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Dissapointing experience with James Allen...

diamondringseeker

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
11
James Allen is recognized for their prices, product quality and customer service excellence. Unfortunately I have only benefited from one of the three: price. I had a rather bad experience with them, wanted to share it with you and see if anybody else out there has had a bad experience with them as well.

Long story short, I ordered an engagement ring and asked for it to be delivered within their standard lead time. I spoke at lengths with the rep to ensure that that date would be met. The night before I was supposed to receive it, I learned that the ring did not pass quality control. I was explained that they have strict quality control and would not deliver something that is under par. They assured me that 9 out of 10 orders usually pass the QC and I was one of the unfortunate ones.

They remade the ring and shipped it at a later date. When I received the ring, I noticed that the ring as actually imperfect. At that point I was already unhappy about the ring being messed up after the 2nd try. What I find really odd is that the same manager that persuaded me in believing that JA had strict quality control was the same manager that later explained to me that the "process" is not perfect and mistakes do happen. Despite the manager's professional attitude, he was basically making all sorts of excuses to say that things are not perfect and I was just unlucky.

so i sent the engagement ring back to get it corrected and ordered a wedding band at the same time. I also sent the H&A viewer back as it was defective. Learning from the previous experience, I was skeptical about the delivery of the order. Once again, I called and found out that again, the engagement ring did not pass QC for a 3rd time!!! I was really boiling inside now because they really kept on messing it up every time. I called to complain at the manager again and made him understand that this was getting close to ridiculous. I asked to ensure that the order would not screw up again and all he could say was that he could not make any guarantees. That means that $6000 later and 3 failed attempts, they could not guarantee to ship a product free of defect and on time.

When they finally shipped out the order, they actually forget to include the replacement H&A viewer that I had requested. I actually took the time to call in to ask the rep to write it in my file AND I attached a hand written note to the viewer when I sent back the engagement ring for the correction.

I was extremely disappointed in JA. They were not able to do anything right, at least not the first time around. Despite all the good reviews online, I had to go live with their mediocre production quality and delayed orders. All the manager was able to say was "I understand your concern but there is nothing I can do..."

Sigh, have I been unreasonable in feeling disappointed?? Has anyone else experienced a similar situation with them or am I really just "the unlucky 1 in a 100"?

Thanks for reading
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
I'm really sorry for what happened to you, especially for a e-ring purchase. You have all the rights to feel disappointed about it for what had happened.
I've had a pretty good experience with them over all. only a small shipment problem when they suppose to ship my ring and suppose someone made a note that I was out on a business trip which i don't even know about and was putting the ring on hold...they were able to put the ring out the next day and everything else went well.
 

Christina...

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 7, 2011
Messages
5,028
I'm sorry that this has happened to you. :o I know how hard it is to wait for your ring and how terrible it must be to have gotten it and then be disappointed. I've ordered thru JA 3 times and have had very positive experiences each and every time. I'm actually preparing to make another order for a diamond band shortly. Many people here have used them and as far as I know have had many positive expereinces. However, it sounds as though JA isn't the only company having QC issues as of late. Hopefully things can get back on track for everybody very soon. Sorry you had a bad experience. JA to my knowledge has always offered great CS and product. Hope it gets better for you!
 

frankiextah

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Mar 12, 2009
Messages
784
so sorry to hear about your experience ! my stone is also from JA, but did not have them set it. honestly, i have to agree with you - they really have problems producing good quality settings. i had the chance to physically see their setting samples in their NYC office and they really didn't look that great. i would say JA is an amazing place to purchase loose diamonds, but not a great place for settings. there are actually quite a few setting QC complaints about JA on the PS forum so you're definitely not the unlucky 1 out of the 100 ...

would it make you feel better if you would just ask them to refund you on the setting and take the loose diamond elsewhere for it to be set perfectly and quickly ? BGD has amazing ones to choose from and they really have great QC on their wide variety of settings ...

this is such an emotional piece of jewelry, would really hate to see it relate to a bad experience !
 

texaskj

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Aug 31, 2010
Messages
1,196
DRS, if you're still mad enough, and who could blame you, you could always try **edited by moderator. please do not encourage posters to harass merchants**
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I am really sorry to hear about your experience. JA posts here regularly and I hope they will make it right.
 

