On Tuesday, 10/15, I (and presumably all other AC account holders) received the following email:
Let’s Work Together to Protect Your Information
You want to feel confident that your information is being safeguarded. That’s why we’ve expanded our account security measures—and we need your help.
It’s simple: Just log in by December 31 to activate the additional measures. You’ll need to update your password and enroll in additional security options.
OK, so I went to the AC web page, and updated my password. No big deal. Then AC presented me with three security options, none of which, for various reasons, were workable for me.
That's it folks: we were now locked out of our account. No warning, no options, no way to even communicate with AC, other than by phone, which is not possible for me due to severe hearing issues.
My wife telephoned AC, informed them of the situation, and requested that they close the account immediately and transfer the entire balance electronically to a local account at JP Morgan Chase. We have had that AC account for over forty years, and it has consistently held between 400/500k. Fortunately there are no tax-sheltered IRA issues involved.
The AC service reps were very understanding, and tried their best to be helpful, but were not able to come up with an alternative. They agreed to close the account, advising that the electronic transfer to Chase would be made, and the transferred amount should be available at Chase by Friday.Wednesday, 10/16:
We received a phone call from AC, advising that they were working on some sort of fix which "should be available withing two or three weeks", and asked if we would cancel the account closure until then. We agreed.Thursday, 10/17, 9:15AM:
We received a phone call from AC, advising that they had modified the account sign-in procedure to include an old-fashioned "answer this secret question" safeguard.
I set that up a few minutes ago, and all seems well , at least for the time being.
We have to wonder how many other account AC holders threatened to leave American Century over this. Certainly must have been a substantial number, based on the speed of their response. It would be really interesting to know how much AUM money was at stake for AC. In any case, it certainly seems to have exceeded their "we don't really care" threshold.