Provident Metals is a precious metals dealer that sells to clients all over the country. It is a subsidiary of the much larger JM Bullion company. Though this is a relative newcomer in the field, it has quickly become a popular choice. There are thousands of reviews from customers online.
But what do those reviews actually say? Does the company measure up to the more long-lived competition? Here's what you should know before you invest.
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About Provident Metals
Provident Metals has a large range of precious metals available for purchase, including numismatic rarities and investment quality bullion. They were established in 2019 and have become one of the most popular choices for online bullion dealing.
According to their website, they operate on principles of good customer service and affordable investments. They also say that they have reliable shipping. There are some online customer reviews that seem to contest this, but here are the main principles that they espouse.
Provident Metals says that their whole reason for existence is to care for their customers. Their customer service team is able to provide prompt and courteous service, and they care about your investments. It doesn't matter whether you're a total newbie or an experienced investor.
You can purchase any of the products through the internet at any time. The prices update in real time according to the market fluctuations. You can also reach the customer service team over the phone on weekdays during normal office hours.
Provident Metals is proud to offer a very wide selection of precious metals. Their inventory is constantly changing and being updated. They have traders who look for numismatic rarities and new bullion at the lowest prices, which helps to maintain their low overhead.
In addition to selling precious metals themselves, the company sells a variety of supplies for collectors.
They also pride themselves on affordability. Unlike many precious metals dealers, they do show their prices in real time. You don't have to call for a quote. You can research and make sure that you're getting a good price before you buy.
Provident Metals claims to have the most reliable shipping in the industry, although some customers have complained about lost packages. They also say that their shipping labels and packaging are all discreet. You don't need to worry that people will be able to guess what is inside the package.
Shipping is also available at low rates compared to the competition.
Is Provident Metals a Scam?
Provident Metals is an extremely popular company. They have thousands of reviews online, along with 25 reviews of their store on Yelp. There's no question that they do provide precious metals to their customers. On the Better Business Bureau website, the company is accredited and has an A rating. They also have nearly 150 reviews with a 4.72 out of 5 star average.
But unfortunately, the news isn't all good. The BBB gives Provident Metals an A instead of an A+ because of how new the company is. Despite the newness, they've still had a whopping 19 complaints filed against them. Eleven of those were filed in the past year alone.
The company also has poor reviews on other third party websites. It seems like the BBB website is the one place where they've received positive feedback.
On Sitejabber, the company has a total rating of just 2.79 stars, indicating mixed and poor feedback. The company is verified on Trustpilot, but they have an average of 3 out of 5 stars, indicating more mixed reviews. On Yelp, the company has 2.5 out of 5 stars, indicating largely negative feedback.
Obviously we won't be able to go through every single negative review that's ever been left. But let's take a look at some of the most recent ones on the BBB page.
On the BBB website, nine of the complaints were related to issues with a product or a service. Five complaints were related to billing, and five were related to delivery issues. There were no warranty or advertising issues noted.
No Package and Denied Claim
One customer filed a complaint in September of 2021 to say that their package had never shipped. They said that they had made a claim, but the claim was denied. No information was given on why the claim was denied, and the customer was told not to contact the company again. Because of the denied claim, the customer was unable to receive a refund.
The actual purchase had been made in May, more than four months prior. It was for a pre-sale of an item. The item had a shipping label created partway through July. However, the customer said that it didn't ship. They asked for the order status and for an explanation of why it hadn't shipped. But the customer service team just said that there was no way for the customer to file a claim for a refund.
USPS confirmed that no package was ever shipped from the sender.
The company responded to repeat that the order was ineligible for a claim. They further said that issues with orders needed to be reported within two days or else claims would be refuted. They made no effort to apologize, explain, or solve the issue.
The customer said that they didn't accept this explanation, for obvious reasons. The company responded to say that the package had been shipped through USPS and that there was nothing that could be done. The complaint was never resolved.
