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Diamond Exchange

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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There have been rumors flying for a month or so that an Aussie company who post here occasionally is in financial difficulty.

http://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article.aspx?id=1175&m=UXdou+8cYB8=

I have been looking and trying (search machine has problems) to see if anyone has bought it up on Pricescope, and not seen anything? So thought I best make a post, even though I prefer to avoid anything that might be seen as slinging mud. But there have been many reports of consumers waiting months for diamonds and refunds also taking a very long time. An on-line advertsing company has initiated a liquidation or bankruptcy proceeding for a few hundred $k.

Perhaps some readers here know more than I do?
Personally I have found this company to be a fair competitor and I have been on good terms with one of the Directors who has often scanned stones that are too large for my Helium scanner.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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MeeG

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Hi,
Just saw your post and thought I would explain my dealings with this company. Back in July I paid to purchase a diamond from this company. Ironically my choice was made to use these guys since many of the suppliers on Pricescope will not let you pay by credit card (and therefore the protection they give) for international orders, and I expected they would be able to get the exact same diamond faster and safer than paying up front to an overseas internet company. That said, they wanted payment up front also which seemed OK since they multiple physical offices all over Australia and had been around for quite a while and up to July had a decent reputation.

They said they could get the one I wanted and so I 'purchased' the diamond. And paid with all my savings I have been storing up for this purpose over the past 5 years since I met my girlfriend. Weeks have passed and I have following it up with excuses of 'customs have it' and 'suppliers having problems'. After 2 months of delays and broken promises I requested a refund. This request was not answered by anyone and repeated calls etc still have resulted in nothing. I have not been able to propose nor can I afford another ring. I cannot even tell my (future?) fiance why as I don't have the money back yet to start the process again.

I don't know what I will do if I can't get it back and if the company is bankrupted. Scumbags of the highest order.
 

WinkHPD

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You wanted to use a credit card to protect yourself, which is actually a good thing.

Notify your card company immediately. It may already be too late, but at least you have a shot.

Wink

P.S. Garry, thank you for bringing this to our attention.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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MeeG said:
Hi,
Just saw your post and thought I would explain my dealings with this company. Back in July I paid to purchase a diamond from this company. Ironically my choice was made to use these guys since many of the suppliers on Pricescope will not let you pay by credit card (and therefore the protection they give) for international orders, and I expected they would be able to get the exact same diamond faster and safer than paying up front to an overseas internet company. That said, they wanted payment up front also which seemed OK since they multiple physical offices all over Australia and had been around for quite a while and up to July had a decent reputation.

They said they could get the one I wanted and so I 'purchased' the diamond. And paid with all my savings I have been storing up for this purpose over the past 5 years since I met my girlfriend. Weeks have passed and I have following it up with excuses of 'customs have it' and 'suppliers having problems'. After 2 months of delays and broken promises I requested a refund. This request was not answered by anyone and repeated calls etc still have resulted in nothing. I have not been able to propose nor can I afford another ring. I cannot even tell my (future?) fiance why as I don't have the money back yet to start the process again.

I don't know what I will do if I can't get it back and if the company is bankrupted. Scumbags of the highest order.

Hi MeeG,
I think the JAA is helping people in your situation.
http://www.jaa.com.au
 

Mezaroonie

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We also paid for a diamond in full back in May. They assured us it would arrive in approximately 3 weeks. After 3 weeks the diamond still hadn't arrived and I had to ring them up constantly to get an update. They never initiated a call to me. The explanations were always very vague as to the whereabouts and status of the order. I was told the diamond was late getting dispatched from the US then had to go to Europe (but he wouldn't say where in Europe) for insurance purposes, then on to Hong Kong, then was caught up in customs in Sydney, then it should make it's way to Melbourne.

My gut feel was they were lying about the whole thing. Every week they would tell me the end of the week or next week. By the 10th week I was sick of this and just wanted a refund. By then they had stopped returning my phone calls so my fiance and I just went into their offices and asked for a full refund. We were fortunate enough to get the refund within 2 days.

What still upsets me to this day was being told by 2 members of the company (of which one was the director) that women will get emotional about diamonds and will be irrational about the purchase. I felt I was very patient waiting as long as I did, not irrational.
 

