The first De Beers class action checks have been received, and from what I hear, industry folk are surprisingly happy with them.
One head of a prominent jewelry manufacturer said he received a check for several hundred thousand dollars.
“It’s a nice little present,” he told me, with a hint of understatement.
Basant Johari, vice president of the Diamond Dealers Club, says applying for the claim was well worth his time.
“Everyone I talked to got five or six figures,” he says. “They were all pleasantly surprised.”
New York City diamond manufacturer Ron Van der Linden said, “Most of the people I have heard from are very pleased with the little ‘holiday bonus.’ You always wish it was more. But overall, people were thrilled.”
Another New York City dealer says: “I was among those who was asking, ‘Was it worth the effort to file a claim?’ But it was definitely worthwhile. I almost had to take a second look. I thought, ‘It’s got to be a mistake, I should take it to the bank fast and cash it.’”
The one retailer I spoke to, retired jeweler Martha Morgan, was a little less blown away. She said the money she received amounted to about one percent of what she applied for.
“It’s not as much as I wanted,” she says. “But it will help towards my upcoming vacation.”
She cautions that consumer claimants are only receiving a percentage of the amount De Beers was said to have overcharged.
“I think a lot of consumers are confused and think that they are getting a big chunk of their purchase price back,” she says. “They don’t understand the gist of what the suit is claiming.”
(By the way, there is so far no word on when consumer checks will be sent out.)
One point to consider: The first checks only include 85 percent of the final amount. The rest is being saved for a second check, with the exception of cases where the second amount totals $25 or less. So there could be even more coming.
So what’s the feeling out there among those who sent in claims and received checks? Was it worth it?