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  • Report: #241729

Complaint Review: Diamonds International & Carnival Cruise Lines

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  • Submitted: Sat, March 31, 2007
  • Updated: Sat, May 05, 2007

  • Reported By:Wheaton Illinois
Diamonds International & Carnival Cruise Lines
38 W 48th Street Suite 400 New York, New York U.S.A.

Diamonds International & Carnival Cruise Lines in cahoots promoting FRAUD, lies, stealing & misrepresentation Ripoff New York New York

*Consumer Suggestion: Industry Insider

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Still not a Rip Off - Perhaps just bad bartering.

*Author of original report: Diamonds International, Carnival Cruise Lines, PPI, FRAUD & DECEPTION abound

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: No fraudulence involved according to report by MSNBC.

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While on the Carnival Cruise Elation Mar 8-12 of 2007 we attended a jewelry seminar given by super shopper Mark Writer. During this seminar, and in sheets handed out by Carnival Cruise Lines, it was emphasized that doing business with stores not recommended by Carnival was very risky business as dishonest, rip-off tactics were the norm.

We were also told that should we make any purchases we should fill out the ship paperwork onboard and if there were any problems we would be guaranteed 100% satisfaction.

With their cautions and guarantee in our heads, I went with my wife to Diamonds International, Nassau on Mar 11, 2007 to purchase for her a wedding ring. Figured that this would be the place as we'd been assured of not only the integrity of the store, and it was being promoted by Carnival Cruise Lines, but also the savings over stateside was 40-60%. Seemed like a slam dunk to me, win, win,win.

Met Carnival super shopper Mark Writer at the Diamonds International Nassua store. He guided us to the sales lady,(store manager). I told her my price range $6000.00
so that I'd get to the right jewelry case. She showed us a solitare ring that she said was priced at $7600.00 but that we were not to worry, she'd cut us a deal and let it go for $6150.00

I purchased the ring and registered it immediately upon returning to Carnival Cruise Elation. Paid duty on the ring of $225.00. So far so good.

Took the ring to get appraised for insurance purposes figuring it'd appraise out around twice what I paid for it (this has been the case with other jewelry purchases that I've made).

To my surprise and dismay, the appraisal came back $4300.00. This was almost $2000.00 LESS than what I paid. And $4000.00 less than actual worth. I immediately checked my paperwork for someone to call to get a refund as this ring was not at all the savings or value that it was represented to be.

Let's talk about fraudulant, dishonest, and misleading advertising by both Diamonds International and Carnival Cruise Lines. Diamonds International even highlights on their web site that (and I quote) 'Our merchandise is guaranteed by every major cruise line'. I'm not sure exactly what that means as the contacts that I've made with Carnival, including their customer service who say they can do nothing and the letter I sent to the president of Carnival Cruise Lines, Mr. Dickinson, have gone unanswered.

I have called, e-mailed, and sent hard copies of all necessary documentation to Diamonds International corporate headquarters in New York letting them know of my extreme displeasure and that I have the ring in its box awaiting its return merchandise number so that I can get my money back.

A company that is honest and not misleading its customers with its FRAUDULANT behaviors would not have such a problem responding to any complaints and issuing refunds if that is what is necessary.

Diamonds International knows what I want. They are just giving me the run around now. I want to warn others about this set-up. Don't be scammed by Diamonds International.

We were also heavily influenced by the backing of Carnival Cruise Lines. Don't be sucked in by them either. Their Guarantee isn't worth the paper its printed on. It seems as if they've washed their hands of the problem.

Any company that perpetuates this kind of FRAUD and dishonest behavior ought not to be in business.

BEWARE OF DIAMONDS INTERNATIONAL.

Fred
Wheaton, Illinois
U.S.A.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/31/2007 03:36 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Diamonds-International-Carnival-Cruise-Lines/New-York-New-York-10036/Diamonds-International-Carnival-Cruise-Lines-in-cahoots-promoting-FRAUD-lies-stealing-241729. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report.

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REBUTTALS & REPLIES:
0Author 4Consumer 0Employee/Owner
Updates & Rebuttals

#1 Consumer Suggestion

Industry Insider

AUTHOR: Darren - (U.S.A.)