Rae~

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Really appreciate your posting these links, Gary. I am sure there are quite a few Aussies reading with curiosity.

I'm sad to hear of all the couples having troubles with them - this should be an exciting and fun experience, not stressful!
 

arjunajane

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hey Garry, thanks for posting these its certainly interesting but I cant say its surprising-in my very early days of seeking an upgrade I interacted with this org twice and was left with a bad taste. They seem to prefer uneducated and uninformed consumers, had poor service and low levels of knowledge in my experiences, and imo have pretty crappy policies. :knockout:
I feel awful for those consumers both in this thread and further that are under the stress of Diamond Exchange not delivering in their transactions-I hope others find this thread and that JAA can help them. Garry can you advise are there other bodies in Au that folks can contact, such as the equivalent of Jewellers Vigilance commitee or the BBB?-would consumer affairs be able to help, or are things 'beyond that'?
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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arjunajane said:
hey Garry, thanks for posting these its certainly interesting but I cant say its surprising-in my very early days of seeking an upgrade I interacted with this org twice and was left with a bad taste. They seem to prefer uneducated and uninformed consumers, had poor service and low levels of knowledge in my experiences, and imo have pretty crappy policies. :knockout:
I feel awful for those consumers both in this thread and further that are under the stress of Diamond Exchange not delivering in their transactions-I hope others find this thread and that JAA can help them. Garry can you advise are there other bodies in Au that folks can contact, such as the equivalent of Jewellers Vigilance commitee or the BBB?-would consumer affairs be able to help, or are things 'beyond that'?
The JAA should be the first point of assistance.
As Diamond Exchange are (were?) members, the org will handle complaints and will work with stat govt fair trade bodies and experdite solutions for free. They also know more about what is going on.
 

Sizzle

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I don't see this as mudslinging at all. It's informational. I think the people on this site want to be informed about what's going on in the world of diamonds and colored stones, period. I do think it's odd that two people who have never posted finally came out of the wood words after you posted. I wonder if there are other people lurking on Pricescope who have had negative experiences, but are just hesitent to post?
 

arjunajane

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Garry H (Cut Nut) said:
arjunajane said:
hey Garry, thanks for posting these its certainly interesting but I cant say its surprising-in my very early days of seeking an upgrade I interacted with this org twice and was left with a bad taste. They seem to prefer uneducated and uninformed consumers, had poor service and low levels of knowledge in my experiences, and imo have pretty crappy policies. :knockout:
I feel awful for those consumers both in this thread and further that are under the stress of Diamond Exchange not delivering in their transactions-I hope others find this thread and that JAA can help them. Garry can you advise are there other bodies in Au that folks can contact, such as the equivalent of Jewellers Vigilance commitee or the BBB?-would consumer affairs be able to help, or are things 'beyond that'?
The JAA should be the first point of assistance.
As Diamond Exchange are (were?) members, the org will handle complaints and will work with stat govt fair trade bodies and experdite solutions for free. They also know more about what is going on.

Cheers Garry for the feedback, good to know there is somewhere that can help - I note there is also a formal complaint lodged with ASIC already.
For those having issues with Diamond Exchange (or in fact other jewellery/diamond companies in Australia), link to Jewellers Association Australia, where there is a notice on the front page pertaining to Diamond Exchange.


Sizzle said:
I don't see this as mudslinging at all. It's informational. I think the people on this site want to be informed about what's going on in the world of diamonds and colored stones, period. I do think it's odd that two people who have never posted finally came out of the wood words after you posted. I wonder if there are other people lurking on Pricescope who have had negative experiences, but are just hesitent to post?

Hi Sizzle, I agree with your comments, however I didn't see anyone mention mudslinging..?
I'm not sure about MeeG or Mezaroonie's personal stories/motivations - however the content in the articles Garry has linked to is very consistent with these people's complaints.

