SPECIAL UPDATE: October 5 2012: Goldline International remains committed to increased customer satisfaction and has improved their business practices over the years to better serve their customers. Goldline International is truly dedicated to making sure their customers are satisfied and that any complaints which do arise are addressed promptly and fairly.Ripoff Report REVIEW:
To date, Goldline International has made good faith efforts to resolve all complaints reported on Ripoff Report. Based on our experience, the member business has proven to be among the top members of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program as a Verified Safe Business.
Over time and since becoming a member, Goldline International has remained actively engaged and improving the way they address customer service complaints. As an active and current member of the Ripoff Report Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program we are happy to report that now more than ever Goldline International remains committed to improving customer satisfaction.
Remember, no company or individual can ever satisfy 100% of the people 100% of the time. There are no products or services that will always be perfect for everyone and even the best companies will receive complaints from time to time. However, by participating in the Corporate Advocacy Program, the member business has made a commitment to working with its customers to resolve complaints quickly and fairly whenever possible.
Please keep in mind that as a consumer you have some responsibilities as well. Success has many definitions that based on your past experiences, current situation and your perceived expectations. Success with any product or service is always based on the proper application and understanding. The fastest car will not run if you never turn the engine on. Look at how you used the product or service that was provided in relation with the instructions that you received. The Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation and Customer Satisfaction Program will help you get your voice heard but please be prepared with documentation and fair representation of your concern, also have an idea of how the company can fix your concern. Can they offer additional services, extend warranties, offer a fair refund or just get you talking with someone that can help. ..let them know and let us know!
*Any consumer not receiving satisfaction from a member of the Corporate Advocacy Program should email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Editors UPDATE: Positive Rating and Recognition has been given to Goldline International
for its Commitment to Excellence in customer service.
Ripoff Reports investigation of Goldline International uncovers an ongoing commitment to client satisfaction. This means clients can expect that Goldline will always work towards finding a mutually satisfactory resolution to complaints or concerns. Goldline listens carefully to client concerns and sees them as an opportunity to learn and become more efficient as a company in the products it offers.
One top Goldline executive stated to Ripoff Report that Goldlines clients are a precious resource and it is committed to responding to any client concerns. Another company executive confirmed to Ripoff Report that Goldline strives to provide exemplary customer service to its clients.
Some of the other things RipOff Report learned in the course of its investigation: Goldlines business began in 1960 when it offered precious metals and storage services to clients seeking to acquire gold and silver as part of a diversified portfolio. The company has grown to more than 250 employees and handles over 50,000 individual client transactions each year. Goldline believes it exemplifies best practices for the industry.
Ripoff Report has confirmed that Goldline takes client concerns very seriously. Goldline has a dedicated team of customer service professionals to assist with any issues that may develop. Rip-off Report was pleased to learn that Goldlines approach to business is focused on its pledge to client satisfaction.
Goldline International recognizes that complaints posted on Ripoff Report (true or not) are issues that need to be addressed and if handled correctly can be valuable learning opportunities. With the feedback generated by Rip-off Reports Investigation Goldline continues its commitment to positive client experience.
In summary, after our investigation, which included discussions with Goldlines executives, Ripoff Report is convinced that Goldline International has been and is committed to providing precious metals and rare coins to satisfied clients.Read more about Goldline Internationals Commitment to Excellence and Total Consumer Satisfaction and why consumers should feel safe, confident and secure when doing business with a member of Rip-off Report's Corporate Advocacy Business Remediation & Customer Satisfaction Program. ..yes, 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. this program works.
NOW TO THE ORIGINAL REPORT THAT WAS FILED
Goldline International, The doom and gloom, high commissions charged, and deceptive sales practices are not rogue brokers - they are standard company practices. Santa Monica California
The information I give here about Goldline International, Inc. comes from being closely involved in legal action taken against the company in 2006 on behalf of an elderly (each were 78 years old when the scam started) couple in Missouri. This couple were pressured into placing nearly ALL of their assets into the products that Goldline sells, and the couples family had to go after the company to get restitution. The general operation of Goldline seems to be to offer "teaser" products at competitive prices, but to then con buyers into products at grossly inflated prices.
