefore could not move the CDs intact.
I pointed out that on their own Vanguard form, they offered no withholding, and I checked the box for no withholding. I also pointed out that under the IRS regulations, I am allowed to take distributions without withholding.
After talking with a representative who had no clue, and after being held on the line for a long hold time, I was told that they would try to process the transfer of the two securities between the accounts.
Now, I see that even though I requested the full $15,000 value of the two positions moved, they only moved $200 worth of the two positions. Their form had no pre-printed decimal point and I wrote $10000 for one position and $5000 for the second position without any decimal points. I also checked “all” for moving/transferring both positions.
Vanguard screwed up badly and I will have to waste precious time tomorrow to get this straightened out.
In 20 years, I have never had problems with Schwab or Fidelity, but I have had several serious problems with Vanguard.
I only have a Vanguard account because my Fidelity and Schwab accounts are at the SIPC insurance limit.
I recommend Fidelity and Schwab and avoiding Vanguard whenever possible. Vanguard seems to have some incompetent people and the Vanguard management does not seem to care.
Steve McEvoy

by buck, 3/3/2017

Pros: low cost

Cons: Terrible customer service

to many forms. you almost have to fill out a form to get to the forms. If you are an average man on the street with little knowledge about dealing with investment companies, you will have a difficult time trying to make a withdrawal from Vanguard. The customer service reps are NOT trained to work with common people with little knowledge about how to remove or transfer money invested with Vanguard. So disappointed in this company

by Dean, 1/7/2017

Pros: good customer service, low cost

Cons: cant really think of any

Been with Vanguard for 25 years or so now. I have retirement and non-retirement accounts with them. I just do long-haul investment in self-researched mutual funds they have. I have never had a bad experience with Vanguard. I have transferred a lot of money in and on occasion taken some out with no issues I remember. I don't generally put a lot of credence in any reviews of any company, because any business will never have 100% satisfaction by its customers. You also don't know what people's motives are for reviewing (i.e. do they work for the competition). I suggest that anyone investing with this company or any other, do a LITTLE HOMEWORK for yourself first. Become at least a little knowledgeable about what you are doing, otherwise you set yourself up for problems. This is YOUR money. Make sure you know what is happening. I try to take charge of my own situation. Don't totally rely on others. My 2cents.

by Karen, 12/27/2016

Pros:

Cons: TERRIBLE customer service, months of paperwork with no results, lack of security

I am appalled at the poor service I've received from Vanguard on a substantial (over 500,000) account. From the comments here, I see others have been experiencing problems very similar to mine. I also have been trying unsuccessfully to transfer assets from a deceased parent's trust account and set up my own trust account.

Getting through to someone on the phone was the first ordeal. It took several attempts, with long hold times, to speak to a human. Then said human was only able to make an appointment for me to talk to another human 10 days in the future! That appointment resulted in Vanguard snail-mailing me (eventually) some forms to fill out. Unfortunately, they required medallion signature guarantees, which are apparently very difficult to get nowadays. I have been a Schwab customer and a B of A customer for decades, and neither was willing to do it. So I called Vanguard to discuss this problem. Again, I waited on hold for long periods. Finally I got a human and, guess what, I would have to make another appointment for a week later just to discuss this problem!

At that point, I told them that I will probably just go ahead and transfer everything to Schwab, which has excellent customer service, and had already handled the same transaction in about two weeks. Suddenly, she remembered that Vanguard could do Voice Verification instead of medallion signature guarantees. But for that, she would have to have them call me "next week" at some unknown time and date, to set up the Voice Verification. If I missed the call, I was to call them back at the number they would give me and they would also email me if I missed the call.

Well, next week came and went with no call or email, but I get a letter in the mail dated 3 days before this conversation saying that Vanguard Voice Verification had been set up using the voice passphrase I had created! Interesting, since I had never gone through this process, or had even heard of its existence until after they had set it up. Even more interesting, when I next called Vanguard (and was put on the usual 30-60 minute hold) the recording had me repeat a phrase about Vanguard and that was enough to verify my identity! The last conversation with a rep informed me I would have to resubmit the forms because of an error. He also had no explanation for how the Voice Verification could have been set up without my participation.

