I am writing to you in hopes that you could post this in
your letters to the editor, so that others buying silver can avoid the recent
problems I have fallen into concerning APMEX. I have purchased several thousand
dollars worth of silver coins over the past year and have had no problems, but when
I made my last order of over a thousand dollars, I made the mistake of checking, or
not unchecking a box on APMEX's order form that says I would be sending a personal
check. I knew the silver I ordered was in short supply and APMEX stated there would
be a short wait until they could fill the order.
After about a month without word
from APMEX, I decided to change my order to a different APMEX product. Upon signing
into my account, I found that my order had been canceled by APMEX and I had been
charged 285.00 dollars. I called APMEX and asked for an explanation. The
representative I talked to said they canceled my order due to non payment and the
charge was a non payment charge. I explained to the woman that I meant to pay with
a credit card, as I had with all my past orders, and if she would credit my account
the 285.00 dollars I would replace the order and give her my credit card number at
that time. She refused, and said there was nothing she could due for me. I
explained to her that I had placed several thousand dollars worth of business with
APMEX in the past and was planning future orders on top of the order I wanted to
make at that time and she still refused.
I told her I had not so much as received a
phone call, or an email asking why I had not sent payment, if I had, I would have
explained that I intended to pay with my credit card, which they have on file and
the order could have proceeded. She said they were mostly an internet based company
and didn't make many phone calls. I guess that means APMEX thinks internet companys
do not have to give good customer service. I told her I would be disputing this
charge with my credit card company. In essence, if APMEX is successful in getting
this 285.00 dollar charge from my card then they have preferred to steal 285.00
dollars from me rather than take a legitimate thousand dollar order, and any future
orders I would have made.
I know in some states they are considering taking finger prints and identification
for anyone buying silver, or gold. I wonder it this very poor excuse for a business
model from APMEX is also a way to harass buyers of precious metals. If so, APMEX is
playing both sides of the fence and is a company patriots should avoid.
I understand Ken if you do not want to post my rant. I wouldn't bad mouth a company
if I hadn't been grievously treated by them. I have been running my own business
for 28 years now and there is no way I could treat customers, especially repeat
customers in such a manor and expect to survive. So I will be looking for a new supplier of gold and silver coins, hopefully I can find a reputable one which offers
at least a minimum of customer service and is willing to work with clients, not
"Satisfaction Guarantee – Your satisfaction is of paramount importance to us. We guarantee your satisfaction with a refund, return and/or exchange policy. At APMEX, you can purchase with confidence."
OK, I'll post your note and you should contact the attorney's general's office and consumer affairs of the state where this company is located if APMEX doesn't agree to return your money. .
If outside the USA, find out the country of origin and contact the exchange commission.
You should also argue with the bank. The company suffered no loss and you didn't send a check that bounced. You simply didn't pay and they didn't deliver so there was no exchange and no harm to either side.
Unless you signed a CONTRACT with APMEX in which you agreed to pay them $285 in the event that you checked that box and then didn't actually send the check, they have no foundation for taking the money.
Call APMEX and tell them that you're filing a complaint with the attorney general's office and you have notified your bank that you've been defrauded by them and filed a complaint with the attorney general.
Explain to APMEX that they suffered no loss and they can't charge you a $285 fee when there was no loss and no crime or impropriety committed. Tell them they are engaging in fraud and you will urge an indictment by the attorney general's office if they don't return your money immediately.
Tell them that your complaint letter is being published on a web site that gets 4.2 million hits a month from 170 different countries.
They will, unless they are extremely stupid, likely change their mind very quickly and return your money.
Keep me posted
Subject: Re: Silver
Date: Fri, May 27, 2011
To: Ken Adachi
Thanks for posting my experiences with APMEX. Unfortunately I did agree to a
users agreement and in that agreement is this clause below.
"Your American Precious Metals Exchange order may be canceled if we do not receive
payment within five (5) business days on orders under $25,000 (USD) and three (3) business days for orders over $25,000 (USD). Once you have placed an order with American Precious Metals Exchange, you have entered into a binding agreement. "
My problem is not with the agreement per se, but I feel they should have let me
know they were waiting for a payment that I was not planning on sending. An email, or
a phone call could have corrected the issue and saved them a customer and a good
sized order. My credit card company said that if I signed an agreement, such as the
one above there is not much they can do.
It just frustrates me that a company I have
been doing business with and had plans on doing additional business with would not
work with me and try to correct a misunderstanding. I have tried calling a
supervisor and discussing this, but he is never available and has not returned my
My next move will be to send them an email and explain what I have already
told a representative and I will also mention the bad press they will receive by my "letter is being published on a web site that
gets 4.2 million hits a month from 170 different countries". I think an email would
be good here, so they have it in writing. I will contact the attorney's general's
office and consumer affairs in the state they are located, but considering the
agreement above I think they will tell me they have the right to "legally" screw me.
