• Report: #991267

Complaint Review: Diamonds International and Disney Cruise Line

  • Submitted: Fri, January 04, 2013
  • Updated: Thu, March 07, 2013

  • Reported By: Sam — Valrico Florida United States of America
Diamonds International and Disney Cruise Line
Market Street, PO Box N-7514 Nationwide United States of America

Diamonds International and Disney Cruise Line Ripped off Nassau, Nationwide

*Author of original report: withdrawal

*Author of original report: Correcting mistakes due to memory

*Author of original report: Ripped off by Diamonds International supported by Disney Cruise Lines

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My wife and I took our first cruise aboard the Disney Magic recently. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary, and decided after attending shopping guide Summer's seminar to purchase upgraded
diamond earrings. Summer offered to meet us at the Diamonds International Nassau store to assist us. She assured us through the seminar and personal conversations that this merchant could be trusted. D.I. is listed #1 on Disney's shopping guide that they hand out to you as you debark the ship. She told us our salesman was "straight up", and was giving us the bottom price, and there was not room for negotiation and they were 70% below US prices. They took my wife's current 1ct each (H color, VS2) earrings in trade for a pair of 1.5ct each earrings.   Upon return home, I took the ring to have it appraised for insurance purposes by a GIA Certified Gemologist. The ring appraised for $13,000 less than our purchase price, and he told me I could have bought a similar diamonds for $8,000 less and showed the sources. The earrings were of such poor color (M/N) that stores in the US would not even sell them (learned that "I" is the industry standard) and the GIA books for appraisal didnt go that far down the color scale. I contacted Disney Guest Communications, and they sent me to PPI requested to file a claim. Diamonds International customer service has been very difficult. This companys terms and conditions are written so that they can rip people off. No reputable company would operate this way. The terms and conditions were never mentioned to us, and put in front of us as we were checking out to sign.  We trusted Disney, the shopping guide Summer, the store's reputation as the biggest diamond dealer in the islands and were scammed a significant amount of money, and the diamond was misrepresented to us. I am asking Disney to help us with full refund because of the fraud that was committed, and to stop promoting these practices. Why would Disney risk its good brand name for a few commissions from port shopping? 

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 01/04/2013 11:57 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Diamonds-International-and-Disney-Cruise-Line/nationwide/Diamonds-International-and-Disney-Cruise-Line-Ripped-off-Nassau-Nationwide-991267. 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.

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#1 Author of original report

withdrawal

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

I withdraw my complaint.
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#2 Author of original report

Correcting mistakes due to memory

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

I made some math and description mistakes due to writing from memory and emotional fury over being ripped off.  I want to ensure I am accurately portraying the events.

My wife and I took our second Disney cruise aboard the Dream recently. We were celebrating our
30th anniversary, and attending the Disney Nassau Shopping Seminar decided to use expert shopping guide Summer to purchase upgraded diamond earrings.

Summer offered to meet us at the Diamonds International Nassau store to assist us. She assured us through the seminar and personal conversations that this merchant could be trusted. D.I. is listed #1 on Disney's shopping guide that they hand out to you as you debark the ship. She told us our salesman was "straight up", and was giving us the bottom price, and there was not room for negotiation and they were 70% below US prices.

Summer actually conducted the price negotiations as the "expert shopper" and assured us the price was good for quality stones.  They took my wife's current 1.98ct (H color, SI1) earrings in
trade for a pair of 3 ct. (1.5ct each) earrings.   Upon returning home, I took the earrings to have them appraised for insurance purposes by Jared Jewelers. To our shock, the jeweler told us the diamonds were of such poor color that they would only give us $800.00 for the diamonds.a whopping $12,700 less than our purchase price, and he told me I could have bought similar sized diamonds of better color quality (I) for $5,000 less and showed me the sources. 

I paid an independent GIA Certified Gemologist (PPI Approved) to look at the stones and found out that the Diamond International earrings were of such poor color (M/N) that stores in the US do not even sell them (we learned that "I" is the industry standard) and the GIA books for appraisal didn't go that far down the color scale. She said at best giving every advantage possible and stretching they might be worth about $4000-$4500.00 each.only 2/3s the price paid.

