Mint News Blog

News, Information, and Commentary on US Mint Products

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Ultra High Relief Double Eagles- Not Shipping FIFO?


There have been more reports of customers receiving their 2009 Ultra High Relief Double Eagle Coins. However, the collectors receiving coins are not necessarily the ones who placed their orders the earliest.

According to the US Mint's email notification sent out earlier this week, orders should be shipping on a "first-come, first-served basis." This means that customers who ordered their coins first, should be receiving their coins first. (i.e. "First in-First out" or FIFO)

Based on reports from Mint News Blog readers, and comments on other coin sites and forums, this is clearly not happening. Some customers who ordered on the second or third day are reporting that they have received their coins. Other customers who ordered within the first hour still have not received their coins. I placed my order at 12:17 PM ET on the first day of sales and have still not received my coin or any notification of shipping.

In an attempt to quantify what is happening. Please take a moment to answer a survey. The survey asks what date you ordered the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle, whether you have received it, and if you have, the date you received it. Results are tracked separately based on order date. You can respond to the survey more than once if you have ordered more than one coin. All responses are kept anonymous. Results will be posted on Mint News Blog next week. Please ask anyone else you know who ordered the UHR to complete the survey.

Survey Closed on 3/4/09: view the results here.

Some US Mint customers are justifiably upset with their experience ordering the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle. Problems have plagued nearly every aspect of the offering. This included initial difficulties obtaining sufficient blanks to manufacture coins, a series of miscommunications to customers on shipping dates, website security issues, shipping security issues, production problems with the companion book, and the latest non-FIFO shipping.

The US Mint began building enthusiasm for the Ultra High Relief Double Eagle as early as March 2008 calling it the recreation of the "nation's most beautiful coin." Later, US Mint Director Edmund Moy made even loftier statements about the coin. He said "One hundred years from now, I hope that people will reflect on this coin and say this was the beginning of the next renaissance of American coinage." He has even called it "arguably one of the best coins ever made in the world throughout all of history."

When you make claims of this nature, make sure you are able to deliver.

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34 Comments:

At February 28, 2009 at 9:36 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
The state of affairs at the mint has descended into disbelief and distrust, particularly over the last year, and is typified not only by the UHR debacle but the 2008 platinum coin offering and 2008 Gold Buffalo and Eagle offerings. those of us who buy within the first hours of an offering have been particulary aggrieved. For example, all initial purchasers of the platinum 4 coin sets paid almost double the price of its subsequent re-offering. I don't re-sell my coins so I'm not speaking from a loss of potential profit stance but as a collector and business person. Had the mint not re-offered the precious metals coins at almost half price, they could have created relatively rare issues, carrots so to speak, that would have ultimately induced a multitude of collectors to start purchasing in the hopes of catching the proverbial brass ring themselves sometime in the future. To do what they did without offering a credit or exchange program was less than honorable. Remember, this was all done before the current mint index-related pricing formula was established. Likewise, the UHR shipping mess flies in the face of their own FIFO policy. I ordered a total of 10 Unc. and Proof Lincoln Dollars on 12 February, 3 weeks after the UHRs, and received them all in a matter of days (6 days to be exact), so what excuse is there to not be able to ship coins that were "in stock and reserved" weeks earlier? I've ordered from the mint for over 40 years and have never witnessed anything like this. I don't buy the excuses that the "book" was unavailable or "warped" or "damaged", nor for that matter that the new expediter was the source of the problem. It appears to me that they are incapable of living up to their own policies or just trying to find a way of somehow going back on their previously published policies, term, and conditions. Sorry, but this my first real opportunity to vent, so I seized it! By the way, I ordered my UHR at 12:00 Noon and the order was completed at 12:18; still, no coin.
All the best, Larry

 
At February 28, 2009 at 10:37 AM , Anonymous sigkb said...

Talk about the Mint...

I had 10 Lincoln Comm. $1's dropped on my door step by UPS. Next Day delivery by 10:30 w/ no signature required - go figure. Even better, the 10th coin made the box buldge at the top and it was held with one strip of packing tape. No packing materials inside -a box for 8 coins had 10 crammed inside.

In previous years, including last, I had zero problems and FedEx was the best. They must have "low bidder" this change in 2009.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 1:39 PM , Blogger sure said...

