Back in November, I mentioned that California residents could get a $50 Target gift card by opening a new 529 Scholarshare account. I waited until December to act on the offer, but I did get applications for both boys in by the deadline. In the subsequent weeks, I got lots of mail from Fidelity (which manages Scholarshare), confirming that they had received the applications and opened the accounts.
And then I waited.
I’d signed up for an automatic deposit into both accounts, but the money wasn’t being withdrawn when it should have been. I knew it might take some time to set the withdrawals up, but finally, at the end of last month, I had to admit that something wasn’t right.
I dreaded calling customer service but I didn’t feel this was something that could be communicated effectively via email. So I forced myself to make the call, and as always seems to happen, it was much less painful than I thought it would be. I was put on hold for a while, so the customer service rep could go figure out what the problem was. That was okay, though, because when he came back on the line, he really had figured out the problem. It seemed my authorization to withdraw funds hadn’t been sent to the right department.
I then mentioned the Target gift cards and pointed out that through no fault of my own, the requirements for getting them had not been fulfilled. (The first contribution had to be made within 90 days of the creation of the account.) The CSR agreed that it wasn’t my fault and said he’d get back to me. The next day, I was informed that the gift cards were on their way. And they arrived just a couple days later.
These are the first Fidelity accounts I’ve ever owned, and I’m pleased with how they handled the situation. Hopefully, the automatic withdrawals will now be taken care of and I can put the boys’ 529 plans on autopilot.
Previously: Good customer service from Sharebuilder