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British Gold Refinery rapped by ASA for misleading advertising

The British Gold Refinery
British Gold Refinery

Seller beware! The price quoted on the British Gold Refinery calculator is NOT the price you will be paid!

The Advertising Standards Agency (ASA) has taken action against Cash for Gold company Weston Knightly, trading as The British Gold Refinery, for misleading advertising and spurious scrap gold prices.

The adjudication, published on the ASA website refers to website content and online advertising, published between May and July 2011.

Three complainants challenged that their advertising was misleading because customers were not clearly advised they would have to pay an administration fee if they wanted their gold returned.

The ASA observed that if an offer is rejected, the customer will be liable to an administration fee of £35 + VAT before items are returned and that this should be prominently displayed, rather than hiding it within their Terms and Conditions.

They also upheld a complaint regarding an unsubstantiated advert, stating “We pay 70% more”.

ASA Adjudication: Weston Knightly t/a British Gold Refinery

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18 Responses to “British Gold Refinery rapped by ASA for misleading advertising”

  1. Goldealers says:

    Well spotted GoldTraders!

    The ASA have gone very easy on the British Gold Refinery.

    BGR mention about their terms and conditions, yet these terms and conditions are next to impossible to find on their website. (I only found it by typing “british gold refinery terms conditions” into google)

    Those fortunate enough to have found and read the ts&cs, aren’t they unnecessarily complex? I would suggest that anybody who actually read them most definitely would not use the service.

    Take their price match guarantee for example:
    “7.6 We reserve the right to refuse any price match request for any reason at our discretion.”

  2. Goldealers says:

    For those interested in reading the laughable terms & conditions by the way, here is the link… britishgoldrefinery.co.uk/terms/

  3. RIPPED OFF CUSTOMER says:

    And over two months on NOTHING HAS CHANGED!!!!
    I sent them a gold watch, worth £950 over a week ago. I refused their downright insulting offer of £214 for it – now they will not return it until I pay them £50.
    Their website has not changed since the ASA ruling – I have informed the ASA and they are now involving their compliance team.
    If their website had been honest I WOULD NEVER have sent them my jewellery.
    This is a long story cut short but my advice to anyone thinking of sending them any personal items – DON’T!!! AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!!!

  4. Maria Grivas says:

    I sent some gold to British gold refinery, but had to keep chasing them for a quote, when i recieved it i was not happy with the offer, and was shocked to be told they wanted £50 to return my items, i sent them a cheque for that amount, again i had to chase them for the return of my gold, their reply was that they had not recieved my cheque, i checked with my bank and found it had been cashed 2 weeks earlier. After contacting them again with this information they said it would be returned, A week later my gold was returned.

  5. Debbie says:

    I have just had a long conversation with the Sales Manager Micheal, regarding the Terms & Conditions and how mis-leading they are and how important information for the customer is not on the first page of the website. I weighed my gold and calculated how much I would receive from British Gold Refinery
    it quoted £192.00 I received a cheque for £89.15 ! Obviously I was not happy. He explained that the gold had gone down in price and also the cost to test it and admisitrations fees have to be considered. What twaddle! If I wanted my gold returned it would cost me in the region of £50.00 – They win either way.

    I was expecting them to contact me with a quote for my gold, but because I ticked the box for an automatic payment they do not call you with a quotation. But this is not mentioned on their website but it is quoted in their ‘terms & Conditions’. They still have my gold (12/4/12) I feel like reporting this ito the national papers to warn other would be customers. If you have any ideas what I could do let me know. Why should these people get away with it!

  6. Debbie says:

    I forgot to mention that I asked Micheal for the Company Directors name so I could write or phone him he told me that he didn’t know! and suggested I contact company house – can you believe that?

