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Best options for dealing with crooked vendor?

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stags14

Rough_Rock
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Dec 7, 2006
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49
Date: 12/9/2006 4:55:16 PM
Author: kcoursolle
Arg, this man at the B&M is a really something... I''m so sorry you are going through this. I don''t have any better advice to give that what you''ve received here, but I just wanted to say that I''ll be crossing my fingers that things work out for you. You might want to talk to Bill Pearlman about consigning your diamond...I''m not sure I would personally ever want to work with your local guy ever again. Yes, you will loose money on your purchase, but purchasing a diamond online is cheaper and you will save money there to make up for it. Most of us here who have worked with ps trusted vendors such as goodoldgold, whiteflash, jamesallen, pearlmans, etc. have had wonderful experiences.
Thanks Kcoursolle. You are right, this guy is really something. The only way I want to work with this guy again is if he is taking back my stone and writing me a check for the $3150 I paid for it.
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/9/2006 4:56:55 PM
Author: :)
Looks like it was graded by EGL Israel. It gets a 4.6 on the Holloway Cut Advisor (under tools button). I am not sure if getting it regraded will help. Jeez, I hope you get this guy. He shouldn't have sold something he wasn't willing to take back in the first place (given that he has a trade in policy). And if he wasn't willing to take all trade ins, then he should have given that to you in writing prior to the point of sale.

I think the appraisal is probably the best thing. EGL Israel has a reputation for being 'soft' with grading (meaning overstating clarities and colors) - I am thinking the appraisal likely will show it is a lower clarity or color or both and you may be able to get a refund based on having sold a stone that wasn't 'as advertised'. I am not sure of the legalities/arguments he can make ('well I have a report from a lab that says it is this'), but using a qualified master appraiser will probably be your best tool to fighting this.
Others will come along and give their thoughts too - hopefully we will be able to help you out.
I apperciate everyone's help so far. I certainly did not plan on having to endure this nonsense.

I will have to look into what I need to do to have the stone appraised and re-graded by GIA. Thanks again.

PS - I am looking at the following stone. Thoughts anyone?

http://www.whiteflash.com/round_ideal_cut/round-ideal-cut-cut-diamond-175738.htm#
 

pyramid

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
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Messages
4,607
stags14

Do you have their upgrade policy in writing, if so, maybe you could post it here and see what the experts think?

also

How long ago did you buy the ring you want to upgrade, is it a live time upgrade policy to you know?
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
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Messages
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Stags


This assignment is going to require an appraiser who is advanced and experienced with misrepresentation cases.


I have a really good "nose" and my nose smells a rat. Me thinks the reason he doesn''t want to trade the stone back in is
a) he knows it is not the greatest and it will get stuck in his inventory (he indicates that by saying = I don''t want to take your slow mover type stone, and give you one that is a quick seller).

But just like car dealers, you need to consider the difference amount to assess what you are really paying. The asking price and the trade in price can manipulated to "appear good" but in the end all you getting for the trade in is the difference between the regular selling price and the cash difference amount that you would have to pay.

In all likelihood he may consider your diamond to be worth ( for example ) $ 2000.00 He has an asking price of $ 6400 for the new stone. If he would get only $ 3150 plus your old stone, ( in his mind) then he is only getting $ 5100.00 for the new stone.

There is the chance too, that the EGL report overstates the quality of the stone. Finding out what your stone is worth both to a retail consumer, and to someone who buys used diamonds is imperative to assess the problem properly.

Rockdoc
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
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Messages
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Date: 12/9/2006 5:18:54 PM
Author: Pyramid
stags14

Do you have their upgrade policy in writing, if so, maybe you could post it here and see what the experts think?

also

How long ago did you buy the ring you want to upgrade, is it a live time upgrade policy to you know?
I have the trade-in policy in writing. I would be more than happy to post it, but the Jewelers name is written all over it. The trade-in policy is a lifetime guarantee. There is nothing on the paperwork that indicates restrictions may apply. The woman that I spoke with from the AG's office looked at all the paperwork (receipts, warranties, trade-in policy, emails) and stated, and I paraphrase, "My jaw is on the floor. We simply do not allow people to do business like this in New York State. I purchased the ring on 12/20/03.

