Jewellery store closes; customers unable to retrieve goods



A Gold Coast jeweller has upset some of his customers after agreeing to repair and sell their jewellery on consignment, and then failing to return their pieces after his store was closed.

Inca Gold Jewellers closed unexpectedly in August, leaving customers unable to retrieve the jewellery they allegedly entrusted with the business owner, Robert Dalton. Lorraine James, an unhappy customer, said she was told that Dalton had “defaulted in rent”, and was locked out of the premises.

It is claimed that Dalton sent a letter to customers, which said he was unable to enter his store “due to back rent owing”, and that he hoped this matter would be resolved as soon as possible.

However, three months later and there is still no resolution, leaving some people feeling frustrated.

One customer, Monica Griffiths, provided Dalton with more than 25 pieces of gold jewellery in January to sell on consignment, and more than six months on Dalton had only sold one item, with Griffiths unable to retrieve the others. The jewellery is reported to be valued at $8,000.

Griffiths told A Current Affair, “I feel that there’s not going to be any resolution to it”, explaining that she called Dalton on several occasions, and that he never returned her calls.

Other customers managed to contact Dalton, who twice arranged to meet with them at the store so they could collect their jewellery. Dalton failed to arrive on each occasion, first claiming the area was a COVID hotspot, and later that he was too unwell to meet.

Complaints made through official channels have uncovered some information, including that Dalton does not possess a current second-hand dealer’s license.

When contacted by Nine News, Dalton said he couldn’t return his customers’ jewellery because the store locks had been changed.

However, the centre management staff refute the claim, and they told A Current Affair that Dalton “has not presented at Helensvale Plaza at the agreed times for the purposes of disarming the tenancy.”

Dissatisfied customers have contacted both the media and the Queensland Office of Fair Trading, in the hopes of resolving the matter.
 

WATCH ON CURRENT AFFAIR

Robert Dalton, owner of Inca Gold Jewellers Image: A Current Affair

Monica Griffiths, took 25 pieces of jewellery worth more than $8000 to Inca Gold Jewellers to sell on consignment.
Image: A Current Affair

 

Letter from Robert Dalton to client informing them of being locked out due to unpaid rent.
Image: Gold Coast Bulletin





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