• Report: #1080915

Complaint Review: Birch Gold Group | Ripoff Report Verified™ …businesses you can trust. Precious Metal IRA Specialists: Protecting customer’s retirement savings with physical gold/silver: customers can move IRA/401K to Precious Metals IRA. Birch Gold Group sells cash purchases, gold & silver for physical delivery. Birch Gold Group dedicated to helping clients protect portfolios with gold, silver, other precious metals shielding retirement from current unstable economy and unfortunate events.

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  • Submitted: Sun, September 01, 2013
  • Updated: Mon, October 20, 2014

  • Reported By: Jeremy — Phoenix Arizona
Birch Gold Group
3500 West Olive Ave Suite 730 Burbank, California USA

Birch Gold Group REVIEW: Birch Gold Group clients feel safe, confident and secure when purchasing gold and silver from them. Birch Gold Group devoted to the highest levels of client satisfaction, exceptional client experiences and success. Birch Gold Group considers it their responsibility to help clients preserve and protect the purchasing power of wealth regardless of the political whims and follies in Washington and beyond. Commitment to the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, and assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business. With countless past satisfied clients, Birch Gold Group has proven their dedication to customer service for years.
*UPDATE: Birch Gold Group recognized by Ripoff Report Verified™ as a safe business service.

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Ripoff Report Verified™ REVIEW:

EDitor’s UPDATE: Positive rating and recognition has been given to Birch Gold Group for their commitment to excellence in customer service.

Ripoff Report’s discussions with Birch Gold Group have uncovered an ongoing commitment by the company to total client satisfaction. This means that clients can expect that the company will work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to any complaints or concerns. Birch Gold Group listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn from past mistakes and become more efficient as a company, both in the services offered and the support for those services.

Birch Gold Group’s management team believes that their clients are a precious resource. As a highly respected business, Birch Gold Group feels that it is critical to listen to their clients and respond properly. [continued below]....
..... Birch Gold Group hopes to remain a successful enterprise for many years to come and therefore always puts its clients first.

One executive of the company tells us how they have responded to constructive feedback from clients: “We have modified our Quality Control practices and protocols to ensure that we maintain a constant line of communication with our clients – before, during and after their purchase, all the way until we have confirmed delivery of their order. We also follow up with each of our clients several weeks after delivery of their order to ensure their continued satisfaction and request any additional feedback that they would like to share.”
Birch Gold Group is Ripoff Report Verified
Ripoff Report Verified™ .. part of Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program.A program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business..

The information provided below in this report is based on comments made by marketing director Vince Miller and Andy Klein during an on-site inspection held by a third party verification company with no biases toward Birch Gold Group.

Birch Gold Group does not have any formal relationship with the US Mint. They sell coins that are minted by the US Mint and are certified by the mint. They purchase their metals from various sources at wholesale level, but do not have any kind of contract with the Mint. Some things they buy are from individuals, or processors that make their own metal. They don’t have an agreement with the US Mint, and do not claim to on any of their paperwork.

They follow a specific process for buying and reselling gold and precious metals. First, a client will contact them requesting that they want to buy gold, silver, platinum, or palladium. They will determine what it is the client is looking to purchase. After they have ordered what they want, Birch Gold Group sells them the metals, then ships it to them. Clients pay with a bank wire or personal check, or they can use a retirement account for certain metals. Then, they process their payment and do a voice confirmation to confirm the agreed upon price. The metals are then insured and shipped and usually reach the client in 7-10 days. Each client also signs an agreement which explains all the terms and conditions of the purchase, including the profits that are made from each one.

In order to stay competitive, Birch Gold Group stays market competitive. Their standard is usually what is considered reasonable and fair. Competitors regulate their industry and Birch Gold Group is not regulated. If their prices are too expensive, they won’t get the business. They believe that their prices are cheaper than most.

Birch Gold Group uses grading services when appraising coins. They use either PCGS or NGC. They are third party graders. The guarantee the coins authenticity, weight, content, and condition.