My next project will be to transfer everything over to Schwab, but judging by some of the other comments here, that will likely be an ordeal as well. One of the excuses one of the reps gave me for the difficulty of doing business with Vanguard vs. Schwab was that Vanguard is more secure and they require more steps and forms. Ha! Now anyone can call in and pretend to be me. I can hardly wait until I don’t have to deal with Vanguard any more! With Schwab, I have always gotten through right away to a human who is knowledgeable and who efficiently and courteously handles my business. The difference is like night and day.

by John Peters, 12/25/2016

Pros:

Cons: Transfer processing completely incompetent

Trying to get a simple transfer from a deceased parent into my account for weeks without success. Began with them sending incorrect forms and wait times of over a hour for phone contact. Have since had 4 "delays" due to unexplained "errors" in the processing department. Last deadline passed, and still not completed. Feedback to upper level supervisor might as well have been a recorded message...complete denial, scripted responses, zero listening skills.

by wondering in Penna. Sept 2016, 9/16/2016

Pros: had been very good for a number of years

Cons: recent changes to their system....

haven't been beneficial.
unexplained delays which sharply differ
from what the online brokerage menus
show is the primary issue i see now.
not sure what the reason(s) are
but have asked without responses.

by Frustrated, 9/13/2016

Pros: Could never get an Account

Cons: Anything requiring organization or competence

Been trying to get a brokerage account set up for 5 months. They keep sending me the wrong forms to sign and never follow up once they've received the mail from me. And it takes all day to call them and ask "Hey, did you get my mail? Can I for the love of god finally open this account?"

by Randy C., 9/2/2016

Pros: Not sure - could never get to that stage of the transaction.

Cons: Long wait times, no local contact, gave up on moving funds.

A friend recommended Vanguard based on their returns. I tried for two weeks to open an account and I'm glad it never worked to be honest. Was placed on hold for over 45 mins. on the initial call. They never called back until my friend complained to them. Called me back while i was out of the office so we scheduled a call for the next day in a two hour window. Never got the call back ! I'm done - especially after reading the tons of 1 star reviews, many if which I can identify with.

by Mike, 8/18/2016

Pros:

Cons:

Wow what happened? I tried calling them, put on hold for 45 minutes They SUCK

by giovanni, 8/2/2016

Pros:

Cons:

What a joke:
1)they keep you on hold for hours (and I am not exaggerating)
2) you tell them to do a transaction, they say it has occurred, however, it never happened
3) when you discover it, you call and after 45 minutes of silence somebody recognizes the mistake and says it will be rectified
4) 7 days later nothing has happened
5) you call, another 50 minutes of silence and I am still waiting for an answer.
6) You send written instructions, they email you that they need further information, but it takes 2 days to finally have somebody answering and I am still not sure that the order was, is or will be executed

Meanwhile....I have lost thousands of dollars!
WHo is going to refund me?

by Nick in Tarpon Springs, 4/7/2016

Pros:

Cons: Incompetant

My employer invested my retirement plan and deferred compensation plan with Vanguard. Now that I have retired I cannot reliably retrieve my delayed compensation.

I requested a monthly direct deposit because I do not live in the same house all of the time. The first month the funds were successfully direct deposited. The second month I received a check - late. I complained and the associate told me that the plan rules do not allow a direct deposit. I asked to see a written copy of the plan rules, and was told that there aren't written rules. I spoke with a supervisor who told me that a direct deposit is allowed, and implemented it.

The third month the check was direct deposited. The fourth month it was not only sent by mail but was not mailed until the 4th of the month. When I called on the 4th to determine why it was not direct deposited on the 1st, a smarmy associate told me that "the check is in the mail." It is not acceptable to have some one who is responsible for my funds act in a flippant manner. Not giving me my funds as agreed upon is not a joking matter.

Receiving the funds on the 1st of the month is part of my financial planning and is used to pay bills. Vanguard's inconsistent and incompetent behavior is not acceptable. I have moved my retirement funds elsewhere, but the unwritten "plan rules" do not allow me to move my deferred compensation account.

