Fine Gold Jewellers (potential scam)

January 24, 2008

For Christmas & Anniversary (expensive gift!) my girlfriend gave me a ring, white gold, really nice, but a little too big.  Free sizing with purchase, though.  We brought the ring back to the store (Fine Gold Jewelers) for a fitting.  They told me it would be a day or two, or a week!  Pretty definite timing!

A week goes by and I don’t hear anything.  Another week goes by and I still don’t hear anything.  We go into the store (two weeks to the day I dropped it off).  They don’t have it.  Store manager tells me he’ll call Head Office and let me know status the next day.

I get a call on Monday morning.  This particular ring cannot be re-sized, so they have to cast a new one & that’s what was taking so long.  They would have the ring on Tuesday night.  I was busy, so didn’t go until last night.

The Retailer pulls the ring out of the envelope and my immediate (Blink!) reaction was – this is a different ring, smaller.  I tried it on & it didn’t feel the same.  My girlfriend & I find the original ring in the display cabinet.  It’s more lustrous, larger and thicker.

It turns out that they cast a smaller ring – 1mm in width and 1mm in depth.  And…why wasn’t it as lustrous?!  I don’t think it was the same quality metal.

So, I THINK this is the possible scam.  They sell their product at 50% off & offer free fitting.  When they ‘resize’ the item, they ‘shrink’ it down in an attempt to regain some value from their sale price.  Their mistake in this case was trying to do it on someone who has an uncanny ability to recognize size, distance, dimension, etc.

I have to wait another week for another new ring.  We’ll see what happens this time around.

In the mean time, I thought I would do a web search on this particular retailer.  Lo & behold – there is a 2002 ruling by the Competition Tribunal concerning the deceptive marketing practices, which cost the owners $25k in a single fine.  The nice thing about that link (above) is that you can view the original (signed) documents regarding the ruling against Fine Gold Jewellers & The Diamond Co.

Apparently, they have a perpetual 50% off sale, but the original list price is inflated (meaning the retailer does not sell any products for the pre-sale list price).  The regular price is the sale price.  The pre-sale list price was doubled (roughly!).

BEWARE– if you’ve ever purchased anything from this retailer and had it re-sized (or whatever), try to compare it to the original you purchased.  Check the display piece for the product you purchased.  There is a possibility that you did not get what you purchased.

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Passport Canada (Serious Security Breach)

December 8, 2007

As an addendum to the post about Ontario Driver’s Licences, new security features & encoding citizenship information.

Read about how critical personal information was available to the web-viewing public on Canada’s Passport website.

And the government (doesn’t matter which level!) thinks it can provide security.


High-Tech Ontario Driver’s Licenses (Another Sham)

December 7, 2007

Ontario released it’s new high-tech driver’s licence today.  It is supposed to be much more secure than existing licences, with new security features like:

  • A two-dimensional barcode
  • Rainbow printing
  • Raised lettering of the licence’s number, signature and date of birth  
  • Just wondering – aren’t all bar codes two dimensional?  Every one I’ve ever seen has height and width – otherwise there wouldn’t really be anything to scan.  But the other features sound secure…I guess.

    But here’s the kicker – the Ontario government is hoping that US Homeland Security will allow the new (secure) licences as legitimate travel documents (in lieu of passports).  However, in order to do so, citizenship information must be encoded onto the driver’s licence.

    Whoa!  Let the profiling begin.  For instance, the government could analyze traffic offences vs. country of birth.  Insurance companies might figure out that certain countries produce poor drivers for Ontario conditions and surreptitiously hike rates.

    Or//

    The government (specifically, law enforcement) could generate a list of all driver’s from Iraq, Iran or whichever country might be defined as a threat (?!!) to the west and do what?  I don’t know, but the fact that a list such as this could be generated is frightening.

    Not sure it’s a good idea to lump most (all) personal information into a single source.  We’re worried about identity theft and the solution is to put more information in one place?!  That’s kind of like grouping all the planes at Pearl Harbor into the centre of the field.  It solved a small problem (local sabotage) and opened the door to a much greater problem (bombs from the sky).

    Just a few passing thoughts.

    If you want to read the full story.