If they were dealing with American Silver Eagle that comes from the Mint, the Mint stands by its content, condition etc. At Birch, they specifically only deal with coinage that comes from verified mints such as the US Mint or the Canadian Mint. They do not work with gold or silver in third world countries, or in Mexico.

When determining appraisal values, there is a fixed price for gold and silver and it is the raw metal price, the global standard based off the London Fixed Market. This sets the basis for all of the metals. Depending on the type of metal, there are numerous factors that determine the price. Normally, Birch will pay above the basis, which is generally the spot price plus whatever they get out of it. Then, they buy between wholesale and sell between wholesale and retail.

The market trades 24 hours a day, six days a week on a global market. They literally change every second and go up and down based on several factors.

Their target market is anyone that wants to buy physical gold and silver, whether for collection or investment purposes. They strive to be on the forefront of their industry and to provide excellent customer service that is second to none.

During the onsite interview Vince Miller was asked about some of the common complaints that their company receives: “We’ve actually never had a complaint. It is fairly simple, if you call me up and say you want to buy $1,000 worth of American Silver Eagles, or you want to buy $1,000 worth of silver piece dollars, I will tell you the price and, if you agree, we sell them to you. I will tell you how much it costs with our profit worked into it, and then we do a voice confirmation. It is fairly open book and well disclosed. There really aren’t any complaints in that respect. If we did have a complaint, we do have a client services department who will assist clients with any paper work. Client services will take a written statement, and then the manager would probably address the concern.”

We haven’t had any complaints from clients, but we have had complaints from non-clients. We’ve had complaints from people who called us up asking for price quotes on coins they had in their possession, but we’re not a run of the mill coin shop. If I don’t have the red book, which gives prices on rare coins, I’ve had a client complain that they felt we weren’t giving them enough attention. We are very clear with them that we are not coin collectors; we don’t sell coins like that and can’t do appraisals. Those are the types of complaints we get.”

Andy Klein was asked the same question: “There are always tiny little things that come up. Usually it’s something that is out of our hands that we resolved. For example, our suppliers might take longer to ship an order, so we just work that out with the client. It’s nothing that can’t be resolved.”

Both Andy and Vince were asked about complaints made on Ripoff Report that describe an end consumer that was overcharged for a coin, Andy explained, “It’s a two part answer. As far as being overcharged, I think that is something that is common among our industry and we dispute the validity of that report. We believe it was a competitor and they were basically trying to tarnish our name using an example of something in the industry that is a black mark for this type of practice.”

Vince responded to the same question: “That wasn’t someone who bought from us. The client in the complaint said we didn’t know the price. They asked me for a price quote and I didn’t know the price to get them and then at the end, they said we were too expensive. They didn’t actually buy from us. How do they know what our price is, if I didn’t know a price to give them in the first place! They used a picture from a known author and they pull it off from a random place, which we already found whose face is actually on there, there is no validity to this and I can’t answer something that makes no sense. Literally, in the complaint, he says we charge.. We overcharge but when he asked for pricing we didn’t know the pricing go to Atmax and we have a 30% markup. If I didn’t know the price to begin with, how does he know what the mark up is? And if he never bought from us, how did he know what we were charging? So the truth is, how can we answer a claim that is saying so many different things. There is no validity. We have had clients who have bought a metal from us and they come back the same day or within a couple of days and said I got it cheaper someplace else, even though we have a no return policy and all sales are final, we have always come back and said, “You know what, we just want to make you happy “and we meet the competitors price. To sell on metal is not worth losing a client. That means the next time, we won’t get him again, and he will just go to the other guy... So we would rather meet the competitors pricing. That’s how we have handled any instances of overcharging. It has never been overcharging where a client has called and said you overcharged me. Generally, they don’t ask for money back. What they’ll ask is the difference in metal and we’ve done that a few times, just so were not undersold by our competition.”

