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Is JamesAllen being shady?

less_confused

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
72
Is it possible that JamesAllen sold me diamonds that they don't actually own?

I wanted some diamond stud earrings for an anniversary.
I chose 2 diamonds and a 4 prong setting on JamesAllen and placed the order.
That was Sept. 28th and the Sales Associate gave me an estimated date of the 6th (a 1 week turnaround time)

That seemed a bit on the long side to set two stud earrings.

On the 5th I followed up to check on status and they had no news.
I followed up again today but stiull no status.
Then at 7pm ET, I get an email saying that they will ship on the 11th. But even that is a maybe.

Ummm, 2 weeks to set a pair of diamonds? It's not like this is prime jewelry shopping season and the jewelers are super busy.

Wondering why the seriously messed up delay, I asked them if they even had the diamonds in their possession.
I got radio silence.

To add salt to the wound, I originally wanted to wire money to save another chunk of change, but the SA said that wiring would add a few days delay. Well, I got the delay anyway. But not the savings.

I've bought from JA before with no problems.
But this feels....shady. Is it a common practice in this industry to sell something that is not owned?
 

WillyDiamond

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
1,266
Don't understand why wiring would delay, it was designed to get money to another person faster and clear immediately.
Since you have been delayed I would ask for the wire discount price, I think that is fair.
And they do sell diamonds they physically don't have, I think it is called Virtual Inventory. So it does take a little extra time to call them in.
 

flyingpig

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 7, 2015
Messages
2,171
Yes. It is a common practice to sell stones they dont own. There is nothing shady about it. Unless you bought true hearts branded stone, your stones are likely from the virtual inventory which other vendors have access to also

Orders can get delayed. Things happen. But of course, they should give you a better explanation for thr delay.
 

less_confused

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
72
Thanks for your insights.

Definitely virtual inventory. They confirmed that the diamonds were offshore.
As for the wire transfer, the sales associate said that the actual clearance took longer than a card swipe. That's true - it was after 4pm ET, so the wire wouldn't happen for at least another day.

But this has been handled badly in two ways.
First, they had opportunities to tell me about the delay. I called twice - the day before estimated shipment and the day of - and not once did they mention a problem. Only when they missed the ship time did they basically say "oh, we haven't even started the work. We need another week."

The second bad way is that they aren't doing anything about misrepresenting things and adding hassle.
When I placed the order I got a 1st time user $100 discount AND the option for an additional wire transfer discount.
(I have that in the invoice.)

As suggested, I asked them to do something to compensate for the hassle and for being misled. I pointed out that I could have enjoyed the wire transfer discount all along and that an appropriate gesture would be to credit that amount
They said "they could not offer anything because the $100 discount was the most they could do."

On the plus side, the customer service person has responded quickly. It doesn't change anything, but at least they are nice about it.
 

MoonRiver

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Apr 18, 2009
Messages
145
Hi I ordered a diamond from the virtual inventory, not from JA. The vendor told me the shipment was delayed due to the Hurricane Matthew. The arrival date of the diamond is know pushed to 11th. Seems like this information is true. Do you think so?
 

Tourmaline

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 17, 2013
Messages
1,795
You were not misled. If you had done the wire transfer, they would have waited until it cleared to commit to purchasing the diamonds from their supplier. It would have delayed things further. This is a drag, indeed, but they have not done anything wrong. They pay a commission on the credit card sale, and you are not entitled to making them pay double commission by giving money back to you.
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
6,850
Tourmaline|1475837976|4084388 said:
You were not misled. If you had done the wire transfer, they would have waited until it cleared to commit to purchasing the diamonds from their supplier. It would have delayed things further. This is a drag, indeed, but they have not done anything wrong. They pay a commission on the credit card sale, and you are not entitled to making them pay double commission by giving money back to you.
^^^ All of this.

And to add - I bought a diamond (not my first) from JA roughly 10 days ago. It came a week later and had to come from India. It could have run later than JA predicted had there been an airline strike at any point along the journey, had the weather anywhere between India and the US been a problem, had it been held up in customs for inspection, had customs lost it, misplaced it, or been running slow for a hundred different reasons, had someone on the other end had a backlog and been unable to get it shipped in time, had it sat on someone's desk in India waiting for its paperwork to be processed, had anyone in the chain of this process been off sick, called away, or even on vacation. You're talking about a process that involves multiple people, multiple countries, multiple forms of transport and various government bodies - to say nothing of an act of God with the increasingly unreliable weather. What may seem 'plenty of time' to you may in fact be impossible given the reality. There could be a confluence of multiple factors. And so on and so on.

Also - it's not a case of 'the diamond was late so they could have used that time to process my wire transfer.' The process won't START until the wire transfer is complete, so it's not a case of what they could have done while the stone was in transit.

I'm not fond of your implication of 'something shady'. Such as? 'Shady' in what way? You made the comment multiple times and it's simply not thinking. But comments like that turn up on a public forum and end up being seen by every person in that forum - the vast majority of whom won't bother reading the thread. Lots of new readers will just see 'James Allen...shady'. The wire transfer is a discounted rate SPECIFICALLY because the company on the other end does not need to pay CC / bank fees. Most companies do not offer a discount for people paying in cash. Sadly, I have never gone into a restaurant, a supermarket, or a hairdresser who offered to give me a little off if I allowed them to avoid paying CC fees. Don't mistake this with vendors or tradesmen who will offer you a discount for paying in cash because it allows them to avoid paying state tax. That is not this. This is a curtesy, and a nice perk they offer their consumers from which they make no profit. The fact that you wanted your diamond in a rush is the only thing prohibiting you from having been able to cash in on this offer.
 

less_confused

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jul 13, 2009
Messages
72
Thanks again for the explanation of the virtual inventory. As I mentioned, I'd never heard of it which is why I asked.

