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Where is the mainstream media?

Glenn Beck likes to palm himself off as a friend of the little guy. But he's a shill for a company that is more of an enemy than a friend.

If you go to his website it smacks you right in the face: a banner ad for "Goldline International," a precious metals dealer. Beck's puss is right in front with the words, "Trusted and Used by Glenn Beck." He's done a video for them, and I'm sure they've paid him a fortune.

Alexander Zaitchik said in Alternet a few months ago that it is one of his biggest sponsors.

So what kind of company is Goldline? Forget about the mainstream media. They're not coming near this hot potato.

But if you go to the Ripoff Report, which compiles complaints against businesses, you see that a lot of people used this company but came away feeling used.

Let's look at the most recent one, from some guy named "William" in North Carolina:

Several years ago, I filled out an online form of Goldline Interntional's to receive some literature about investing in precious metals. Soon after I was contacted by John Arnette, a salesperson with Goldline. John was pleasant and convincing. He informed me that I should view him as an 'adviser' similar to my stock broker. I was interested in buying gold but was not yet ready. When the time was 'right', I called John back with the intention of purchasing a large amount of Bullion gold. The price of gold at the time was $420/ oz. and the price of silver was less than $7 per oz. In my opinion that was pretty good timing. John 'advised' me to talk further with one of Goldline's Numismatists. I was young as a precious metals investor and was looking forward to the education and 'advice'. The Numismatist sounded very educated and convinced me to invest half of my money in Silver PCGS MS64 Peace Dollars. I agreed, as he told me that these had sold for as high as $250 each in the 1980's. I purchased 1000 of them at a price of $52 each ($52,000 in Peace Dollars).

So what happened?

I recently called them back to re-sell my Peace Dollars. They told me that they would pay $47 each. At this time, the price of silver had doubled from the price it was when I first bought from Goldline.

William says: "What a bunch of liars and deceivers these scam artists are at Goldline."

The next report at the RipOff Report specifically mentions Glenn Beck:

After watching Glenn Beck's video about Goldline International, I decided to request a brochure from their web site. I was contacted by phone at work 2 days later by a salesgirl who encouraged me to go ahead and make the purchase because the prices were going up rapidly and I would lose money if I waited for the brochure. I could hear a lot of people talking in the background. It sounded like a 'boiler room'.

After talking me into buying $10,000 worth of English Gold Sovereigns (because they were pretty, according to her) I gave my credit card number to her. Fortunately for me, my credit card company refused the purchase due to my credit limit.

She called back and asked if I could put it on 2 credit cards, but the other one got refused too, thank the Lord.

Between phone calls from this slick little lady, I did some math. Goldline was charging me $10,094 for 25 gold sovereigns, at $403.76 each. These coins are only 25 percent of one ounce. I checked the day's gold fix online and it was trading at $955 an ounce. So I was purchasing 6.25 ounces of gold worth just under $6,000 for $10,094 - a 40 percent markup!

Obviously, I was paying retail, not wholesale, and the salesgirl explained they charge a 30 to 35 percent markup on the front end for numismatic coins which she explained were a better buy, since they were private and the government could not confiscate them.

I finally asked her to cancel my order because I explained that this was a difficult decision for me and I needed more time to sort through all this information, but she did not go quietly. She emphasized that I was losing money by waiting, and even used flattery, calling me a 'savvy investor' and asked if I would just like to stick with my $6,000 from my first credit card and purchase less gold, but I said no, please cancel.

Now my weekend is ruined because the credit to my card will not show up until next week sometime and I am worried. If they don't credit my card, I will sue these people.

It goes on and on like this. Where is the mainstream media?

In a previous diary I mentioned how Glenn Beck gives a forum for a disgusting piece of corporate dung named Patrick Byrne, the phony populist from Utah who actually came on the Kos and brayed like a hyena.

If Beck is to be known by the company he keeps, I'd say that this man stinks so badly that he'd wilt flowers at 500 yards. He says he's the friend of the little man. He's got a populist spiel. But he's a phony who takes money from a company that gets rich off the backs of ordinary people.

Originally posted to Tom Sykes on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:28 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Creepy gold company=Republican party (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea, Toon

    I just realized the similarities.

    "I object to violence because when it appears to do good, the good is only temporary; the evil it does is permanent" --Gandhi

    by dsharma23 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:30:46 PM PDT

  •  All of the extreme wingut media figures... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, entlord1, Toon

    ...are in tight with the gold-bug business.  It's an ideologically consistent marriage of convenience, since wingnuts are open to the notion that our monetary system is going to collapse under Bolshevist pressure.

    Al que no le guste el caldo, le dan dos tazas.

    by Rich in PA on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:33:31 PM PDT

  •  and this is a surprise... why, exactly? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    theran, Toon

    Beck = personification of the looney set, but working hard to make money for Uncle Rupert!

    Republicans: YOU'RE the PROBLEM, WE'RE the SOLUTION.

    by dagnome on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:38:24 PM PDT

  •  Um... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Toon

    ...and?