American Precious Metals Exchange
226 Dean A. McGee Avenue
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Tel. 1-800-375-9006 (toll free USA)
Local (405) 595-2100
Thanks Ken for all your help in this matter, I will keep you informed.
OK, well they got you, but I agree with your thought that they could have an automated response setup so they would automatically e-mail that you will be fined $285 if you don't send the check in within the required time frame. If they were really interested in "Satisfaction guarantee," that's the least they could do considering the amount of the fine involved.
Perhaps a few readers will e-mail them and tell them how admirable they find their hard knuckled attitude and mercenary, one sided view of "satisfaction guarantee."
First response from APMEX, sent June 1, 2011
----- Original Message -----
From: "Greg Tower" <Greg.Tower@apmex.com>
To: "email@example.com" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Sent: Wednesday, June 1, 2011 12:55:41 PM
Subject: APMEX 4663388
I am sending you email of conformation you received when you placed the order. As
you can see it states payment type as personal check. The order was placed on
4/25/11 and not cancelled till 5/23/11. Per the terms of the “User Agreement” that
you acknowledged that you had read, understood and agreed, it states that should
payment not be made and the order be cancelled you would be responsible for any
market loss should there be one at the time plus a cancellation fee. Again you
received confirmation of the order that said payment type as personal check…..
Credit and Collections Representative
The American Precious Metals Exchange
226 Dean A. McGee Avenue
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73102
(405) 595-2100 Ext 150
(800) 375-9006 Ext 150
----- Forwarded Message -----
To: "Greg Tower" <Greg.Tower@apmex.com>
Sent: Thursday, June 2, 2011
Subject: Re: APMEX 4663388
I am not disputing that I mistakenly checked, or mistakenly did not uncheck
the box on your order form that says pay with personal check, nor am I disputing
that you "got me" with your user agreement. What upsets me is I have been a loyal
customer, purchasing close to several thousand dollars worth of silver from your
company, always paying with credit card and I get such lousy customer service the
first time a problem comes up.
You can’t so much as have an automated system that
sends out a reminder that an order will be canceled, or have a representative send
out an email, or a phone call to the same effect. It looks to me like AMPEX would
rather sit back and collect a "market loss" than make an effort to take an honest
sale. I did not realize there was a problem, because I thought I was paying with a
credit card, I was not concerned about the amount of time that passed because APMEX
stated the coins I wanted were out of stock and I could expect a delay. I only found
out about the problem when I signed into my account to place a different order for a
different AMPEX product.
It is unfortunate that I mistakenly thought I was paying with a credit card, it is
even more unfortunate that APMEX, so little values its customers that they are
unwilling to work with them when it becomes apparent that a misunderstanding has
occurred. I was willing to pay for that order on the spot with one of your reps, but
she was unwilling to take the order. At that time the charge you put on my card had
not even gone through and was still pending. I offered your rep the option to take
my order if she would credit me, or reverse the pending charge and she was
unwilling. So AMPEX still gets their profit out of me, this time, with service like
this there will be no next time and I was planning many more purchases of silver of
which I will have to find a new supplier.
Yes Greg, I will gladly tell all my
friends in person and all those who care to read all about it on line at a web site
that gets 4.2 million hits a month from 170 different countries about the stellular
customer service I received at APMEX. I will also be sending a note to the
attorney's general's office and consumer affairs for the state in which your company
is located. So go ahead Greg and enjoy your little victory over a so called
nonpayment issue, which turned into a non customer issue, such a smart way to
Comments from readers
Subject: Very concerned / Apmex order #4663388
Date: Thu, June 2, 2011
Cc: email@example.com (more)
I am writing to tell you how concerned I am over the recent treatment of "Mike A," and the $285 charge that has been levied against him. As an Apex
customer myself, I understand that he was technically in default of the
agreement, but it seems like an innocent mixup. When he offered to complete
the transaction I feel that the right thing to do would have been to accept
his order, either at the current market price or the price from his original
In any event, the man obviously had no intent to defraud you, yet the
decision to keep his $285 has caused Apmex some extremely unfavorable
exposure. And - I am now concerned for my own sake. in case there should ever be a mixup
with one of my own orders. Would Apmex move in for "the kill," or will they
seek to resolve an issue in a fair and equitable manner? Fortunately I have
never had to find out, but I feel that I should probably be looking for an
alternate supplier nonetheless.
One thing you should already know about precious metal buyers is that we tend to be somewhat conservative and cautious about the way we conduct
business. Trust is everything. Once your company's integrity has been sold off (for a measly $285, no less), how would you ever buy it back?
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