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Purchase whilst on holiday in Thailand

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I'm not sure if this is the correct area to post this thread, or if anyone can help me...


Whilst on holiday in Thailand I purchased a ring from Gems Gallery, Bangkok when on a trip organised by Tour East. The ring cost £400 - so a sizeable amount, in my opinion and came with a 'life-time' guarantee on goods and services. I also have a certificate (if that is worth anything!).


I did not wear the ring during the holiday for fear of losing it in the sea! When I did return after 3 weeks, I put on the ring and by lunch time I notice the topaz stone was missing (the stone had been set using claws).


I immediately contacted the company by email. When I had not received a reply after 4 days, I contacted my VISA company who tried to ring Gems and had no reply, but because I purchased the ring using chip n pin, I have no come-back there (they did try to help).


I emailed all of the Gem's stores, their head office and the tour company. Eventually about 2 weeks later, I received a reply offering 2 options:



  1. They would send a replacement stone and I would have to pay the cost of having it re-set
  2. Give it to someone who is visiting Thailand and they would repair it

I find neither of the above satisfactory and have emailed them saying so. I have now requested that I either receive a full refund or a new ring. No reply as yet.


I am, however dubious as to whether they will agree. Does anyone have any advice as to my position with this foreign company? Not only am I peeved at having spent so much money, but this was to be a souvenir of a special holiday.


Thank you :cool:

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Can you not do a section 75 chargeback under the visa regulations? If you ring your card co and ask for the section 75 team, they may take on the negotiations for you. Hopefully someone will be along shortly to confirm that section 75 applies abroad...

Poppynurse :)


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Can you not do a section 75 chargeback under the visa regulations? If you ring your card co and ask for the section 75 team, they may take on the negotiations for you. Hopefully someone will be along shortly to confirm that section 75 applies abroad...


Try the OFT.


I know they were minded that s.75 did apply abroad whilst the card companies were resisting it.Not sure what the outcome was.


Personally I would have grabbed the replacement stone - I'm suprised they offered anything!

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Thank you for your reply.

There were a number of reasons that I did not accept the replacement stone:


  1. I bought the ring along with a guarantee of goods and service. I was provided with a certificate as Gems is a reputable company (recommended by our tour operator) and I feel that I should not have to go to the trouble and expense of correcting poor workmanship.
  2. How can I be sure that the stone that they send me is of a good quality and I would assume that Gems would no longer guarantee the item if someone else has worked on it.
  3. I paid for the ring using VISA and have now found out that they have equal liability under section 75 of the Consumer Credit Act 1975 – if I accept the stone, then I will have no other come back. This section does cover purchases made abroad as ruled by the House of Lords.

Since my last message, I have received an email from Gems asking for a copy of the guarantee and receipt and I think they may give a refund (although their English is very good, it is a little unclear at the moment).

Just in case they will not refund the money, I am also sending a letter to my VISA card company outlining their liability. I have also mentioned that I will withhold payment to the value of the ring until the matter is resolved satisfactorily. I have also been advised that I could contact the financial ombudsman, which I will do if all else fails.




I am hopeful that I will get it sorted :rolleyes:.

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Take the replacement stone. A decent back street jeweller (ie not a chain) will do the job in 10 minutes for a surprisingly small sum.


As the purchase is outside the UK you can't expect protection by UK consumer legislation - the shop's offer for a replacement stone is pretty fair in the circumstances.


Section 75 does give the card company equal liability - if the jeweller does not comply with Thailand's laws.... I'd take the stone.


By the way, you can only bring £175 worth back duty free - so did you pay duty on the item? If you did not - maybe best delete this thread fast!!!!

British Shoe Corporation - won :) BT - won :) West Lancs Council - lost :-x 02 - won :) British Airways - still fighting :o STOP PRESS - RSPCA - daughter won with letters I wrote :)

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