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BEP apologizes for Internet site crash

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?We sincerely apologize,? said Kevin Brown, marketing manager for the Bureau of Engraving and Printing about the crash of its Web site Jan. 24 at the beginning of order taking for 500 $50 Premium Federal Reserve Sets.

As the result of its Web host system crash and the failure of the time-stamping function, the BEP received orders for 890 sets before it could cut them off and there is no way to determine the order in which they were received, Brown explained to Numismatic News.

As a consequence, all orders for 3 to 5 sets will be cut back to two sets and all orders for two sets will be trimmed to one. All orders for one set will be honored, he said.

Serial numbers of the sets would be assigned randomly, falling in the range between 00000351A and 00000850A.

The sets were priced at $1,095 each and were also made available over the counter at the Washington, D.C., and Fort Worth, Texas, printing sites. A total of 44 of the 500 sets were sold that way.

Brown said it would take up to three weeks to work out the problems, issuing credits and refunds.

Persons who ordered five sets were entitled to the bulk-rate price of $1,050 each, Brown said, and that price will be charged to those individuals whose orders were cut back from five to two.

Consecutive serial numbers would be given for the two-set orders. They would fall in the 450 range at Fort Worth or the 800 range in Washington.

The set contains 12 Series 2004 $50 Federal Reserve Notes, one from each district. Brown said BEP is working to prevent a recurrence. Its next offer will coincide with the release of the new $10 Federal Reserve Note March 2, when uncut $10 sheets become available.