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Dublin Mint Office denies targeting older people as customers report receiving coins they never ordered

One woman said her aunt was sent coins to the value of €44,800 during the Covid-19 lockdown.

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THE DUBLIN MINT Office has denied targeting older people or sending unsolicited items after complaints from a number of customers about receiving coins they didn’t order and then being invoiced for them.

RTÉ’s Liveline programme has received a number of calls from customers who claim to  they were sent several coins they did not order and were then invoiced for them.

Dublin woman Philomena this week told the programme that she was sent 100 unwanted coins by the company, with increasing amounts on the invoices each time after ordering her free coin.

She said her husband called the office after they paid some of the invoices and told them to stop sending them but they kept coming.

“He told them they could come and collect their coins because we didn’t want them. They threatened us with legal action and said we owed them €100.”

Today a woman told the show that her aunt, who is 76, received a statement last month indicating the balance on her Dublin Mint Office account was more than €56,000.

She said her aunt has ordered coins and is a customer of the company, but “it escalated in late 2019″.

She said the woman received a set of six coins in particular that she did not order. The cost of these coins was €12,193 and that she had paid some of this in instalments because she was “so flummoxed”.

During the Covid-19 lockdown, she said her aunt continued to receive coins she had not ordered, including one priced at more than €16,000. Since 30 March she said she has received medals she didn’t want to the value of €44,800.

“She wasn’t able to get to the Post Office to return these medals. She was so upset and so embarrassed. Cocooning was difficult enough, the circumstances the elderly found themselves in. It came to light when her account went into overdraft due to a Dublin Mint Office payment going out.”

Greg Prosser, CEO of the Samlerhuset Group, parent company of the Dublin Mint Office, acknowledged that some of the stories on the show had been “heartbreaking”. 

However he told Liveline presenter Joe Duffy today that the company does not “target a specific customer base”.

He said the company does have some young customers, but generally coin collecting is a hobby taken up by older people.

“We do not issue products without express permission from customers and we do not take money from customers without express permission.”

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He said the company wants “to get these issues sorted for people” and encouraged them to get in contact either by calling 1800 804 287.

Knock Shrine has requested that its certificates and holy water be withdrawn from a Pope John Paul II coin package offered by the Dublin Mint Office, priced at up to €9,000. 

Spokesperson for Knock Shrine Maria Hunt told Liveline they were unaware of the ” types of sales tactics used” by the company. She said Knock Shrine was not paid for the use of these items in the package.

She said the parish priest was approached by the company in October and advised they wanted to present a medal to him to commemorate the 40th anniversary of the visit of Pope John Paul II. 

“Obviously we were delighted and agreed to that, no problem we’ll accept this medal that you’ve crafted,” Hunt said.

“They came to the shrine and we got the photograph taken but then they explained that they wanted to also get holy water from the shrine to accompany the medal. We just didn’t have any reason to question that, it all seemed fine at the time.”

She said they were not told how much the package would be sold for. 

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