Birch Gold Group is currently working on following up with their clients more frequently in an effort to improve some of their internal processes. Vince expanded on this, “When shipments are going to be late, we have a Client Services Department that keeps in touch with them. What we’ve done is instituted an email market update of the gold industry as a whole. After they get comfortable with speaking to a gold specialist throughout their purchase, the client doesn’t call back again. We don’t have time to re-contact people who have bought from us in the past. We don’t have a real obligation to continue the relationship or keep calling them after they purchased because a lot of the time it is a one-time purchase. What we have done, just to maintain good customer relations, is we have implemented a weekly market update through an email that goes out every Monday and it’s something fairly new that we’ve done. That’s been a great improvement, where people have said. “Oh that’s great I am so glad to hear from you. And I am so glad that you guys do this, it really helps me and I‘ve been meaning to call but I have been so busy. Thank you for the email” That’s been the biggest improvement we needed to make. We saw that early on where people wanted the information, but they’re too busy or we’re too busy. It keeps customers in the loop and it’s everything that happens in the gold business why it’s up and down. It’s just a general global report of what’s going on with the metal market and they get that free.”

In order to maintain a competitive edge, Birch Gold Group doesn’t hard sell people. They explain to their clients the different kinds of metals they sell and the pros and cons of each. They don’t pressure anyone into buying a particular metal over another and they explain all of the nuances of the different options that they have. They are very thorough with their clients and provide good service that their clients appreciate. They believe that their main competitive edge is that they inform and educate their clients.

They educate their consumers in various ways. They provide informational brochures which explain the history of gold and silver as well as the metal market. This provides clients with a good foundation when making their decisions. Birch Gold Group also invests a lot of time on internet marketing and their website in an effort to advise potential clients in addition to their existing clients.

Birch Gold Group is glad to be a part of the Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program. They believe that anything that keeps the public informed is important and they try to do that within their company by educating their clients and providing them with all the necessary information to make an informed and accurate decision.

BIRCH GOLD GROUP / Statements from past clients

Birch Gold Group has helped countless of hard-working Americans protect their savings with precious metals. One past customer wrote in to say, “I was introduced to Birch Gold Group about a year ago when I started to look at precious metals for my retirement portfolio. I contacted a few other large brokerage companies and found that Birch spent the most time helping me plan out the best route for my retirement savings. The folks at Birch Gold have a wealth of information and really went through the facts and statistics to help me invest in the proper metals for me. I highly recommend Birch Gold to anyone who is looking to protect their financial portfolio and or 401(k)/IRA to avoid the very volatile paper securities (stocks/bonds/hedge funds etc). Give Birch Gold a call to find out all there is about buying precious metals before its too late!”

Another satisfied client told Birch Gold Group, “I am probably not alone when I say that I had a bad experience in talking to a couple of gold and silver dealers over the past few years. I decided to put that aside and give these guys a shot since I had read some good things about them. I was not disappointed, these guys deliver on what they say and what they had to say was very good. I spoke with a gentleman named David, he was full of information but had a gentle way about him. Not pushy, not overbearing, just there to help it seemed. Maybe these guys don’t work on commission or something because every other company I talked to put so much pressure to buy you’d think they were gonna starve if I didn’t buy from them, which I didn’t. Never had that feeling with David, he was straight with me the entire time and the transaction went through perfectly. I recommend them and I will be buying again from these folks.”

Ripoff Report was pleased to learn that Birch Gold Group’s past and current approach to business is focused on its pledge to total commitment towards client and employee satisfaction.

STATED IMPROVEMENTS FROM BIRCH GOLD GROUP

Birch Gold Group recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (whether true or not) are issues that need to be addressed, not ignored. If handled correctly, complaints can be valuable learning opportunities, and the management team at Birch Gold Group treats them as such. With the feedback generated by Ripoff Report’s Investigation, Birch Gold Group has made organizational changes allowing its clients and employees a more streamlined approach to problem resolution and a commitment to a great client experience.

In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with the management team and many of Birch Gold Group’s past and current associates, Ripoff Report is convinced that Birch Gold Group is committed to quality delivery of services resulting in total client satisfaction.

Read more about why consumers should feel confident when doing business with a member of Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. Yes, it’s a long name for a program that does a lot for both consumers and businesses alike.

