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Wow - Very Dismayed with Whiteflash experience

PepperT

Rough_Rock
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Aug 8, 2015
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35
So, I was getting ready to do an upgrade, and I learned the hard way......
Found a diamond last May I wanted to purchase at Whiteflash, but needed to sell the Brian Gavin diamond that I had had for less than one year. Whiteflash offered to honor Brian Gavin's one year buy-back and buy the diamond - I was buying a 1.24 carat diamond at Whiteflash in the $7,000 range It was $1,631 in buy-back that Whiteflash applied to my new diamond purchase with them. I was never told I would lose that amount if I were to trade the diamond I was currently buying in at a later date. This afternoon, they said the diamond buy-back is considered more of a one time discount and doesn't carry-over should you up-grade the diamond you are using the buy-back for down the road. Had I known this, I would have sent the diamond back to Brian Gavin and just paid for the entire Whiteflash diamond with my own funds, or requested that Whiteflash cut me a check for the Brian Gavin diamond separately and paid for the entire Whiteflash diamond with my own funds on a separate receipt.

i just got my paperwork out. The 1.24 Whiteflash diamond listed on the website at $7,584 with a wire discount of $7,357. I purchased the 6 prong platinum setting listed at $725.00. On my invoice it lists out starting at the top-

Diamond Buy-back: -1631.00 (this was my diamond from Brian Gavin) applied to purchase of Whiteflash diamond
Material Goods Credit -175.00 (this was from the platinum setting the Brian Gavin diamond was in applied to purchase)
1.24 Diamond 7,584.00
New Register Discount -25.00
Platinum Setting 725.00

Total 6,478.00

Wire discount -194.34

Total 6,283.66

I paid $250.00 on my credit card to hold the diamond.
This left a balance of $6,033.66 which I wired to them.

I was told late this afternoon that the amount that could be applied from my 1.24 carat diamond to a larger diamond was $5,526.41. I talked to three people at Whiteflash and was told this is policy. I told them I was never told the $1,631 credit for the Brian Gavin diamond they bought from me would only be considered as a one-time discount on this diamond and would drop off for any future upgrade - it is viewed as a one-time discount from their perspective. Even if you take off the all the Whitelflash discounts and apply them completely to the diamond and not the new setting, I'm talking the 25.00 dollar new customer discount and the 194.34 wire discount, you still have a diamond that I paid over $7,300.00 for, be it in this case with a Brian Gavin diamond they bought from me, along with the old setting they bought from me, a $250.00 credit card payment from me and a remaining balance of 6,033.66 that I wired to them. And now the value of the 1.24 for upgrade from Whiteflash is $5,526.41.

I asked if I could speak to someone higher up or an owner and was told "no'.

I asked if they would buy the 1.24 diamond back and at what amount, and they said at their buy-back percent on the $5,526.41 number. I'm really frustrated and feel that they should be very clear with customers on this buy-back, since it is considered a one-time discount and has only has value on a one time purchase. Customers should be advised of this because if there is any chance of upgrading in the future, that can be a significant dollar loss I was told i only needed to spend a dollar more to upgrade when I bought the 1.24 at Whiteflash which I thought was a good upgrade program, now I am definitely having second thought and am feeling the monetary hurt. I thought I would have around $7,000 to apply for upgrade to a larger diamond.

If Texas Leaguer happens to read this, please have your staff advise a customer on this policy before offering to buy an outside diamond from them.

Edited at request of OP: Whiteflash has subsequently resolved this issue to my complete satisfaction
 

Karl_K

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That does not sound right as several people have traded up multiple times.
I sent Bryan a ping to make sure he sees it.
 

PepperT

Rough_Rock
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Aug 8, 2015
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Thank you Karl!
 

pyramid

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Karl_K|1445660788|3941543 said:
That does not sound right as several people have traded up multiple times.
I sent Bryan a ping to make sure he sees it.

Those people were trading in Whiteflash diamonds though. Brian Gavin is a separate company. Like a buy back they can't keep buying back by giving money twice say for an unknown local to you jewellers ring.
 

kb1gra

Brilliant_Rock
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Jul 6, 2012
Messages
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Pyramid|1445683417|3941576 said:
Karl_K|1445660788|3941543 said:
That does not sound right as several people have traded up multiple times.
I sent Bryan a ping to make sure he sees it.

