Monday Morning Brief for Nov. 9, 2020: A frustrating experience
- Published: Nov 9, 2020, 7 AM
Well, that pretty much went as everyone had expected. The privy marked 2020-W 75th Anniversary End of World War II American Eagle gold coin became unavailable in seven minutes and the silver coin lasted about an hour and 40 minutes. Few would-be Mint customers had what could be considered a pleasant, pain-free experience.
As an experiment (by policy, I did not plan to compete any potential transaction), I accessed the Mint website on both my work laptop (without signing into my unused account) and personal iPad (signing on) a little before noon Eastern Time, when both coins went on sale, starting with the web page for the gold coin.
At noon, I hit the page refresh on the laptop and quickly found myself on the order page for the gold coin, but when I tried clicking on the “add to bag” button, things went downhill. I kept getting an “Oops...Something went wrong” page with a refresh button, and after clicking that button a couple of times, a second page with a message reading “Error 1015 You are being rate limited” and a second message stating “What happened?” with a response below stating, “The owner of this website (catalog.usmint.gov) has banned you temporarily from accessing the website.”
My experiences echoed those of many customers attempting to order either of the coins.
The temporary ban was particularly irksome for customers unfortunate enough to get this message. We received numerous email messages, phone calls and comments at our Facebook page from Mint customers who have bought a lot of products from the Mint who did not take kindly from being banned as though they had committed an infraction.
During my interactions with the Mint website, I occasionally advanced to a Captcha page where I was given two attempts to prove I was not a bot — a computer program written to circumvent household order limits. After selecting the obligatory boat or bicycle photos, I again found myself at an “Oops...Something went wrong page.”
About 1:30 p.m. ET, I managed to get to the order page for the American Eagle silver dollar in the 75th anniversary program but I was never able to reach a page where (had I wanted to) I could have completed the transaction.
The next outrage will take place when dealers start offering multiples of the coins at prices for sums many times their issue price. That will be the topic of a future Editorial, I suspect.
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