Close Close
ThinkAdvisor

Vanguard's Ongoing Website Issues May Be Its 'Worst Tech Screw-up' Ever: Source

X
Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

What You Need to Know

  • Year-end is a crucial time for investors to know the details of their accounts for purposes of RMDs, tax losses, etc.
  • Some Vanguard investors are unable to access statements, trade confirmations and tax forms.
  • Callers can stay on hold or get a call back, but some calls aren't being returned.

Problems with Vanguard’s website, which started as early as Dec. 23, according to the Bogleheads website, are continuing six days later — preventing Vanguard clients from accessing statements, trade confirmations and tax forms.

“I’m trying to access last year’s year-end statement for an account where I need the year-end balance to calculate this year’s RMD. Hope they fix it before 12/31!” wrote one unnamed client (using the alias “Ancho”) on Bogleheads.org’s forum for investors, which is named for Vanguard’s legendary founder, Jack Bogle.

Investors trying to call Vanguard to access their data aren’t having much luck either.

“Apparently it’s getting worse, not better at @Vanguard_Group with phones ringing off the hooks from irate shareholders,” tweeted Dan Wiener, editor of The Independent Adviser for Vanguard Investors, a newsletter. “No live person ever answered my call.”

“This may go down as Vanguard’s worst tech screw-up on record, though it seems as though each successive tech problem at Vanguard seems to meet that standard,” Wiener said on Wednesday in an interview with ThinkAdvisor.

More on this topic

Anyone calling the firm’s general phone number Wednesday hears a recorded message from Vanguard CEO Tim Buckley, noting that the firm is “receiving an exceptionally high number of calls right now. … Someone will be with you as soon as we can [and] you can get immediate access to account and fund information at Vanguard.com.”

Callers can stay on hold or get a call back. This reporter did receive a call back and was told that the firm’s third-party problems are continuing, and there is not as yet a set time for when they will be fixed; Vanguard clients will be notified when that happens, probably through email.

On Monday, Vanguard posted this message on its website that could be accessed by investors once they logged in: “Due to a third-party service provider interruption, certain statements, confirmations, and tax forms are currently unavailable via our website and mobile application. Transaction history is up to date and can be used to confirm the status of your transactions, deposits or other account details. Certain mailings and requests for checks by mail may also be delayed. Our teams are actively working to resolve this issue and we apologize for the inconvenience.”

“It’s a nightmare,”  Wiener said. “This is the worst possible time for something like this to happen.”

Days before year-end is a crucial period for investors to take capital losses for tax purposes, ensure they have taken required minimum distributions for year-end accounts, and make deposits to tax-free retirement accounts. Thus, it’s important for them to know the account details this week in order to make those moves.