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Can I Sue a Retail Jewelry Store?

You may be able to sue a jewelry retailer in civil court if you have a legal basis related to your purchase of retail jewelry. What you can recover depends on the basis of your lawsuit. If you want to sue a jewelry store, you should get legal advice from an experienced attorney.

When Can You Sue a Jewelry Store as a Customer?

There are several situations where you may want to sue a jewelry store. Most cases involve problems with products purchased there. For example, a store may try to sell you a certain gemstone or engagement ring and give you an inferior product instead. This fraudulent misrepresentation may allow you to sue to get out of a purchase agreement or recover your money.

Property Damages Claims Involving Jewelry

Another common complaint is damage to or loss of jewelry when the customer hands it over for repair, cleaning, or engraving. Jewelry owners have complained that the store replaced diamonds in their jewelry with smaller or lesser-quality diamonds. Property damage or loss may allow you to recover money by filing a lawsuit.

Jewelry Store Discrimination Lawsuits

Many people feel like filing a lawsuit after they've received poor customer service. It may not be illegal even if you think the store employees or managers were mistreating you, profiling you, or refusing you service. In general, business owners have the right to refuse customers.

State and federal laws may prohibit discrimination based on disability, race, religion, sex, or other protected classes. You may have a legal claim if the jewelry store discriminates against you for one of these reasons.

Personal Injury Lawsuits Against Jewelers

If you got injured on a retail jeweler's property, you may be able to file a lawsuit for injuries. Under a premises liability claim, the property owner may be liable for unsafe conditions if a customer sustains an injury. This can happen if someone trips on loose carpeting or slips on an icy sidewalk in front of the store.

Can I Return a Wedding Ring?

After making an expensive jewelry purchase something may come up where you must return the jewelry. For example, if the wedding gets called off, whoever ends up with the engagement ring may want to return the ring.

Before buying any item from a jewelry store, ensure you understand the conditions of returns and exchanges. The jewelry store may require a receipt and original packaging and give you a limited time to make a return. Different return policies may apply to different types of jewelry. Some items, including custom-designed wedding rings, may not be eligible for return or exchange. Even if the store does accept a return, it may charge restocking fees or delivery charges.

Settlement for Credit Card Complaints

In 2019, the State Attorney General for New York and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settled with Sterling Jewelers, the parent company of Jared Jewelers and Kay Jewelers, over an investigation of misrepresentation about store credit cards. They had sued the jeweler for deceptive business practices. The press release announcing the settlement agreement says that the jeweler settled the lawsuit for $11 million.

According to the attorney general, the jeweler was signing up customers for store credit cards without their consent. They also allegedly misrepresented the terms and conditions of the credit card accounts. Some employees allegedly told customers they were enrolling in a rewards program. Then the employees would use personal information to sign up for store credit cards.

If you think a store signed you up for a jewelry store card without your consent or misrepresented the store card's terms, you may be able to file a lawsuit to recover damages. Talk to an attorney about your legal rights and consumer protection fraud.

Arbitration Clauses in Jewelry Store Credit Card Agreements

The jewelry store may offer incentives for putting wedding band purchases on a store credit card. Promotions may include special zero-down financing or low introductory interest rates that increase after the promotional period. Review any credit card's warranties, terms, conditions, and disclaimers before signing up. Some credit card agreements include mandatory arbitration provisions that may limit your ability to file a lawsuit, including a class-action lawsuit, in court.

An arbitration clause may force you to have your legal claim go through arbitration instead of filing your case in court. Arbitration is an out-of-court process. A third party, called an arbitrator, hears from witnesses and reviews documents. They then give you a binding decision that resolves your dispute. For many consumer complaints or legal claims, arbitration can be a barrier, and the fees involved may be enough to get consumers to drop their cases.

If You Want To Sue a Retail Jeweler, Consult a Lawyer

Jewelry stores often deal with unhappy customers. They also have a team of attorneys on hand to deal with any claims of fraud, unfair practices, and warranty complaints. If you believe you have grounds to sue the jewelry company, talk to an experienced consumer protection attorney.

Contact a law firm if you have questions about settling your claim or signing away your rights. Remember that under state law, you have a limited time to file your case under the statute of limitations.

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