Karl_K

Super_Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Aug 4, 2008
Messages
10,448
texaskj|1309928017|2962520 said:
DRS, if you're still mad enough, and who could blame you, you could always try **edited by moderator. please do not encourage posters to harass merchants**
Or just call and ask for Jim.
or drop him an email at:
[email protected]
 

jikjak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
14
im sorry to hear about the quality control problems with JA. how did it turn out in the end? i hope it ended up to your satisfaction after all these attempts.

im also about to order something from them as well, but im planning to just get the loose diamond from them so that it would be easier to make corrections if the setting isnt done right.

btw are u happy with the diamond itself?

on a side note, for DRS and those of you who have purchased from JA, did u wire money directly to them (extra 1.5% savings) or pay a different way? im planning to wire and i just want to make sure it is safe to do so.
 

luckky

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Feb 20, 2011
Messages
193
frankiextah|1309926566|2962507 said:
so sorry to hear about your experience ! my stone is also from JA, but did not have them set it. honestly, i have to agree with you - they really have problems producing good quality settings. i had the chance to physically see their setting samples in their NYC office and they really didn't look that great. i would say JA is an amazing place to purchase loose diamonds, but not a great place for settings. there are actually quite a few setting QC complaints about JA on the PS forum so you're definitely not the unlucky 1 out of the 100 ...

would it make you feel better if you would just ask them to refund you on the setting and take the loose diamond elsewhere for it to be set perfectly and quickly ? BGD has amazing ones to choose from and they really have great QC on their wide variety of settings ...

this is such an emotional piece of jewelry, would really hate to see it relate to a bad experience !
hmm....good to read all this posts...now give me a second thought :wink2: I just about to order a setting from them...now I have to think again. Will look around more but even BGD lately they also seem have a trouble with their QC too...Good luck! and hope thing work out for you.
 

lknvrb4

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Nov 1, 2009
Messages
3,737
I am so sorry you had such a bad experience. I think I would have cancelled my order.
 

lewood

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
163
Wow, I am sadly relieved (what an oxymoron!) that there is another disappointed JA customer out there! I've had a very similar experience as you, minus the delayed ship dates. I did not have my diamond purchased through JA, but I did have a setting ordered from them, and let me tell you, their quality in settings are less that satisfying. I was so disappointed and shocked. My prongs were all crooked, the shank had varying heights all the way around, and my cathedral was WAY off center. It looked absolutely embarressing - I just couldn't wear something that looked like that, and my FI was mortified. I voiced these concerns with Jim Shultz from JA, and he assured me that he would have another setting completely remade for me, and this time it would be perfect. Ha....it came back IDENTICAL to the previous one! I paid over $200 for them to make NO CORRECTIONS (yes, that's right, I had to pay for THEIR mistake). I was so upset that I didn't even call to complain. I just ate close to $2000, which makes me sick, just to be done with them. Needless to say, I have a setting in my jewelry box that is untouched and unused. Man they took me to the cleaners! Ironically, my ring never passed quality control, either.........hmmm.....so you're not the only one! I'm so sorry that you are going through such a bad experience, especially for such an important purchase.

By the way, I may have missed it, but how did your rings turn out after all? Do you like them now?
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,614
lewood|1309960081|2962709 said:
Wow, I am sadly relieved (what an oxymoron!) that there is another disappointed JA customer out there! I've had a very similar experience as you, minus the delayed ship dates. I did not have my diamond purchased through JA, but I did have a setting ordered from them, and let me tell you, their quality in settings are less that satisfying. I was so disappointed and shocked. My prongs were all crooked, the shank had varying heights all the way around, and my cathedral was WAY off center. It looked absolutely embarressing - I just couldn't wear something that looked like that, and my FI was mortified. I voiced these concerns with Jim Shultz from JA, and he assured me that he would have another setting completely remade for me, and this time it would be perfect. Ha....it came back IDENTICAL to the previous one! I paid over $200 for them to make NO CORRECTIONS (yes, that's right, I had to pay for THEIR mistake). I was so upset that I didn't even call to complain. I just ate close to $2000, which makes me sick, just to be done with them. Needless to say, I have a setting in my jewelry box that is untouched and unused. Man they took me to the cleaners! Ironically, my ring never passed quality control, either.........hmmm.....so you're not the only one! I'm so sorry that you are going through such a bad experience, especially for such an important purchase.
Oh, that's awful. :( Any chance you can still call them now to complain? You should not have to just eat that much money!
 