The trade-in policy states:

_________ Jeweler's will give you full credit in the amount of the center diamond trade-in value listed, at any time, towards the purchase of another item of jewelry provided the new item is at least double the center diamond trade-in value listed.

 

starryeyed

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,398
Wow Stags14, that email exchange from the owner was very upsetting, and I''m not even you! I am very proud that you corrected the owner''s false accusations of threats! It''s almost like he is trying to set up counter-charges, but I think you dispelled that effectively. It''s kinda funny that you are "banned" from the store - like you''d want to go back anyway! Ha!

It kinda sounds to me like this guy is use to these kinds of unpleasant exchanges. He is so stubborn and unyielding. I would have thought he would have tried to come to some sort of agreement with you, rather than risk escalation. Clearly he is accustomed to escalation! You''re right - I wouldn''t put it past him to threaten a slander/libel suit in return, so you are wise to proceed cautiously.

Did you check out his BBB record at all? (It''s easy to do online, as well as submit the claim against him.) I wonder if other people have been through this.

I think the sooner you can get out of this, the better off you will be. You''ve done the right thing by contacting the AG, but I wouldn''t get too hopeful. I hate to say it, but you may have to take a loss in order to upgrade - this stinks, but it''s better that this is happening now, rather than after a few upgrades when there is even more money at stake.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
5,951
Again, sorry. Sounds like this guy is not afraid of attorneys. Not sure what amout of flexibility you have, but it seems like your WF option is nice, and if you can pursue the two targets separately...getting the WF option, and getting your money back, that may be best. Likely, the money back would be a negotiated amount, but you''d be ahead.

Just some ideas. Best,
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
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Messages
49
Date: 12/9/2006 5:38:30 PM
Author: starryeyed
You''ve done the right thing by contacting the AG, but I wouldn''t get too hopeful.
I tend to agree with you on that, but my attorney friend said that the AG''s office will take a very keen interst in this complaint because the store owner was foolish to put in writing what he did.... He said the AG''s office usually only has a "he said, she said" type of compaint to deal with. There is no "he said, she said" going on here with the store owner putting his stance in writing to me.
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
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Messages
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Date: 12/9/2006 5:40:19 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Again, sorry. Sounds like this guy is not afraid of attorneys. Not sure what amout of flexibility you have, but it seems like your WF option is nice, and if you can pursue the two targets separately...getting the WF option, and getting your money back, that may be best. Likely, the money back would be a negotiated amount, but you''d be ahead.

Just some ideas. Best,
He does not appear to be afraid of Attorney''s - not yet anyway. His attorney is a one-man solo practice. My friend the lawyer is a Sr Partner in the oldest and most prestigous firm in town. I hope a letter from my friend will put the "fear of God" into him.

I find it incredibly disheartening to know that there are people like this out there.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
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Messages
8,709

Get a refund. You don’t want to do business with them anyway. As Rockdoc points out, the original stone was quite possibly misrepresented, which is the root of the problem but this also opens up the possible that the new stone will also be misrepresented, perhaps even worse.


You’re extremely unlikely to get a refund without a fight and even with a fight it’s not going to happen before Christmas, or even Valentines Day. Plan accordingly. If you can possibly afford it, just buy a new stone, get on with your life and sue the jeweler as a separate action.


It looks like you’ve got a good case here and it keeps on improving. He’s pretty clearly breached the contract and, by his offer he has already agreed that the stone you are trying to trade is the same one that he sold you, which was his best opportunity to weasel out of this. There’s very little left to discuss, especially if you can demonstrate through an independent 3rd party that stone was misrepresented in the first place. That would be an additional breach and, if the misrepresentation was material, which differs from state to state, you might be entitled to additional damages as well.