Frankly, I find this organizations' behaviour and treatment of their clients reprehensible, and sincerely hope they do not resurface in the Australian market again - the directors and owners just seem plain dodgy.
Moreover, I really hope the many customers who are awaiting refunds can find some satisfaction - although it doesn't appear as if it will be easy :nono:



Also important to note is the negative impact this one company's actions is going to have in the diamond/jewellery buying market in Au; the wronged clients are already warning against buying diamonds online, which we all know is perfectly safe when you choose the right vendor - I am concerned this situation will have a ripple effect in the local industry and bring the market back a number of steps/years, very unfortunate :(sad
 

arjunajane

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Mezaroonie and MeeG; (assuming that you are genuine consumers and victims of Diamond Exchanges' practices) -

Firstly, I hope the JAA are able to help you have your refunds expedited without too much drama.
Secondly, it is great that you have discovered Pricescope - there are many consumers and diamond lovers/experts here who are dedicated to helping others find the best engagement ring for their budgets..Once your situations are resolved, I do hope you will seek advice here on finding a trustworthy and reliable vendor to complete your transactions with. I can promise the kind of nonsense run-around you have been receiving would not stand for a second from one of the PS-recommended vendors. :!:

I am also an Australian who has purchased gems, diamonds and jewellery from various O/S locations, and would be happy to help you with advice as I can.

All the best
AJ.
 

Stone-cold11

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arjunajane said:
Hi Sizzle, I agree with your comments, however I didn't see anyone mention mudslinging..?

Garry mentioned it himself in his first post. He is afraid that this post might be perceive as mud slinging a competitor.
 

Mezaroonie

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arjunajane said:
Mezaroonie and MeeG; (assuming that you are genuine consumers and victims of Diamond Exchanges' practices) -

Firstly, I hope the JAA are able to help you have your refunds expedited without too much drama.
Secondly, it is great that you have discovered Pricescope - there are many consumers and diamond lovers/experts here who are dedicated to helping others find the best engagement ring for their budgets..Once your situations are resolved, I do hope you will seek advice here on finding a trustworthy and reliable vendor to complete your transactions with. I can promise the kind of nonsense run-around you have been receiving would not stand for a second from one of the PS-recommended vendors. :!:

I am also an Australian who has purchased gems, diamonds and jewellery from various O/S locations, and would be happy to help you with advice as I can.

All the best
AJ.

I only discovered Pricescope after we ordered the diamond and I lurked around here on a daily basis after that (yes I know sad huh?). I posted in this thread for the first time because this was the first time I'd read anything with so many stories that were so similar to my experience. At first I thought we were just unlucky but now I know others were affected just like us. We were fortunate and did get our money back because we work near their Melbourne office and went in to demand our refund.

Thank you for your offer of advice however I was disheartened with the prospect of buying from another wholesaler again. We ended up buying my engagement ring from a BM and the experience was so much more pleasant. I picked it up a month ago and couldn't be happier with it.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Regarding the companies and Directors behaviour - I have had known one of the founders since they first started, Johan, who has posted here on Pricescope, and I sold them equipment when they first opened and I was the Aussie Sarin agent.

They set up very proffesinally and clearly intended to be in for the long haul.
I never had a complaint with them as a competitor and believe they were hard working and honest.

I suspect they discovered that google adwords makes more money than those competing for sales on-line. It is very difficult to sell diamonds online, and the competition is crazy with margins of 5% and less quite common.

We here on Pricescope are part of that problem where people learn from each other how to shop very agressively. The result is businesses that loose their basic capacity.
It seems this may have happened to this company? No intention to do other than provide the best price and the best service, but its hard to offere both of those things.
 

Rae~

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:wavey: Hi Mezaroonie, nice to see yet another Aussie here. :D

I can completely understand your wariness at buying from another online vendor after your bad experience with Diamond Exchange, so I hope you don't feel like you have to defend your choices. You found a ring you are happy with - that's great! In fact that's all that really matters, in the end.

