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Law Educator, Esq.
Law Educator, Esq., Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
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Experience:  Attorney experienced in commercial litigation.
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To Whom It May Concern: My husband and I purchased a white

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To Whom It May Concern:

My husband and I purchased a white gold engagement ring and two wedding bands from Macy's Herald square in NYC in November 2011. We've had the rings for exactly a year and a half and the white gold has turned yellow due to it being Rhodium plated in order to turn yellow gold into white gold. Apparently this is only way to obtain white gold.

The fine jewelry expert at Macy's never explained that the white gold would turn yellow and that we would have to get the ring re-plated in Rhodium for the life of the ring for it to look like white gold again.

I called Macy's corporate office to see if I can get a refund for the cost of the rings and I am being told that since I did not purchase the extended care warranty that any repairs to the ring would be at my cost and that I could not get a refund.

My position is that if Macy's would have explained what happens to white gold before we purchased the rings we would have opted to buy a platinum setting instead. Macy's should not have to hide behind us not having a extended care warranty when they failed to clearly explain the quality of their product.

I need to know what I can do legally to perferably get a refund or at the very least get Macy's to re-plated the rings for a lifetime. Please give me some advice. I would be very grateful. Ari
Thank you for your question. I look forward to working with you to provide you the information you are seeking.

White gold is yellow gold that is actually mixed with various metals in different degrees to obtain the white color. The Rhodium plating is used to give the gold its shiny color. A properly plated ring or white gold piece will not lose its color (I have had a piece for over 10 years that I never take off and it has never had to be plated again). It is completely natural for white gold to eventually turn based on wear and tear and for that Macy's would not be liable, but the ring has turned very quickly here and needs to be taken to an independent jeweler to determine whether or not the ring was properly plated as your only chance at a claim against Macy's is if you can prove that the ring they sold you was defective in some type of way and was not properly plated.

Aside from proving the manufacturing defect, I am afraid that unless you asked the store about what white gold was, it is up to the consumer to have made the inquiries. Had you asked the seller at Macy's about the gold turning color and they intentionally misrepresented this to you and you can prove that, then you would have a case of misrepresentation you could rely upon for legal action, but it is the customer's duty to ask about a product and not the seller's duty to inform the customer about something like this. Absent manufacturing defect as well, what is happening to your ring is normal for white gold and as such it would not legally entitle you to a claim for Macy's to provide you lifetime plating or care I am sorry to say.

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Law Educator, Esq. and 3 other Consumer Protection Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Thank you for your repsonse. I did not specifically ask if the white gold would turn yellow but I did ask a general questions about the overall quality of the rings in terms of how long it would last without issues since they keep pushing us to buy the extended care warrenty. The expert never said anything about the ring tarnishing and only mentioned that the warranty would be good if the diamond become loose.

As conssumer we don't have any protective rights when we go to an "expert" to purchase items we no nothing about."

I just dont get how they are not responsible in some way when they claim to be experts and advertise to trust them with their expertise. So I really don't have any recourse?
Thank you for your response.

The problem with white gold, as you read in the article is that it may or may never tarnish. As I said, I have a white gold piece I have been wearing daily without ever taking it off for over 10 years and have never had one problem, but there are some people whose white gold does tarnish after several years. As I said though, one year or two years is mighty fast and it may be due to a manufacturing defect and not just the rhodium coming off from wear and tear, which is why I suggested you bring it to another jeweler and have it examined for a manufacturing issue.

Macy's and the manufacturer though are not liable under the consumer protection laws, except for manufacturing defects, beyond the scope of the warranty they issue I am afraid.

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