I contacted Diamonds International to file a complaint and sent me the following;

Please be advised that I have to go according to the Terms and Conditions of your
Purchase on the reverse side of your written receipt therefore I cant authorize return for full refund. Sincerely, Julia

Diamonds International was quick to try to get me to settle by offering to send back my original trade-in diamonds but, keeping the diamonds they sold me.

I contacted Disney Guest Communications and they sent the following;

 I was very sorry to learn of your disappointment with your purchase at Diamonds International in Nassau.  Diamonds International is a member of The PPI Group, which ensures a 60 day guarantee, excluding buyer's negligence or buyer's remorse, and will also guarantee the repair or replace any
unsatisfactory item.  You may wish to contact The PPI Groups Customer Service regarding this concern. To expedite your claim, please include the store name, date of purchase, copy of the sales
receipt, any relevant documents, and a written description of the claim.

They can be reached at the following address:
The PPI Group
6261 NW 6 Way,
Suite 100
Ft. Lauderdale,
FL 33309

Phone: 954-377-7777

Ppigroup.com

email: [email protected]

I truly regret any disappointment and hope that this will not affect your regard for Disney.

Disney followed up with an Executive Guest Correspondent note, essentially washing their hands of the problem;  
Thank you so much for your reply. I appreciate the opportunity to correspond with you.

I understand that you have had the opportunity to correspond with Rebekah, however, please allow me to add my regret for your disappointment regarding your purchase with Diamonds
International. I was glad to learn that you have contacted The PPI Group and have begun the claim process. They will work with you to resolve the concern with your purchase from Diamonds International. Please allow me to further clarify that Diamonds International is endorsed by The PPI Group, who is the vendor we work with to provide shopping information to our guests within the
various ports of call. Although The PPI Group and Diamonds International are not owned or operated by Disney Cruise Line, the service offered to our guests by organizations affiliated with our company is always of interest to us, so I also appreciate the additional feedback you have provided regarding The PPI Group employee, Summer. I can assure you that your concerns are taken very seriously and will be reviewed by the appropriate shipboard and shoreside management individuals. We will continue to evaluate the service of these vendors, as we strive to provide our guests with the finest vacation and entertainment experiences, and we are very grateful for your valuable input to help us achieve that goal.

Again, I truly regret any disappointment and hope that these concerns will not affect your regard for the Disney organization or Disney Cruise Line, as we look forward to the chance to sail with you again one day soon.

Kind regards,
Andrea Coppola
Executive Guest Correspondent
Disney Cruise Line

Diamonds International

presented the following settlement offer; 

This store credit has no expiration date & can be redeemed anytime in one of our store locations or from the Diamonds International website, www.diamondsinternational.com . This store credit will be sent to you as a resolution to your claim. Please be advised that upon receipt of your merchandise, it is a Diamonds International procedure to do a full inspection to verify that the item was purchased through our inventory and that the integrity of the piece has not been altered.

 Please sign
this letter of authorization and fax it back to me at 646-898-4479 or email.  Upon receipt of your signature personnel from shipping will email you FedEx label with shipping instructions including a Return Merchandise Authorization number. Once we receive your merchandise in our New York office I will issue the store credit in the amount of $9,500.00 plus arrange to ship your  trade-in and will consider this matter resolved.

 For our records, please confirm that we have the correct spelling of your first and last name and if not, please make the necessary changes. Should you have any further inquiries, please contact me at 800-515-3935 ext. 1549.

As per our email correspondence on 12/6/12, you will be sending your 14-karat white gold princess cut diamond studs sku#3855451.  Upon receipt of the merchandise in our New York office, we
will issue you a store credit in the amount of $9,500.00 plus arrange to return to you your Trade-in 1 pair of diamonds weight 1.50 carats.

Here is one of the secrets nobody talks about.  These expert shoppers on Disney Cruise lines are NOT Disney employees, they are in fact contracted employees of The PPI Group.  The PPI Group apparently provides this service for a number of cruise lines in addition to Disney. 

