CARIBBEAN CRUISE -- Diamonds International - Unscrupulous Business Practices
Buying a diamond is filled with anticipation, as most people do not understand the small differences that change the quality of a stone and add to its value. Most people buy on appearance. It is very easy for a company to over state the quality or charge too much for a diamond. Customers look for bargains and/or companies that they can trust to provide a quality product at a fair price. Diamonds International, also operating as Almod Diamonds Limited, Amsterdam Diamond Gallery, DI Watches & Design, Diamond Creations, Jewelry Exchange â Cozumel, Just for Men International, Tanzanite International and Watches International, is a company that follows unethical business practices.
All businesses need to make a profit to stay in business, but there is a line where profit becomes greed. When a company charges 20% over the industry price for a similar product that is unconscionable. I purchased a diamond for $10,500 from Diamonds International in Cozumel. I had it appraised by two different appraisers and they said the value was $8,500. I read the book, âHow to Buy a Diamondsâ by Fred Cuellar, which provides an industry acceptable price range for diamonds based on carat weight, cut, color, and clarity. The industry would charge about $9,000 for an average stone with the cut, color, clarity and carat weight that I purchased. The obvious conclusion is that I was overcharged for the quality of the diamond.
Reputable jewelry dealers with normal return policies would allow the customer to return the diamond for their money back as long as the diamond had not been damaged by the customer within 30 days. Diamonds Internationalâs sales agreement does not allow money back returns. The sales agreement printed on the back of our receipt states:
Any refund or return must be handled through NY customer service.
Within 30 days of your purchase, you may receive a store credit on any item you purchased, provided you return to DI, the original receipt and the complete item purchased in undamaged condition. Refunds, will not be issued due to âbuyerâs remorse.â DI will only accept appraisals done (within 30 days of purchase) by an independent, certified appraiser, who does not buy or sell loose precious gemstones and jewelry. If we are beyond one color and/or one clarity grade of said appraisal, we offer a money back guarantee. Due to the extremely subjective nature of appraising, a refund will not be issued due to a discrepancy in value.
This sales agreement totally disregards the rights of the customer. How can a customer not have regrets when they realize that they have been drastically overcharged? We were unable to find any independent appraisers in Austin Texas who did not work for a jewelry store or buy and sell loose diamonds. A store credit is only good if Diamonds International has a store in your city or their customer service department would find you a replacement stone. Diamonds International has stores in Key West, Las Vegas, and Alaska thus you will have to rely on customer service out of New York. Diamonds International stores are primarily located in the Caribbean.
The basic concept of customer service is to satisfy the customers. In our case we asked for our money back and were refused within 30 days of purchasing the diamond. The only option available was to take a store credit and have Diamonds International find us a replacement diamond. I returned the diamond to Diamonds International as instructed. Since I am buying a diamond sight unseen, I discussed with an expert gemologist how to establish minimum requirements for a stone that has fire and brilliance. The gemologist recommended that I ask for a GIA class II, which specifies a range of cut proportions. The carat weight, cut, color, clarity and price range were provided to the Diamonds International customer service representative. I asked that customer service send me a copy of the GIA certificate to verify the proportions before receiving any stones. I explained to the representative that I was willing to pay more for a quality stone within the specifications.
In a year Diamonds International has provided me with 2 certificates and emails with 2 other diamonds listed. None of these diamonds met the specifications. I again asked for my money back and the customer service representative said that if I were willing to pay $5,000 more they would find a diamond that met my specifications within 2 weeks. A month later Diamonds International came back with a diamond. When I got the GIA certificate it did not match the specifications, the cut proportions were out of range in 2 different areas.
I have found diamonds meeting the GIA class II specifications, carat weight, cut, color, clarity and price range on BlueNile.com within 15 minutes of searching. Diamonds meeting the specifications are readily available at other diamond dealers on the web; Monderal, McGivern, Stein, Diamonds on the Web, and others). It is unwarranted for Diamonds International to hold our money and not actively look for a diamond. It is unreasonable for Diamonds International to not refund my money after 1 1â2 years.
I checked with the Better Business Bureau in New York and Diamonds International is not a member. They have over 80 different cases filed against them. I have checked the web and there are several complaints all dealing with poor quality for the price and poor customer service. People indicate that they cannot get their money back. Diamonds International is not a member of the Better Business Bureau online. Why a company would want all these bad comments posted on the web is beyond me, when the solution is simple, refund peoples money!