    Why  should the MSM care about  this?

    BREAKING NEWS:  NUTTRY RW HOST SHILLS FOR SLEAZY COMPANY!

    You've got to be kidding.

    "In every revolution, there's one man with a vision." -James T. Kirk

    by The Navigator on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 04:39:59 PM PDT

  •  No need to sue if they don't (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    cosette

    take it off your card, just call the credit card people and said that you declined the purchase yet they still billed you. They should take care of it.

  •  Air America has gold bug commercials (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bythesea

    on all the time. Randi Rhodes does them herself. Pretty embarassing IMO. This is certainly not a left vs. right issue.

    I'm in the pro-Obama wing of the Democratic Party.

    by doc2 on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 05:11:28 PM PDT

  •  I say let the Beckster (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    EmmaKY, Toon

    continue to shill. I don't mind a few wingnuts being separated from their money.

    While I doubt it will happen, maybe it will wake a few of them up.

  •  Not to be mean (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    rmonroe

    but I really am not very concerned about people who take financial advice based on their trust in Glenn Beck.  

    Your political compass Economic Left/Right: -6.50 Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -6.67

    by bythesea on Sun Jul 26, 2009 at 05:21:19 PM PDT

  •  Isn't gold pushed by all the pundits (0+ / 0-)

    I am fairly sure Boortz and Rush have touted some of these companies, to the extent of crowing that they were expecting their next regular scheduled shipment.
    What got lost in the verbage was that these appeared to be ancient gold and silver coins and the market for these is specialized since it operates separate from the gold and silver markets.
    There are so many forgeries in antiquities trading that it is not the place for the novice nor for the telephone trader.

  •  So does Ed Schultz, line for line same copy (0+ / 0-)

    when he does the GoldLine ads.  Randi Rhodes does some shilling for the "Buy Gold" types - can't remember if its the same company and I'm pretty sure Stephanie Miller does the same thing.  (Thom Hartman too).

    So, we need some clearly liberal commercial interest to start advertising nationally on our favorite shows.

  •  Goldline website (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Tom Sykes

    on the "About" page also features Laura Ingraham, Fred Thompson.

    CEO is one Mark Albarian. Page provides a bio for him, along with those of number of other management personnel. Says, Alberian "attended the University of California at Berkeley and at Los Angeles (1978-1983) with a double major in Economics and Political Science." (Notably, doesn't say he earned a degree.)

    He and another Goldline official also have a financial advice radio show.

    The practices reported do seem to be pushing the line, if not over it. Caveat emptor, and let's do what we can to promote consider education.

    Beck, on the other hand, has been way over a different kind of line, more than once.

  •  I worked at Goldline for 3 years (0+ / 0-)

    It was a great place to work and they treated me really well, even worked with me so I could tour with my band and come back quite a few months later, as they knew a good employee when they saw one.

    It's based in Santa Monica and is populated by a staff of normal Californians and transplants, most of whom (including the higher ups) are dems.

    The owner, Steve Markoff, also has a website ProCon.org which gauges public opinion on controversial issues such as euthanasia and marijuana legalization.

    Markoff was also the producer of the film AlphaDog, starring one Justin Timberlake.

    They advertise on Christian radio (and Fox as of late) because it's cheap and because that demographic fears (yet almost yearns) the collapse of our financial system, and wants gold and silver in case it goes down.
    This, however, does not mean that they hold the same views as the clientele.

    The disgruntled customers were told explicitly up front that precious metals is a long term investment and mainly a hedge against inflation, and yet they think that relatively minor market fluctuations means its time to liquidate. When they try to liquidate prematurely they will lose money. Goldline has (from what I've heard) the best buyback policy in the precious metals industry, but even that's just 70% of the price you paid, as they have to make a profit and cover their costs, such as shipping and administrative and paying employees like me.

    The salespeople can at times be pushy (I wasn't one), but what modern salesforce isn't?

    I thoroughly enjoyed my time at Goldline.  They treated their employees better than most companies (and any I've ever worked for), we all received end of the year bonuses, they brought in and partially subsidized local fast food (meh.) so that they could keep their salespeople on the floor.

    In short, don't malign the company just because of guilt by association, or the testimony of their usually wingnut customers.

    Business is business, and as far I could gather from working their and building great friendships in a loose atmosphere, this is a good company.

    That's my two cents.

    •  Huh? Are you claiming these people are lying? (0+ / 0-)
      If not, then your former employers are scumbags. I don't see much middle ground. Please enlighten me.
      •  What I'm saying is that they're Wingnuts (0+ / 0-)

        Survivalists, Militia members, yadda yadda yadda and a bit p-noid from jump.

        You would be a bit paranoid as well if you were forking over a lot of money, there was some sort of hitch in the billing, you got cold feet in the middle and this large transaction needed to be rescinded.

        From my experience there, that company did plenty to try and cover their ass, and to make sure they had a clean record in the precious metals community, as customers could go somewhere else.

