ED Magedson – Founder
Universal Diamond Exchange608 S Hill St Los Angeles, California USA
Universal Diamond Exchange, Goel Tala Diamonds, Inc. Sold engagement ring with bent prongs, missed spots in the gold plating and cracked diamond! Los Angeles California
I purchased an 18k white gold 3-Stone Princess cut diamond engagement ring from Goel Tala Diamonds out of Los Angeles on 2/26/2014. I made two different payments for the ring. The first payment was sent on 2/21/2014 thru Bank of America. The second payment was for $675.00 thru Wells Fargo and was the final amount owed. I received the ring on 3/07/2014. When I opened it up, the ring had spots on the gold band itself. I tried wiping them off with a cloth but it would not come off. I contacted the business and was advised to wipe the ring with alcohol by an employee named “Kat” that works there. She stated that if that did not work, to call back. I immediately called back because that did not work. The owner called me back and said it was a simple polishing issue and to send it back and he would take care of it. I sent the ring back on 3/15/2014.
On 3/21/2014, I re-received the ring back from Goel Tala. This time, I opened it up, the spots were gone on the band, but two of the center prongs were rough looking and appeared to not even have the gold plating on them. I called the owner again and he stated he didn’t see anything wrong with it. I advised him it hasn't been handled or worn and that it is visible to the naked eye and that obviously its messed up there. He stated “She will love the ring and won’t even notice it.” I told him that I noticed it and I didn’t want to give my future fiancé a ring with obvious visible flaws on it. He told me that it just needs re-plating and I could either send it back(again), or go to a local jeweler and have them re-plate it and he would re-imburse me as long as it was less than $25.00 and if it was going to be more, than I would have to send it back. Due to being so close to my proposal date, I preferred to do it local to ensure I had the ring on time. He stated it should only be about $10 because that's what he charges in downtown Los Angeles and with things being more expensive in California, it should be cheaper than that here.
I went to Jared’s retail store here in Concord who wanted $44.99, then visited Marks & Morgan who wanted $34.99. Neither of those two business’ looked at the ring as I simply inquired on having it re-plated. My third visit was to Ellis Jewelers, who is a very respected jeweler in downtown Concord whom has been here for 2 generations. I questioned them on the plating and they asked if I had the ring to look at it. They told me to hold on, they wanted to look with a magnifying glass to make sure it wasn't simply a polish needed. Immediately when she looked at it, she said "Oh my gosh, is this ring used?" I stated no and she said "Are you aware your side stones are about to fall out?" Completely shocked, I said “What?!?” She stated there were several issues with the ring.
She stated, first, the diamonds were seated correctly, but the prongs themselves were not even secured over the diamonds as they’re supposed to be. She stated, there’s not supposed to be any space or gap between the prongs and the stones themselves. Secondly, she said the prongs are all crooked, some are bent fine and secure over the stone flush as supposed to be and then others were not even touching them…like the prongs are “hovering” over the stones. Then she goes on to say that, 3 of the prongs look "cut-off" and there not even smooth on top, like "someone cut off the prong b/c it was too long and then bent it over the stone." If that wasn’t bad enough, she shows me where the main stone had what appeared to be a crack/fracture on the side of it where the prong holding it in appeared to be pushed over on it so hard causing damage to it. She went over to the owner of the business, Dan Ellis, who came out, looked at it and said the exact same things without even conversing with his employee on what she saw. He was telling me all this and then asked if I’d like to see what he was talking about. I said “absolutely, so I will know what I’m being told” so he showed me the same things under a microscope. It looks absolutely horrible! He took one of his rings(of exact same design; a white gold, 3 stone princess cut engagement ring) and put it under scope to compare. No jagged/bent/cut off prongs, no spotting in the gold plating and all prongs bent over secured on top of the stones flush w/ no gaps like this one. Three of the side prongs weren’t even bent over to secure the stones at all. He took a small needle tool and showed me the gap between the stones and the prongs where there was an obvious space showing the prong was not flush on top of the stone securing it. He stated, “These are supposed to be flat and flush on top of the stone, without gaps.” He then said “I’m not trying to speak negative of someone’s work, but this is a really poor poor job of craftsmanship.” Mr. Ellis was not trying to sell me any rings, he was simply showing me the issues with the ring I had and was concerned about the stones falling out.
