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Letters to the Editor (Sept. 9, 2015)

Ike set ordering disgraceful

Are you aware of the disgraceful and unfair situation which occurred today while attempting to order the Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles sets?

The Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set went on sale Aug. 11 to a quick sellout and website issues.

The Eisenhower Coin and Chronicles set went on sale Aug. 11 to a quick sellout and website issues.

I, along with many others, were online at noon sharp to purchase two of these sets. It seems that a potential customer was able to complete the transaction from their shopping cart, enter the payment and shipping information and hit “the place order” button only to have the order disappear and an “error” message appear on the screen.

If you go to the U.S. Mint Facebook page, you will find so many negative comments from other customers who experienced the same situation as I did. When the “error” message occurred, I and others again entered the information required to make the purchase only to receive a new message which read “item no longer available.”

It appears the 17,000 sets sold out in approximately 15 minutes. How could that happen when there was a household limit of 2 sets? There is no question that massive manipulation occurred which, I believe, deserves an investigation by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General. I am suspicious that either the Mint or suspicious customers were responsible for possible tampering. There are computer programs available which allows one to order items (very common in the concert ticket industry) and block others from ordering.

I offer you evidence of the Home Shopping Network host bragging this week that he was able to buy 7,000 of the Harry Truman Coin and Chronicles sets which he said we ordered “almost half of the entire sets minted.”

Furthermore, I personally received an e-mail from Modern Coin Mart offering me $250 per set if I allowed them to order 2 sets on my behalf with the intent of them buying them and paying me the premium.

As a 1974 U.S. Assay Commissioner and avid coin collector, I have never experienced such manipulation and unfair tactics in my entire life. I attempted to contact Deputy Mint Director Rhett Jeppson and Public Affairs Officer Michael White to no avail. I did speak with a Ms. Stevenson in Mr. Jeppson’s Office and Arnetta Cain in the Public Affairs Office but they took the position “so what” and we will look into it. Today was a dark day in the history of the U.S. Mint for coin collectors. Today was just disgraceful and the U.S. Mint doesn’t seem to care.

Charles Leusner
1974 U.S. Assay Commissioner
Cape May Court House, NJ

Mint needs to fix website

Well, I’ve had it with the U.S. Mint after 20 years of ordering.

At 12:01 p.m. there were problems with the site slowly moving along. At 12:06, I had to reenter my credit card info as the page had a hiccup. By 12:07, it looks like I just have to hit the purchase button. I hit it and no go! The set was sold out. For six minutes of their website not responding, I lost out as the Mint’s web site states the item is unavailable. Apparently two coins per person was not enough and the Mint still has not learned its lesson about the flood of folks trying to access their site so effectively.

Today, I have cancelled all my subscriptions and might not order from them again. I’m angry that the Mint still can not figure out how to upgrade their server (it’s not a money issue as their profits have got to be unbelievably high) and their call service. I tried calling customer serivce and got a busy signal and of course calling from overseas I was charged the international rate for a busy signal.

Goodbye, Mint. You’ve lost a very valuable customer after 20 years.

Michael McLoughlin
Address withheld

Same issues with Truman, Ike sets

After just missing out on the Truman set, I tried to order at 12:10 p.m. on day they were released and were sold out, I was not going to miss out on the Eisenhower set.

I was on the Mint website at 11:30 a.m., Aug. 11 ready to order at noon. At noon, I pressed the order button and was disconnected from the site and could get back on until 12:20 p.m. when they were sold out. As I was trying to get back on site, I was constantly dialing the mint on my cellphone only to hear their greeting and a survey offer, then a busy signal. Needless to say, I was angry.

Earlier in the week, I saw an ad to order the sets for a large coin company.They would process the order for you and pay you double. On a TV coin sales program, they were saying for the Truman set they had purchased 40 percent or so of the allotment of 17,000 sets.

I don’t know why the Mint would advertise these sets when clearly it seems like a few large companies purchase the large majority of them, grade them and hose everyone that would like one. I voiced my frustrations to the operator at the Mint at 12:40 p.m. that day and she said, “the Mint is sorry for this.” I replied, “I really don’t think so or they would not have let this happen again after the Truman release.”

I should have signed up to let a company use my name and collected $125 profit versus wasting a good hour of my time only to be frustrated and very disappointed!

Gary Hughes
Detroit, Mich.

Quick sell outs not uncommon

I have been reading of the problems of people trying to order the Truman set on line and I can sympathize completely.

I tried to order tickets to a Taylor Swift concert as soon as they went on sale and they were sold out before I could get a couple. I could have tried calling Ticketmaster on the phone and asking to speak to a supervisor, but when the tickets were gone, they were gone. The arena holds 18,500 people and if more than that want to see Taylor Swift, and people buy multiple tickets, it won’t take long to sell out. I also wanted to buy something from Amazon.com when they had their special online sale, that didn’t work out so well either.

The Mint had 17,000 Truman sets to sell. The purchase limit was five.  Some people purchase one set, some people purchase five, so let’s assume the average is three. After the first 5,666 people place their order, it’s done. The Roosevelt set did not even sell 14,000 units in six months, so 17,000 is more than a reasonable number, maybe even a little high. When the local hardware store can’t sell the ten brooms they have in stock, do they stock 15 the next time? Probably not.

Paying off a credit card the day before a purchase is of no significance, as long as you have availability covering the amount of your purchase, the card will work. It won’t work if they are sold out. The Mint should at least have been able to get the correct message up, I agree with that.

Peter Glassman
Schaumburg, Ill.

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High Relief shows scratches

Good news: received my 2015 High Relief one-ounce gold coin Aug. 7 from the Mint.

Bad news: The rim on the reverse, from approximately the “D” in “United” to between “Of” and the first “A” in “America” is horribly rough, looking all chewed up. Inexcusable for a nearly $1,500 coin.

Don Wechter
Address withheld

Disappointed with High Relief quality

I recieved my gold High Relief coin on Aug. 4. I had looked forward to this for a long time.
It was packaged like a 2-year-old did it, rammed into a small box with the paperwork all torn up. The coin on the reverse edge is not a finished die strike above the “states.” I contacted the Mint for a replacement and that is slim to none. It is on backorder until Oct. 1.  I am very disappointed with the quality of workmanship on this coin and packaging. This coin was $1,495. They could have  done better.

Dave Maihle
Address withheld

Euro an example for U.S. coin, paper money changes

I just got back from holiday (as the Parisians say) in France and I was surprised by the amount of coins and paper money they use.

I think what we are missing is twofold: the coins, especially the cent through 50 cent, are much smaller and some of the coins are made of two different metals and each paper moneyeuro denomination is a different size and color.

I think we here in the U.S. need to study our coins and paper money to see what will work and is a cost saving as well as protecting our currency from counterfeiting. Rounding up or down is another issue which I will not even try to discuss because of the taxing issues here in the U.S.

D. Watson
Address withheld

This article was originally printed in Numismatic News.
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One Response to Letters to the Editor (Sept. 9, 2015)

  1. DSTIEBS says:

    I just looked for the set on eBay and I hope these scalpers end up sitting on them and lose money on this scam. I am so sick of these rip-offs trying to make a quick buck and it’s a shame the mint won’t fix there website. If Collectors don’t buy them at the over inflated prices then the prices will go back down.

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