...most problems involved refund signage, with non-compliant signs including: No refunds on discounted/sale items or No refunds after 7 days or No refund or exchanges on earrings.

“These signs are not okay because under the ACL, people automatically receive guarantees from businesses providing goods or services,” he said.

“If jewellery is not of acceptable quality, people can and should use ACL guarantees to get things fixed or replaced or to get their money back, whether products and services were bought from a retailer or manufacturer.

Click here to read the full media release from NSW Fair Trading

Operation Sparkle highlights 3 fundamental problems in the Australian jewellery retail industry today.

Professional sales training and comprehensive courses in retail jewellery stores are almost non existent. Furthermore, those who do implement some training often leave out fundamental consumer law components such as trade practices, the impact of what the sales people communicate, and the concept of "implied warranty". Implied warranty is a retailer's obligations regardless of statements which they think they can write on a poster to deny basic consumer rights, as discussed in the article. This all needs to be taught to anyone who works in a jewellery store.

The second issue is that selling in a retail store is not perceived as a profession. There are no University or other extended education courses which teach jewellery retailing in Australia. In the jewellery trade many people start out either as part timers during school or in family businesses, then just sort of continue in the trade.

How can we expect a comprehensive education if one doesn't exist?

The third aspect is that only when the Jewellery Industry begins acting collectively and inclusively we will both provide the right education and set the standards for jewellery retail in Australia.