I wasted $1,000 on fake jewelry during my cruise!

Susan Parelman was enjoying a cruise on Royal Caribbean’s Harmony of the Seas when she disembarked in Cozumel, Mexico to do some shopping. Unfortunately, she felt she was “ripped off” at a jewelry store that she claimed was vetted by the cruise line and now she wants a refund.

The Florida native spent about $947 on a ring featuring a “fancy yellow emerald.” Once she returned home, she decided it was a fake and wanted to return it. She attempted to contact the store by phone and email, but none of the contact information was correct.

Fake jewelry?

Then she contacted her credit card company, Chase, which suggested that she obtain an appraisal from a local jeweler showing that the ring she got was not what she believed she had bought. Chase also denied her claim because she had not returned the ring and there was no proof of a billing error.

Parelman had received an “appraisal” from the store at the time of purchase that showed that her $947 purchase was worth $3,200. However, her local jeweler’s appraisal indicated that the ring was most likely worth $300. The appraisal also claimed “There is no such thing as a yellow emerald. It must be green to be an emerald.”

Nevertheless, an internet search for “yellow emerald” shows that the term is also used to describe golden beryl. Her jeweler’s appraisal lists this gem.

Parelman next contacted our advocates, who confirmed that she had not shopped at one of Royal Caribbean’s recommended shops in Cozumel.

Our advocate Dwayne Coward referred Parelman to the Federal Trade Commission’s article about disputing credit card charges.

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Coward also suggested that the only option Parelman may have is to take legal action against the company. Of course, she would need to take this action within the Mexican legal system.

Carefully consider cruise purchases

Cruisers should always carefully consider their purchases. Remember, once you arrive home it can be impossible to get a refund or return the item. And don’t forget to make sure you’re shopping at one of your ship’s trusted vendors.

Unfortunately, we’ll have to file this as a Case Dismissed. I’m sorry we couldn’t have been more helpful.

Mark Pokedoff

Four-time Emmy-award-winning television sports production specialist and frequent traveler. Longtime freelance writer and travel blog enthusiast. Proud papa of four amazing kids who have been upgraded to first class more than all their friends combined. Read more of Mark's articles here.

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