Claim Denied After Lost Package
Another customer filed a complaint in August of 2021 to say that their package had been lost in the mail. They had placed the order on June 3 for more than $600. It was shipped a week later through USPS. The customer provided the tracking number for the package and said that the package's location had never updated after it departed the distribution center in Scranton, Pennsylvania.
The customer reported that their delivery was missing. They were told that they could not get a refund because they had reported the issue late, and because the order was delivered to a UPS location. The customer said that there had never been any delivery or tracking update, and that they had waited over 2 business days because they wanted to be patient with USPS.
The customer called and emailed the company several times. But they were eventually just told that the company would not communicate any further about the issue.
The company replied to confirm that they weren't going to help any more. The customer obviously didn't accept this. They pointed out that the company had made exceptions for other customers with late reporting in the past, and that their own claim had been denied after first being accepted. They wrote out an entire timeline of their purchase and communication with the company.
The company responded to say that their response hadn't changed. The customer said that they didn't accept it.
Yet Another Undelivered Package
A complaint was filed in July of 2021, just a month after this client had placed their order. They bought several silver coins and checked their order status over two weeks later. The status said that the order was on the way and that the customer needed to give them more time.
The customer contacted the company five days later to request a refund. At that point, it had been three weeks since making the order. The package did not seem like it was going to be delivered.
The company responded and refused to give a refund. The customer had attached evidence that the company website said refunds would be given if packages were not delivered.
Provident Metals actually did respond to say that they had reshipped the order. The customer received the new package at the end of July. But the customer should not have had to file a BBB complaint in order to get the company to listen, especially considering the way they've treated other refund requests.
In May of 2021, a customer filed a complaint after purchasing investment grade silver coins. The package was supposed to arrive with full insurance, which would require a signature. But when it arrived, the customer was never asked to sign. The customer discovered that the package itself had a hole in it, and three of the coins were missing.
In addition, several coins were loose in their packaging. The customer contacted the company right away to open a claim for their lost items. The company said that the customer needed to send pictures of the damaged package, and then they would be contacted by the claims department.
The customer sent the pictures as asked. The claims department told them to file a police report. The customer did so within the allotted time frame. But the company had refused to respond.
Provident Metals did respond to say that this claim had been approved. The missing items were being shipped back out to the customer. The company also apologized for the problem.
Poor Yelp Review
The final review we'll look at is a one star review that was posted on Yelp, rather than the BBB page. It was from a man who said that he received his first-ever order and that he was very displeased.
Upon opening the package, the man found that the coin flips weren't folded or secured in the envelope. Since the flips weren't closed, all of the coins had slid out and were loose in the envelope. They had sustained damage during the transit. The customer had intended to have one of the coins graded, but now it was scratched.
This does show a high level of irresponsibility. And it seems to go hand in hand with the other customer who complained about damaged packaging. It looks like the Provident Metals staff doesn't always make the effort to protect the investment grade coins before they are shipped.
Pros & Cons of Provident Metals
Provident Metals is an extremely popular company, but they might not be the best one to work with. In fact, some of the reviews and complaints online are atrocious. There have been 11 complaints filed with the BBB in the past year alone, and not all of them have been resolved.
The company does make an effort to respond to every complaint that is filed. But they refuse to budge on their return policy. Customers are supposed to mention any issues within 2 business days. But some customers don't realize that their packages are lost until more time than that has passed. And yet the company refuses to help them get their money back.
In addition, though the company has paid a few of the refund claims, the customers had to file complaints first. They made an effort to contact the customer service team and have the refund issued right away, and the company refused to help them. Only when they filed complaints did they get a response.
That's a big reason why consumer feedback is so poor. Customers also say that the employees are difficult to deal with and rude.
Even though this company has become extremely popular, and even though they sell legitimate products, we can't recommend them. Some people have reported having excellent experiences. But there are far too many who say that they never received their package and can't get a refund.
In addition, customers have reported damaged packaging, and the company has made very little effort to process the claims in these cases.
There are other precious metals dealers that make much more of an effort with their customers. They try to resolve any issues peacefully without there being any need to file a complaint. And if public complaints are filed, they take responsibility instead of pointing to an extremely bizarre and strict return policy.
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