Read about Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program, a program that benefits the consumer, assures them of complete satisfaction and confidence when doing business with a member business.

As a matter of policy, when a business becomes a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program, they agree to allow Ripoff Report to contact every client who filed a complaint so they can make things right with them. In order to confirm that the complaints were resolved, Ripoff Report is copied on all responses so we can ensure that the member business did right by their customer. The people at Birch Gold Group did just that! Not only that, but, the one Report posted about the Birch Gold Group – the author of the Report never responded to the email from Ripoff Report, letting them know the Birch Gold Group’s was offering to make things right with them.

ABOUT THE RIPOFF REPORT BELOW:

Ripoff Report would like to let readers know that Ripoff Report emailed this customer so the member business could make things right with them. They never responded to Ripoff Reports request to help them. The original author did recant what he wrote.. When a business joins the Corporate Advocacy Program, Ripoff Report emails everyone from the past so the member business can make things right with them. Of course, everything within reason.

UPDATE: An ex-employee of this business has admitted to writing and submitting the following report and update under false pretenses. They have agreed to a settlement in which they acknowledge that the entire account of the review is fabricated, Bill Simpson (the “author” of the review) is a fictional character, and that they were never a customer of the company.

NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED

Birch Gold Group - (((REDACTED))) Burbank California

I'm retired and I'm not a licensed stockbroker or anything but I know a thing or two about money and managing finances. I first contacted Birch Gold Group in Burbank for their free investor's kit for gold and silver. What I got was a phone call from someone asking me a bunch of personal questions and when I asked for their kit I was told that it's just a fancy brochure with a bunch of pictures of gold coins. First clue this company was a rip off. I finally told him to send it or I would hang up. Did some research on the company and on their website they list they have addresses in London and Singapore and Burbank, CA. Only the one in Burbank is legit, the other two are shadow offices or virtual offices, they don't really exist, only collect mail. Second clue it's a rip off.

Got their 'kit' which is only a color folder with pictures of collectible gold coins and pages of old people holding hands saying, "Security, this is why you buy gold..." and on and on. No prices, no specific products, no information on their markup, just emotional buttons. And no information about the company. Who are they?How long in business? Who owns it? Are they licensed? Nothing. A few days later, I received a call from their telemarketing 'opener'. Would you like a market update? "Sure", I said. They put me on with Jake Kennedy, a fast talking English fellow who was obviously reading from an article they probably passed around as their script. When I asked him specifics, he didn't have a clue. He was telling me about how the value of the dollar is going down and that I should buy gold. "Well, that's not true. Compared to other currencies, the value of the dollar is the strongest and gold and silver are dropping as compared to other commodities such as oil for example." That stumped him and I could tell that he didn't know jack. The value of something is best determined by what it can be traded for or exchanged. But this idiot couldn't seem to grasp that. Ok, I thought, he's just an idiot reading what he's told, maybe I can still buy from this company. Gold is gold, right? "How much is your gold, what is your mark up?" Then, it really gets interesting, he tries to talk me into buying collectible gold and silver coins. Calling it investment grade. What the heck is 'investment grade'? That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. No such thing.  We went back and forth and I could tell that this idiot didn't have much life experience or know what he was doing. So he transfers me to his boss, Vince Miller.  (I later found out that is his phoney name)  He started shouting into the phone about how everyone is buying investment grade and how gold will go up in price and on and on. When I asked specifics, he didn't know either. He even lied and told me I would have to report my gold when I sold it, that is a lie and only pertains to a few types of bullion gold and any cash transaction above 10K is reported anyway.  He was trying to sell me collectible gold coins from a hundred years ago. When I asked how much gold is in it, he didn't know. Ok, he then tries to sell me silver dollars, when I asked how much silver is in it, he didn't know. As he's talking, I'm looking up the prices and coins on APMEX , a well known gold and silver dealer. Meanwhile, this guy keep lying to me over and over. Turns out they just want to sell collectible gold and silver coins at a 30% mark up. That's their scam. And if you buy bullion bars, which is what you should be buying, they mark it up too. You can get better prices from APMEX. What is your buyback price? He didn't know. Can you guarantee buyback? He didn't know. Why should I buy from you at a 30% markup when the same gold coin is available from reputable companies for only a 3 or 4% mark up? He didn't know.  I had to ask him four times what their mark up is and he finally said, "Yeah, you'll have to pay a buck thirty for them but ten years from now, that waon't matter." What a jack ass. 

