St. Maarten Tourist Office emails apology to British woman for jewelry rip-off

POSTED: 09/14/11 11:40 AM

GREAT BAY, St. Maarten – Gus Priest, the head of visitor Services and Product Development at the Tourist Bureau has taken up the case of Jacky Evans, the British tourist who feels fleeced by a local jewelry store. Today reported about the case on Monday.
After reading the story, the tourist bureau asked this newspaper for contact information. “On behalf of the St. Maarten Tourist office we herewith apologize for the inconvenience caused while you visited our island,” Priest wrote in an email to Mrs. Evans.
With a reference to the Today Newspaper’s role in revealing the incident, Priest asked the tourist to provide contact information for the store that sold her a $1,280 gold ring. Upon arrival back home the ring showed many deficiencies. A report from Neil A. Whetstone, a British jeweler in her hometown Coventry stated that the ring should never have been sold and that the store ought to fire “those responsible for this terrible case of miss selling and unprofessionalism.”
Whetstone said that in the 33 years he has been in the jewelry business he has never seen “such a poorly patched up piece of jewelry.”
The tourist office wrote in its email to Mrs. Evans that it would not use the contact information “unless it becomes absolutely necessary.”
“The owner of the establishment promised to resolve the situation and we simply want to ensure that this happens in a speedy fashion. For this reason, we would like to ask that you keep us informed, if and when, this matter is resolved,” Priest wrote.
In the meantime, Jacky Evans has contacted this newspaper again and asked Managing Editor Hilbert Haar to act as an intermediary. Mrs. Evens will send the ring to our newspaper office and trust us with the task to collect the promised refund from the retailer.

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