Purchased an Elini watch, for 2,250.00, from House of Diamonds, in Ocho Rios, while a passenger aboard Royal Caribbean Cruise lines. The 'expert' cruise shop director, Andy Barratt, was in the House of Diamonds, enjoying a glass of champagne, while I purchased this watch. He was adamant I was 'getting a good deal, and could not do better in the U.S."
Upon returning to my stateroom, I examined the watch closely. The leather strap was worn, and there were scratches on the stainless steel back. I called a friend in the United States, who then informed me I could easily purchase the watch for 1,200.00 less than what I had just paid.
I returned to House of Diamonds. No champagne. No refunds. They wouldn't even take the watch out of the box to look at the wear and tear. They showed me my receipt, showed me where it explicitly states "NO RETURNS, ALL SALES FINAL". Mr. Thakurani, from the store, told me he "just worked there", and the store is owned "by Indians". He informed me if I had a problem, I had to work it out with the cruise, because as it says on my receipt, I was a cruise ship passenger on RCCL in cabin #****. He proffered had I bought the watch while NOT a cruise ship passenger, I could have returned this watch. I had him write his statement down on the back of his card.
I returned to the ship, still in Jamaica. The helpful desk clerk placed a call to Miami, and I spoke with a representative from OnBoard Media. The woman I spoke with claimed they were "on my side", and would look into the matter "once I filed a complaint". I asked her if her company, or RCCL, makes a commission off of my purchase. She would not answer that question. (Note, all shops pay an advertising fee, however, it is NOT disclosed that the ship, and OnBoard Media, get an additional commission as well. Mr. Thakurani explained that HE had to pay a commission on the watch, which was why the shop has a 'no return' policy for CS passengers.) She also told me they would do a "price guarantee", but only based upon USA suggested retail price. Not one jewelry store I have checked with sells this watch at the "s.r.p." It is heavily discounted.
I spoke with Andy when he returned to the ship. He claimed he would start the paperwork, and I could file my claim. He also claimed what I was told at House of Diamonds was not true. I never heard from him again. In fact, Andy left his job, and the ship, at the next port.
If nothing else, I would like to warn consumers to stay away from "Cruise Recommended Shops", and just like the phony art auctions onboard, RCCL does NOT inform the consumer there are sales commissions paid back to them, nor about the 'no return' policy.
Judging by the complaints I have read online, it will take me months, and many phone calls, to get a response.