Best of Time International of Marietta to Pay $279K to Resolve Complaints of Deceptive Sales and Advertising Practices
ATLANTA, GA – John Sours, Administrator of the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection (“GOCP”), today announced that the agency has entered into a settlement with Marietta, GA-based jewelry companies Best of Time International, LLC; its affiliates Alex Jewelry Inc., Luxury Fine Watches, LLC, and Igrar, LLC, and their owners Agaverdi Mamedov, Igrar Mamedov, Tamilla Mamedova, and Madlena Aslanova.
Through the entity Best of Time, the companies sell jewelry and second-hand luxury watches (along with a small selection of new watches) at their storefront in Marietta and on their website. GOCP believes that the companies committed multiple violations of the Georgia Fair Business Practices Act, including:
- Falsely representing used watches as new;
- Advertising price reductions from the companies’ “original” prices, when those original prices were not actual, bona fide prices;
- Misrepresenting the appraisal value of merchandise and the qualifications of persons completing appraisals on the companies’ behalf;
- Failing to disclose the existence of aftermarket parts and modification to the companies’ Rolex watches;
- Failing to provide and properly retain duplicate written invoices disclosing that watches are “secondhand”;
- Creating a false sense of urgency by representing that certain price reductions would end at midnight of a certain day, when that was not the case; and by advertising certain Rolex watches on the Deal of the Day section of the website, when the prices were actually good beyond one day.
In resolution of this matter, the companies and their owners have entered into an Assurance of Voluntary Compliance that requires them to pay $229,877.95 in consumer restitution, a $25,000 civil penalty, and $25,000 in administrative fees.
“Our investigation led us to believe that these companies misled consumers in a multitude of ways,” says Mr. Sours. “Consumers spent a lot of money on products because they believed they were getting authentic, high-quality items at a discounted rate. Unfortunately, it appears that many consumers did not get what they thought they were buying.”
Consumer restitution will be allocated between two groups—$144,877.95 for “Identified Consumers” and $85,000 for “Unidentified Consumers.” Identified Consumers will be given two options:
- They can return their watch and receive a full refund; or
- They can keep their watch and receive a partial refund in the amount of 25 cents on the dollar for each dollar of the purchase price.
All other eligible consumers (the "Unidentified Consumers") will have 90 days to complete and submit claim forms to GOCP. Successful claimants are eligible to receive up to 25 cents on the dollar for each dollar of their original purchase price from a claim pool. Should successful claims exceed $85,000, the Unidentified Consumer Restitution will be reduced on a pro rata basis. Consumers who have made purchases from Best of Time during the period September 1, 2011 through and including July 25, 2014 may be eligible for restitution. Consumers who believe they may be entitled to compensation under the settlement can fill out a claim form and submit it to GOCP, along with supporting documentation.
In order to be considered for restitution, Claim forms must be postmarked, faxed or hand-delivered no later than 5:00 pm on September 24, 2014 for "Identified Consumers", and by November 5, 2014 for "Unidentified Consumers."
Consumers can download a claim form from GOCP’s website (www.consumer.ga.gov), or request a form by calling the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection at 404-651-8600 or 800-869-1123 (in Georgia, outside the Atlanta Metro area).
Completed claims, along with supporting documentation, should be faxed to the Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection at 404-463-8212 or sent via mail or overnight delivery, or hand-delivered to:
Best of Time Restitution Program
c/o Investigator J. Byron Hogan
Governor’s Office of Consumer Protection
2 Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. SE, Suite 356
Atlanta, GA 30334-9077