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What did I get into with that call?

This article was originally printed in the latest issue of Numismatic News.
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In my line of work, I get plenty of phone calls. They keep me connected to what is happening in the front lines of the hobby as e-mail does.

I get some complaints. I get requests for free newspapers. I get questions. Authors and news sources check in from time to time. Calls run the gamut.

The most frustrating calls are from individuals who won’t tell me why they are calling.

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That seems an odd thing to write, I know, but such calls do happen.

A customer service representative wanted to transfer a call to me the other day. I agreed. It was placed by a woman who was interested in a book we no longer produce. Customer service knew we didn’t have it to sell, but that information was insufficient to satisfy the caller.

I entered into an exchange with the caller. From her voice, she seemed elderly. She asked about a price guide we used to produce for Franklin Mint items.

We once did the Guidebook of Franklin Mint Issues, which included the coins and medals and other objects created by the private mint located in Franklin Center, Pa. The last edition was 1982.

“Do you have any to sell?”

“No.”

“Where can I get one?”

“I expect you can find a copy out there. You can check Amazon.com.”

“What’s the book title again?”

I repeated it.

“How do I contact them?”

It’s online. I repeated the name.

“Don’t they have a phone number?”

I said no, they do their business via the Internet.

“Is Chet Krause still writing?”

I said he was long retired from the firm, but I could get her his phone number if she wanted it.

She declined.

Then I asked her what her real question was. I couldn’t provide her with a book. I suspected that she might own some Franklin Mint issues and wanted either to know how to sell them or what values they might have.

She  didn’t answer that question and skipped to another topic. I asked her more than once and she skipped to yet another topic.

“When was Franklin Mint founded?”

I told her it was founded in 1964 by Joe Segel. It had been very successful, went public and its shares once traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

“When did Morgan Mint take it over?”

I said I didn’t know, but it was after the book went out of print.

It was a very unsatisfying exchange. Apparently my tone of voice changed and gave that away because she finally said something to the effect that I didn’t seemed to be pleased to be talking to her.

I said I was sorry I couldn’t help and thanked her for calling.

Other than the book I couldn’t sell her, what did she want? I still don’t know.

After that call, I was ready to handle the worst complaint. At least I would know where I stand.

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