Can I Sue a Retail Jewelry Store?
Yes, you may be able to sue a retail jeweler in civil court if you have a legal basis. What you can recover depends on the basis of your lawsuit. If you do want to sue a jewelry store, you may want to 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 at a jewelry store. For example, a store may try to sell you a certain gemstone or engagement ring and give you an inferior product instead. This type of 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 it is handed over for repair, cleaning, or engraving. Some jewelry owners have even complained that the diamonds in their diamond jewelry have been replaced by smaller or lesser-quality diamonds.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. Even if you think the store employees or managers were treating you unfairly, profiling you, or refusing you service, it may not be illegal. In general, business owners have the right to refuse customers.
However, 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 were 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 on their property 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 store purchase like buying a diamond necklace or diamond ring, something may come up where you have to return the jewelry. For example, if the wedding is called off, whoever ends up with the engagement ring may prefer to return the ring instead of holding on to such a valuable item from a former relationship.
Before you buy any item from a jewelry store, make sure 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 for 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, they may charge restocking fees or delivery charges.
Settlement for Credit Card Complaints
In 2019, the Attorney General for New York and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau settled with one sizeable retail jeweler over an investigation of misrepresentation about store credit cards. 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 and misrepresented the terms and conditions of the credit card accounts. Some customers were allegedly told they were enrolling in a rewards program, but 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. It is essential to review all warranties, terms, and conditions of any credit card before signing up. Some credit card agreements include mandatory arbitration provisions that may limit your ability to file a lawsuit in court.
An arbitration clause may require you to have your legal claim go through arbitration instead of filing your case in court. Arbitration is an out-of-court process in which a third party, called an arbitrator, hears from witnesses, reviews documents, and gives 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 Do Want To Sue a Retail Jeweler, Consult a Lawyer
Jewelry stores are used to dealing 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, you can benefit from talking to an experienced consumer protection attorney.
Contact a law firm if you have questions about settling your claim or signing away your rights. Keep in mind that under state law, you have a limited time in which to file your case under the statute of limitations.
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