After talking with The PPI Group customer service representative, I found more questions than
answers.    I have made numerous phone calls to Disney, PPI, and Diamonds International for information about the expert shoppers, business relationships, and responsibilities.  Disney says PPI is the responsible party but, PPI did not answer most of my questions of them;

1.      Verify that Summer is actually an employee of PPI and NOT Disney Cruise Line, What training/certifications does Summer have as the Professional Shopper and Expert Jewelry Shopper?

Answer from PPI- Summer is not a direct PPI employee she is a contractor hired by PPI to promote Diamonds International and other stores on the preferred shopping list.

2.      What training in jewelry (Diamond and precious stones) has Summer received?

Never answered

3.      Is Summer warranted, bonded, or insured? 

Never answered

4.      Who is the author of the shopping guide and favored stores/vendors? 

Answer- PPI is contracted to perform this service for Disney Cruise Lines and others

5.      Is
PPI responsible for the sales advertising and claims of savings being purported
during the shopping seminar as well?  Never
answered

6.      What is the relationship between PPI and Diamonds International? 

Never answered

After many additional calls, emails, a lots of time waiting for answers, The PPI Group attorney finally
negotiated the following;

As per our latest agreement on 01/08/2013, Diamonds International will issue a full refund for you in the amount of $9,500 back onto your credit card; visa ending in 3793 in addition to the return of your trade in item of $4,000. This transaction cannot be processed until we have received the original copy of store credit #5359 which was issued in the amount of $9,500 and you have filed a retraction of your complaint. Once the transaction is completed, we will consider this as a final resolution to your claim.

 

Please sign this letter of authorization and fax it back to me at 646-898-4336.  Upon receipt of your signature and your credit card number and have evidence of your retraction, we will issue you a
pre paid shipping label and shipping instructions with an RMA number. Upon receipt of your merchandise in our New York offices, I will refund your credit card in the amount of $9,500 and consider this matter resolved.

For our records, please confirm that we have the correct spelling of your first and last name and
address and if not, please make the necessary changes.  Please be advised that upon receipt of your merchandise, it is a Diamonds International procedure to do a full inspection to verify that the item was purchased through our inventory and that the integrity of the piece has not been altered.

FOR INTERNATIONAL CUSTOMERS ONLY: Please note that Diamonds International hereby disclaims all responsibility for any liability imposed on a consumer in the form of duties, or in any other form, resulting from the consumer shipping an item to our NY headquarters. Consumer hereby, acknowledges that he/she accepts full responsibility for such liabilities.

Please be advised that time is of the essence and we request that this letter be returned within 7 business days.  Should you have any further inquiries, please contact me at 800-515-3935 ext 1549.

Diamonds International did finally issue a refund but, the trade-in diamonds they sent were not our diamonds.  They have apparently swapped them out for lesser quality diamonds that looked similar to our stones without knowing we had a certified diamond mapping to verify with.  Our original diamond mapping and appraisal is shown below;

GEMOLOGICAL APPRAISERS OF AMERICA

(ONE PAIR OF LADIES 14K W/GOLD AND DIAMOND STUD EARRINGS. THE EARRINGS CONTAIN A ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND DETAIL STONE WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY 1.0 1 CARATS BY MEASUREMENT.   CLARITY IS SI1, COLOR IS H, Measurement 6.51 X 6.49 X 3.92 MM. THE OTHER EARRING CONTAINS A ROUND BRILLIANT CUT DIAMOND WEIGHING APPROXIMATELY .97 CARATS. CLARITY IS SI1. COLOR IS H. TOTAL WEIGHT OF BOTH DIAMONDS IS APPROXIMA TELY 1.98 CARATS. ALL ABOVE DIAMONDS HAVE.GOOD POLISH AND GOOD "SYMMETRY. TOTAL GOLD WEIGHT IS APFROXIMATELY 1.8GRAMS.) TOTAL VALUE BASED ON RETAIL REPLACEMENT ----$19158.00

 

Upon receipt, we immediately knew that the settings were not ours (double basket screw back but put clutch backing on the posts that did not even fit) and the stones did not look right but, reserved final judgment until the Official Impartial Certified Appraiser approved by The PPI Group completed the inspection and provided the below appraisal showing that the returned diamonds did not match color, clarity, or even the measurements of our original set.  