I think I have said that so far the Mint response is somewhat in line with some experiences with others orders of the last year. might have been as doug. myself, I'm not surprised or disappointed to this point. The Mint had a huge weeding-out thing they had to go through the first month on possible multiple orders. Then it was the time for book delivery. Then it was the quality of the books delivered. All fairly plausible excuses for the Mint based on my last 12 months of purchases. My order became effective at 12:35pm eastern on 1/22. It's been 5 weeks. Big deal. A nobody wants it platinum coin took 8 weeks late last year. Heck, welcome to the Mint for you first time order placers.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 3:09 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My recent experience has not been what I had become accustomed to from the us mint.
The uhr was ordered early in the offering, the first day after several aborted attempts in the first hour. I recieved 3 ship dates all have passed. I have subsequently ordered the Lincoln commerative on the second day of the offering. It waso be shipped April 10, but last wednesday I recieved notice it's been charged to my account and shipped.
I'm not terribly upset, but I think they need to look and improve their order/delivery service.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 5:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Been a customer of the US Mint for 20 years and I must say I have not had an issue until ordering the UHRGC! Ordered it within the 35 minutes this baby went on sale. Last email rec'd was on 2/10 informing me that it would ship on 2/20/09. Well it's almost 3/1 and no coin and no update!

UGH

 
At February 28, 2009 at 6:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The people answering the phones at the mints 800 number haven't got a clue as to what the hell is going on. It's the same canned answer repeated every day when I call to check my order status. This kind of customer service is absolute B.S.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 6:57 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The U.S. Mint is a study in government inefficiency. Only a government enterprise, in which employees have no incentive to produce (or for that matter, to CARE), could manage to underservice a market in which there is virtually unlimited demand and virtually unlimited profit potential. If ever there was proof that government oversight guarantees mismanagement and incompetence, this is it...

 
At February 28, 2009 at 7:03 PM , Anonymous I Like Ike said...

All I hope is that all the delays and obfuscations/incompetentisms result in a rarer or perceived to be rarer, coin. I've not yet taken delivery of my UHR although my order went through in the first 45 minutes after attempting to get in at 9:00 am PST-- anyone having placed an order before the price hikes has already made money ($1089 orginal price vs. $1339 now).

Just as long as we get the coins.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 7:06 PM , Anonymous I Like Ike said...

Oops I meant $1189 original price.

 
At February 28, 2009 at 8:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi,
I ordered my UHR within the first 15 minutes of the first hour, and have not received my UHR eather.
I also ordered my limit of (100) each of the Lincoln proof and unc. silver dollar within the first hour. I placed 20 orders with 10 coins per order. There was 5,173 orders placed between my first order and my last order. I have received 12 of the 20 orders placed. The orders I received first, was from the orders I placed last. I have yet to receive the first orders I placed. I spoke with a mint representative about this and was told they had no control over the order in which orders were shipped out. I informed the mint's representative that the mint's policy is, orders will be shipped out in the order they are received. This is false advertisement and I intend to report it to the BBB. If more people would report this untruthiful advertising to the BBB, maybe something will change.
UPS has got to go and the Mint needs to change MANAGEMENT !!!!!!

 
At March 1, 2009 at 2:11 AM , Anonymous Brad said...

Like "sigkb" said, UPS left my box of 10 Uncirculated Lincoln Commemorative coins on my porch, just ripe for the stealing all day while I was at work! This happened after I've specifically called my local UPS office twice after such incidents to have them put all of my packages on permanent hold. I work in the same town as the local UPS distribution center, so it is very easy to go pick up packages on lunch hour. Ever since the Mint went to a new fulfillment center, I've never gotten a FedEx package again. They were the best, and UPS is terrible. I'm going to have to go back to using my P.O. Box address for the "slow as molasses" USPS Registered shipping. Although unbelievably slow, at least that way my packages will be safe!

Oh yeah, I ordered the UHR the first day, one hour and ten minutes in, and have not gotten the coin yet. They don't even send me e-mail updates anymore. I tried to call, but got the recording that no one could answer right now. I guess the lines were jammed with fellow collectors wanting to know exactly what the !%*@ is going on! All I know is, my order had said the coin was "In Stock & Reserved" for several days before the online tracking ability went down, and I have no clue what the status is now.