After 1 year and 9 months DI assigned a new customer service representative. Ms. Infante was able to find a diamond that met the specification within one month. I am still frustrated with how long this has taken. I am satisfied with the replacement diamond. This complaint is closed.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Date of Sail: 11/29/2009 to 12/06/2009
Date of Original Complaint: 12/07/2009
Ship: Carnival Pride
Purchase Made: Diamond Tennis Bracelet Amount in Dispute: $2850
Date: 12/03/2009 Purchased from Store # 651
Actions Taken by Carnival: NONE Referred me to PPI Group
Actions Taken by Diamonds International: REFUSED TO REFUND
I AM SO DISAPPONTED IN THE SCAM CARNIVAL HAS WITH DIAMONDS INT'L AND WILL GET MY MONEY BACK IF IT IS THE LAST THING I DO. I was pressured to buy an item with Diamonds International and the response I got was that they could not give me my money back because of buyer's remorse. WHAT???? I took this item to my jeweler and he also is willing to place into writing that this item had a clasp that was defective, which I did not know until I paid for another appraisal for this piece. He advised me NEVER to wear this bracelet until I have it fixed (this item is 4 days old, mind you) because it will fall off of my wrist. This item IS NOT AS IT WAS STATED TO ME- the color & clarity are not as good as DI has stated-in other words, they are not accurate. The appraisal that we received from DI was given higher marks than it should have been given. I was taken for a ride, so they say in the USA. My jeweler is a highly trained professional (Master Benchmark Jeweler), so I know that I have been misrepresented by Carnival and Diamonds International and will pursue this to the fullest extent of the law. I will not accept your response and will take this to a higher level. We will be in dispute with DI through PPI Group, (like everyone else after I have read the FRAUD reports about Diamonds International) which is about useless because after looking on the back of my receipt, I see that they will only take merchandise back for store credit and I have also read that if they do agree to this that somehow diamonds have been "lost" in the mail even though they have been insured and sent via Certified Mail. How is this so? (I can trust them to not "lose" my diamond to give me what I am paying for??). I am willing to drive to New York to get my money back. DI is trying to wear people down so we'll just give up and accept their store credit offer. I'm in for the long-haul. I will NOT give up fighting. I will contact the States Attorneys General, the Better Business Bureau, and post their names all over the internet if they do not give me my money back. I will also open up a claim with my credit card company. I was told that 'buyer's remorse' was not an excuse for a return? Are they kidding me? If you buy a dress and then decide to take it back a month later you are perfectly within your rights to do that. Now if that dress is DEFECTIVE and MISREPRESENTED to the buyer I think you have a case for a lawsuit if they do not honor that return. We as cruise ship passengers should be protected under the laws of the United Staes, but it seems as though we were at the mercy of the unfair laws of wherever you buy the merchandise. We were also assured by the Carnival "expert jemologist" that DI was based in New York and that we were indeed protected by US laws. Not true. He warned us of the dangers of buying overseas from unscrupulous shopowners. Little did we know that we were being scammed by Carnival and Diamonds International.
Will I sail with Carnival again? Probably not. Will I ever purchase anything of value overseas again? NO! Diamonds International? ABSOLUTLEY NOT and I will tell everyone I know! Read all of the threads! BUYER BEWARE!
CARIBBEAN ISANDS -- Do not listen to Royal Caribbean or any cruise lines who tell you that you can trust Diamonds International. Purchased a $9800 loose diamond that I got home and got appraised for $3000. Spend a lot of time and money for a GIA appraisal to finally get a refund from them. It cost me $400 total includig appraisals, return postage, faxes, etc.
The clarity grade was 3 grades lower than the SI2 they told me it was and the color was one grade lower. They would NOT have given a refund unless one of the gradings was 2 or more grades below, not if every one was 1 below. Royal Caribbean supposedly guarantee that you will be happy, but that is not true either. They were no help, I got the refund through my own efforts and expenses. And I still have a paid of diamond stud earrings which are worth $500 less than I paid.
I am not willing to go through a month of hell and a bunch of money for them. I did not get any type of apology from RC or from Diamonds International for deceiving me.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Purchased a $4200 setting and a $18,000 diamond from Diamonds International in St. Martin back in April 2011. Diamond actually fell out of the setting on Thanksgiving Day 2012. My local jeweler did not want to reset the diamond back in the actual band. My Jeweler offered me $65.00 for a band that we paid $4200.00 for. I contacted the New York office and they have done nothing for me. They do not stand behind their jewelery which is over priced and worthless. DO NOT BY ANY JEWLERY FROM THEM. Please spread the word on that they do not stand behind what they sell. I am going to take legal action against them.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- Do not purchase anything from Diamond International!!! They will screw you over and make it out to be your fault. Their jewelry is inferior and will not hold up. I purchased a chocolate diamond ring in Cabo San Lucas while on my cruise and after 12 days, yes 12 days I lost one of the larger diamonds. I immediately filed a claim with Diamond International and my credit card company and began getting the run around from Diamond International. After much frustration, I decided to take the ring to an independent gemologist in my area and got validation that I was sold an inferior ring. I submitted all documentation to my credit card company and received a full refund from them. My outcome was positive, as I did get my money back but trying to work with Diamond International was a nightmare!!!! I truly hope this helps just one person so they don't have to go through the hell I was put through for 3 months!!!
