"They got the commercials on TV and the way the economy's going I was figuring well, maybe I'll just do it for a little bit, save it for inflation, you know, in case something happens to the economy, it bottoms out and I've got something to fall back on, gold, rather than money," he said.
But Kismartin says he ended up losing almost half of the $5,000 he spent, because, he says, the Goldline salesman pressured him to buy overpriced gold coins, not the gold bullion he had seen in the commercials.
"I wanted to go bullion, I didn't want coins," he said. "I told the gentleman I don't want coins. He said I got the deal here, the special deal, I got Swiss coins. He more or less talked me into buying the coins."
When Kismartin took the coins to a local coin shop, he was told the $5,000 worth of gold coins he bought from Goldline five months earlier was worth just over $2,900, a loss of $2,100. "You know, I'm living month to month, that's a big loss."
Zoanne Martz of Sacramento says the same thing happened to her with Goldline when she was persuaded to buy $13,000 of overpriced Swiss gold coins. Each one priced at $250 dollars.
"I was recently laid off so I was looking for getting back some of my money and I found that the most I could get back for one of those was $207 now," she said.
And that's despite the fact the price of gold has almost doubled since she bought the coins three years ago. "I just really felt like, I kind of, that I was suckered. I really was. And I really felt that this was a reputable company that I could feel pretty safe with."
Goldline said it looked into each case Monday, and found that while both customers had initially complained, the company believed they wound up satisfied. And one of them – Goldline did not identify which one – was provided "a number of written disclosures at the time of purchase that went even further than Goldline's ordinary written disclosures," and yet went ahead with the purchase anyway.
Some angry customers say Goldline invokes Glenn Beck as a way to steer them to their collectable gold coins, citing his frequent warnings that only gold coins are safe from government seizure." You see, back in 1933, FDR said, 'Okay, we're going to take all your gold and gee, it's worth $8 an ounce.' But some people got smart and they said, 'Well, wait a minute. I've got antique coins, you can't melt these down.'"
That's what Martz says she was told by Goldline – "that would make your investment more secure because the government couldn't come in and take your gold basically," she said.
And that's what a Goldline salesman told a researcher for a liberal media watchdog group, Media Matters, who set out to buy gold from Goldline to see what would happen. Media Matters provided ABC News with a copy of the sales call it recorded.
"When it comes to holding physical gold, there's a couple concerns our clients have. Are you concerned with what happened in 1933? Glenn Beck talks about this very often," the Goldline sales associate says.
"Yeah, I wanted to ask you about that," the Media Matters researcher says on the recording, which was conducted with the permission of the salesman.