After years of delays, the first checks from the De Beers Class Action Settlement were finally mailed on August 31 to the jewelry resellers (including retailers) who filed claims. While you may have already cashed your settlement check, your customers will have to wait a little longer. According to the De Beers Diamond Class Action Settlement website, www.diamondsclassaction.com, distribution to other subclasses (including consumers) should take place within the next few months.
While some in the industry are happy with the results, jewelry customers who expected a big payment could be disappointed once the checks finally arrive. Jewelers of America offers the following tips to help manage expectations and answer consumer questions about the settlement:
- Let Customers Know the Wait is Almost Over: Jewelry customers may have heard that jewelers have received checks in the mail and ask why they have not received one. Tell them that consumer claims have yet to be finalized and distributed. The good news is that this should to take place in the next few months.
- Manage Expectations: If asked, remind customers that the amount that any individual could receive depends on the amount of the claim itself, and how that compares to the total number of claims filed in the consumer class.
- Note Payment Limits: Consumers should not expect to receive a full refund on the diamonds or diamond jewelry they purchased. Their pro rata share of the settlement fund is up to a “recognized claim percentage” of the purchase price. More information about the calculation of claims can be found in Appendix B of the Notice of Proposed Settlement.
- Jewelers’ Claims Do Not Impact Consumer Claims: Consumers and jewelers are in separate sub-classes, and the De Beers Diamond Settlement fund has been divided between them. The total number of jewelers’ claims has no impact on the amount individual consumers ultimately receive.
- Direct Customers to the De Beers Settlement website: www.diamondsclassaction.com includes important updates and provides detailed information for the consumer subclass.