Those people were trading in Whiteflash diamonds though. Brian Gavin is a separate company. Like a buy back they can't keep buying back by giving money twice say for an unknown local to you jewellers ring.


But you paid for the original stone in full. They got cash + a diamond of particular value = total value of stone.

Now they're saying if you trade it in, you don't get the value of the stone portion even though that is part of how you paid. If you trade in and deduct the value of that stone (which whiteflash was able to sell or possibly profit on) then they effectively got that stone for free since you didn't get to keep the value of the item you traded with them.

I agree with the original poster that this is probably an unusual situation but I would feel the same way she is feeling.
 

thecat

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I've no idea how many percent your trade in of BGD stone was. Maybe it was more than they would have paid a wholesaler for a stone of the same spec. Let's say they paid x% more than they would a wholesaler. I can understand them not wanting to lose x% margin when their margin is already slim. By allowing a full trade up of $7357 means they lose that x%. Is it then possible to negotiate your current trade up to deduct x% of old BGD stone instead of only $5526? I might be wrong.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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I see nothing in the Whiteflash trade-up policy that addresses a non-Whiteflash stone. I think if they made an exception to
take your BGD stone then they should have very cleary spelled out the condition that you would not get the use of that money
in future trade-ins which I dont understand because they could probably sell it for more than what they gave you for it.
What they are telling you makes no sense to me. Whiteflash says "100% Lifetime Trade Up Guarantee" which to me
implies you can continuously trade in your Whiteflash stone for equal or greater value. Your full purchase price was $7584 minus
any discounts (I do not consider a traded in stone a discount).

The only thing I could see is maybe charging you a few to change the BGD stone into a Whiteflash stone. (vet it and take
the BGD numbers off it and put the Whiteflash ACA numbers on it). This may also require it to be recertified.

Hopefully, TexasLeaguer can clear this up. Hopefully what they have told you is wrong, or, there is some logic that makes since.
 

Karl_K

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Pyramid|1445683417|3941576 said:
Karl_K|1445660788|3941543 said:
That does not sound right as several people have traded up multiple times.
I sent Bryan a ping to make sure he sees it.

Those people were trading in Whiteflash diamonds though. Brian Gavin is a separate company. Like a buy back they can't keep buying back by giving money twice say for an unknown local to you jewellers ring.
WF bought the BG diamond and setting from the OP and applied the money to the new diamond.
That is not giving money twice to apply it to the upgrade its the same as someone paying cash for part of the purchase.
 

marymm

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Here's the related policy info on WF's FAQ page:

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading. Here is how the process works:

· A preliminary price range can be estimated based upon the certificate, however a firm quote cannot be offered until we have fully evaluated the diamond.

· The diamond will have to be sent to us loose, or with the understanding that our jewelers will unset the diamond in order for it to be fully evaluated.

· We will conduct our evaluation and report back to you within 3 business days.

· Should an offer be given, it will be based upon a trade for a single in-house diamond of at least 50% greater value.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange for an estimate or evaluation, please contact your Whiteflash diamond consultant or call 877-612-6770. (Please do not send valuables without recieving an RA (return authorization) number from our customer service team. Packages addressed to Whiteflash without an RA number cannot be accepted)

*It may or may not be possible to reset the diamond into your mounting should you decline our offer. Please consider this before deciding to send a mounted diamond
."

http://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamonds/whiteflash-policies/trade-up-program-for-customer-diamonds-1459.htm
________________________________

I read this policy to mean it is not the same as the WF Lifetime Upgrade Policy, and specifically that it is a one-time opportunity for a purchaser to upgrade a diamond bought elsewhere to a WF stone of 50% greater value.

And, while you put the onus on the vendor to specify the policies related to your purchase, in fact the relevant policy was posted on their site. [At least, it is my specific recollection this policy has been posted for several years.]

As a reminder to OP and all consumers, it is critical to arm yourself with the return/buy-back/upgrade policies applying to your purchase *before you commit to a purchase* - and this is particularly helpful when it comes to a transaction outside of the normal "paid full price in single purchase transaction."
 

