Yes it's long but read it before you shop at diamonds international.
We took a norwegian epic cruise in march 2013. I went through the shopping seminar given on the cruise ship. The one benefit of attending was getting vip cards that gave you additional discounts at “trusted” retailers. We arrived at the diamonds international harbor village store (st. Maarten) early morning. Nick was our sales consultant. We found a 1.50 ct tw three-diamond ring in yellow gold. We weren’t planning on getting a ring that day. We just wanted to see the best price we could get and compare it to the ship’s best price ($6800). Well, the salespeople are very good. If you say something like, “this is our first store and that sounds like a good price but we’d like to check around”, they’ll always start by saying “can I ask you a question?” and then ask what it would take to buy right now or, “early morning customers get the best pricing. Give me a minute and let me see what I can do”. So he returns, gives me a price and I lay down the vip card. “oh, you have a vip card. Let me get the manager shasi.” well shasi is out behind the store talking to a woman. We wait and wait. He then gets on his phone. I’m told he’s calling new york trying to get me the best price. He finally comes over, drops the price, and says this is the best price you will get from any store. I’m still hesitant. So he offers to call todd from norwegian because he suggests I ask todd if the price is really that good. Todd and nichole are the “shopping consultants” on the epic. So I wait some more and finally todd gets on the phone and tells me that di typically discounts about 65% off retail. Their price to me of $2395 (add $47 for credit card foreign transaction fee) is 75% off retail so I am definitely getting a good deal. So after an hour in the store, we decide to buy. The ring itself has round diamonds and has color of h-j and si1-si2 clarity. The inclusions are easily seen with a loupe. We leave the store and walk around st. Maarten while the ring is getting sized. Just before going back to the ship in early afternoon, I stop in majesty jewelers to see if I can find the same ring. Sure enough, same color range, si1-si2 and 1.49ct. Vs. 1.50ct. He takes the ring out of the case and while my wife is verifying it’s the same ring, I lay down my vip card for majesty jewelers. Within 30 seconds I get a price of $2250. No haggling, no “let me get the manager”, no 20 questions, just their best price direct from the sales consultant. I thanked him and said no, went back to di to pick up the ring and complained. All nick could do was to say majesty’s price was below cost and they would tack on additional fees for sizing and whatever else. I don’t know if that’s true. Also beware that they will offer to send all the paperwork direct to your home via postal mail. This is supposedly done so customs won’t be able to find any proof that you bought the diamonds and they won’t be able to tax you. So I agreed to have them send it to my house. They put all the paperwork in an envelope and I wrote my home address on it. Three and a half weeks later, I still don’t have the paperwork. So I search the web for the phone number for the st. Maarten store. Nothing. I call the 800 number and i’m given a number with a [protected]) country code. The number doesn’t work. Searching the web, I find out that beginning sept 2011, st. Maarten began to change over to the 721 area code.in sept 2012, the 599 area code no longer worked. So the people who answer the 800 number on the web are still giving out the wrong phone number?? I go home that evening and look at the charge card receipt. Sure enough, it still says the country code is 599. Really? It’s six months after the new 721 area code has become mandatory! After three days of trying to reach nick, I called friday morning and got voicemail that says “this person cannot be reached at the moment….” really? A standard voice mail greeting that doesn’t even acknowledge that you’ve reached di? Does this sound like a well-run company? I believe di says that if the ring appraises for less than the sales price they’ll take it back. While we are waiting for the paperwork to arrive we had it appraised at a local jeweler. True, it was appraised for a little more than what we paid. However, the jewelry store owner told my wife he’d never sell anything of such low quality. That and the fact that we never received the sales papers from di in the mail caused us think about returning the ring. The paper work has the terms and conditions of sale and more importantly it had the clarity, color etc. So to compare the color and clarity from the local jewelry store appraisal, I need the paperwork from diamonds int’l. I’ve got 30 days to make a return and still no paperwork from di. I called the di office in new york in inquire about the return policy. Get this: for returned items that you purchase in-store (as opposed to online) you get store credit! So if you just spent all your money on the cruise, alcohol, confiscatory tipping and a diamond ring, you might not have the money to take another cruise to exchange your ring. The moral of the story is skip the hassle and sales rituals at di and go somewhere else. If you are happy with your purchase great, if you ever have to contact them or have an issue, be prepared to spend a lot of time and agony getting what you want. Btw, I received my paperwork on the 31st day after the purchase. Sound suspicious? They knew we were not happy and despite being told that the paperwork would leave st. Maarten in the envelope that I had personally handwritten my address on, it finally came to me in a completely different envelope straight from new york. I believe this was done on purpose to prevent us from returning the ring within 30 days.