Mint Fails to Think of Customers First
Several weeks ago, the U.S. Mint announced it would issue a special U.S. silver Eagle proof coin to commemorate the end of the Second World War. Because I am enrolled as a customer to receive all silver Eagle proof coins automatically, I thought there would be no problem. However, I decided to ask and was told that the particular coin would not be sent to enrollees and that the issue was limited to 75,000 coins.
The coin went on sale Thursday at 12:00 p.m. I successfully signed into my online account at the Mint shortly before 12:00 p.m. At about 12:02, I attempted to purchase the coin. All I received, however, was an error message: “Error 1015. The owner of this website (catalog.usmint.gov) has banned you temporarily from accessing this website.”
I signed into my account again at 1:51 p.m. and was able to proceed to the page where the coin was listed. However, there was only a notice that the End of World War II 75th Anniversary American Eagle Silver Proof Coin was “currently unavailable.” Thanks a lot, U.S. Mint. You apparently sold 75,000 coins to your scalper friends, at the expense of your regular customers, in about one hour.
Several months ago, I finally decided to buy the last artificial rarity that I also could not purchase on the date of issue: the 2019-S Enhanced Reverse Proof silver Eagle (only 30,000 were authorized). While prices for the same coin ranged from $4,000 to $950, I purchased one from a coin dealer for $1,000. That, for a coin whose issue price was $54. How much will collectors ultimately have to pay for this new rarity that should have cost them $83?
Officials of the U.S. Mint should be required to set forth a detailed justification for creating artificial rarities for the sole benefit of coin dealers and scalpers and at the expense of its longtime individual customers like me. In this case, the Mint should also be required to take orders for this coin from all persons who were unable to purchase and then mint sufficient quantities to fill those orders.
In the future, no such artificial rarities should be permitted. Instead, the Mint should be required to produce enough of each issue to satisfy the pre-order demands of collectors and dealers. Finally, the Office of Inspector General should scrupulously investigate all of the Mint’s practices and its impact on both taxpayers and customers of the Mint.
Don W. Crockett
Crack in Samoa Quarter
I purchased a couple of rolls of 2020 Samoa National Park quarters earlier this year. I just found one with a very bad interior die crack. Has anyone else reported this? Is it valuable?
Box of Surprises
Earlier this year I bought a box of quarters from my local bank to search for “W” mint quarters. At the first half of the box, I spotted and pulled a high relief 2004-D Wisconsin quarter. Later in the box, I found two “W” quarters (one American Memorial Park and one War in the Pacific). This was an exceptional box containing probably my very best single coin find!
Mint Website Crash Equals Lost Customer
I just want to complain as (once again) the U.S. Mint’s website had major access failure for the entire WWII releases. I’m keeping my language clean; I can’t tell you how upset I am over not being able to access the site for the medals just released as I knew the mintage numbers were going to be low, and the items would sell out. But not being able to gain access because of the Mint’s inability to make sure the site didn’t crash or have other problems, “oops something has gone wrong try again later,” I can’t tell you how many times I received that error. And then 22 minutes later I got in and was able to select the gold WWII medal, but at checkout “oops something went…” yeah, you guessed it. Forty-four minutes later it said, “sorry item (silver and gold medals) no longer available.”
Frankly, this is crap. I was able to send the Mint customer service an obscene and foul-mouthed email, knowing that I will not get a response but I felt a little better. This isn’t the first time this has happened, but after 40 years as a faithful U.S. Mint patron, that all comes to an end now; not that my single membership means anything to the Mint.
They are overcharging, for one; they need to invest some of that profit into fixing their website so members aren’t denied or blocked for access. There’s no excuse other than it’s part of the larger U.S. government, which I worked for over 45 years, so I see no change in the future.
Anyway, I would like to know how many other individuals had the same problem of access. My prediction is tens of thousands. And the gold WWII medal I will predict will be sold at three times the cost since only 7,500 were made.
Makes me sick.