I had this money market fund at Vanguard that I thought I closed over five years ago. I transferred what I thought was the balance electronically through a website transaction. Vanguard did not give me the entire balance. Two days ago I discovered a check for $203 sent by Vanguard on the date of this transaction with additional (dividend) proceeds. The check says “Please cash this check within six months.”
So I called, and virtually right away I could tell these were people who I wouldn’t get anywhere with. The first woman put me on hold and then inexplicably transferred me; the next woman told me the money had been escheated to the state. She told me to call some other Vanguard department which didn’t answer their phone. I called the second person’s boss (Chris Lohman, 800/896-7309, x47870) in “Resolution Services”–I probably spoke with him five times that day and got absolutely nowhere. Oh, and the third woman–someone from the unmanned department called back–she told me to call the state of Oregon; a person at the state of Colorado, where I live, had no record of the escheatment. Her boss has not returned my call.
It starts with the bizarre circumstance that this would even happen in the first place. (This is a company in the business of building large mutual fund accounts. I have another okay-sized holding there.). They didn’t give me my money! Just to be clear, I did not ask for, expect, or want a subsequent check… Plus, they have held it all this time without paying interest, and did not inform me of it!
The second story, or for me finding, is the incorrigible nature of Vanguard customer service. No one would do anything–they are their only to obfuscate and waste time. They all seem like first level customer service reps with no authority or responsibility. I called the main Vanguard headquarters line (610/648-6000) and asked for Bill McNabb, the president. The receptionist asked me a lot of identifying questions and then, without my consent, transferred me to another low-level csr supervisor in North Carolina. Again, Nada.
Here’s the thing, Mr. McNabb: either you take me call, designate someone to take my call, or you have the personnel and management structure to resolve such situations some other way. Who’s responsibe for my particular problem? For lack of other input, either Bill McNabb is responsible or no one is responsible.
I spent an entire day on it and got nowhere. Mr. Lohman, the manager of resolution services would not even provide me with an e-mail address to write to. My conclusion is, no responsibility… broken. No way I am going through another day of that again. And my money, and trust, is better placed elsewhere.