The Missouri Secretary of States' Office, Securities Division filed formal complaint/charges against Goldline and the actual consent order can be viewed here:
The Securities Division issued a press release in response to what happened, which can be viewed here:
If the pages are not currently availably, you can try using archive service at:
(as of this writing a request was made for the pages to be archived)
As you will see in the complaint, the company paid over $39,000 in what is basically fines to the State of Missouri, and while it is not shown in the state's Consent Order, they also paid nearly $15,000 to the elderly couple for expenses and loss on investment income. Goldline did not pay these amounts just to be "good guys" as they would like to let on, they did it because the elderly couple's family went after them aggressively.
The relationship between the elderly couple and Goldline began with the purchase of about $12,000 in US Gold Eagles in 2004. After the money was sent to Goldline, Goldline sales representatives tried to get the couple to change their order from US Eagles to Swiss Francs (the Swiss Francs generate a much higher commission for the sales staff due to their being numismatic product whereas the US Gold Eagle is considered a bullion product) however this switch was not successful and the couple received their US Eagles.
In late 2005, about 1 year after the Eagles were purchased, Morey Wasserman and Richard Reitz of Goldline began calling the elderly couple and convinced them to start purchasing gold, silver, and platinum from the company. The elderly couple told the family that Reitz would always call first "just to talk" and then at some point he would transfer the call to Wasserman and the sale would be completed. Goldline's brokers used scare tactics of "the dollar is becoming worthless" to get this couple to buy over $217,000 in additional coins/product from Goldline. The couple's family found out that on one sales order, the wife told Goldline that the money wasn't available and Goldline replied that the couple would be "in bad standing" with Goldline if they did not pay for the order. Towards the end of this scam, the couple had to borrow over $20,000 against their home to cover an order that was placed. ( Some 18 trades were conducted between January 2006 and June 2006, with some trades being nearly identical to previous ones, causing a great deal of confusion as to what had been bought and what had been paid for).
In early 2006, Goldline was holding thousands of dollars in coins at "their facility" for this couple. Reitz and/or Wasserman (which one I do not recall) told the couple that they would have to start paying for storage soon; that the coins were going to be difficult for the couple to store; and that Goldline had a much better product for them. Reitz and/or Wasserman told the couple that they would trade the coins for "Gold Certificates", which the couple believed to be some sort of certificate entitling them to the gold. In fact, what took place is that Goldline took coins which they supposedly held for the couple and had the couple ship back other coins which they had paid tens-of-thousands of dollars for, then sold the couple old US currency, plus sent them a check for less than $3,000. This "trade" involved taking coins which cost the couple over $150,000 and providing paper currency and a check with a total cost of around $103,000 ($47,000 loss on one trade).
Goldline told the couple that they made nearly $3,000 on the trade. Another factor that was concealed on this trade is that the paper currency sold to this elderly couple had actual values of a fraction of what they were sold for (using pricing in the Currency Dealers Newsletter, and quotes from currency dealers, some of the currency was sold at 175% OVER market value). This last fact was not too surprising to the family though, given that the prices paid for all of the coins were grossly elevated over what market prices were at the time of purchase. Goldline sold multiple lots of "junk" silver coins to the couple for 55% to 70% over spot price of silver, and the numismatic coins were sold at similarly inflated prices according to multiple coin dealers that the family consulted.
While the overall abuse that took place is complex and this posting could go on for many pages describing it, the end result was that this couple ended up with coins (gold, silver, platinum) and paper notes that MIGHT have been sold for around $90,000, if a willing buyer could be found. The total that they paid for this was over $217,000 plus 26 one ounce Gold coins originally purchased for $12,000 that they were conned into returning back to Goldline as a part of one trade (these coins were bullion grade coins and had gained value since they were purchased). Goldline blamed it upon a single "rogue" broker, Richard Reitz and the family was told that he was let go from the company (the family said that they have no proof of this though).