And I stand by my rebuttal. The research was done by MSNBC. Now if you don't believe MSNBC, Carnival, Diamonds International or myself then who are you going to believe? Apparently one person that looked at your Diamond and got you riled up.

And for the record I am an ex-employee of several different Cruise Lines, all of whom recommend Diamonds International.
(they recommend them because the cruise line employees get spiffs for recommendations)

I am NOT an ex-employee of Diamonds International. I do have first hand experience with their honesty, quality and customer service though.

Fred, your original complaint states that you had your ring appraised for "insurance purposes" and "certified gemologist" was only added in your second post. It's still a moot point though. Whomever looked at you Diamond is still only making an "educated guess"

(Which is what any qualified GG and appraiser with credentials does based on replacing a like item in their market.)

and their opinion on the value of the Diamond that you purchased is simply an opinion and no more valid than the one you got when you bought the Diamond.

(This statement is untrue and a very large fallacy in the industry. An opinion of value CAN be wrong if grossly overstated which is what is seen by many of the independent appraisers in the industry. The store who provides this "feel good" appraisal document defends themselves by saying that "it's only our opinion and we cannot be held liable for that" It's even in the fine print. But what they do not realize is that in a court of law they must be able to defend this legal document and SHOW how they came to that value.)

Read the article again and then ask yourself the following questions. Where did your appraiser get his certification?

(very importatnt question!)

How long has he been out of school?

(why? I have been out since 2003 and i keep up with new gems and treatments as well as market stats and prices via the internet, industry mags and books. I also as GIA alumni subscribe to the podcasts to keep up to date...all this and i haven't set foot back into a GIA classroom.)

When was his last certificate upgrade?

(why? The basics of gem grading are fairly clear and not subject to much change in the last fifty plus years except for the recent cut grading update which is important but not paramount to this conclusion)

How many diamonds does he look at a day? Week? Month?

(why? and if this person is an independent appraiser it stands to reason that he looks at quite a few stones a week.)

You could have bought a stone from Diamonds International that came with a third part appraisal it would have cost a bit more but it is worth it.

(Ethically it's a nightmare for a jewelry company to provide "appraisals" from companies THEY pay to provide this service. they could have that company put any value they wanted on the document. This is why it is a good idea to avoid these store provided "appraisals" as they typically are horribly overinflated and of NO value...can you say conflict of interest? That is why INDEPENDENT appraisers are the ONLY sure fire way to obtain valuation documents that are accurate and verifiable. As was stated earlier...it's good to verify credentials...a lot of Graduate Gemologists are not qualified to appraise because they have no formal appraisal training...being a GG does NOT make you an appraiser.)


Next time buy a stone that comes with a certificate from the laboratory so you don't have the dueling experts telling you what your Diamond is worth.

(see above)

Do your own research before buying your next stone because this sounds like you are just blindly following the person of the moment that you trust as expert. First you believed Mark, Then you believed Diamonds International (enough apparently to make a $6000 purchase) and now you believe this third person and the first two people that you trusted have been tossed aside.

Please re-read the MSNBC article, look up on the internet "who is qualified to appraise a diamond" and try to just enjoy your stone.

I'm not taking sides. I'm just stating the facts as reported on MSNBC.

(And MSNBC is the most trusted source of "facts" on the jewelry appraisal industry)


p.s. Not to make you even more angry, but it's all about bartering too. You could have got them to drop the price up to 60% if you had worked it a bit more. They were probably waiting for you to try. It's really not their fault that you didn't work the price down more. It's a shame but certainly not the stores fault.

(scary...you have to barter to get a jewelry establishment to sell an item for what it's retail value is really worth. This is not the first time or last time we will hear of this companies antics...they have a rep in the industry.)
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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Still not a Rip Off - Perhaps just bad bartering.

AUTHOR: Chris - (Canada)

And I stand by my rebuttal. The research was done by MSNBC. Now if you don't believe MSNBC, Carnival, Diamonds International or myself then who are you going to believe? Apparently one person that looked at your Diamond and got you riled up.

And for the record I am an ex-employee of several different Cruise Lines, all of whom recommend Diamonds International. I am NOT an ex-employee of Diamonds International. I do have first hand experience with their honesty, quality and customer service though.