lewood

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
163
I truly regret not trying to get my money back. I did it for the sanity of my fiance. We have been down quite the road with engagement ring settings. He asked me to marry him with a beautiful tulipset setting, but the jeweler destroyed it when he sized it (just awful). My fiance felt so bad that he bought me a beautiful Verragio setting to replace the damaged one. The Verragio had a knife-edge, and when it came to buying wedding bands, only a knife-edge looked good with it, and I just didn't want a knife-edge wedding band. After many talks, we went back to the drawing board and decided to use an anniversary band as my wedding band, but we would need a new solitaire setting, which is when JA came into the picture. My poor fiance was always so understanding, and he always picked such beautiful settings, I just couldn't keep putting him through my crazy tendancies. In the end, we ended up buying a new solitaire setting that does go with my anniversary band, but now I have that JA setting and am out quite a bit of money. I've often thought of contacting them and asking for a return- it is relatively unused, but it's beyond the return time. I just can't believe that such a reputable company would produce such a horrible looking setting - I was just so very shocked, especially to have it supposedly worked on, just to have it shipped back to me looking identical and down even more money.....sigh, sigh, sigh....
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
lewood|1309961955|2962731 said:
I truly regret not trying to get my money back. I did it for the sanity of my fiance. We have been down quite the road with engagement ring settings. He asked me to marry him with a beautiful tulipset setting, but the jeweler destroyed it when he sized it (just awful). My fiance felt so bad that he bought me a beautiful Verragio setting to replace the damaged one. The Verragio had a knife-edge, and when it came to buying wedding bands, only a knife-edge looked good with it, and I just didn't want a knife-edge wedding band. After many talks, we went back to the drawing board and decided to use an anniversary band as my wedding band, but we would need a new solitaire setting, which is when JA came into the picture. My poor fiance was always so understanding, and he always picked such beautiful settings, I just couldn't keep putting him through my crazy tendancies. In the end, we ended up buying a new solitaire setting that does go with my anniversary band, but now I have that JA setting and am out quite a bit of money. I've often thought of contacting them and asking for a return- it is relatively unused, but it's beyond the return time. I just can't believe that such a reputable company would produce such a horrible looking setting - I was just so very shocked, especially to have it supposedly worked on, just to have it shipped back to me looking identical and down even more money.....sigh, sigh, sigh....
I would definitely contact them.
 

lewood

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Jan 9, 2011
Messages
163
Do you really think it would be worth it considering it's beyond the return time? I got it in Jan/Feb. The resale value of the platinum is only $200, and I paid something like $1,200 for it!...no diamonds, just a plain solitaire.
 

Laila619

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Apr 28, 2008
Messages
11,614
lewood|1309962476|2962737 said:
Do you really think it would be worth it considering it's beyond the return time? I got it in Jan/Feb. The resale value of the platinum is only $200, and I paid something like $1,200 for it!...no diamonds, just a plain solitaire.
Yes. It's really awful that you had to pay for their mistakes. It's worth a shot!
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
24,119
How awful. I would try to get my money back.
 

slg47

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 4, 2010
Messages
9,667
I would contact them...if you don't then there is no possible way you can get a refund.
 

angel01x83

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 3, 2011
Messages
22
Oh no! These are just awful stories. I'm really glad my boyfriend and I decided not to get our setting made with JA. But now I'm worried because we just ordered our center diamond from there. Has anyone ordered their center diamond and had problems?
 

diamondringseeker

Rough_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2011
Messages
11
Thank you for all your replies and for sharing your experiences. Now I know I wasn't the only one.

UPDATE: today, another manager emailed me. this was the first manager i had spoken to the first few times, not the last one I spoke to after the 3rd screw up. he apologized for having omitted to send the H&A viewer back and offered to mail me a new one. For all the inconvenience and fiasco I had to go through, he offered me a small discount on the engagement setting as a compensation. I am happy to say that they have FINALLY woken up and realized that i did not deserve that experience and that they COULD make an effort in correcting the situation. Thank you Mr. Manager. My ultimate goal was not necessarily to seek a few extra $, but for JA to address my complaint and making an effort in correcting the situation. It was a matter of principal.

@ jikjak - the place where you get the setting from may charge you a setting fee of around $100. As for the actual diamond for the solitaire, I am satisfied. The pricing was pretty good, considering the PS discount. I chose not to use the wire option. After a bit of calculation, the credit card gives me back the equivalent value in points. wire transfer gives you a discount but do not forget that there are bank fees as well.

@ lewood - my opinion is that it may be too late to make any claims or complaints to JA. however if you do decide to contact them, make sure to speak to Jim again. I am sure that whatever complaint you make again he will take you seriously. The first time it was probably because he did not personally follow the order until the end. As a businessman, I am sure that he would not want things to end that way. If they do eventually refund you it would really have to be out of goodwill and courtesy.

Conclusion: JA does have good customer service, but sometimes you just need to fight for it or dig a little deeper. In my opinion, they have demonstrated that they are an honest retailer. To be reasonable, they rely on their suppliers to manufacture the actual setting. If there is a quality problem, it is with the manufacturer (3rd party) and not JA. Although, JA does need to take responsibility for whatever their suppliers deliver. Making a logical connection with the posts above, I would assume that is why some other retailers are having quality problems too. I would imagine that the root of the problem lies at the manufacturing level and that many retailers share the same sources.

