Is Vanguard customer service always this horrible?

Microsoft oehbf
Oct 11 16 Comments

After reading many posts here (thanks Blind community) and some research, decided to rollover my MS 401k to Vanguard. I needed help with something, tried calling them several times in the last week, put myself up for call back. Never heard anything back from them.

Fidelity client service is hands down the best! Starting to question whether this is right decision to rollover from Fidelity knowing their client support sucks (not to mention their slow app and website)

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TOP 16 Comments
  • Oracle lHEA77
    In my experience I would rate them 4/5 but Fidelity is 5/5. Why did you want to roll over? Isn't MS 401(k) good?
    Oct 11 5
    • Microsoft oehbf
      OP
      I just left MS, so wanted to rollover that to Vanguard for their low cost ETFs and tax efficient investment options
      Oct 11
    • Oracle lHEA77
      Yeah but why? You know you can just leave it there, even though you left MS, right? If you roll over to an IRA you have to wait longer before withdrawing it in retirement. And MS's 401(k) probably has institutional level share classes with lower expense ratios than what you can get in an IRA, since it's such a big company.
      Oct 11
    • Oracle lHEA77
      Here's an article describing the pros and cons: https://www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/092214/guide-401k-and-ira-rollovers.asp

      I would guess that for most MS ex-employees the best choice is to keep their MS 401(k), or roll it over into their new employer's 401(k), not roll over into an IRA.

      BTW you mentioned tax-efficient investment options but tax efficiency is irrelevant inside a retirement account. In fact you usually don't want tax-efficient investments inside a retirement account, because those investments make a tradeoff between return and tax efficiency. Inside the retirement account you don't get the benefit of the increased tax efficiency and you still suffer from the decreased total return.
      Oct 11
    • Microsoft oehbf
      OP
      Thanks so much for these pointers. Iooks like I have more research to do. Appreciate you taking the time to provide this info.
      Oct 11
    • Oracle lHEA77
      Glad I could help! Here is another good resource: https://www.bogleheads.org/wiki/401(k)#Rollovers
      Oct 11
  • Google The Old Nite
    Rolled over MS 401k to a Fidelity IRA. Solid customer service and investment flexibility (can buy Vanguard ETFs)
    Oct 11 4
    • Microsoft oehbf
      OP
      Thought of that but the fee to buy Vanguard fund is like $75 right. Is that one time fee or per every transaction? Fidelity agent wasn't able to say for sure if that's a recurring fee per fund.
      Oct 11
    • Oracle lHEA77
      That fee only applies to mutual funds. ETF transaction fees are equal for everything at Fidelity, whether Vanguard or not, and the most popular Vanguard mutual funds all have ETF share classes you can use instead. Also, even if you want mutual funds, Fidelity has quite competent alternatives to Vanguard's funds. Vanguard's mutual funds are more tax efficient than other companies' mutual funds because of their patent on ETF share classes, but that's irrelevant inside retirement accounts, so the Fidelity index funds are a good substitute there.
      Oct 11
    • Oracle lHEA77
      BTW Fidelity just removed their ETF transaction fees (i.e. they're $0 now) this week. Not sure if that applies inside IRAs as well but I imagine so.
      Oct 11
    • Google The Old Nite
      ETFs were $5 a trade, but like the person above said they just announced trades are free.
      Oct 11
  • LinkedIn SWJanitor
    Yes, their service is always inferior to Fidelity/Schwab/TD...
    Oct 11 0
  • NanoString tWCs77
    No, that’s surprising. I’ve always had great service from them over the phone
    Oct 11 0
  • F5 Networks RRA
    They have a reputation for bad service. They try to keep costs as low as possible, etc.
    Oct 11 0
  • Intel adbC65
    There’s a reason they are by far the lowest cost - they do not want you calling.
    Oct 11 0
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