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Store passes off diamond as authentic, later found to be a fake. Refund policy was met, but refund declined. What charges can be made?

Ads show a certificate of authenticity was to be provided. Clerk said she couldn't find it. Store recommends valuation by another certified jeweler and provides 100% quality and satisfaction guarantee. All was done as stated, but refund declined, even after appeal to corporate. We are left with fake diamond and are out hundreds of dollars as a result. A 2 yr service plan was purchased too, but store declined it as well as its stores 1 yr warranty. What charges can be brought upon the store? Theft? Fraud? Need help!

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If the payment was on a credit card ... call the credit card company and dispute the charges.

Also get a lawyer to send an "official" letter to the store and corporate offices ... assuring them you WILL be filing charges for fraud, if they don't reimburse you the cost of the fake product ... as well as attorney fees, since they required you to hire the attorney.

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You beat me with the best answer.
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It was paid in cash, and the receipt was brought back to the store with the ring within 21 days. (Well within the 90 days allotted for a refund). I have already taken these steps of notifying corporate with a letter stating charges would be made, but they are ignoring our attempts for resolution. Any other ideas? Or do you know what charges can be filed against them? Would it be fraud? Deceptive sales practices? Theft? Not sure what to even go for when filing a law suit.
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A lawyer would probably file a fraud claim. Passing off an object as something it isn't.
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That's what I was thinking, but wasn't real sure. It seems to be a type of "reverse" crime, if that makes any sense. The store ripped off it's customer, instead of the opposite.
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Like I said. Lawyer up. Easiest way to deal with the problem. I've found that a simple letter from a law office threatening a suit usually does the trick.
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The lawyer will know what charges ... but I'm thinking Fraud AND False/Deceptive Advertising. If they advertise across state lines, or use radio/TV/mail - that's makes it a federal offense - and BIG BUCKS.
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As I said ... get the lawyer to send a letter ... they pay attention when lawyers get involved, more than just a letter from the consumer.
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It's a huge corporation, and a franchise as well with multiple stores in many states. I hear it's pretty hard winning a case against them, however I feel I have very solid evidence and even went as far as to go to a few of the Colorado store locations and ask questions to the store associates about refund policies, providing customers with certificates of authenticity, etc. Got so many conflicting answers from each different location! But what they didn't know is that I caught each session on videoo with my camera phone.
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Contact the Better Business Bureau and report them, also check your local News station and see if they have a Consumer Fraud section, and report it to them as well. Other than that, if you feel that they are purposefully deceiving buyers, you could contact the Police directly to find out what your options are.

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Great advice. I have not yet done this, however I have contacted attorney general office. Unfortunately, the stores corporate headquarters are stationed in another state, so they recommend I report it to that states attorney general since Colorado has no jurisdiction in that state. (Even though the store and the incident all occurred here in Colorado) Ugghh!
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The clerk is the only person that can give you charges that can be made. This is because he or she has all the records of the refund policy and what can be charged in case of a fraud.

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This makes no sense. The clerk can't give me the charges to be made, and she is not the only person with all the records of refund policy or what can be charged as fraud. I have all the records, and the policies can be found online as well as in the store. (Which I also have too). The clerk is merely a store associate working in the jewelry dept, and not a person with any knowledge or training in the matter of issues pertaining to law. So I don't get your advice what-so ever.
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go to your local prosecutors office with all your paper work. tell them you want something done.

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Lawyer up.

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Good idea. I was hoping to avoid these costs by fighting it ourselves, as we have more than enough very good evidence, but I am not legal savvy, so you're probably right about getting a lawyer, and just eat the costs it takes for one.
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They will sue for court costs
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THIS is a classic case of misrepresentation at the least... maybe even fraud. Contact your local police department and get some advice. The business practices of this 'store' is systematically ripping people off. There is nothing to say that yours is a solitary case. They have pretty much fraudulently taken your money .. because they 1) sold you a bogus product (of which they have the means to authenticate) 2)refuse to warranty as advertised

You can take them to small claims court. I'm thinking this is pretty much a slam dunk (in your favour).

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I thought the same. Thanks for the support. I am going to proceed with this by contacting the police and also getting a lawyer. Thanks. I wonder what kind of damages can be sought for this. Hmmm
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I doubt if there would be 'damages' .. because you wouldn't have suffered any financial or even emotional 'damage' over buying such an item .. However, make sure you include any court costs or legal fees. THEY should be the ones paying for this pain in the ass endeavor .. not you!

Make sure you document everything .. because, if they practice such underhanded business practices, they might stoop to trying to pull a 'fast one".... they might .. "MIGHT" argue that the ring you are complaining about isn't the ring they sold you.
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Oh they already tried pulling that, and even went as far as to say that we are the ones who switched the diamond and/or ring itself. Luckily, we have written statements from witnesses that saw the ring on the day of purchase, and saw the same ring I opened when I received it as an engagement ring on Christmas morning. I also have good documentation as to the inscribing inside the ring band, which matches that of which the store sells. As for us not suffering any damages due to money lost or emotional stress.... we have suffered both (and still suffer both). An engagement is supposed to be an exciting and happy event that is considered very significant in ones life, and with all this mess surrounding the event, it has made it nothing but stress, emotional, and has left us as a couple newly engaged and without a ring. The costs of the ring and of the service plan were all lost since the store kept all the money paid for it, and additional costs are accumulating from the costs it takes for numerous photocopying, research, and legal procedures in making our case solid before filing the actual claim with the legal authorities. So yes, it may seem trivial to some, but when it happens to you, it will be felt both in the pocketbook and in the heart, and you will understand what I mean.
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I totally understand .. and I'm sure a judge will too. You have got a good case against them.

And BTW .. congratulations on your engagement!
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Are they admitting it's fake? If not you will need to prove the diamond you have is the diamond they sold you. That will be a difficult case. Jewelers have been known to switch diamonds when you go in for setting, sizing, repair. Unfortunate but true.

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I don't think that proving the diamond we have is the one they sold to us will be too difficult in our case. Number 1 - We have one of their own store associates (on tape) state to us that there has been problems with loose diamonds and when we spoke to this guy, he went to show us a ring to explain the differences from a real diamond vs a fake diamond. Ironically, the ring that he pulled out to show us had a diamond that was visibly loose and ready to fall out, and this too was caught on tape. Also, when we took it to have the diamond reset, the jeweler is the one who informed us (while standing at the counter) that our diamond wasn't real. The jeweler never left the counter with the stone, since we didn't have it reset after those findings, and the stone never left our site. So I think we are solid in this area.
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Also, after finding this out, I purchased an electronic diamond tester and was able to test it myself. Same findings as the jeweler.
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Yeah, sounds like you have a case.
BBB, attorney general, police..,
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Also contact the Dept of Consumers Affairs in your state. But if you want action sooner, local news chanel that does the "help me" thing. I'm sure it will produce more victims.

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