Dave Harper, editor of Numismatic News, published a letter from US Mint Director Edmund Moy apologizing for the recent outage of the US Mint online catalog. The letter reads as follows:

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.

Edmund C. Moy
United States Mint

Although Director Moy has fallen on his sword for his staff, it does not excuse the situation. Nor does it change the opinions I wrote about on January 18. I am sure that the Mint will perform a root cause analysis into the problem. Unfortunately, we may never know what really happened. If the Mint is going to promote the online model, they will have to do better.

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