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Michael Hill Lifetime Warranty - Junk

In 2015 my wife and I bought a wedding ring at Michael Hill and elected to purchase a lifetime warranty for it. Recently a diamond fell out of the ring and upon returning to Michael Hill they advised that we needed to bring the ring in every 6 months for inspection for the warranty to be valid. I can’t remember if this was highlighted at the time of purchase, but I believe I would not have purchased the warranty if I was aware of that clause. As for the clause it’s in small print on the second page of the warranty documents.

I’ve raised query with the ACCC but does anyone here know if I have any recourse? If not then let this be a cautionary tale to others as this warranty isn’t worth the paper it’s printed on.

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Sorry to hear that Micheal Hill Jewellers is giving you the run around in relation to the defective diamond ring.

Yes you do have a number of potential recourses.

  1. ACL Implied Warranty

Assuming that the diamond fell out because of a fault with the ring and not damaged caused by the wearer, under the Australian Consumer Law (ACL) there is an implied warranty above and beyond and warranty offered by the manufacturer retailer.

One needs to ask how long a reasonable person would expect a diamond ring to be fault free. If it was a expensive diamond ring with a real diamond (not a man made one), then one would expect that the ring should be fault free for many years. Depending on the purchase price and what information was provided at the time of sale (such as a high quality ring), this could be say 10 years. Any defect then should be resolved under the ACL.

  1. Disclosure of special conditions

It appears from your post that they did not disclose this key and critical information about the special condition at the time they sold you the ‘lifetime warranty’. If this is the case, it could be seen as misleading or deceptive conduct or unfair contract terms.conditions under the ACL.

Such information should have been disclosed at the time of the sale of the ‘lifetime warranty’ rather than hidden in some fine print. A retailer can’t expect a customer to read the agreement/fine print at the point of sale and any key information which affects the sold service should have been disclosed.

I also assume that the return of the ring to the store would have possibly incurred a fee for say cleaning and inspection. If one had known the conditions, one would not have purchased the extended warranty.

What to Do:
Make sure that you lodge a formal complaint with Michael Hill advising the above information. Also indicate that since you were mislead in relation to the’lifetime warranty’ on its sale by their retailing staff, request that the cost of the ‘lifetime warranty’ be reimbursed (particularly since it has not value to you and that the special conditions were not disclosed).

The ACCC has information on how to draft a letter of complaint…

Also record any interactions with them (particularly verbal ones). When I mean record, after the discussion write notes summarising what was discussed in the contact.

In the letter also make a comment that you plan to take the matter further should they not resolve it to your satisfaction.

If you a Choice Member, it may also be worth approaching Choice Help to also see if they can be of assistance:

Most bought extended warranties have limited value. While it may help your previous decision, Choice has covered these in the past:

Good luck and you do have a right to challenge the information provided to you from Micheal Hill Jewellers. Also let us know how you get on.

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{Edit: @phb beat me to this by a couple of keystrokes, but we are essentially saying the same thing from what I can see.}

I would suggest that in this case I wouldn’t be relying on the extended warranty. I would be relying on the Australian Consumer Law, which states that (except if the ring was misused/abused):

  1. Goods must be of an acceptable quality. If an expensive diamond ring fails after four years, it is not of acceptable quality.
  2. Fit for purpose. An expensive diamond ring should last for decades at least.

Therefore, the retailer (Michael Hill Jewellers) is liable under the ACL to remedy the fault.

Please refer to how to make a consumer complaint.

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Without implying to contradict anything @meltam or @phb posted, ALL stone jewellery and especially expensive stone jewellery with claw settings (as well as channel settings) NEEDS to be checked not less than annually. If any setting is getting lose it is an easy fix, sometimes done gratis or for nominal cost

Why? Gold, especially 18kt, is actually somewhat soft as metals go and it flexes as well as may have caught on clothing and received gentle tugs that did not obviously cause harm, but over time and given enough of them can indeed loosen stones.

If a claw arm fell off that would obviously be a defect. Whether one believes stones should never become lose in what is a soft metal setting and that constitutes quality is for the individual to ‘argue’.

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Just to let everyone know the resolution to this. My wife had left the ring with them for a repair quote so she called the store and asked if she could pick the ring up as we were considering our options. When she got there the sales assistant had called a manager who authorized the repair for free, but we were advised that we would need to bring it in every six months from now.

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Thanks for sharing that, an excellent outcome :slight_smile:

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Good to see ‘common sense’ prevailed and they did the repair for free.

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Hi there,
That is a great outcome for you both.

I am wondering if your able to advise which Michael Hill Store this was?

Not sure if you will see this but just encase I thought I would ask…

Thank you

@Cynicide

Hello, Sorry. I’m not really comfortable commenting on which store it was in public. I know this must be frustrating but they’re a big company and I’d think all their stores have similar policies.

Yes, sorry!! I totally understand.
Wasn’t sure if it would be public or just between us.
But yes you would like to think that the would be the same with all stores.
Thank you :smiley:

Members wishing to communicate privately can click an avatar and select the ‘message’ tool.

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That will be personal and private to those who are addressed in the message.

Sometimes that is the case and is reasonably expected but it often devolves to local management where some are more customer focused than others, an aspect not unique to any company’s operations.

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