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Jewellers Association of Australia acts to protect diamond consumers, expelling member for misconduct

Governments must act to strengthen consumer protection for online trading

Sydney 4th November 2010

The Jewellers Association of Australia Board has expelled an online diamond trader after receiving dozens of complaints from consumers.

The JAA has also called on Commonwealth and State Governments to act to ensure greater protection for consumers who choose to deal with online traders.

“We have taken action to expel Diamond Exchange Ltd after receiving and investigating more than 50 complaints over the last few months”, said CEO of the JAA, Ian Hadassin.

“The company offered and sold loose diamonds as well as finished jewellery products to online customers only.

“The complaints from consumers were largely in relation to products which had been paid for in full but not received and refunds promised but not received.

“This is clearly unacceptable behaviour.

“The JAA had been working on behalf of affected consumers seeking refunds or delivery of goods paid for from Diamond Exchange Ltd and had been successful in several instances.

“Simultaneously we warned consumers via our website not to pay upfront for jewellery or diamonds from Diamond Exchange Ltd.

“Yet despite our repeated efforts to seek full resolution of all complaints, Diamond Exchange Ltd has been unable to remedy the situation. On 27 October 2010, Diamond Exchange Ltd was placed under external administration.

“As such the Board of the JAA has now stripped Diamond Exchange Ltd of its JAA membership and endorsement.

“We warn consumers in the strongest possible terms to consider carefully all the risks involved before purchasing any items from Diamond Exchange Ltd.

“Further, we ask consumers to exercise the highest possible level of caution when contemplating purchasing expensive items of jewellery or precious stones over the Internet.

“Importantly, careful consideration must be given before paying in full for these items prior to receipt of the goods.

“The JAA is now writing to Commonwealth and State Governments urging them to work together on strengthening consumer protection rights for those buying jewellery online.

“The JAA has not taken this action lightly; however we will not stand by when consumers are being let down so badly”, said Mr. Hadassin.