  7. f.miller says:

    The first thing I noticed they dont have a building address I now believe they work out a bedroom or house as all mail and contact is a post box number I believe they take your gold weigh it get a price somewere else and take 40% of as commission I was mislead by their trick calculator you find out the current market price but this is not what they will pay you. I sent £176.00 of hallmarked weighed correct at my end and guess what £79 offered as they think your old and stupid as most of their victims are this is how these fraudsters make huge profits if you look at their terms and conditions ITEM6 IF YOU GET A QUOTE ONLY AND YOU DONT WANT TO PROCEED WE WILL RETURN YOUR PRECIOUS METALS FREE OF CHARGE Iave now demanded the return of my 5 items and told them Idont want any item stolen by them as I took a photo in case will keep you up todate People like you can make are needed Frank miller

  8. Beith123 says:

    I sent some items to British Gold Refinery 2 weeks ago. I declined their offer verbally then in writing as required (within 3 days) not easy as they had put off giving me a quote until Thursday and they supposedly close at the weekend. I asked for and expected to receive my items back after highlighting and sending them their terms and conditions online(very difficult to find). How wrong I was. They are demanding I pay them £35+vat and another £8 for p&p to cover the testing costs again despite their website and leaflets saying that this is FREE. They are demanding I pay them this sum within 10 days or they will simply dispose of my items. It is a total rip off. Would advice anyone not to use this company. I will contact the ASA and ‘Which’ magazine next week. I will not rest until this company are exposed.
    This company should be barred from trading online.

  9. Christine says:

    I wish I had seen these comments before I too sent scrap gold worth over £3000 to this organisation, I feel completely ripped off. They offered me £1700 then 2 phone calls later it went up to £2100. I told them I wanted no more offers and to send my items back to me. It was only then I found out about the £50 payment. I have made the payment as I have no choice if I want my items back, goodness knows how long that will take!!! I have also lodged a complaint with the ASA.

  10. jim says:

    I wish I saw this site before sending my gold to these sharks my gold was on there web site as £500 but when I got a phone call to say that my gold was not 9ct but a lot weaker gold of only one third the value [what a load of rubish before I sent it got it weight and a price 9ct] but now trying to get my gold back really is frustrating as they have your gold and will not return it till you pay £50.00 and on web site they say return free why dose the ASA DO NOTHING ABOUT THIS RIP OF I WILL BE CONTACTING ASA PLUS MY LOCAL PAPER SO THIS WILL COME TO LIGHT FOR THE REST TRYING TO GET THE BEST PRICE FOR THERE GOLD DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT SEND YOUR GOLD TO BRITISH GOLD REFINERY

  11. amanda says:

    I too have been duped by British Gold Refinery. I weighed my gold and estimated with their calculator that it was worth over £400. They offered me £140 and I too was shocked to discover BGF wanted £50 to have the gold returned. Iwas given one persons name but a manager wouldn’t give me his. Very suspect! Having coughed up the £50 on July 23rd I still have not had my gold returned. I have contacted the ASA plus trading standards but am awaiting a reply. Do the police help with these matters?

  12. john says:

    PLEASE DO NOT SEND YOUR GOLD TO BRITISH GOLD REFINERY SENT GOLD FOR OVER £450 AS PER THERE CALCULATOR AFTER THEY GOT IT PHONED ME TO SAY THAT GOLD WAS NOT 9CT BUT BEFORE SENDING HAD IT CHECKED AND WEIGHT THEY OFFERED ME £200 TOLD THEM TO SEND MY ITEM BACK SAID THEY WOULD AFTER THREE WEEKS THEY STILL HAD MY GOLD AND WERE PLAYING ABOUT WHAT THEY DO IS TO GIVE YOU A SMALL A VALUATION THEN LET YOU WAITING SAYING THAT THEY ONLY SEND OUT ON THURSDAYS SO WHEN YOU PHONE TO SAY YOU HAVE NOT RECEIVED YOUR ITEM ANOTHER EXCUSE AND THEN THEY PUT THE A VALUATION UP BELIEVE ME YOU REALLY GETS TO YOU I DID CONTACT THE AVA BUT THEY DID NOT GET BACK TO ME AND NEEDING THE MONEY BRITISH GOLD REFINERY SAID IF I WANTED MY GOLD BACK THAT I WOULD HAVE TO PAY £50.00 TO GET MY OWN ITEM AFTER THERE ADD FREE RETURNS MY FINAL OFFER WAS £320 WHY I TOOK IT THE TRUTH THEY WORE ME DOWN AND I WAS TO SCARED TO LOOSE MY GOLD THE AVA SHOULD STOP COMPANY’S LIKE THIS TRADING AS THIS IS HI-WAY ROBBERY

  13. Anthony says:

    I emailed them the day before I sent two full sovereigns to ask how much they were paying per sovereign, and they quoted £278 each, but once they had received them a day or two later, they quoted £118 each which I said was totally ridiculous, and to return them. Needless to say, they then wanted to impose a £50 fee. After haggling for an hour or two, I did manage to get another £20 from them, but put the incident down to experience and greed on my part, as I know I could have got £250 each.

