A Royal Mint customer charged £143,000 for out-of-stock gold coins in January has received a £15,500 payout after the involvement of This is Money.
The retired college lecturer from Dundee, Scotland, who asked to remain anonymous, was left effectively thousands of pounds out of pocket due to a fall in the gold price between when the order was ‘placed’ on 16 January and when the coins were actually in stock and shipped in mid-March.
Despite being told by customer services in early February that he should not have been able to place and pay for the order of 100 1oz bullion coins, the Mint initially refused to refund him the difference.
One customer from Scotland purchased £143,000 worth of out-of-stock gold coins in January, but by the time they actually arrived, the Mint was selling them for £9,090 less for a set of 100
It previously told us there had been an ‘unfortunate delay in delivery due to stock availability’ and the ‘price of our bullion products fluctuate in line with live metal prices, and price is fixed at the point the customer confirms the transaction.’
However, after the publication of his story and examples of other customers facing the same problem and continued pressure from our reader, it has now compensated him.
In an email sent on Monday from Andrew Dickey, director of the Mint’s precious metals division, our reader was told the Mint was ‘keen to ensure we resolve your current unhappy situation as quickly and efficiently as possible.’
It offered him £15,523.58, which covered the gold price drop, the loss of interest which his £143,000 had been earning in his current account, and an extra discretionary payment to reflect the higher price our reader paid to the Mint compared to other UK bullion dealers.
He previously told us he had paid ‘approximately £2,000 more for the safety and assurance of the Mint.’
The investment in the coins came from money he inherited from his deceased father’s estate.
‘I want to thank you for your input helping with my case. Your intervention brought immediate results, a response from the Royal Mint and led to facilitating the refund.
Upon sharing the email from the Mint with This is Money, our reader told us: ‘I want to thank you for your input helping with my case.
‘Your intervention brought immediate results, a response from the Royal Mint and led to facilitating the refund.
‘I have now had the appropriate refund and apology from the Royal Mint.’
A spokesperson for The Royal Mint, said: ‘We are pleased to have resolved the issue with the customer, however we don’t share specific details of individual cases.
‘We review customer queries on a case by case basis, taking into consideration the unique factors.’
Our investigation into the Mint’s booming precious metals division, prompted by the email from our reader earlier in March, revealed it had been heavily criticised by customers who had been charged for out-of-stock goods and had their deliveries turn up months late and damaged.
The coronavirus pandemic led to the division’s ‘busiest period on record at the start of 2020-21’, according to its latest annual report, with it seemingly struggling to cope with the volume of orders.
This is Money last week reported on problems affecting customers of the Royal Mint’s booming precious metals division which had seen people charged thousands for out-of-stock items
The Mint refused to explain why payments had been taken seemingly on multiple occasions for out-of-stock goods but acknowledged problems with deliveries.
Andrew Dickey told our reader in his email: ‘Your experiences had highlighted a number of issues that we recognise as falling below our service expectations for customers.
‘I have been in contact with the wider executive here at the Mint and we have taken your points incredibly seriously.’
He added that actions were in progress to ‘remedy the issues you have raised with us.’
The Mint continues to receive negative reviews about the delivery of precious metal goods
However the Mint continues to receive negative feedback from its customers. One review left on the website Trustpilot on Wednesday by a woman named Alicia said three precious metal bars she had ordered had been delivered ‘with a few dents in them’.
Having sent them back to the Mint in exchange for replacements in mid-March, she was then told no replacement for a 1oz bar could be provided as they were out of stock.
After she asked if she could have the bars she sent back returned and make do with the dents, she said: ‘I was told that they would check to see if this is possible.
Your experiences had highlighted a number of issues that we recognise as falling below our service expectations for customers
Andrew Dickey, director of The Royal Mint’s precious metals divison
‘Why was I told I could return the 1oz for a replacement if you were never intending to replace it?’
Overall, after 213 reviews on the site the Mint has a rating of just 2.2 out of 5.
However it pointed out its rating on the separate review website Feefo was 4.7/5.
The Royal Mint previously told This is Money in a statement: ‘We have been made aware of issues regarding the delivery of our precious metals products and we are currently working with our courier partners to improve this.
‘Customer feedback is very valuable to us and we understand how important discretion is.
‘We are currently looking at a number to ways to improve our delivery services to ensure our products are delivered with the same premium precision in which they leave our site.’
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