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Ask Andrea, Esq. Your Own Question

Andrea, Esq.
Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 11703
Experience:  25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
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i bought a diamond ring and had issues with it immediately

Customer Question

i bought a diamond ring and had issues with it immediately after purchase...filed claim with merchant. filed claim with bank....bank released funds to merchant without resolving my complaint. the diamond was a grade less than indicated on sales receipt...on back of invoice was a full page of their policy and stated to get refund must be more than one grade off. i didnt know this when i purchased....and was deceived.....i withdrew my money anticipating the merchant would present bill to bank before issue was resolved....my bank went ahead and paid them now my account is neg...prior resolutions with the merchant was unfruitful and i was waiting for bank to make decision..in the meantime they paid.....i wanted to return the ring......merchant said no......what recourse do i have....
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Expert:  Andrea, Esq. replied 1 year ago.

ANDREA, :

Hi, and Welcome to JustAnswer My name isXXXXX am a licensed, practicing Attorney and would like to help

ANDREA, :

The merchant engaged in deceptive business practices because there is no way for a customer to know the merchant's policy until after he has purchased the ring and received the invoice. Your recourse is to sue the merchant in Small Claims Court and tell the Judge that you

ANDREA, :

could not possibly have made an informed decision to buy the ring, if the merchant's policy was not clearly stated elsewhere, i.e., other

ANDREA, :

than on the invoice that a customer receives after the purchase.

Customer:

the ring was bought in the bahamas...they have a office in new york...the policy was in small print on the back of the receipt/invoice....

ANDREA, :

You do not need a lawyer to sue in Small Claims Court, and if the merchant is a corporation (with "Inc," after its name) it must hire a lawyer

ANDREA, :

That is exactly what I am saying, How can you possibly have known the store's policy if you learned of it only after the purchase

Customer:

what court would have jurisdiction


 

ANDREA, :

The fact that he operates a store in New York, means that you would have to sue him in New York because in suing a Defendant, the

ANDREA, :

Plaintiff must file suit in the County in which the Defendant can be served or where the cause of action arose. You certainly do not

ANDREA, :

want to sue in the Bahamas because you would never get justice there. Whereas, in New York your chance of winning is 1,000% greater than the Bahamas

Customer:

as far as the bank, i had withdrew the money on a hunch that the resolution would not be satisfactory, hoping the bank would not let the purchase go through if the money wasnt there. they let it go through....can i be in trouble because i w/d the funds awaiting for the claim to be processed.

ANDREA, :

The Court which would have jurisdiction would be the Small Claims Court in the County where the Defendant operated his New York branch

ANDREA, :

Well, technically it would be the same as putting a "Stop Payment" on a check which was used to pay for merchandise. But, here, there's no harm done to the merchant, since he received his money anyway from your bank which left you with a negative balance,

ANDREA, :

Please be kind enough to rate "Excellent Service" so that I receive credit


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Thank you for allowing me the opportunity to be of assistance,


 


 


ANDREA

ANDREA, :

Do you need clarification on anything ?

ANDREA, :

Hi, are you still there ?

Customer:

what options do i have in repaying the bank for the transaction that i thought they had on hold pending investigation. they said that since i signed the invoice and the signature line had a clause that said by signing i agree to the terms.,,,.i didnt know terms were on back. what they told me i was getting is not what i got according to the appraisal..but i didnt know of the policy on back that said the grade difference had to be off by 2 grades in order to have a legitimate return.

ANDREA, :

I do not understand what you mean "..what options do I have in repaying the bank.......... ?"

Customer:

can the bank file charges against me for removing the funds....i will pay them back but only after a judgement

Customer:

do i have to give them the money all at once

Customer:

or can i pay gradually, i am unemployed...will they sue me for the full amount right away...did i break the law...

ANDREA, :

Normally, the bank would demand the money all at once because they paid it out. How did you originally pay for the ring ? By using your checking account ? If not how did you pay ?

You said that you withdrew the money from the bank so that they would not pay the merchant. How much did you withdraw ?

ANDREA, :

Why did the bank go ahead and pay the merchant ? What type of account was it ?

ANDREA, :

The bank is not going to wait for you to sue the merchant and get a judgment against the merchant. Your best bet is not to even mention that. But, you should speak to the bank and tell them that you will pay them, but you do not have the means to pay it all at once.

Be prepared with a good answer when the bank asks you why you bought the ring if you could not afford to and you are unemployed

Customer:

the amount of 3999 which was appraised at 2500. from my debit card checking accout. they said they went ahead and paid it cause the merchant said i did not accept their resolution of 500 or 800 store credit. one customer serv rep. said he would submit a request of a 959 reduction. but another said no...i dont understand why the bank would pay them if the money was not there....

Customer:

very high pressure sales technicque.....ie....cheapest place in the world to buy diamonds in the bahamas...saving thousands of dollars on this ring....come into the back and use our computer to transfer the funds into your cking acct...ect.

ANDREA, :

How much did you withdraw from your debit account ?

Customer:

3999 the cost of the ring from my savings

Customer:

left 100. balance

Customer:

1500 from my checking...left 100

Customer:

now balance in neg. 3999

ANDREA, :

Is it safe to assume that your debit card is linked to your savings or checking account ?

Customer:

i am waiting for a call from the bank manager...i discovered this this am

Customer:

no

ANDREA, :

What did you tell them at the bank ?

Customer:

but they took money from both

Customer:

i protested...up the ranks....waiting for head manager to come in at 2 est

ANDREA, :

The debit card is not linked to either of your 2 accounts ?

Customer:

i was very upset that they paid without consulting me of the status of my claim....it is not linked

ANDREA, :

Do you just make deposits directly into your debit card account ?

Customer:

debit is linked to checking acct

Customer:

debit and checkiing is the same...

ANDREA, :

Do you have any arrangement with the bank to cover overdrafts ?

Customer:

no

ANDREA, :

If you had no agreement with the bank, like in situations where a depositor has "overdraft" protection, they should not have paid anything to the merchant. In that case, the bank was totally wrong in paying this money to the merchant

Customer:

thank you.........what do u think i should now do...can i demand that the bank assume the cost

ANDREA, :

I think in this situation, your best defense is an offense. You should be protesting to the bank's payment. They did not have the right to pay out the money and did not have the authority to make such payment. By doing so, they removed any leverage you had with the merchant, and this is something you should tell the bank manager.

Customer:

thanks

Andrea, Esq., Lawyer
Satisfied Customers: 11703
Experience: 25 yrs. of experience in employment law, real estate and business law, family law, criminal defense and immigration.
Andrea, Esq. and 2 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you

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