My advice to anyone who will buy from JA - pay attention and follow up on your orders. they have their standard processes and policies to follow. Many people will work on your order but no one else can follow it from beginning to end other than yourself.

thank you again for your replies and comments.
 

minmin001

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 21, 2011
Messages
2,047
I'm glad things worked out for you. and yes, sometimes you have to fight for your rights and what you paid for. job well done~
 

jikjak

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 2, 2011
Messages
14
im glad it all worked out for you in the end.
its also good to know that JA made things right.
 

marcy

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Feb 27, 2007
Messages
24,119
I am glad they are making it right.
 

Frustratedloril

Rough_Rock
Joined
Dec 17, 2012
Messages
1
Having same experience as I write. And it is an $8000 engagement ring. Very cavalier treatment so far. After 2 failed attempts to cast the platinum setting, they are sending a temporary satin finish ring for my engagement party on Thursday. Then I need to send it back for attempt number 3.
 

Malbec54

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Oct 31, 2012
Messages
153
Sorry that you're having such a bad experience ---my fiance and I had a tremendously positive experience with James Allen; from the number of questions we asked online, over the phone, and in NYC -- to the purchase and delivery, as well as the return of the engagement ring.
Our setting was made by Danhov so I can't comment on the quality of JA's work. Circumstances have led us to another vendor who hasn't been as responsive as James Allen was, but we understand that it's the Holiday season and everyone is busy.

Hope your experience improves!
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,144
Frustratedloril|1355775108|3333594 said:
Having same experience as I write. And it is an $8000 engagement ring. Very cavalier treatment so far. After 2 failed attempts to cast the platinum setting, they are sending a temporary satin finish ring for my engagement party on Thursday. Then I need to send it back for attempt number 3.
Under no cirumstances would I allow a third attempt. Keep the diamond and have them refund the original setting. Two tries is all I would allow them. My diamond would not go back another time.
 

YoungPapa

Shiny_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jun 18, 2002
Messages
438
Hi Loril,

Josh and Aaron made me aware this afternoon of the problems you've been experiencing with your order. As I understand the situation, both your first and second castings revealed porosity during polishing. The porosity was too significant to address with a laser, so a third casting is the only option. Rather than have you show up with no ring for the party, the suggestion was to ship this ring with a satin finish (which would hide the porosity), then make you another ring after the holidays. I understand that this is extremely frustrating and apologize for the continued delays. I'm hopeful that the ring that arrives by Thursday is beautiful and that we have the opportunity to get this fully sorted out to your satisfaction after the holidays.

Diamondseeker - the ring has never shipped. In fact it never even made it out of manufacturing.

All the best,
 

tenbinko

Rough_Rock
Joined
Nov 29, 2012
Messages
39
Frankiextah, did the tapered settings look OK?

Anybody else know what settings from James Allen have had quality issues in the past?

I was going to recommend JA to more people, but I didn't know about the potential problems with its settings. I'll still recommend it to friends, but they'd be benefit from knowing which settings must potentially be problematic.

I'm really concerned now. I know somebody's just purchased a ring with a "cathedral reverse tapered" setting from JA. Should they be worried?
 

mrs jam

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 24, 2004
Messages
686
If it will help set anyone's mind at ease, I'd like to post my recent positive experience with JA. I bought a 2.52 ct diamond and had it set in their six-prong knife-edged Tiffany-style setting with the scalloped clawed prongs, and I'm extremely happy with the setting. And this is coming from someone who previously owned a Mark Morrell setting, so it's a pretty high compliment, in deed. I would be extremely surprised if JA doesn't make this right for you. It stinks that it happened, I know, but these things can happen with any designer/vendor/human.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
56,144
James Allen Schultz|1355786506|3333792 said:
Hi Loril,

Josh and Aaron made me aware this afternoon of the problems you've been experiencing with your order. As I understand the situation, both your first and second castings revealed porosity during polishing. The porosity was too significant to address with a laser, so a third casting is the only option. Rather than have you show up with no ring for the party, the suggestion was to ship this ring with a satin finish (which would hide the porosity), then make you another ring after the holidays. I understand that this is extremely frustrating and apologize for the continued delays. I'm hopeful that the ring that arrives by Thursday is beautiful and that we have the opportunity to get this fully sorted out to your satisfaction after the holidays.

Diamondseeker - the ring has never shipped. In fact it never even made it out of manufacturing.

All the best,
I thought you were sending it to her to wear for the party. I was suggesting that she not send it back at that point and just buy another setting (maybe diestruck would avoid the porosity issues?). I am glad the previous version issues were caught before sending them to her, however.
 
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