GEORGE TOWN, GRAND CAYMAN -- May 4th, After attending several lectures on how great/cheap Diamonds International were by the cruise shopping specialist,(carnivial Freedom). At the store, I found a ring I liked, not sure I wanted to purchase. Ring was 4200.00.After speaking with store mgn. We agreeded I put 300.00(cash) on the ring, and when I returned to the states Monday May 9th. I would contact the store, let them know if I were going to purchase ring. If I decieded not to purchase ring, the 300.00 was to be refunded. I ask for receipt, sales clerk filledoutinvoice. Itcontained my name, address,
information about the ring (4200.00-300.00 with balance).
if I decided to purchase. Monday May 9th. I contacted the store, only to be told, MGN NOT AVAILABLE, I explain I wasn't going to purchase ring, and I wanted a refund. Clerk stated"would have to speat to mgn".I e-mailed mgn, no response, e-mailed shopping specialist from cruise. She responded via e-mail. she would contact store mgn. for me. Three wks had passed. I e-mailed manadger explaining that husband had lost job, could not purchase ring and wanted a refund. No response, called store, mgn said she had taken vacation, I told her I wanted refund, Did ask her to send picture of ring.
She did, I e-mailed her back" told her I wanted refund. That's when she responded via e-mail she would give me IN STORE CREDIT. I contacted D. I. via phone, was told I would have to file complaint. I then contacted then via e-mail. Told them I wanted refund, they responded next day via e-mail.
Told me I would receive IN STORE CREDIT. Please help me get my money back.
D. I. hasn't lost any money, no restocking fees.
They gained 300.00 dollars of my hard earned money, and I trusted the store mgn. that if I dittn't purchase ring this money would be refunded to me. I DON'T WANT A STORE CREDIT, I WANT MY MONEY BACK.
WARNING, DON'T MAKE A HAST DECISION AS I HAVE, DON'T BELIEVE WHAT YOU HEAR
AND ONLY HALF OF WHAT YOU SEE.
Purchased a $7000 Crown of Light Diamond bracelet while in St Maarten. Mistake #1!! They were like Carnival barkers even after we decided to purchase the bracelet. Still trying to sell us more. That should have been our first sign that we should not buy anything from them. Then...the clasp on the bracelet would not stay closed. Thought I was not closing it properly so made sure it was tight each time. It would fall off and I hesitated to wear it. Finally "lost" it in an antique store and luckily I noticed it missing before I left store and retracked my steps and found it. The clasp was broken and was not going to work no matter what I did.
Called Holland America/PPI Group on March 18. Took DI more than two weeks to "understand" that I needed a return/claim number and shipping information. Kept sending me a form letter but not info needed. Mailed bracelet and they received next day. It has now been two MORE weeks since they received the bracelet and after 6 phone calls and 4 e-mails, I have not received any response for information status of repair. Talked with representative this morning and she informed me they handle hundreds of claims and that was the reason for no answer from her and that my original representative was no longer with DI. They couldn't care less since they have my bracelet and my $7000. Told that it would be 3-4 weeks before the repair will be finished and she would confirm that later today. I am certainly not holding my breath to get that call.
I would NEVER purchase jewelry again in this manner. I am very conservative and can't even believe I did this in the first place. The bracelet is beautiful but no good to me if I can't wear it.
Diamonds International couldn't care less about customer service and hope that those reading this will think twice before purchasing from them.
ST. MAARTEN -- Talked to people at two different locations in St. Maarten and one store sold mostly large Tanzenite stones. Went to other store and dealt with a young lady named Priya and helped me find a size stone I was looking for. She did try to get me a combined deal with a bangle that I looked at but was not pushy about it at all. I couldn't afford to make that purchase at that time so I just got the earrings/necklace and went on my way.
She was helpful and courteous and I was glad to have talked to her for my purchase.
I realized it wasn't a large purchase but I was not treated poorly at all.
Thank you Priya for helping me out!
GEORGETOWN, GRAND CAYMAN -- On 12/13/2013 I purchased a ladies Movado watch. At time of purchase I was told this was a newly released style. Well guess what, it was released in 2009 (5 years ago). What made me suspicious was that the battery died after 3.5 months. When I contacted these crooks, they were very glib and arrogant about there sales practices. They were also highly recommended by Carnival Cruse Lines. I brought this issue up to Carnival and they were very uninterested. Save yourself the grief by AVOIDING this store.
We just came back from being on the Carnival Dream. We had a port at Costa Maya. We liked the ring and ask how much? "6,000---no, I asked for a better deal 3 times. The store manager called New York and we agreed for 2,600. Even, the gentleman from the cruise ship that specializes in jewelry said "It was a great deal" We were told that it would "appraise 6,000 to 7,000. Brought it back and it appraised for 3,700.
The bottom line is they were very misleading. They won't let me send it back. They will give me store credit.