As for your feedback Mrs-B, it seems that you did not read my posts and instead want to protect JamesAllen

I was not familiar with Virtual Inventory which is why I asked if this is a standard business practice or something shady.

Secondly, it is not a rush to expect diamond stud earrings to be completed in less than 2 weeks. Especially when the Sales Associate confirms that less than 1 week is standard.

Thirdly, I agreed that the wire transfer would have added a delay. I never said that this was unusual or shady or strange. Just that the delay that it would have caused happened anyway.

Fourth, I was most definitely misled. I called the day before shipping estimated date to check on status and was told that everything was fine. I called again the day of because by noon no shipping notification had been sent. Again I was told that all was fine.
In fact, they hadn't even started the work, as I later found out.

That is the definition of being misled.

Look, this is exactly like going to a restaurant and watching people come in after you, order after you, but get their meal before you, while you continue to wait.
You ask the waiter and are told that, after checking with the kitchen, your steak will be right out. You wait some more and ask again, and your waiter says that they went to the kitchen and it's almost ready. More time passes and no steak. Then eventually you find out what you suspected all along: something happened in the kitchen and your steak somehow never even got started.

Please, explain to me again how it is ok to tell me that the work was almost complete when in fact it hadn't even started
 

mrs-b

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 18, 2013
Messages
6,850
less_confused|1475843497|4084431 said:
Thanks again for the explanation of the virtual inventory. As I mentioned, I'd never heard of it which is why I asked.

As for your feedback Mrs-B, it seems that you did not read my posts and instead want to protect JamesAllen

I was not familiar with Virtual Inventory which is why I asked if this is a standard business practice or something shady.

Secondly, it is not a rush to expect diamond stud earrings to be completed in less than 2 weeks. Especially when the Sales Associate confirms that less than 1 week is standard.

Thirdly, I agreed that the wire transfer would have added a delay. I never said that this was unusual or shady or strange. Just that the delay that it would have caused happened anyway.

Fourth, I was most definitely misled. I called the day before shipping estimated date to check on status and was told that everything was fine. I called again the day of because by noon no shipping notification had been sent. Again I was told that all was fine.
In fact, they hadn't even started the work, as I later found out.

That is the definition of being misled.

Look, this is exactly like going to a restaurant and watching people come in after you, order after you, but get their meal before you, while you continue to wait.
You ask the waiter and are told that, after checking with the kitchen, your steak will be right out. You wait some more and ask again, and your waiter says that they went to the kitchen and it's almost ready. More time passes and no steak. Then eventually you find out what you suspected all along: something happened in the kitchen and your steak somehow never even got started.

Please, explain to me again how it is ok to tell me that the work was almost complete when in fact it hadn't even started
You're assuming all the steaks came from the same kitchen. With a virtual inventory, this is not the case.

Am I trying to protect JA? No. I'm a pretty big fan of 'fair' though. And yes, I read every one of your posts. There's a difference between someone making a mistake and a company being 'shady'.

This is why the 'estimated shipping date' is estimated.

A post titled "Delivery date later than expected" gives a whole different - and far more accurate - vibe to "Is James Allen being shady?" Your posts implied a lot more than your project being a week late.
 

denverappraiser

Ideal_Rock
Trade
Joined
Jul 21, 2004
Messages
8,744
Another thing that may be complicating the delivery time is the overall number of people involved. As explained above, it's common that the dealers are selling stones owned by someone else and it's likely they're even from two different sources. It's not even out of the question that THEY are selling on behalf of someone else beyond them. Meanwhile the metal parts are from a third supplier. The setting labor is a fourth. Each of these steps involves a shipping company. That makes for a lot of links that possibly could go wrong and, for the most part, I wouldn't expect the phone staff to know all that much more than you. That's no excuse to lie to you, and it definitely can be annoying to have things drag on, but it's a stretch to call it shady.

If you truly feel they're mistreating you, JA has a pretty agreeable exit policy. I suspect you still have the opportunity to walk away at no expense if you choose to do so. They have plenty of competitors who may suit you better.
 

ChristineRose

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Aug 5, 2012
Messages
926
This is standard practice in the industry, and you are in good company in not realizing this is how it works. The original idea was to give retail jewelry stores access to far more diamonds than they could ever hope to own.

James Allen is actually a step above jewelers like Blue Nile which never touch the majority of diamonds that they sell. James Allen actually vets the diamonds before and after they sell them. Blue Nile pretty much invented that business model, and plenty of other dealers have created an even cheaper version of the model.
 

diamondseeker2006

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jan 11, 2006
Messages
55,610
The person answering your call only has a computer screen with the order on it, more than likely. They can't tell you any more than your order is being processed. I think when diamonds are ordered from another country and then they have to be set before sending out, two weeks is very reasonable. I think the mistake was the original sales person not saying this would take 1-2 weeks because there are certainly unexpected delays sometime. Two weeks is pretty standard even when in house stones are being set.
 

WillyDiamond

Brilliant_Rock
Premium
Joined
Dec 7, 2004
Messages
1,266
OP
Another thought, if you remain unhappy with the projected delivery time, then cancel the order and go elsewhere. I would try to cut the level of grief and aggravation.
You have that right if this is not satisfying to you.
 

BELLA9280

Shiny_Rock
Joined
Sep 18, 2007
Messages
381
There have also been a few holidays last week and this week plus the hurricane that could have made the delay happen.
Frustrating but JA is very reputable and i don't think they are being shady. I hope you get your earnings
this week!
 
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