Customers visiting the U.S. Mint’s website to place an online order for the new Bald Eagle Commemorative Coins, or any product for that matter, were stirred with surprise today when they were directed to a page that began with:
Because of a transition in service providers, the United States Mint online catalog is currently unavailable. We expect the online catalog to be back in service within the next couple of days. In the interim, our toll-free customer service number will continue to be available to our customers.
To place an order, or to inquire about the status of an order, please call 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468). Customer Service Representatives will be available to assist you from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 midnight (ET), seven days a week. Hearing- and speech-impaired customers may place orders and inquiries through TTY at 1-888-321-MINT (6468), Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (ET).
While a typical business would have held to task their IT/MIS department for even thinking about such a long term disruption before the sale of a new product release, unfortunately, since the Mint is funded by tax payers and under the government, a smooth and seamless transition didn’t happen. To be fair, the situation may have been out of the hands of Mint officials and employees.
Hopefully, the end result will be an improved and dynamic ordering system that’s faster while still secure. It would also be nice if the system could adjust bullion coin prices based on the market. If the Mint could bypass their current policy of suspending bullion products for weeks and months due to volatile bullion prices, the short term wait for the new ordering system could well be worth it.