I took the earrings that Diamonds International sent back to the PPI approved independent GIA Certified Gemologist and received the following appraisal.

Appraisal Certificate (By cost method)

One (I) pair of natural standard round brilliant cut diamond stud earrings. The diamonds are set in cast, white gold, four prong basket mountings with threaded posts. The earrings are high polished in worn condition, one post is bent.

The clarity grades of the pair of diamonds are SI I and I I, (by GlA clarity grading system) and the cut is good, (by GIA cut grading system). The color grades are I and J respectively, (by GIA color grading system).The estimated diamond weights are 0.92 carat(s) and 0.93 carat(s) respectively ,(by GIA weight estimation formula).The standard round brilliant natural diamonds respectively measure approximately 6.llmm-6.IOmm x 3.85mm and 6.14mm-6.10 mm x 3.86mm, (by presidium computer gauge). The earrings, without earring backs, weigh approximately 1.00 gram(s), (by gram scale).

The total estimated diamond weight is 1.85 carats.  Current Estimated Retail Replacement Value US$8,307.00 (Not inclusive of sales tax)

I am not sure and cannot verify if The PPI Group has a vested interest but, it is difficult to determine if they are profiting from the arrangement with the Preferred Shopping Stores, and have not been forth coming about the relationships.

Diamonds International customer service has been at times very difficult to deal with. This
companys terms and conditions are written so that they can rip people off. I do not believe reputable company would operate this way. The terms and conditions were never mentioned to us, and put in front of us as we were checking out to sign.  

We trusted Disney, the shopping expert Summer, the store's reputation as the biggest diamond
dealer in the islands and were scammed a significant amount of money, and the diamond was misrepresented to us.

Why does Disney risk its good brand name for a few commissions from port shopping?  Because, they do not appear to care after you have paid and taken the cruise.  

Warning, Caution, Advisory to everyone, be extremely cautious and do not trust any shopping seminar shopping experts, or the information presentednobody seems to know if they are
trained, certified, or have any expertise in jewelry shopping, and the prices are no savings over a reputable store in the USA and in many cases COST MORE from my experience. 


Todate, there are still many unanswered questions company relationships and who profits.  We still do not have our original earrings and really have no hope that they will ever be returned per the agreement offerred to us.


 
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#3 Author of original report

Ripped off by Diamonds International supported by Disney Cruise Lines

AUTHOR: Steve - (USA)

My wife and I took our first cruise aboard the Disney Dream recently. We were celebrating our 30th anniversary, and decided after attending shopping guide Summer's seminar to purchase upgraded diamond earrings. Summer offered to meet us at the Diamonds International Nassau store to assist us. She assured us through the seminar and personal conversations that this merchant could be trusted. D.I. is listed #1 on Disney's shopping guide that they hand out to you as you debark the ship. She told us our salesman was "straight up", and was giving us the bottom price, and there was not room for negotiation and they were 70% below US prices. Summer actually conducted the price negotiations as the "expert shopper" and assured us the price was good for quality stones.  They took my wife's current 1ct each (H color, VS2) earrings in trade for a pair of 1.5ct each earrings.   Upon return home, I took the ring to have it appraised for insurance purposes by a GIA Certified Gemologist. The ring appraised for $13,000 less than our purchase price, and he told me I could have bought a similar diamonds for $8,000 less and showed the sources. The earrings were of such poor color (M/N) that stores in the US would not even sell them (learned that "I" is the industry standard) and the GIA books for appraisal didn't go that far down the color scale. I contacted Disney Guest Communications, and they sent me to PPI requested to file a claim. Diamonds International customer service has been very difficult. This companys terms and conditions are written so that they can rip people off. No reputable company would operate this way. The terms and conditions were never mentioned to us, and put in front of us as we were checking out to sign.  We trusted Disney, the shopping guide Summer, the store's reputation as the biggest diamond dealer in the islands and were scammed a significant amount of money, and the diamond was misrepresented to us. I am asking Disney to help us with full refund because of the fraud that was committed, and to stop promoting these practices. Why does Disney risk its good brand name for a few commissions from port shopping?
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