There are reports of long telephone wait times and incompetent agents at Vanguard. Although I haven't needed to contact Vanguard often for assistance, they were helpful when I transferred my Roth IRA in 2019 and the transaction went smoothly. I've used their secure messaging option several times for non-urgent issues which were not time-sensitive. Unfortunately, secure messaging will be phased out for those who are not Flagship clients or don't have accessibility needs. “'I’m a huge fan of Vanguard,' added financial planner Allan S. Roth, based in Colorado. However, in March, he wrote a column about how he experienced Vanguard returning hundred-thousand-dollar-plus checks, making mistakes in trust accounts, and messing up the distribution in his mother’s inherited IRA account."
Dan Wiener: “The issue is when I have something that needs to be done, I can’t get it done at Vanguard, whether settling an estate, moving assets, making a gift. It’s fine until it’s not.”
I also have had good service with Vanguard. Their brokerage website is not as “flashy” as others (Fidelity, Schwab, etc.), and they don’t have as wide a set of screening/ research stuff, but hard to beat the costs (nothing for me). However, we are “Flagship select”, so probably get better service than those w/o higher amounts at Vanguard.
I have had excellent service from Vanguard every time I have called. Recently I had messed up a transfer from another brokerage to Vanguard and had to call. The agent found the form I had filled out online and walked me through step by step to complete the transfer.
I've been with Vanguard for 27 or 28 years. Service has had its ups and downs: nothing to brag about several years back, but they appear to have upped their game a bit the past two years. Now that I think about it, that was about the time I finally reached Flagship level with 'em...hmmm.
By and large, I'm happy enough (and the onus of LT cap gains is significant enough) that I don't care to exit. However, I have a good friend who handled her father's (rather complex) estate a couple of years back and had major negative episodes to report in her dealings with Vanguard; I confess this has made me a tad wary.