As soon as I left the jewelry store, I contacted Tony(Goel Tala owner) again to notify him of the findings. He was not there so I left a message for him to call me ASAP. When he called me back, immediately, he began interrupting me and getting defensive when telling him the news. He was sarcastic at first stating “So your gonna tell me the diamonds are cubic zirconia’s next, right?” I advised him no, that I was simply relaying to him the information I found out and saw with my own eyes. He kept stating all this was a polishing issue and that those guys at the jewelry store don’t know what they’re talking about. He stated that was they’re job to try and point out flaws so they would get my business. I advised him that it wasn’t an issue of them not knowing what they’re talking about…I stated I saw all these flaws with my owns eyes and the craftsmanship looks awful! He started yelling at me to return it and he’d fix it. I continued to tell him I had already done that once and am not willing to keep returning it and this time it wasn’t simply a polishing issue, it was that the entire ring was screwed up! I told him all I wanted was a refund and he said “Well your not gonna get it!” and then he actually hung up on me.
I called him back and he didn’t answer so I left a voicemail for him stating I have no choice but to go thru my bank and file a fraud claim since he's not willing to honor his "14 day 100% satisfaction guarantee." He called me back 15 minutes later apologizing for losing his temper. He stated he let his temper get the best of him and that if I would send it back, he'd make a whole new ring. Then he stated he’s already started one and this time he would personally oversee it. I said, well, wouldn’t you have overseen the first time? Rings shouldn’t have to be sent back time and time again to be corrected. He stated since this is a “hand-made ring”, that it cannot be “perfect”. I am aware of that, however, that doesn’t mean that you can cut corners, be sloppy, and send defective merchandise to your customers! He then states that 99% of all ring settings are pre-made which goes against what he said it being “hand-made”? So with that said, he buys pre-manufactured settings that are defective from the factory??? It seemed at times he was contradicting his own self. I’m proposing on April 8th, 2014. I explained this to him, and that I’ve already sent it back one time with problems and I don't have time and am not willing to take the chance again(especially w/ the condition this ring was in both times it arrived). He again stated the jeweler I saw was just trying to get my business, etc. and he wasn't giving me a refund period. He said I got a great deal and that she would love the ring. I told him I can’t give her a ring knowing what I know about this one. He kept saying it was all polishing issues which obviously is not the case. I quoted the "100% satisfaction guarantee" and he stated there’s more to it than that and he would charge me restocking fees, etc. if forced to refund me and that then it was only for 14 days. I advised him that both times it arrived defective I contacted him prior to 14 days to try and make it right. He kept telling me there was more to his policy than that and my only option was to return it and he’d send me another one or keep what I have. I told him I would be contacting my bank and he stated that’s fine because he “knows what to tell them and I will not win a case against him period!”
All I was simply wanting was to return the ring for a full refund due to the obvious issues with the ring. I have already sent it back for repairs once and am not willing to continue doing this because honestly, I shouldn't have to. The quality should not be so poor as to where I should have to continue sending a "hand-made" ring back and forth getting it repaired. I honestly believe that the reason he is not willing to accept a return for refund is because he knows the ring is of poor quality and feels he cannot re-sell it. He continued to yell at me stating I got a great deal and won’t find another deal like it. If that's the case, he shouldn't have any problem finding someone else to buy it...I just hope they get to see it first before ordering blind like I unfortunately did going off a description only. Now I am forced to try and find another engagement ring within less than 2 weeks as I have the proposal location and preparation planned but now no longer have the most important piece.
This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 03/27/2014 03:52 PM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Universal-Diamond-Exchange/Los-Angeles-California-90014/Universal-Diamond-Exchange-Goel-Tala-Diamonds-Inc-Sold-engagement-ring-with-bent-prong-1134270. 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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