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Lost Check, Lost Opportunity
September 08, 2008

There is as joke somewhere about people who cannot take yes for an answer. I had a phone call on Friday afternnon from someone who was clearly frustrated with us and I clearly was not laughing by the end of the conversation.

Fundamentally, it boiled down to a check that seems to either have been delayed in the mail or lost. I can understand how this would prey on the mind of the affected person, but in this case it seems to have shut out every other aspect of the problem.

He wanted a subscription extended to World Coin News, but it had not been because of the check problem. He wanted to be able to talk to our accounting department in Cincinnati to see if it had been deposited yet. That was one thing I could not give him. Our accounting department does not talk directly with the public.

He had been asked to send another check by the person handling subscription calls. I told him he could do that and we would refund the money from the other check if it showed up. He said his impression from the other phone conversation was it would somehow be docked by a certain amount in the process. I said if it was a full refund he wanted I could make sure he got it.

He dropped that topic and went back to asking to talk to accounting.

He talked about free issues he had been promised because of some late delivery experiences. I said if it was free issues he wanted, I could see to it that he received some. He dropped that topic and began to complain about a subscription renewal offer to Numismatic News. I told him I did not handle subscription renewal offers, but I thought they were pretty much the same for all magazines.

He had mentioned that he hoped to subscribe at some point to Bank Note Reporter. I suggested he send the second check and if the first one showed up, the money could be applied to Bank Note Reporter.

He changed the subject again and went back to asking about talking to accounting. I said I couldn't do that.

There was much more to the call, but you get the idea. I understand the caller's frustration. A lost check is a pain. However, there usually is more than one way to solve a problem and I feel that I failed in making that point and bringing the conversation to a successful conclusion.

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About the Author
David C. Harper has been a coin collector since 1963. He joined the Krause Publications editorial staff in 1978 and is currently editor of Numismatic News and World Coin News. He also edits two books annually, North American Coins & Prices and Coin Digest. He is the author of the Class of '63 column that runs each week in Numismatic News. His first bylined numismatic article appeared in the June 1971 issue of Coins Magazine and his various Krause Publications assignments included a stint as editor of the magazine 1980-1983. Harper received a bachelor of science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in 1977. He had a double major of journalism and economics.

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