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Still Having Problems With TIAA-Cref? Talk to the Press!

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I am still receiving comments from people who are having technical issues with TIAA-Cref, even almost a year and a half after my first problem with their system in January 2006. I’ve recently received a notice from a reporter who is looking to follow up with this story. If you are still having customer service or technical problems when dealing with TIAA-Cref, please contact Renee Ferguson. Here is her message:

I am a reporter with eWeek magazine and have covered the issues at TIAA-CREF in depth. I was under the impression that many of the company’s systems upgrade issues were resolved, but looking at these posts that doesn’t seem to be the case.

If, as of June 2007, you are still having issues with TIAA-CREF and are willing to speak to the press, please contact me, either via email or by phone. I can be reached at renee_ferguson@ziffdavis.com, or 518.580.8515.

Consider that an open invitation for legitimate issues.

Published or updated June 19, 2007. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

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{ 9 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar BrendaB

I am having terrible time with TIAA-CREF regarding my
deceased sister’s retirement account. They continue stalling and making excuses for not providing the forms to claim funds and they will not allow me on-line access to the account. The staff seems to be trained in how to delay and frustrate beneficiary clients’ claims.

I do plan to file a complaint to the SEC. I can not believe I’m having such problems with a company that is handling the retirement funds of university professors.

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avatar bamboo bob

They have not solved their problems. TODAY I was told that my 403B payments were not paid due to ” unpredictable random software glitches” because of the recent system upgrade.

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avatar rital

The hairs just stood up on my arms when I read your problem. I too am going through the same thing. My brother passed away in November 2007 and I have been getting the run around since May 2008 – including today, September 10, 2008. They refuse to release the funds, have sent me wrong forms, admit they have all the right forms now but won’t release the funds. No one in that company will answer a phone directly – it all goes into a voice mail. They never return calls. I am in the process now of sending letters to various newspapers and tv news shows to see if someone will do an extensive investigative reporting job on this blatant misuse of funds and fiduciary irresponsiblity. I have dealt with no less that 15 people. I was wondering if there is a way we can form a class action suit against them. It is bad enough that my brother passed away at a young age and it is criminal that they have turned his death into a nightmare. He had been an employee of TIAA-CREF so if this is the way they treat the families of employees you can imagine their complete disregard to investors.

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avatar Kathy

I read your comment today. I’m sorry for your loss. I know it has been quite some time since you wrote, but I am experiencing the same thing. My husband died a little over a year ago and I have no access to his account. Not sure what to do. Thinking of consulting an attorney. Any suggestions?

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avatar Frustrated

For years I have been frustrated by inconsistencies in TIAA-CREF service representatives. Everytime I call them it’s a new story. They are not helpful and expect their customers to make decisions for which they do not have the experience or knowledge to make. Cash invested by myself (and not my employer’s contribution) can not be accessed. (It is not a fund match either.) This has cost me a lot of money. They blame the employer but they are the experts and funds managers. I sincerely dislike this company and would never be put in the position of having to use them again.

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avatar Obert Fittje

My main problem with tiaa-cref concerns the lack of specific information they provide when one is going to annuitize and choose between their level/standard payment method versus their graded method. Their literature stated/states that the historical payment increase with the graded method is around 3% and at that rate of increase, it usually takes 8-10 years for the graded method to catch up with the level payment method as you start higher with the level method which does not go up. So in late 2003 I choose the graded method to provide some inflation-proofing to my monthly annuity payment. Over the next four years the annual increases were only in the 1% range and each time I complained, they failed to remind me that I could switch back to the level method. Finally, my wife, not the tiaa-cref counselors, reminded me that I could switch back to the level method which I did. At a 1% annual increase in my monthly payment, it would have taken about twenty years to catch up with the original level payment and if I lived 30 more years, I would be ahead in total payments starting with the level payment method. Over the course of a year writing and calling tiaa-cref, I counted up a total of twelve instances of misinformation, poor information, contradictory information between counselors, and a complete lack of responsibility for their errors except to say they were sorry for the inconvenience their mistakes had caused. Sorry is an apt description for the quality of information and service they provide. I still contend that I was unable to make an informed decision about whether to choose the graded or level method of payment because they refuse to provide specific information about future payment increases. If I had any clue that the increases would have been in the one percent range, rather than the 3% range they tout, I would have chosen the standard payment from the start and avoided a lot of unnecessary trouble.

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avatar Anonymous

Attempting to get a distribution from TIAA-CREF. It has been a nightmare. Bullshit excuses – ridiculous rules. the run around.

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avatar matt40

Attempting to get a distribution from TIAA-CREF. It has been a nightmare. Bullshit excuses – ridiculous rules. the run around.

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avatar will mc sorley jr

tiaa cref is all B.S. all the time.

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