PepperT

Rough_Rock
Joined
Aug 8, 2015
Messages
35
Yes. Karl.

When I was working with Becca at Whiteflash on the 1.24 diamond purchase, she told me that their team had offered to "buy-back" the Brian Gavin diamond. When someone 'buys" something, it means they 'pay for it'. When Whiteflash did the "buy back" on my diamond, to me, I was being paid the $1,631 for the Brian Gavin diamond. I figured the reason I didn't actually receive a check, was for the purchase of the 1.24 diamond to have one less step - meaning, Whiteflash sending me a check for $1,631, and then me putting the check in my account. I figured I was just deducting this amount from the total I would eventually wire. I was never, ever, told,at any point during the purchase of the 1.24 that this was a one-time discount only applicable to this one diamond. It was only yesterday when I asked what the upgrade amount would be for the new diamond that I learned this to be the case. I don't think Whiteflash threw the Brian Gavin diamond in the trash.
 

PepperT

Rough_Rock
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Aug 8, 2015
Messages
35
They didn't give me 100% of what I paid. i understand as it was not one of their diamonds yet at that point in time and didn't have their 100% lifetime guarantee. They bought it back for 70%. The wording 'buy-back' and 'buying customer goods' is on the original invoice I have with me right now. To me, "buy-back" and 'buying customer goods' equates to paying for something. If I buy an apple, or I buy a bike, what i'm saying is that I paid for it, I gave money.
 

tyty333

Super_Ideal_Rock
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marymm|1445701658|3941626 said:
Here's the related policy info on WF's FAQ page:

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading. Here is how the process works:

· A preliminary price range can be estimated based upon the certificate, however a firm quote cannot be offered until we have fully evaluated the diamond.

· The diamond will have to be sent to us loose, or with the understanding that our jewelers will unset the diamond in order for it to be fully evaluated.

· We will conduct our evaluation and report back to you within 3 business days.

· Should an offer be given, it will be based upon a trade for a single in-house diamond of at least 50% greater value.

If you would like more information or would like to arrange for an estimate or evaluation, please contact your Whiteflash diamond consultant or call 877-612-6770. (Please do not send valuables without recieving an RA (return authorization) number from our customer service team. Packages addressed to Whiteflash without an RA number cannot be accepted)

*It may or may not be possible to reset the diamond into your mounting should you decline our offer. Please consider this before deciding to send a mounted diamond
."

http://www.whiteflash.com/about-diamonds/whiteflash-policies/trade-up-program-for-customer-diamonds-1459.htm


I read this policy to mean it is not the same as the WF Lifetime Upgrade Policy, and specifically that it is a one-time opportunity for a purchaser to upgrade a diamond bought elsewhere to a WF stone of 50% greater value.

And, while you put the onus on the vendor to specify the policies related to your purchase, in fact the relevant policy was posted on their site. [At least, it is my specific recollection this policy has been posted for several years.]

As a reminder to OP and all consumers, it is critical to arm yourself with the return/buy-back/upgrade policies applying to your purchase *before you commit to a purchase* - and this is particularly when it comes to a transaction outside of the normal "paid full price in single purchase transaction."

I didnt realize that they had a section for separate stones (because I didn't think they usually took them). However, I still see nothing
that says this is a one time deal and once you have one of our stones (a Whiteflash ACA) it does not qualify as a 100% Trade up stone. It is now no longer treated as an ACA stone because you have paid for it differently??? That's not stated anywhere above either.

All the above says, to me, is that it is up to our discretion whether we make you an offer or not and what that offer will be. It does
not say anything about how the value of the ACA will be treated in the future. Someone correct me if I missed it.
 

PepperT

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Tyty33

Yes. That is what I have been trying to say! Thank you!
 

Asscherhalo_lover

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I'm with you OP, I hope Whiteflash can make this satisfactory for you and clear up their policies for future buyers!
 

kenny

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I think companies can do whatever they want and do not have to explain anything or respond to anyone's reasoning here.
A trade in policy is all about doing business with only that vendor.
That this involved another vendor is key.

