I haven’t personally had any problems with Vanguard on the phone either, but there are plenty of documented incidents of people with substantial cash having issues which I place a lot more weight on.
The advantage you mention is exactly why I predominantly invest in Vanguard funds and ETF’s - which brokerage firm you hold your assets at at are irrelevant in regards to which funds that you use.
Vanguard is so focused on controlling costs that they are unwilling to invest in IT infrastructure which would prevent a lot of problems.
"I have just under $10M invested with Vanguard. This week was the first time I have ever had to actually call my flagship rep for help. I came away very dissatisfied and surprised with the lack of professionalism. I needed to send in a paper stock certificate to deposit into my account, but my rep was not available and the person I talked to did not know the process. He said someone would call me back within 24 hours, but hopefully same day. A week later, never a returned call. At the same time, I was helping my daughter set up a Roth IRA using the online process, and after 3 days, the account was still not active. So I called about that too and again, no real help, just advice to give it about a week to set up. I wrote a short note saying I was worried about the lack of response and service on these 2 issues, and he basically replied that due to tax season, he is very busy. "
"When i converted regular fund to admiral fund, the money gone missing, rep has no idea on that i had money, all records at vanguard are gone, reps tell me that they will call back, but no one calls back, Wait times are like 40 minutes and the conversation goes for another 1 hour, in total i spent 35+ hours on phone… it took a month plus to resolve this to get the money back. same for me: “No help from Vanguard. Adding insult to injury, the rep seemed to imply that I was making the whole thing up and made no offer to investigate it.”
For the 3rd time in less than 5 months, money is missing from my Vanguard brokerage again."
" Their 401k dept is totally incompetent. If you have a pre-tax and after-tax component, it’s literally a minefield in moving money. One misstep and your might find your monies mixed, and totally screwed, because I would reckon that Vanguard “can’t fix it”.
I consider those to be serious issues, far more important than whether I get a competent person on the phone when making recommendations to others.
Furthermore, if you hold Vanguard assets elsewhere, you are reducing Vanguard’s costs as they do not have to spend any $$$ to service your account.