 
At March 1, 2009 at 7:26 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My e-mail order confirmation from the Mint has a date stamp 1/22/09 @ 12:08. It charged my CC a week or so ago, then let the charge expire. I have nothing from it since, except for the e-mail of 2/24 outlining its protocol going forward, including FIFO. This coin release has uncovered a shocking level of incompetence at the Mint, to say the least.

 
At March 1, 2009 at 8:44 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too join with others here, I ordered my UHR 27 minutes after issue and have not recieved anything yet whilst reading that others have recieved thiers and have even been able to send them in for certification by PCGS and others? I was also one of those who paid $1,850 for the reverse platinum set only to have the mint turn around and dump the rest of them on the market for $1,450.00 which of course cost me $500.00 off the top of my coins value. Even from a idiots point of view this mint has been run with someones head up their rump. But I expect someone has made a bundle and I suspect who ever it is he or she works for the mint or a contractor of the mint.

 
At March 1, 2009 at 3:19 PM , Anonymous Steve said...

Folks,
On another Blog site a fellow named Lurein, who claims to have spoken directly to a Mint survey individual, claims that the Mint thinks that most of the "Complainers" are just "flippers". Further, he said that the Mint was not too anxious to please such people.
Well, I am no flipper and neither are thousands of others who ordered on Jan 22nd. I wonder if any of us have received their coins? This Lurein ordered on the 23rd and he has a coin.
The problem is that their has been no transparancy in this case. Obviously FIFO has not been followed, but we might be mollified if Mint officials just told us the truth. They have never tried that tactic yet.

 
At March 1, 2009 at 5:58 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

If that comment from Lurein is true, it is all the more outrageous. The Mint's job is to mint coins and fulfill orders. It should not care who is ordering, or why, and that factor should not impact policy. Simply outrageous if it is to be believed.

 
At March 1, 2009 at 6:00 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

the treasury has come to the point of "warm body". from the director to the rep i will now refer to them as "mc mint" as my fast food orders are allways wrong but at least they are not thrown on my front porch...ARGHHHH!!

 
At March 1, 2009 at 6:11 PM , Blogger Michael said...

Regarding the comments from Lureuin, here is the thread mentioned:

http://www.coinnetwork.com/forum/topics/got-a-call-from-the-mint

 
At March 1, 2009 at 6:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

My confirmation email was sent @ 12:59 on 1/22. No coin & nothing but B.S. when I call to get the status of my order. If I don't get a coin or a ship date this week, I'm going to raise hell.

 
At March 1, 2009 at 6:32 PM , Anonymous dolig said...

i saw real value here. but i was WRONG! i've never ordered from the mint before. and as long as "moy" is there i never will again. i've run into all the debacles stated and can honestly state it's eerily similar to my experiences at fast food drive through's.last month i (usps) lost a silver dollar in the mail. two days later i get a package in my mailbox for people down the street.i've initiated investigations with the mail police but this too is a joke. imo the price of gold is inversely proportional to the IQ of the government. from here'on i will refer to them as the "MC-MINT"

 
At March 1, 2009 at 7:28 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree this whole UHR thing has gotten ridiculous, but let's be fair to mint director Moy. This coin wouldn't even exist if not for Moy. I just wish the mint would be more specific about when we can expect our coins to be delivered. A two month delivery window just doesn't suffice after you've seen "in stock & reserved" on your order. The online tracking function should be restored ASAP, minus the cancel order option.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 1:59 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I hear all of you. I ordered first day, with a low order number, 3083XXXX and I am hearing people with 3088XXXX getting their coins last week. I am happy for them, but come on. At first I was thinking I was misinterpreting the meaning of the order number. Am I? I am fairly new to all this.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 3:00 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again and again tried to order the HRDE from the US Mint website. Over and over they cancelled the order for no discernable reason. Wrote to customer service and have received no reply. I guess it is business as SNAFU at the US Treasury.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 8:02 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ordered the UHR within the first hour of availability. Numerous other customers with much higher order numbers have already received theirs. Called the Mint today 3/2 to cancel the order, was told that I couldn't it was too far along in processing although it was showing a delivery date in April? Called my CC issuer and had the authorization removed. What a joke, I really wanted this coin but couldn't care less about it now. Cancel it or cancel the CC authorization if you get the same line of bull - it's not worth it, I feel much better already.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 9:42 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sometimes the mint sends the coins in regular US mail and sometimes they send them via UPS. I like regular mail better, since we have a lock box. UPS is no good because they just leave the box on the doorstep, even if no one is home. Fed ex is also much better than UPS, since they ask for a signature before leaving the package.
I'm not in any big hurry to get my UHR coin, but wish that the mint would use FIFO, and would be more organized in the prediction of shipping dates. I agree with the other poster that it's a good example of govt bureaucratic nonsense, where govt workers just put in their time, without caring about the quality of customer service, with the resulting inefficiencies, waste, and lack of proper organization.

