With submission turnaround times increasing by the day, it is often easy to focus on the bad while taking the good for granted. That said, I would like to share a recent positive experience with NGC customer service. I submitted a proof 1775 Irish Halfpenny in February of last year, but I did not find the time to inspect the coins until early last month. I know it is ridiculous that it took me that long to enjoy my coins, but I have very little time to kill. Now that things are starting to slow down with the end of the semester approaching, I have a few minutes to spare! On any note, the coin came back XF DETAILS as expected (edge damage); however, the original label omitted an important word (i.e., PROOF). Although it can often be complicated to distinguish between circulated proofs and business strike examples, this is an easy attribution to make in this case. As I explained in my email to NGC, the coin in question was struck on a thick flan with medal orientation (i.e., the essential characteristics only found on a specific proof variety). I also pointed out that the coin is perfectly round and that the denticles are contained within the rims. For those unfamiliar with this series, these are hallmarks that the coin was struck in a collar. According to Dyer and Gaspar (1980), striking coins in a collar was a practice used almost exclusively for proof strikes. It is likely safe to assume that this information is common knowledge for the world coin graders, so it seemed reasonable to conclude that the partially inaccurate label was nothing more than a clerical error. I wrote all this out in an email sent well after business hours.
I received NGC’s initial response early the next morning requesting images of the obverse, reverse, and label. I obliged, and within a couple of hours, I received an email from NGC with a prepaid UPS next day shipping label. I dropped the coin in the mail later that day, and it arrived at NGC the following morning. From here, things moved quickly. NGC logged it into the system on October 13th, and I had it back in hand by the 29th. Not only did NGC place the coin in a fresh holder and correct the label to include the proof designation, but they also added the extra information to denote it as the variety struck on a thick flan and in medal alignment. They corrected the error free of charge, which I assume cost more than the initial grading charges.
This is not the first time that NGC went out their way to help a small-time collector such as myself, and I think that speaks volumes about NGC's character.
So what positive NGC customer service experiences do you have to share?