My FI & I visited Diamond Exchange a few weeks ago (actually probably a couple of months ago now, I think?!?), during our search for a centre stone. While the lady who we dealt with was actually really nice - she is doing her GG certification so she & I had a little chat about that - I got the sense she kept having to pull back to her scripted spiel; I felt she didn't want to mislead us but still had some sort of obligation/direction that she felt she needed to follow, in terms of sales pitches. That said, she was great to deal with but we felt the pricing, mainly, was the downside. Of course, this is only coming from a base of my knowing what US-based online retailers' prices were, and without Pricescope I would have had no idea! So I feel very lucky to have already been a member here when my diamond search started.
 

gunz12

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Hi guys,

I've stumbled upon this thread after researching diamonds after getting burnt by Diamond Exchange.

A bit about my story:
Went into Diamond exchange around August after hearing great things about it and met with one of the sales consultants (not sure if I'm allowed to mention names...I won't for now, but more than happy to since I've dealt with almost everyone in this organisation....unfortunately!). Eventually, we ordered in a diamond & choose a ring setting worth around 9k. Was told the diamond would come in around 4-6 weeks. I was pretty happy!

BUTTT...After 9 weeks, I had to chase up and asked about the diamond. Got passed on from one person to another and eventually, I worked out the fact that no one had any idea where it was after no one would give me a proper reply. Then I did a reseach on google, found negative replies on the goole reviews, went to the jewellers magazine website which then lead me to the JAA. I was almost in tears...and I was a guy thinking that I would not see my money.

Took a day off work, totally stressed out, and went into the Melbourne office to demand a refund. One of the directors (ex-computer guy?) and the sales consultant sat down with me and explained to me that some deal went bad with a marketing company, they were going through a recapitalisation process (Merger?) etc etc and that they would give me a refund but could't do it by tuesday but he would give me a written undertaking via email by Close of Business that this was going to happen.

Next day, didn't get it (the email note)......Call up and chased up one of the sales consultant....day after that....didn't get it. I was totally freaking out....eventually it came through saying that I would get a refund on Tuesday.

Anyway....Tuesday came, and no refund. Took another day off work, went in on Thursday (this week actually) and sat down with one of the Accountant (don't think the CFO/Directors wanted to see me as I was fuming). I demanded my refund, they said they had no money in the bank that day. I told them I wasn't leaving the office. They then offered me a diamond to hold as security in liew of the refund. I told them I wasn't taking a diamond (sounded really dodgy!). Eventually, they wired 20% of what they owed me and forward transfered me the rest (got a printed receipt for this).

Word of advice for those dealing with Diamond Exchange to trying to get their refund, from my experience:
1. Try to get to an office and do not leave until you get something. I wouldn't settle for a written undertaking...only what they owe u. Get a forward transfer & get them to print you something. For this to happen you need to talk to someone who can actually do this.
2. Phone calls/Emails are useless and I've probably wasted 8 hours on this.

The JAA mentioned that they have received over 50 complaints. They were generally helpful with advice, BUT they can't really do anything for you. They also mentioned that there's a meeting on the 5th Nov to remove the Diamond Exchange from the JAA.

Anyway, apologies for the long rant....but hopefully this helps other people. I've lost a lot of sleep over this! If anyone needs some help, I'm more than happy to give advice using my experiences with them.

Now I'm back to square one..... Hopefully, when I get my refund, I can start looking for an engagement ring again :(
 

gunz12

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Didn't end up getting my refund as promised so I went to the Melb office this morning and got told they were put into administration =(

I've lost a lot of money....but there are others who have lost more (There was a a guy who paid $19,000 and got nothing back)...diamond exchange (Jim Francis, Karna Rana, Simon Middleton) destroying engagements & happy moments.....

Anyway, the name of the current adminitrator is Worrells : Contact Sarah Peters - [email protected]
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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gunz12 said:
Didn't end up getting my refund as promised so I went to the Melb office this morning and got told they were put into administration =(

I've lost a lot of money....but there are others who have lost more (There was a a guy who paid $19,000 and got nothing back)...diamond exchange (Jim Francis, Karna Rana, Simon Middleton) destroying engagements & happy moments.....

Anyway, the name of the current adminitrator is Worrells : Contact Sarah Peters - [email protected]

I am sorry to hear that Gunz.
http://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article.aspx?id=1226&h=Diamond-Exchange-enters-administration
"Liquidation and bankruptcy specialist Worrells confirmed that Con Kokkinos and Matthew Jess of Worrells had been appointed joint administrators for the company.