There are plenty of appraisers who regularly receive to receive jobs via USPS registered mail. Choose one that is familiar with NY law, call them up on the phone and arrange to ship to them if they agree to accept the job. Choosing the right appraiser is likely to make a big difference in the temperament of the jeweler to settle out of court so interview them on the phone and check their credentials before you hire someone.


No other retailer with any sense will offer you $3150 for that stone because they didn’t make the original deal but then, they will probably offer you a better deal on the new one as well. The end result may be a better stone for less money even if you don’t do the trade-in. The refund is just gravy.


You’ve already got a good idea for what the vendors here and elsewhere are charging for a stone like that, as well as for what you’re considering as an alternative. Dealers want to take tradeins at less than what they could otherwise cost them for from their regular suppliers but you can get a good idea of a decent offer by doing a search for a list of stones here, sorting by price and then figuring a reasonable tradein at about half to ¾ of what a comparable stone costs here.


Neil Beaty
GG(GIA) ICGA(AGS) NAJA
Professional Appraisals in Denver
 

JohnQuixote

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
5,212
Stags14, here is an option which may benefit you and future shoppers.

http://www.jvclegal.org/
“For Consumers”
“Consumer Complaints”

At the GIA Symposium in August Ms. Gardner, JVC's General Counsel, appealed to trade professionals; saying that JVC needs to hear about such situations. Consumers are not always aware of this channel.

I’d encourage you to phone Ms. Gardner (a very nice lady), explain the situation and see whether it would be worthwhile to pursue an official complaint through them.
 

Cehrabehra

Super_Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jun 29, 2006
Messages
11,071
Date: 12/9/2006 3:46:37 PM
Author: stags14

Date: 12/9/2006 3:42:13 PM
Author: Cehrabehra

I''m sorry - then what I''d do is what DS suggested - have it set/mounted locally! Best of luck!! :)
You would advise against buying the stone and setting from an online vendor? It seems that if I went that route, it would be much easier to get the stone in time for Christmas. If I were to buy the stone and have it mounted from a vendor such as Whiteflash, would I then be able to have a mounted stone appraised?
No, I don''t advise against buying the stone or setting from an online vendor at ALL! I *highly* recommend buying the stone from an online vendor - having the setting done by them is optional. They do great work, but for maintenance reasons it is handy to have a local jeweler - either way is great though, just different.
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/9/2006 6:29:43 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

Stags14, here is an option which may benefit you and future shoppers.

http://www.jvclegal.org/

“For Consumers”
“Consumer Complaints”

At the GIA Symposium in August Ms. Gardner, JVC''s General Counsel, appealed to trade professionals; saying that JVC needs to hear about such situations. Consumers are not always aware of this channel.

I’d encourage you to phone Ms. Gardner (a very nice lady), explain the situation and see whether it would be worthwhile to pursue an official complaint through them.
Thanks for the link John. I did see that website and I may use it depending on how things progress for me. I do see that they charge a $75 fee to just file a compaint....
 

indecisive

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Dec 9, 2005
Messages
1,240
Date: 12/9/2006 6:48:43 PM
Author: Cehrabehra

Date: 12/9/2006 3:46:37 PM
Author: stags14


Date: 12/9/2006 3:42:13 PM
Author: Cehrabehra

I''m sorry - then what I''d do is what DS suggested - have it set/mounted locally! Best of luck!! :)
You would advise against buying the stone and setting from an online vendor? It seems that if I went that route, it would be much easier to get the stone in time for Christmas. If I were to buy the stone and have it mounted from a vendor such as Whiteflash, would I then be able to have a mounted stone appraised?
No, I don''t advise against buying the stone or setting from an online vendor at ALL! I *highly* recommend buying the stone from an online vendor - having the setting done by them is optional. They do great work, but for maintenance reasons it is handy to have a local jeweler - either way is great though, just different.
I just wanted to add that the Pricescope vendors, Whiteflash particularly, are great to work with. My fiance and I bought the stone and setting from them and I love it and our appraiser was amazed by the quality. There are good jewelers out there! I hope it all works out for you!
 

