You’ve booked the table, ordered the flowers and bought the expensive engagement ring, but how do you get your money back if she says no?
Last year, Consumer Direct, the UK government advice service, received numerous calls from spurned lovers asking how they could get a refund on engagement rings that were no longer needed after February 14th.
Michele Shambrook, Contact Centre Manager for Consumer Direct explains: ‘If you take an unwanted engagement ring back to the shop, I’m sorry to say you have no rights to an automatic refund or exchange unless you have made an agreement with the jeweller, so you could lose a lot of money. We’d recommend getting this in writing or making sure that it’s written on the receipt.’
Canny romantics may also want to consider the extra consumer protection available when buying online. Legally, people buying goods online normally have a right to return unwanted items for up to seven days after delivery which could be very useful if you’re not sure she’ll say yes. However, traders can charge return postage, and there are exemptions for goods that are made to order, engraved, or altered to fit.
Consumer Direct has put together the following list of tips for those considering buying jewellery:
* Shop around and compare quality, price, and service. Shop with well known or reputable companies and if you don’t, do your homework to make sure they’re legitimate. This is particularly important if you’re shopping online.
* Ask for the store’s refund or returns policy before buying. And keep your receipt in case of any problems.
* Check for the appropriate hallmark on metal jewellery or for diamond purchases (usually for diamonds of half a carat or more), make sure you are given a certificate.
* Make sure the jeweller writes on the sales receipt any information you relied on when making your purchase, such as the gem’s weight or size.
* If you’re buying jewellery costing over Â£100, consider using a credit card, as this may offer you extra protection should problems arise.
* If you’re shopping online for jewellery look for an address to write to or a phone number to call if you have a question, a problem or need help.
Anyone needing further advice can contact Consumer Direct on 08454 040506 or visit the website at www.consumerdirect.gov.uk.