Kokkinos told Jeweller he was unable to comment on details of the administration.

JAA chief executive Ian Hadassin said the JAA had been inundated with calls from customers of Diamond Exchange this morning after hearing of the company collapse."
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Elise from ACA told me the MDX office is full of liquidators, so that means anyone with promised money - sadly - it will now be sealed and paid at any remaining amout in the $1.00.
I think they had very little inventory, so sadly, there will not be many cents.
ACA are running the story tonight.
 

Rae~

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Ouch!! I feel very sorry for those who got caught in the middle and have lost out. :(( :(( :(( :((
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Garry H (Cut Nut) said:
Elise from ACA told me the MDX office is full of liquidators, so that means anyone with promised money - sadly - it will now be sealed and paid at any remaining amout in the $1.00.
I think they had very little inventory, so sadly, there will not be many cents.
ACA are running the story tonight.
Here is the story.
Naturally my comments were heavily edited.
Especially the part that anyone buying on-line should know what they are doing (= research), and they should know that the cheapest diamonds are virtual stones and the best stones are the ones web vendors (or any jeweler) choose to own.
It seems the only people who lost their $$$$'s were those who bought 'virtual diamonds'.
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8114599

The real message here is that I expect many more web vendors will go under. Why? Because Google and Facebook type advertising is very expensive - it probably doubles in cost every 2 years.
Sell your BN shares and buy Google.
 

hawaiianorangetree

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Garry H (Cut Nut) said:
Garry H (Cut Nut) said:
Elise from ACA told me the MDX office is full of liquidators, so that means anyone with promised money - sadly - it will now be sealed and paid at any remaining amout in the $1.00.
I think they had very little inventory, so sadly, there will not be many cents.
ACA are running the story tonight.
Here is the story.
Naturally my comments were heavily edited.
Especially the part that anyone buying on-line should know what they are doing (= research), and they should know that the cheapest diamonds are virtual stones and the best stones are the ones web vendors (or any jeweler) choose to own.
It seems the only people who lost their $$$$'s were those who bought 'virtual diamonds'.
http://aca.ninemsn.com.au/article.aspx?id=8114599

The real message here is that I expect many more web vendors will go under. Why? Because Google and Facebook type advertising is very expensive - it probably doubles in cost every 2 years.
Sell your BN shares and buy Google.

I saw the story on ACA tonight and was suprised that they did not give any advice on how to but online safely. To me it seemed like the story was done to scare people more than help.
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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hawaiianorangetree said:
I saw the story on ACA tonight and was suprised that they did not give any advice on how to but online safely. To me it seemed like the story was done to scare people more than help.

I think that was their plan.
I gave advice on what to do and how - but that was not headline info HO.
They have also run other stories with the opposite conclusion.
They also have done a few promo's for ordinary CZ's sold as trumped up new carbon like gems.
 

Rae~

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Realistically, we shouldn't expect much at all - after all, it is ACA!!! :rolleyes:

It's sad they couldn't stretch to at least passing on some info about how to buy online more safely, rather than tarring all online vendors with the Diamond Exchange brush. :nono:
 

Garry H (Cut Nut)

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Update:
This is from the Jeweller magazine email:
"It's not over for Diamond Exchange yet; the company wants to continue trading.

In some ways that would be a good thing because it might mean consumers get their money back or the product they ordered. The saga has been a mess with one very distressed woman calling me last week saying that Diamond Exchange had debited her credit card $14,000 on the very day the company was placed in administration!

She claims that she had authorised a $3,000 deposit two weeks earlier but had not authorised the additional $14,000 payment. If true, this could be a serious matter for government authorities to investigate."


http://www.jewellermagazine.com/Article.aspx?id=1253&m=TDiF3hCFzdU=

"According to Ron Lane of Garland Hawthorn Brahe Lawyers, the solicitor of MTC, the hearing was adjourned for seven days to allow Worrells to put together a proposal on debt settlement and send it out to all creditors.

Diamond Exchange’s fate hinges on whether its directors can draw up a proposal in time."
 

cammo

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Hi all,

My story is similar to others who have lost the money and/or diamond but I believe my dealings have been taken to a whole new level of deceit.