In a nutshell, their scam is to fast talk people into buying collectible coins or proofs for their IRA's. They tack on a 30% or higher markup. If you put 100K of your IRA into gold with these scammers, they'll take 30K of it.  How's that for an investment. ? Take a pass on these guys. Scammers. And God knows how much they will buy it back for. 

Turns out the copany is owned by an Iraqi, Laith P. Alsarraf, who made his money associating with porn internet sites. The manager, Vince Miller uses a phoney name and used to sell pots and pans at shopping malls. Jake Kennedy, the supposed broker who doesn't know jack, is just a cold hearted con artist.

I can't wait to hear their response on here. Hey Birch Gold, why are your proofs and 'investment grade' gold and silver coins 30% higher than their actual value?  Huh? Why do you have idiot hack telemarketers on the phone who don't know a commodity from their holes in their backsides? How does it feel swindling people out of their retirements? Go to apmex people, not these boiler room clowns.


This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 09/01/2013 12:03 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Birch-Gold-Group/Burbank-California-91505/Birch-Gold-Group-REDACTED-Burbank-California-1080915. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
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Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Author of original report

Their response is full of lies

AUTHOR: Bill Simpson - ()

I find this response repulsive and full of lies.

Whoever you sent to the company didn't even verify who he was talking to, his name isn't even Vince Miller, he's using a fake name.  Why would an honest company manger use a fake name? What are the other names of the officers of the company? Why do they hide their names or use fake names? Who owns the company?

Birch stays competitive? Nonsense. Honest companies do not mark up their collectible coins by 30%.

They state that if you want to buy $1,000 worth of gold or silver, that is what they give you. But they do not ever tell you what their markup or profit is. Their mark up on collectible gold and silver is 30%, their mark up on bullion gold and silver is around 2%. They hire slick salesmen who talk you into buying collectible gold and silver by lying on the following points:

1. They say that bullion gold and silver is considered confiscatible. This is nonsense. The government is not going to confiscate gold or silver. Those days are long gone, especially since our currency is off the gold standard. And even if they did again, as they did in 1933, they would have to pay you for the full value of your gold.


2. They say that bullion gold is reportable when you sell it. This is a lie too. American Eagle bullion coins are not reportable. And besides, every cash transaction over $10,000 is reportable anyway.  Not only that but it is illegal to avoid taxes, are they telling people how to break the law?

3. They say that collectible coins go up more in value over time due to demand and they may even show you very specific examples. This is not true overall. Bullion gold and silver coins move with the price of gold, collectible gold and silver coins move up or down with the collectible market, a very volitile and risky market. Overall, bullion gold and silver performs better than collectible coins.

4. They call collectible coins and proof coins 'investment grade' gold and silver. This is a made up term.  There is no such thing. If you want to put gold and silver into your IRA, put gold and silver in your IRA. Do not let them sell you proof coins or collectible coins.

5. They do not disclose what their mark up or profit is. Ask them specifically, "If I buy $1,000 worth of these 'investment grade' or proof coins from you right now and then turn around sell them back to you the same day, how much will you buy them back for?" The answer will be $700. If they answer otherwise, ask them to put that into writing. They will not.  Some of their salesmen make over $100,000 a month. You read that right. They are literally ripping people off and stealing their savings and 401K's. Their mark up is huge.  The Los Angeles District Attorney needs to shut them down and regulate their industry, just as the Santa Monica DA did to Goldline.

Before you buy anything from these people, particularly proof coins for your IRA, write down their price and then go look it up on the internet. You will see that you are being grossly overcharged by them.

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