Spence Diamonds - Think Twice Before Buying

Spence offered great value, and I had a wonderful experience selecting the ring.  They were even kind enough to give me a store display ring similar to the one I ordered so I could propose with it.

Unfortunately, my engagement didn’t go as smooth, and after a couple years of not marrying for various reasons, I was given the ring back and dissolved the relationship.  Doing so required a large cash settlement, so I was strapped for money, and decided I might just as well return the ring to Spence.

When I took the ring back into the store, the gentlemen (I wish I could remember his name - a tall fellow with a beard and moustache) I gave it to initially tried to tell me that the ring was not longer within the buy back period.  After I protested, and he read the documentation again he corrected himself.  I actually had 5 months remaining.

He gave the ring and documentation to the girl at the reception desk and instructed her to take care of it.  I asked her if I would get a receipt for the ring, and she printed me off a customer statement showing the amount of the buy back and informed me that head office would be issuing the cheque, and they were quite slow so it would be about two weeks.  While I wasn’t thrilled by the amount of the buy back (it doesn’t include the GST I paid on the ring and it also didn’t cover the platinum setting ).  It was better than I was told I could expect to get trying to sell it privately, so I took the deal.  I turned in the ring July 12th, 2010.

On Aug. 20 I called to find out why I hadn’t been called to pickup my cheque or had received anything in the mail.  Heather said she didn’t have a cheque for me.  I gave her my cell # and she said she would have to send in a fax to find out what the status was, and call me back, hopefully by the end of the day.

On Aug. 23rd I called again because I hadn’t heard from Heather.  I spoke to Shelly. She checked shipments from Head Office (HO) for cheque.  She checked Heather’s email and the reply to Heather’s previous inquiry said that the HO in Vancouver is waiting for the proper paperwork from the diamonds appraisal division to issue the cheque.  She said she would follow up with another email and give me a call.  She apologized for the 5 week delay and Heather not calling me.   I told her while I appreciate that she was sorry it didn’t do me a lot of good.  I was paying interest on money I had borrowed because I hadn’t received these funds yet.  I asked to speak to someone in charge to see what they would do for me.

Scott called me on at 10:46am on the 24th.  He told me that the ring buy back agreement was subject to me returning the item with all the original paperwork.  According to their head office, I hadn’t supplied the original purchase order detailing the diamond characteristics etc.  I told him I had returned everything I had received originally in the original box for the paperwork.  In fact I returned the ring in it’s original box, and still had the original bag.  All of it had been sitting in a drawer for 4.5 years.  He claimed I didn’t not meet the conditions for the buy back and that if I couldn’t produce the paperwork, they could not proceed.  I told him I couldn’t prove that he did receive the paperwork because I didn’t make copies, and he couldn’t prove he didn’t.  I said IMHO the least he could do for taking 5 weeks to tell me what I should have been told the day I returned the ring, was to make an exception, but he refused.  I even argued that the paper he was requesting was generated by the Spence computer system, so they had all the information on file.  He insisted it was a required condition for the buy back.  He said he would look around there to see if my paperwork was at the Spence office and asked me to look for it as well and inform him either way.

So now I have no ring in my possession, and am told they will not buy it back.  On top of that, my trust of Spence has been so shaken I’m concerned that the ring I will be picking up from their office may not even be the one I purchased.  How am I to know that the diamond wasn’t changed?  They changed their mind about honouring their buy back guarantee despite the fact that one of their employees could have trashed my paperwork.  She was apparently fired because of issues like mine.

Think twice before you buy from Spence, and if you do have to use their buy back guarantee, make sure you keep copies of all your paperwork before you give them anything.

2 Responses to “Spence Diamonds - Think Twice Before Buying”

  1. Larry Hengen Says:

    Chris Cameron from the Spence Diamonds Edmonton Head office called me on Sept. 8th and informed me that he had heard about my situation and that he was the man to talk to. After I pleaded my case, and Chris had some time to research the situation, he let me know that Spence would proceed with the buyback without the “missing” paperwork.

    Today, I got my cheque. While I am pleased to have ultimately gotten what I expected in the first place, I think it took too long, and if I hadn’t been so persistent it never would have happened.

    A cautionary note concerning buybacks. Spence only buys back the diamond, but they keep the setting, and they don’t refund any taxes charged on your original purchase. While this is far better than what you would get selling a ring on the used market, it is something to consider.

  2. Chels Says:

    How could they keep the setting if that is a separate cost than the diamond? Is it just a condition in buying back the diamond - We will keep the setting you paid for separately if you want us to buy back this diamond?

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