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Making a Complaint

For the most part buying a piece of jewellery is a pleasant experience and often leads to a long term relationship between the consumer and the jeweller. However, from time to time, there are questions or problems that might arise.

If a problem does arise, these guidelines have been designed to help individual consumers to make a complaint with a jeweller. It provides advice on how to make the complaint and how to write a letter of complaint.

An overwhelming number of cases can be easily resolved without the JAA's intervention as often personalities and poor communication compound what essentially were easily resolvable issues. The JAA is a small team and as you can appreciate time is not always on our side, therefore we suggest that common sense and practical solutions should take precedence.

The JAA assists only with technical problems that involve a JAA member. We do take any complaint against a JAA member seriously as our main focus is to ensure that the JAA Industry Code of Conduct is upheld and not breached.

Guidelines to making a complaint

  1. Identify the exact nature of the problem – is it a technical problem? Or a sales/lay-by, lack of documentation (e.g. valuation or certification) related problem?
  2. Find any copies of receipts, warranties, valuations, diamond grading reports and any other documents related to the purchase and/or the use of the goods which are the cause of the complaint
  3. Contact the jeweller as soon as you have a problem – don’t delay. Explain the problem calmly and in as much detail as possible.
  4. Tell the business how you would like the problem solved. Remember to give the business time to look into the problem and get back to you. The business has a right to investigate the matter or assess the item before providing a response. The staff you spoke to may need to contact head office or obtain a second opinion.
  5. If you are not satisfied with the way your complaint has been handled, write a letter to the appropriate person within the business such as the store manager.
  6. If, after the jeweller has received your letter, the problem is still not resolved to your satisfaction you can then lodge a complaint online with the JAA, if the business is a member of the JAA.
    Click here to check if the business is a JAA member.
    If the JAA is to take the matter further on your behalf, you will need to lodge the complaint on the JAA website, this can be done by clicking here.
    Please note the JAA will contact the member concerned before providing a technical assessment. If you do no wish the JAA to contact the member concerned we regretfully advise we will be unable to assess the complaint. 
    Please note that complaints made outside of this formal procedure will result in delays to the JAA responding to you in our normal timely manner.
  7. The JAA assists only with technical problems that involve a JAA member. The JAA will write an unbiased technical report for the item of jewellery in question; a copy of the report will be provided to both the consumer and JAA member. There is generally no charge for this service. The JAA's recommended resolution is not legally enforceable on any party. If after JAA intervention, you are still not satisfied or the matter remains unresolved you can then refer the matter to the Fair Trading department or Consumer Affairs in your State or Territory. If you have a legal problem with a jeweller you will need to refer to the Fair Trading department or Consumer Affairs in your State or Territory. 
    For non-member complaints, please refer to the National Council of Jewellery Valuers (NCJV) website to find a valuer that can provide a quality assessment report. For more on a quality assessment report, click here.

Writing a letter of complaint

If you write a letter of complaint to a jeweller there are a number of things you need to do.

  • Include your name and contact details
  • Include the date and place where the problem occurred
  • Describe what happened without getting lost in minor detail
  • Describe what action (if any) you have taken to fix the problem
  • Give a time frame in which the jeweller can respond before you take the matter further. Seven to 14 days is appropriate
  • Detail how you would like the complaint resolved e.g. refund, repair or exchange
  • End your letter with something like ‘I look forward to your response’ to encourage a reply
  • Sign and date the letter

Don’t forget to attach a copy of any other letters you have written about the problem, as well as copies of the sales docket and other relevant documents.

Keep a copy of any letters you send and give the jeweller a reasonable amount of time to respond to your letter.

Remember, you at all times have the right to go straight to the Fair Trading department or Consumer Affairs in your State or Territory.

Government Departments

ACT Regulatory Services 02 6207 0400
NSW Fair Trading 13 32 20
NT Consumer Affairs 1800 019 319
QLD Fair Trading 13 74 68
SA Consumer and Business Affairs 131 882
TAS Consumer Affairs and Fair Trading 1300 654 499
VIC Consumer Affairs 1300 55 81 81
WA Consumer Protection, Department of Commerce 1300 30 40 54