        I worked in shipping/receiving as well as in the vault, and some of the stories people had for liquidating were quite sad.

        "My wife has cancer and we need to pay for her care."
        "I lost my job and need to keep my house for as long as I can."

        But more often than not, the letters accompanying metals were written in chickenscratch on index cards or yellow legal paper, or scraps of paper bags. I don't recall getting napkins, but you get the idea.  Would you mail thousands of dollars in gold back to some company to liquidate, but have a really shoddy accounting of what you're sending in?

        On several of the accounts of people being "swindled", they've actually rescinded their complaints upon further review.

        You can surmise from afar and with a snarky tone that they're scumbags, but I was there, and my memories are of a workplace with billionaire bosses that didn't wear belts in their jeans and interacted with "lowly" employees like myself, and routinely inquired with real concern as to how my music career was doing.

        Tom, I don't presume to know you but I think you'd be better served to either settle down on your portrayal of Goldline as a great evil monster of a company, or do further investigation in person.
        Santa Monica is a lovely place year round.

        And what's with the "please enlighten me"? It seems to insinuate that I'm lying, which I'm not. Take care.

        •  Enlightenment still needed (0+ / 0-)

          I'm still wondering why you're attacking the customers of this company and not responding to the serious complaints they're making.

          I don't care that the billionaire bosses of your company don't wear belts and make chitchat with the employes. They can walk around naked and give you head for all I care. That doesn't give them the right to take advantage of people, even if they are wingnuts and Beck worshippers.

          If these customers were as dumb as you say they are, that just makes Goldline look even worse. These were not sophisticated investors and, according to these complaints, they were sold stuff so overpriced that there seemed to be no reasonable way to do anything but LOSE MONEY.

          •  I will admit that at times (0+ / 0-)

            it felt like the thing was somewhat scammy, and this plays into the aggressiveness of the salespeople.

            But like I said before, there is full disclosure and the customers are apprised of what the transaction entails, any questions are answered with truthful answers, not lies.

            I myself bought metals when I left the company, at around $800 an ounce for gold pieces.  The somewhat scammy feeling and disaster scenario peddled put me off from buying when I started working there. But if I would have bought when I started, when gold was around $350 an ounce (roughly the same as weed), I would have made money. I felt rather stupid that I waited so long.

            If you can cite me a case where someone was genuinely swindled (as opposed to just not exercising their due diligence as a savvy consumer) and was rebuffed in their attempts at redress, I will concede your point. As it stands now, I DO understand what you're saying and intoning.
            But this is IMO not a creepy gold company, it's just a gold company.

            I would challenge you to find a precious metals dealer that doesn't have complaints logged against it.
            I would challenge you to find a better place to buy gold, and if you find one, that means you did the unthinkable and comparison-shopped.

            It seems your main beef with GLI is that it uses Glenn Beck and other right-wingers as spokespeople.
            Fair enough.  But if he finally goes ahead with his fantasy of sucking the life out of Michael Moore, Goldline had nothing to do with it.

            I think your beef could be with the concept of "profit" itself, and I hear ya there. But that's where we're at and what we have to deal with for right now.

            My purpose in commenting on this diary was to shed some first hand insight into the subject, and adding to the discussion.  I saw the diary and thought "Kossacks are talking about my old job, but they don't know what they're talking about. Let me add my two cents."

            Now I'm getting attacked by you for not enlightening you enough. Sorry, thought I would put a human face on this, but that seems to not jibe with your quest to disparage.

            My fear is that my former co-workers will be harassed on their way to work by high-minded progressives like yourself who call them scumbags.
            I ain't having you calling my close friends scumbags.

            I'm just about done with this, as it's getting to seem personal, and I don't know you well enough to need to form an opinion of you or feel the need to be righter than you. Once again, I just thought I'd add my perspective.

            •  The issue is Beck (0+ / 0-)

              obviously, but it is all tied in with this company. If you shill for sharpies who take advantage of brainless people, that reflects on you. By "you" I mean Beck, just to be clear on that.

              I don't know enough about this business to say if it is operating outside the parameters of the law. Since the law protects corporations against consumers, there is no reason why they couldn't operate well within the law and still suck.

              •  Like I said (0+ / 0-)

                pretend you're a consumer looking for gold to buy, shop around for the best price, and Goldline will be in the running.

                China and India are buying as much gold and silver as possible, and it's not for no good reason.

                You're essentially indicting Beck's character for promoting Goldline, when there are a whole host of real reasons to take issue with him.

                This company will sell to anyone, stupid or smart, Dem or Repub, rich or poor.

                They offer advice on what to buy, but believing that they could be 100% impartial on this is certainly naive on the customer's part, and not necessarily insidious on Goldline's.

                Tom, I want you to be happy about something, not to be mired in anger, nor misplace your outrage at this company.  You said yourself that the law protects corporations, so work towards changing the law, or just move on to a constructive cause, you feel me?

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