If WF did not fully explain every detail related to the exception that they (very generously BTW) made for the OP that would be the only thing that they'd have to apologize for.
Now that this is public they have to either never accept another vendor's stone or update the policy on their website.

Also for the OP ... did you call/email the management of WF before taking this public here?
That would have been nice.

My 2 cents.
 

marymm

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To me, it is clear from the opening paragraph that the trade-up program for people with non-WF diamonds is discretionary based on the market and the diamond, and that it is *not* a lifetime trade up benefit.

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading."
 

kenny

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marymm|1445706525|3941649 said:
To me, it is clear from the opening paragraph that the trade-up program for people with non-WF diamonds is discretionary based on the market and the diamond, and that it is *not* a lifetime trade up benefit.

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading."


Good catch, marymm.
 

AprilBaby

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I'm just curious why you didn't trade up with Brian Gavin?
 

tyty333

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kenny|1445706612|3941651 said:
marymm|1445706525|3941649 said:
To me, it is clear from the opening paragraph that the trade-up program for people with non-WF diamonds is discretionary based on the market and the diamond, and that it is *not* a lifetime trade up benefit.

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading."


Good catch, marymm.


Not getting that at all...to me it reads for the stone that we are considering accepting from you...it will not be considered like a 100%
Lifetime Trade Up...like you may not get 100% but "it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading".
No wear do I read once you have the new ACA that it will be treated differently. That whole write up has to do with them
evaluating your stone and possibly making an offer. The only qualifications I see made on the stone that you buy is that it
has to be a single stone and it has to be at least 50% greater value.

No wear do I see any limitations, qualifications put on the ACA stone that you have upgraded to.

And while I feel that these conversations should take place between WF and the customer, Texas Leaguer usually does come on
and explain what is going on and the logic behind it. If there are conditions put on the ACA that you upgrade to due to the
previous trade in then I think that should be spelled out in the write up. While you guys may feel that it is, I'm not seeing it.
 

kenny

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It's nearly impossible to write something complex, like such a policy, that can't be interpreted various ways because ... again ... people vary.

Seriously.
It's a problem.

Good writers don't get enough credit because writing seems so easy, everyone can do it.
The problem is this ...what a writer wants to say is obvious to the writer.
Reader assumptions are all over the map, and often differ from the writer's assumptions.
The more a writer knows the more difficult it can be for them to write effectively to reach every reader.

To reach every reader a good writer must temporarily do something that's actually very difficult ... stop knowing what they know, and abandon assumptions of what's 'obvious'.

Writing that is brief and elegant is admired, while clear, detailed and interpretation-proof writing is seen as tedious and tiresome.

I sympathize with WF if they go back to the drawing board and attempt to write bullet-proof policy that covers every possible contingency that can be imagined.
 

thebigjdoe

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Why would it not be automatic for them to say "we will trade this up, but the "buyback" value of the stone cannot be put toward future upgrades."

Basically, if OP ever wants to upgrade their stone, the old Brian Gavin stone is just as good in the trash as it is with Whiteflash. If I was in OP situation, i wouldn't even consider the idea that the value they offered is a big fat ZERO if OP ever wants to upgrade in the future. I see no logic behind that.

I don't see much logic in whiteflash offering the same 70% as brian gavin, or why OP didn't just sell back to Brian Gavin (maybe it was past 1 year), but it sounds like there was lack of communication on this deal...
 

thebigjdoe

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kenny|1445708930|3941668 said:
It's nearly impossible to write something complex, like such a policy, that can't be interpreted various ways because ... again ... people vary.

Seems pretty clear what they said after the fact, that buy backs from other vendors are treated as a one time discount and the value cannot be applied toward future upgrades. Not many ways to misinterpret that
 

PepperT

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Kenny,

Oh, I did. Immediately after I got Magen's e-mail with the upgrade amount. I spoke with someone in accounting, I also spoke with Magen, and I spoke with Vera. I did ask it I could speak to someone higher up or even an owner and was told "no". I asked if I could make an appeal to someone higher up as well.
 

kenny

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Thanks, PepperT.

Sorry this all happened. :blackeye:
 

yssie

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I'm a happy, long-term, loyal WF customer, so no bones to pick over here... something really doesn't sound right here.

