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.
BTW - You could really improve those posts if you’d write an intelligent sentence along with each one telling your vast audience why “the linkster” selected this or that particular story to share and how investors may benefit. That, IMHO, would lead to wider appreciation of your work and would show a real commitment on your part to helping less experienced investors - which I don’t currently detect. Copy & paste just doesn’t achieve the same end. Again, kids know how to do that.
Ted, I know you will fault me for being overly-wordy, but please understand: (1) I’m trying to be as “diplomatic” here as possible so as not to ruffle your fragile feathers and (2) I want the advice I am rendering to be crystal clear to you.
@ Old_Joe, Thanks for sharing. I’m glad at least the folks at AC you’ve talked to seemed to really care about the issues. Knowing about your steps already taken or under consideration is no doubt useful to younger investors. I left AC angry about 15 or so years ago when they began imposing loads on some of their funds. That effectively locked me out of some pretty good newer offerings at AC, even though I’d invested with them for a decade or more. In hindsight, I might have pursued the issue more patiently and completely and resolved it with their people. But, afraid I have a pretty short fuse.
all really good corporations act like this, and yes, they do want to keep your business and keep all HNW types happy and satisfied
You or I might say 'to a fault', but with all of the news, real and alarmist, about thefts and login laxity and such, they tighten and tighten, wisely or not.
Last night I twice-typoed a PW for Merrill login, owing to a sticky-sluggish keyboard combined perhaps w some whisky, not sure, and had to reset the pw but no using the last 5 passwords.
So now I have to go and update all my ICE instruction docs to wife and kids, where the old passwords were nice and uniform and comprehendable. Phooey.
I haven't looked into it yet & also wondering if anyone else gave it a look see ?