Fred, your original complaint states that you had your ring appraised for "insurance purposes" and "certified gemologist" was only added in your second post. It's still a moot point though. Whomever looked at you Diamond is still only making an "educated guess" and their opinion on the value of the Diamond that you purchased is simply an opinion and no more valid than the one you got when you bought the Diamond.

Read the article again and then ask yourself the following questions. Where did your appraiser get his certification? How long has he been out of school? When was his last certificate upgrade? How many diamonds does he look at a day? Week? Month?

You could have bought a stone from Diamonds International that came with a third part appraisal it would have cost a bit more but it is worth it. Next time buy a stone that comes with a certificate from the laboratory so you don't have the dueling experts telling you what your Diamond is worth.

Do your own research before buying your next stone because this sounds like you are just blindly following the person of the moment that you trust as expert. First you believed Mark, Then you believed Diamonds International (enough apparently to make a $6000 purchase) and now you believe this third person and the first two people that you trusted have been tossed aside.

Please re-read the MSNBC article, look up on the internet "who is qualified to appraise a diamond" and try to just enjoy your stone.

I'm not taking sides. I'm just stating the facts as reported on MSNBC.


p.s. Not to make you even more angry, but it's all about bartering too. You could have got them to drop the price up to 60% if you had worked it a bit more. They were probably waiting for you to try. It's really not their fault that you didn't work the price down more. It's a shame but certainly not the stores fault.
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#3 Author of original report

Diamonds International, Carnival Cruise Lines, PPI, FRAUD & DECEPTION abound

AUTHOR: Fred - (U.S.A.)

Ex employee Chris. If you would go back and read the story you will see that I had the ring appraised by a CERTIFIED INDEPENDANT GEMOLOGIST, who does NOT engage in the selling of jewelry and/or fine stones. Therefore your defense of your previous place of employment is worthless.

I stand by my original story and will update this piece when there is a final resolution.

The only part of your rebuttal that I agree with is the recommendation to get a third party appraisal from a GIA or IGL included in the price with a guarantee of complete refund if said piece does not show the value that it is supposed to represent.

Diamonds International would never agree to that though, as that policy would undoubtably put the thieves out of business.
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#4 UPDATE EX-employee responds

No fraudulence involved according to report by MSNBC.

AUTHOR: Chris - (Canada)

Hi Fred,

Here is a link to a recent report made by MSNBC. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8661995/

It is truly unfortunate that you are feeling stressed and hurt about such an important piece of jewelry. I hope that I can help put you at peace with this response.

As with Art Work, the true value of a Diamond is what someone is willing to pay for that Diamond. The appraised value of your Diamond is actually what you paid for it and that is what you should have insured it for. Any other outside appraisal is merely an educated guess and could vary greatly from appraiser to appraiser. Also, beware of the motives of the appraiser that undervalued your Diamond by that much.

Occasionally, a Diamond retailer will Off Appraise a Diamond in an effort to win your business. They will under appraise your Diamond in an attempt to win your blind faith and make you distrust your original retailer. They go for repeat business and instead erode the integrity of the whole industry.

Now, if you were looking for a higher appraisal so you could get a higher insurance pay-off should your Diamond go missing, be careful because that can backfire for you. Here is how it was explained in the MSNBC article;
_________________

Kelly McDermott paid $8,200 for her ring but was convinced it was really worth $15,000 based on an inflated appraisal from her jeweler. And so she paid the insurance premiums based on that assumed $15,000 value.
But when she lost the ring, the insurance company said it would replace the ring or give her a check for what it would cost them to replace it $8,900.
Five years, I've been paying these inflated premiums and it makes me angry, because I should have the ring insured for what it's worth, she says.
________________

If Carnival and Diamonds International put any faith in this second appraisal, Diamonds International would have acted immediately. I have seen honest mistakes happen and I have seen them quickly rectified. Nothing is gained by losing a guests respect over a $6000 jewelry purchase by either company. I suggest getting another appraisal from a reputable source to put your mind at ease. And, the next time, only buy a Diamond (from anywhere) that come with a third party appraisal from GIA or IGL included in the price. You may be given the illusion of paying a bit more for your Diamond but a certificate of authenticity is priceless.

All the best,
Chris
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