Deadline Approaching for Harris Jewelry Settlement Refunds
Military servicemembers and others who could be eligible to get money back from the now-defunct chain have until April 15 to apply.
In July 2022, the Federal Trade Commission and 18 state attorneys general reached a settlement with the Hauppauge, New York-based jeweler over claims it took advantage of its customers by telling customers that financing jewelry through the company would boost their credit scores, which was not true in most cases; telling customers they had to purchase the store’s Lifetime Jewelry and Watch Protection Plan in order to finance their purchase, which was not the case; and routinely adding protection plans costing between $40 and $350 to customers’ bills without disclosure.
Harris Jewelry neither admitted nor denied the allegations but did agree under the settlement to issue millions in refunds to more than 46,000 customers who unknowingly paid for a warranty for their jewelry.
Late last month, at least one state attorney general’s office, North Carolina, issued a consumer alert reminding former Harris Jewelry customers that the deadline to file for a refund is April 15.
The alert noted, “many former customers are still eligible for some or total refunds, but they may not know it.”
Refund applications are available on the Harris Jewelry website.
As part of the settlement, Harris Jewelry also agreed to cease collection on $21.3 million in loans held by more than 13,000 customers and help former customers with the deletion of any negative entries on their credit reports tied to their Harris Jewelry account.
The alert from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office reminds consumers they no longer need to make any payments to Harris Jewelry or Consumer Adjustment Corp. USA (CAUSA), the name the retailer used for its financing operation.
The North Carolina AG also urges them to check their credit reports and, if they still have negative reports or judgements because of Harris or CAUSA, email the office at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Harris Jewelry website also provides the New York State Attorney General’s Office as a resource. Those with questions about the settlement may call 315-523-6080.
Founded in 1955 by U.S. Marine and World War II veteran Jerome L. Harris, Harris Jewelry had stores on and near military bases nationwide.
The company closed all 18 of its stores in the spring of 2021 and said it was moving its business online, citing the “steep decline in sales” brought about by the pandemic.
As part of the settlement reached the following July, Harris Jewelry agreed to shut down entirely.
As of press time, the retailer’s website was a single page containing information about the refund and a note that it will be closing down soon and is no longer accepting requests for jewelry repair, battery replacement and other services covered by its protection plan.
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