Policy is policy. A company's policy can be whatever that company wants it to be, but it is the company's obligation to clearly relay policy to the customer. It's OP's responsibility to read/hear and understand the terms of service available to him/her, but I also would't have come to that conclusion from that wording on the site, and if that info was never communicated to OP through some other medium... IMO the onus is on the company to find a way to reasonably make the customer happy. A company might choose not to do that, of course, and that' also that company's right, but as WF prides itself on customer service I'm confident OP will get a clearer explanation of what happened here soon.
 

pyramid

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While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Upgrade, the word that changes it there is 'lifetime' it is not that guarantee so only one time only as they say. A bit like getting entry into the Whiteflash upgrade club by using your old diamond too but after that it is only with additional purchase, I see what you are saying but I think it is fair. In the same way it is fair to only give your purchase price back to you in 10 years so you can upgrade to a bigger diamond and then recert your old diamond and sell it the following week for $3000 more as diamond prices increased but you don't get that only the purchase price of 10 years previously. Wink said one time it works both ways when prices go down but I think that would be a rare happening although it did happen for some.
 

kb1gra

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marymm|1445706525|3941649 said:
To me, it is clear from the opening paragraph that the trade-up program for people with non-WF diamonds is discretionary based on the market and the diamond, and that it is *not* a lifetime trade up benefit.

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading."


They just mean (at least to me) that they do not guarantee they will buy your stone.

Once you have an ACA, to me, regardless of how you paid for it be it in a truckload of pennies, your firstborn child, cold hard cash, labor exchange - whatever - you own an ACA that is covered under the 100% lifetime trade up like any other ACA that you own as the original purchaser.

To me, they bought the stone from her, applied that CASH to her CASH purchase, and she owns an ACA that was paid for in full, which she is now being told is not worth what she paid for it on trade up - meanwhile Whiteflash acquired a stone that had value of some kind, that they are now saying, has no value in the transaction and they must recoup that value on tradeup. That's double dipping, and it turns me off a lot - especially since I was considering buying myself a pendant from this vendor just this week!
 

kb1gra

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AprilBaby|1445708018|3941661 said:
I'm just curious why you didn't trade up with Brian Gavin?

At least for me, knowing I don't have to spend double to upgrade would be a primary motivator towards purchasing from Whiteflash - so to do that, and then find out that the diamond I bought from them actually ISN'T a 100% trade up - I'd be pretty dismayed, too.
 

telephone89

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kb1gra|1445715518|3941706 said:
marymm|1445706525|3941649 said:
To me, it is clear from the opening paragraph that the trade-up program for people with non-WF diamonds is discretionary based on the market and the diamond, and that it is *not* a lifetime trade up benefit.

"For customers who own a round AGS or GIA certified diamond that would like to trade-up for a Whiteflash diamond, we will be happy to evaluate the opportunity for you in light of current market conditions, and when possible make you an offer. While not a guarantee like the 100% Lifetime Trade Up Benefit included on all Whiteflash in-house diamond purchases, it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading."


They just mean (at least to me) that they do not guarantee they will buy your stone.

Once you have an ACA, to me, regardless of how you paid for it be it in a truckload of pennies, your firstborn child, cold hard cash, labor exchange - whatever - you own an ACA that is covered under the 100% lifetime trade up like any other ACA that you own as the original purchaser.

To me, they bought the stone from her, applied that CASH to her CASH purchase, and she owns an ACA that was paid for in full, which she is now being told is not worth what she paid for it on trade up - meanwhile Whiteflash acquired a stone that had value of some kind, that they are now saying, has no value in the transaction and they must recoup that value on tradeup. That's double dipping, and it turns me off a lot - especially since I was considering buying myself a pendant from this vendor just this week!

This is how I also read it: While not a guarantee [to buy back an outside stone] like the 100% lifetime trade up benefit... it is designed to provide a competitive and convenient option for upgrading
 

arkieb1

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I don't understand why you didn't sell the original stone from Brian Gavin privately i.e on here in the preloved section because it is probably the reason it voided any other upgrades. Hopefully someone from Whiteflash will respond the company usually goes out of their way within reason to make their customers happy.
 
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