 
At March 2, 2009 at 9:48 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I, like sigkb, received a box today that was overpacked. This is the second box this year from the mint where too much was placed in a box that was too small and everything was held together by packing tape. I had two 2009 Dollar proofs sets in the packing box I received today that were actually open with contents half in/half out of their boxes.

What is wrong with these idiots at the mint??? Why order from them if they are only going to destroy the coins in the process of shipping them?

 
At March 2, 2009 at 12:10 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think it's time consumers took a tough stand and as another blogger mentioned..... report the mint to the Better Business Bureau...period.
Someone has got to start making the mint an "accountable" government agency (unfortunately and currently this seems to be an oxymoron).

 
At March 2, 2009 at 12:11 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

The problem with the mint is they don't care about customer service because they know that we don't have any other choice. It's buy it from them or not. or buy from a dealer at a mark up. either way the mint is still selling the coin. the thing is with the FIFO is that they might not be able to fill all the orders, like in the past. and all of us who ordered first get screwed when they can't fill our orders.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 7:07 AM , Anonymous Jemakat said...

Ordered in 1st 15 minutes on January 22nd. Received notice that UHR was shipped yesterday March 2nd.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 7:15 AM , Blogger sure said...

my did arrive. less the booklet. first look through my 16x optic shows none of the scratching on the edge I have seen on another coin either on this site or coinnetwork. 1st impressions are very good. this is a well done coin and box, with a magnetic angled edge on the section of wood that holds the coin at a nice display angle within the box.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 8:47 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

placed order 1-22-09 at 12:23 received email 3-2 that UHR was shipped, received it this morning at 10:30AM 3-3-09 UPS rang doorbell and left it on my front steps.

 
At March 3, 2009 at 10:29 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like the UHR's are starting to roll in. Ordered mine in the first hour and it just arrived today sans booklet still on backorder. I did get email from the mint stating it was being shipped.
The impressive packaging almost overtakes the coin. I agree with others that I don't like the package being just left on the doorstep. But, if you like gold coins and can afford this one I would say get it but keep an eye on your doorstep.

 
At March 5, 2009 at 12:06 PM , Anonymous Steve said...

Well,
I now have the coin and I am very impressed. If this is Moy's work then it will be something good to remember him for.
As we have all said, the FIFO and the communication were a total botch. However, I am not going to place the blame on
"government bureaucrats". Remember that Moy is a Bush appointee with no prior Mint experience. You can assume the same is true of his top lieutenants.
These people are the ones who "outsourced" customer service and shipping to private enterprise that being Pitney Bowes. Top Mint officials are responsible to manage these entities. That was not done.

 
At March 6, 2009 at 9:02 AM , Anonymous Mike McDermott said...

I called the mint today about the UHR Coin. My order was confirmed at 1:38 pm on 1/22/09. Friends ordering days later have received their coin. I was told that it all depends on when the "computer" spits out the mailing label and it seems the "computer" just spits them out in some magical random order. It seems that FIFO is some magical concept that the computer can't understand. So it's not the Mint's fault that it can't ship FIFO it's that darn computer's fault. Maybe they should get someone competent to reign in that nasty "computer".

 
At March 16, 2009 at 7:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was a late order, early delivery. the coin is wonderful...but...
I bought a commemorative gold coin last week for spot + $10. I doubt that the mint originally sold it for that. am hoping that this UHR doesn't end up like the commemorative-over priced at initial sale point and soon on clearance, priced at a level so cheap that I will never recover. i am wondering if and hoping that the premium will hold.....

 

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