JohnQuixote

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Sep 9, 2004
Messages
5,212
Date: 12/9/2006 7:18:58 PM
Author: stags14


Thanks for the link John. I did see that website and I may use it depending on how things progress for me. I do see that they charge a $75 fee to just file a compaint....
The charge is to discourage frivolous use of their services. Still, that is why I suggest you contact Ms. Gardner directly to discuss what exactly you can expect if you proceed.

Whether you go forward or not I believe you can find out if this vendor is a member and what complaints, if any, have been lodged against him in the past at no charge. This may be useful if you wind up using any legal avenues before this is settled.
 

Regular Guy

Ideal_Rock
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Jul 6, 2004
Messages
5,951
Oddly, if called to witness, WF could represent with "value added" both the prosecution & defence, as well.

To your vendor''s point, WF will sell EGL stones too, and will I believe, as a matter of policy, not upgrade them. The extra business being discussed here about what the stone really is, is discussion I''m not sure I get. EGL stands behind them, and probably each vendor represents this represenation.

To WF''s point, and a more determing one...they''re very clear in writing that these stones won''t be upgraded.

At this point, sounds like EGL is off the table, going forward. Yes?
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/9/2006 7:52:34 PM
Author: JohnQuixote

The charge is to discourage frivolous use of their services. Still, that is why I suggest you contact Ms. Gardner directly to discuss what exactly you can expect if you proceed.

Whether you go forward or not I believe you can find out if this vendor is a member and what complaints, if any, have been lodged against him in the past at no charge. This may be useful if you wind up using any legal avenues before this is settled.
I never thought about it that way... That makes sense.
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/9/2006 7:53:38 PM
Author: Regular Guy
Oddly, if called to witness, WF could represent with ''value added'' both the prosecution & defence, as well.

To your vendor''s point, WF will sell EGL stones too, and will I believe, as a matter of policy, not upgrade them. The extra business being discussed here about what the stone really is, is discussion I''m not sure I get. EGL stands behind them, and probably each vendor represents this represenation.

To WF''s point, and a more determing one...they''re very clear in writing that these stones won''t be upgraded.

At this point, sounds like EGL is off the table, going forward. Yes?
I plan on purchasing a stone & setting from WF....Been working with Traci on it. I plan to finalize and wire transfer the funds on Monday. Then I hope to get a full refund from the B&M.
 

Kay

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2003
Messages
2,573
Date: 12/9/2006 6:16:52 PM
Author: denverappraiser

Get a refund. You don’t want to do business with them anyway. As Rockdoc points out, the original stone was quite possibly misrepresented, which is the root of the problem but this also opens up the possible that the new stone will also be misrepresented, perhaps even worse.



You’re extremely unlikely to get a refund without a fight and even with a fight it’s not going to happen before Christmas, or even Valentines Day. Plan accordingly. If you can possibly afford it, just buy a new stone, get on with your life and sue the jeweler as a separate action.



It looks like you’ve got a good case here and it keeps on improving. He’s pretty clearly breached the contract and, by his offer he has already agreed that the stone you are trying to trade is the same one that he sold you, which was his best opportunity to weasel out of this. There’s very little left to discuss, especially if you can demonstrate through an independent 3rd party that stone was misrepresented in the first place. That would be an additional breach and, if the misrepresentation was material, which differs from state to state, you might be entitled to additional damages as well.


http://www.gemlab..us/

This is good advice. In order to give the jeweler "fair warning" (for purposes of supporting your actions if you decide to sue later) I would have your attorney friend send him a letter stating, in essence, that he has breached his written trade-in policy, on which you relied in making your original purchase. Tell him he has 5 days to cure his breach by either allowing you a $3150 credit towards the stone you selected (at its current price) or allowing you to return the original stone for a full refund. Tell him that if he does not cure the breach within the time specified, you will purchase a new stone elsewhere and will attempt to sell the stone he sold to you, and that you will then sue him for the difference between the amount for which you are able to sell the stone and the $3150 trade-in value he was contractually obligated to give you. Under contract law, you are entitled to the "benefit of the bargain," so your damages would be the difference between the $3150 credit he was supposed to give you and what you can get from another jeweler.