People have been scammed by this company, and that is pretty much a summary of the "ripoff" complaint I am familiar with, so now I will try to give some points on what this family did and what you should do if it has happened to you (and even if it happened in the past and you sold your junk back to them at a loss, take the steps to get restitution):
- If you are over 65 years of age, or disabled check with your state's Department of Senior Services. The DSS will have information on where you can get assistance. This company targets elderly people, and they do it for a lot of reasons. Many states understand that companies target the elderly and have taken steps to help when it happens.
Some of the reasons that are commonly given for the elderly being targeted by companies like Goldline are:
- many have lived through hard times and see what is happening to the US economy and appreciate that gold and silver give protection against inflation;
- many live alone and do not share financial information with anyone;
- many people are embarrassed when something like this happens and it is frequent that the elderly are afraid someone will take over their finances after a mess occurs;
- many elderly people do not recognize the scams when they are taking place simply because they don't expect people to act like this, they simply were not raised to scam people, and they don't go to places where they might readily hear about new scams that have developed.
Regardless of your age:
- Get a trusted friend or family member to help you. You need a second set of eyes and ears and someone to help sort through the deceit and lies that were put in place.
- Get all of your paperwork together. Cancelled checks, bank statements since you began dealing with the company, sales orders (trade confirmations), any publications the company sent you (solicitations, doom and gloom brochures, etc...), any notes that you took about phone calls. In general, you want to gather ALL paperwork that has anything to do with the company. Even if the paperwork seems meaningless, securities fraud investigators may be able to show that investment advise was being given.
- Create a timeline of what took place. Create a listing of each sale that was made; when payment was made; where the money came from (were you "encouraged" to cash in savings/CD's/insurance policies, or sell stock to buy Goldline's product; did you take possession of the product or is the company holding it for you; what rate of return were you getting on investments that you cashed in to buy their product. Write down what you were told and promised by sales representatives.
- Start taking notes (include date, time, person you talked to) on EVERY phone call and conversation you have with the company, your banks, government agencies, police, etc.. You need to keep a good written record of what is happening.
- Contact the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). While Goldline operates under the premise that they are not selling "securities" or "investments", it appears that a common practice is that they give investment advise, which may put them at odds with your state's investment laws. Additionally, if you were subjected to the buying/selling/buying/selling such as the couple detailed above, then you may be able to show proof of them "churning" your assets. NASAA can direct you to the state agency that you will need to contact - each state is different.
- Contact the Santa Monica Police Department. The Santa Monica Police have investigated "complaints" against this company and since the company is located there, they may be able to help. If the person being scammed is elderly, ask for their Elder Abuse division (SMPD has a dedicated unit to investigate crimes/abuse against the elderly).
- Contact the California Department of Corporations (this is the California Agency that handles complaints against companies such as this).
- Contact the California Attorney General's Office. You will most likely end up with Consumer Complaints, and if your problem with Goldline involves small amounts of money, then this is probably as far as you will get. If it involves a large amount of money and clear deception and/or elder abuse, then pursue it through the Criminal Division. It will take perseverance, but you can get it done.
- Contact your local police/sheriffs department and find out if your state/community has elder abuse laws.
- Do not be afraid of hiring a private attorney to represent you. While the company will try to present what they do as "legal" and "normal industry practices", they have a history. Keep track of all of your expenses in getting restitution and figure out how much you lost had your assets been left where they should have been.
One thing that anyone dealing with Goldline (or any other broker of coins) needs to keep in mind is that in the eyes of securities regulators you are buying a consumer product for the most part (those collectors coins are pretty much lumped in with Beanie Babies and baseball cards). However, since they sell bullion products, since they advertise and pitch the "investment" potential of precious metals, and they commonly give investment advise disguised as a sales pitch (although they will probably deny that they do), you have some recourse if you are persistent. They skirt the laws, and as with most con artists, they commonly go further than they are allowed. They avoid prosecution by settling the claims out of court, but they will try to settle with you for less than you deserve - but you don't have to let it be that way.
Kansas City, Missouri