Back in May I purchased a 1.04 carat diamond only to learn that the diamond had apparently been damaged in the setting process. The female sales consultant in Melbourne asked if I wanted to upgrade to a larger diamond, 1.3 carats, so I decided to pay the extra. The consultant promised the diamond would be shipped to Melbourne in three weeks ready for my proposal, 26th June.

The diamond didn't arrive so the consultant said they would do me a 'favour' and give me a cubic zirconian (fake) diamond in it's place for the occasion but reassured me that the diamond would arrive in July and I could come in and replace the CZ diamond with the real one.

After months of phonecalls and emails I have nothing but a fake diamond to show for this and $12,500 or a 1.3 carat diamond ring still outstanding.

I have just spoken to Worrells and I hope to God that they can help.

Never have I experienced such lying and deceit by a company like this.

JUSTICE!
 

MeeG

Rough_Rock
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Oct 7, 2010
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Hi again all,

Only noticed all the new posts today so thought I would update my situation. Thanks for the words of support and offers of info/help from previous posters.

Most of what people have said is true by my experience, Worrells have been SELF APPOINTED by Diamond Exchange (bear this in mind) but so far have deferred the liquidation that would be forced by the Supreme Court in the hope the directors will secure some more money to keep trading and presumably pay off their creditors. I am sure this is the best option for those people owed money since liquidation might not yeild as much but then again maybe the directors have not hidden all their money fast enough...might have some recourse. Another court date is set for tomorrow, Worrels have hinted they may get backing by a 'Canadian mining' company but probably more bull coming from the directors. We shall see.

On the topic of 'Virtual Diamonds', for some people this may have been the case but these virtual diamonds are the same ones sold on Pricescope by MOST of the companies. In my case I was too scared and cautious (funny in hindsight yes?) to buy from Pricescope all the way from Australia because the companies wanted cash up-front - so I called Diamond Exchange with the exact stone, sizes, GIA number etc and asked them to be a middleman and get that exact stone. I gave them some money on top of the cheapest pricescope price for their service. This was a stone on their website also so I knew it was a 'virtual stone' to begin with but I thought this method gave me more SAFETY that buying through and overseas company when having to pay up-front. They had 3 B&M offices, one near my work. I can still laugh a bit about the irony of it all.

One 'Daniel Katz' has posted all over the internet proclaiming his warnings about the above issue. His is just a self promoting cause and in many posts he belittles the customers that have been criminally ripped off by a company that prior to August (when many people bought stones that are owed) was as reputable and reliable as any on Pricescope or his own for that matter. He may be right but regardless I hope he has (and am sure he has) lost a lot of customers that have been burnt by Diamond Exchange that still need stones/rings but do not like being told they were stupid to buy through a company that was a legit as any other and operating for many years with positive reports. Sorry Daniel but times are changing mate and people do buy things over the net, some more important than Diamonds without seeing them but expect to be able to send them back or get a refund if they are not happy.

So, in my case I am still owed money. Its about half of what I was orignally owed, better than nothing but I am still fuming. After visiting the offices (before they were closed) I got back a couple of instalments of cash but they would not pay all. Lucky Simon Middleton nor any Wayne Solomon or other dodgy directors were around when I went. They would not have walked out.

Now on the positive side, after finding Pricescope I still had enough faith left with the industry to finally buy the EXACT STONE I originally set out to get (yay) and was able to pay though PayPal with James Allan. I cannot speak highly enough of this company after my horror story and am so glad that there are real professionals out there that get it right. Price was cheaper than I originally paid to DX and the process was amazing - easy, super fast and I can't be happier.

In the meantime that other saga continues...

Also - a part from being nice on the phone, the JAA was a waste of time. I feel people may even have some recourse bringing legal action against this place for endorsing Diamond Exchange, since if they are there for 'consumer confidence' and take subscription money when all is good, surely they must suffer the consequences when things go bad? Reasonable to me....
 

MeeG

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Oh and cammo, I feel for ya mate.

Not sure if there is a PM facility on this site??? But if so you are welcome to contact me if you think it could help.
 
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