BTW, we bought a lovely diamond from Whiteflash for a much better price than local jewelers were charging for stones that were not as well cut.
 

RockDoc

Ideal_Rock
Joined
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Messages
2,509
Stags

Did the seller issue a document in writing that he called "APPRAISAL".

Was the value reported on the document more than the price you paid?

If so, that could have some serious bearing in your matter.

Did you buy this stone relying on the facts contained either in that appraisal or the EGL grading report?

Rockdoc
 

gail013

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 21, 2006
Messages
335
This is ridiculous. My jeweler recanted his story too about taking my diamond back. He wasn''t dumb enough to say he WOULDN''T take it back, but he said he didn''t WANT to, because it was a marquis and out of style! I didn''t want to give him one more penny, so I moved on, but it makes me wonder. I bet this happens alot, and they are hoping you don''t upgrade, or at the very least don''t question him on that.
 

jaz464

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Jul 11, 2005
Messages
2,022
If this jewelry store was a chain, such as Kays, could you just go to another one of the stores? For instance, there are about 5 Kays in my area.
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/10/2006 12:22:52 AM
Author: RockDoc
Stags

Did the seller issue a document in writing that he called ''APPRAISAL''.

Was the value reported on the document more than the price you paid?

If so, that could have some serious bearing in your matter.

Did you buy this stone relying on the facts contained either in that appraisal or the EGL grading report?

Rockdoc
RockDoc,

He did issue an "APPRAISAL" document. It has the same exact price as the trade-in value (which is the same price that I paid for it). I did purchase the stone based on the facts contained in the grading report, as well as the trade-in policy. In the end, I am hoping this guy doesn''t get away with this nonsense.

Stags
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/10/2006 10:12:52 AM
Author: jazmine
If this jewelry store was a chain, such as Kays, could you just go to another one of the stores? For instance, there are about 5 Kays in my area.
This was not from a "Chain" store such as Kay''s. This is a locally owned B&M place. The store has been in the area for about 12 years now.
 

stags14

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 7, 2006
Messages
49
Date: 12/10/2006 12:25:49 AM
Author: gail013
This is ridiculous. My jeweler recanted his story too about taking my diamond back. He wasn''t dumb enough to say he WOULDN''T take it back, but he said he didn''t WANT to, because it was a marquis and out of style! I didn''t want to give him one more penny, so I moved on, but it makes me wonder. I bet this happens alot, and they are hoping you don''t upgrade, or at the very least don''t question him on that.
Gail013,

I think you are correct. I imagine this happens quite a bit. Such terrible business ethics in my opinion.

Stags
 

CJ2008

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 31, 2006
Messages
4,750
Stags14...just wondering what happened to your complaint? Did it ever get resolved? Did you ever get another ring/stone and are you happy with it?
 

anne_h

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 13, 2005
Messages
973
Yes, I''m curious too to know what happened...

BTW, after reading your story, it seems to me it would be ideal for the Peoples Court! (The TV program) It''s filmed in NYC (I think) and the way it works is that small claims cases are heard by a regal judge (up to 5k max I think). Judge Marilyn Milian is great, love her!! The bonus is that the litigants get to split the difference between the actual award and the max award (well, assuming I read the small print at the end of each show properly). So there''s an incentive for both parties to appear. So, you would probably get a full refund (~3k) plus another 1k (5k - 3k = 2k / 2 litigants = 1 k each).

Ok, ok, not everyone wants to be on television, but this would be such a cut and dried case. And the jeweler would look like the evil dumba** he is. I''d watch! LOL

Anne
 
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