I will not deal with Vanguard in the future, and do not recommend that anyone else trust them.

by OnHoldForever, 1/21/2016

Pros:

Cons: Lost my 401k rollover check (after they cashed it); can't make appt w/advisor; long, long holds on the phone

What a horrible company. They don't know what happened to one of my 401k rollover checks made out to them and cashed. They did not reply to my online inquiry about this, then I spent 1.5 hours on hold with them today (3 different calls). My company pays them for financial advising for employees. But good luck getting an appointment. They'll put you on hold forever to reach a "scheduler." This company is way too big. I greatly regret rolling over my other 401ks to them. Worst decision ever.

by BEE, 1/8/2016

Pros:

Cons: Terrible customer service, lack of communication as to current funds, loss of documentation mailed by request, conflicting answers from representatives

Don't go to Vanguard. It has taken months to transfer/liquidate inherited funds for a late relative. Every time I call I get a new representative with different answers. Even when the appropriate paperwork is submitted (following the exact instructions provided by a representative) there are security issues, unknown holds or freezes on the accounts subject to internal reviews, and no confirmation as to when the issues can be resolved. Awful and infuriating experience.

by Vanguard Customer, 12/29/2015

Pros: Cost

Cons: Service

The objective merits of Vanguard and its products are well documented.

I will not keep more than a token amount of money at Vanguard however, because their customer service is inadequate. Their phone hours are far too limited outside of East Coast business hours.

Getting through to them during business hours recently has been beyond difficult. For example, after waiting an hour to speak to a person, that person transferred me to another department, where I just ended up in an interminable hold. What good is a brokerage that will not speak to its customers?

by longterminvestor, 7/7/2015

Pros: Low costs, easy to understand funds

Cons: Mistakes

Vanguard is one of the best firms for plain vanilla index funds with low fees. Once you have set up accounts, which I agree can be very tedious to do, and just add to accounts automatically you will have few problems.

The issue on difficult tax forms is accurate however. BUT if you want to transfer money out-WATCH OUT. Have had numerous problems making what should have been simple partial transfer to another financial institution. Long paper work delays, checks mailed to the WRONG address MULTIPLE times. Many, many calls to customer service. One duplicate transfer that was made without my consent because of their original mistake and now refusal to return all shares withdrawn due to time out of the market (that they caused). Just sort of my bad luck they messed up appears to be the response.

So in summary, if you have money going in and have patience for dealing with antiquated set up system on accounts and only plan to add you are probably OK. When you want to withdraw, watch every step and anticipate problems. Was not always like this seems things have changed in last few years.

by Michael, 6/1/2015

Pros:

Cons:

They seemed good while I was working and adding to the account -- but after I retired and tried to draw on my money, there has been nothing but problems. Customer service is useless; all they can say is "NO." It's been eight months of back and forth and I'm yet to receive a penny of my money from them. They demand forms, then ask again for the same forms over and over again. Their policies and procedures are designed to make it as hard as possible to satisfy them -- and then they'll just deny you for the fun of it.

by Lindsey, 5/25/2015

Pros:

Cons: No customer service

Won't provide account number or any information on my money. Won't provide updates on QDRO account being moved/"processed". Told it will take one day after being processed - we are now at weeks. No information. Refuse to provide redemption paperwork despite asking more than once. Every time I reach out to **, they respond back with "For further questions please contact 1-800" but in order to speak to a person on that 800 number you need an account number. Their titles are senior client service people and yet I'm receiving no customer service.



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Leading U.S. Brokerage Review Websites About Vanguard Brokerage


"Vanguard is a provider of mutual funds as well as online brokerage services. As a client of Vanguard Brokerage Services, you can buy individual stocks and bonds as well as mutual funds outside of the Vanguard family. Although the pricing structure favors account holders with significant funds in Vanguard accounts, even if you have less than $50,000 in Vanguard, the price per trade competes with online stock brokers better known as discount brokers."

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"Vanguard is great if you use their funds and ETFs. When you venture outside of this realm, their service is ok at best. If you ever decide to buy individual stocks, you are best to find another stock broker for that purpose... It is assumed you go for Vanguard only for their low cost indexed mutual funds and ETFs. Though they are no longer have exclusivity in this area. Most mutual fund houses offer similar, and in some cases lower annual fees when compared to Vanguard."

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