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It Was Ed's Turn
January 25, 2008

OK now, everybody who works with computers and who has had a problem with them, raise your hand?

Yes I know I can't see you, but metaphorically speaking, I am sure there are many hands in the air. Computer frustration is a part of life in 21st century America.

I have written about spam filters gone wild, losing Internet access at critical moments and other aspects of life with the computer in the pages of Numismatic News.

So I understand how Mint Director Ed Moy must be feeling after the Mint's online order system was down from Jan. 15 and until the all clear was given Jan. 24. Most of us know his frustration.

He asked yesterday that my paper publish his letter of apology and explanation. I will do so. I thought it appropriate to post it here also.

There is no good time for such a breakdown, but it could have been worse. It could have happened during a program as popular as the first of the First Spouse coins. Think of that.

I accept the apology below. I hope other longtime customers will do the same. See what you think. It was Ed's turn. Now we can all shudder and be glad it wasn't us - this time.

"To Our Valued Customers:

"The United States Mint temporarily suspended its online catalog recently while we shifted our online ordering capability from one provider to another. We didn't plan an interruption in service but, as the transition from one company to another took place, we realized that we couldn't guarantee to our customers that our online ordering system was completely reliable until the new provider had enough time to take over operations and make them secure.

"During the transition to new service providers, we know that many of you tried to log in to the United States Mint's retail Web site and found a notice that the online catalog was unavailable. We also know that many of you called our toll-free Customer Service lines to place orders. Because of extremely high call volume, many customers were unable to get through or spent a long time waiting on hold. This is not the level of service that you deserve from the United States Mint and certainly not the kind of service that I want you to have.

"I take full responsibility for the lapse in service and apologize to you for any inconvenience and frustration you experienced. I thank you for your patience while we improve our system of online operation. The United States Mint's service mission is to create the highest quality products for the United States and our customers, and we are working to make this vision a reality. I truly regret service interruptions and will take measures to avoid them in the future."

It is signed:

Edmund C. Moy
United States Mint

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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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