    • Phil says:

      Why put it down to greed on your part? When you’re quoted a price, one naturally expects that’s the amount you’ll receive. Sadly, in our industry, there are companies who seem to consistently mislead their customers and not deliver what’s expected.

      • The reason these rip off companies exist is because the organisations who are supposed to protect us [ Trading standards and the A.S.A] are a disgaceful waste of time and money!

  14. Olu Jalade says:

    I have sent my scrap gold to british gold refinery and have held up the transaction, i have followed up calls and mails and finally, this is what they had to say.

    Dear XXX,

    I am writing to provide you with the details of the returns procedure and the bank details.

    Referring to our Terms and Conditions section 6.1 which quotes If we verify your item(s) as non precious metals or are unable to verify your item(s) as precious metals; you may choose whether you want us to send the item(s) back to you or have us dispose of them. If you wish us to return them to you, they will be sent by ordinary mail (signed for service) and their return will be subject to postage and packing costs, up to a maximum of £10.00 plus VAT.

    Please make the payment into the following account and ensure you quote your Customer ID number [0712 993X] as the payment reference number. Without this reference we will not be able to identify that the payment is from you, and the returns will NOT be processed.

    Weston Knightly Ltd.

    Account number: 68090360

    Sort code: 77-19-01

    We will be able to return your items once we receive the outstanding amount.

    Please note, if we do not hear from you within 21 days of sending you this e-mail, then I can confirm your items disposed of.

    Kind regards

    Lucy Bullock

    Returns Department

  15. Celene says:

    DO NOT USE THIS COMPANY under any circumstances. I sent my gold valued at over £900 by my high street jewellers. British Gold refinery offered me £550 stating that some of the items were not 9ct gold (30% not 33% ) and two of my items were not even gold but costume jewellery. When I refused their offer they got the manager Steven to call me back and after over an hour on the phone he upped the offer to £640. When I refused again he said that he would go back to his manager and then a girl called me with a final offer of £680.
    I refused this and was told that I had to pay £10+vat for the jewellery to be returned since some of the items were “inconclusive”.
    The also told me it would take 10 days to return it which I questioned and was advised that the admin etc to process my return could take up to 10 days.
    I had no choice but to pay the £12 and fortunately i received my items back in 2 days. They obviously lied as the items they stated were costume jewellery are actually hallmarked. I won’t be sending my jewellery to any more online traders without scrutinizing the t & c’s. Thankfully I ticked the “quote only” box otherwise I might never have seen my jewellery again.

  16. James - Operations Manager, British Gold Refinery says:

    Olu Jalade – Customer ID 0712 9931 and Celene Escorce – Customer ID 0712 10245.

    In response to your post, as per our terms and conditions, when items are found to be inconclusive for precious metals, a fee for their return of £10 plus VAT is payable. This covers the cost of time spent processing, testing and return postage. Upon submitting your application to us, you confirmed that you read and understood our terms and conditions.

    For the avoidance of doubt, it is impossible to submit an application through our website without confirming that you have read and understood our terms and conditions. If applications are made by simply confirming (but not reading our terms and conditions), then we cannot be held accountable for this type of negligence.

    The British Gold Refinery has made substantial changes, including a complete company re-structure over the past months to ensure that we deliver an excellent level of service to our customers.

    It is not uncommon to charge a small fee for the return of inconclusive items, as there is time spent processing and testing. The British Gold Refinery are NOT the only company who charge a small fee for this.

    The British Gold Refinery DO NOT charge a returns fee when an agreement cannot be reached when negotiating a purchase price for your items.

    Whether the ‘Quote only’ box was checked or not, a customer service member would have contacted you to discuss your items and purchase price. We DO NOT make auto-payments. This is one of the many improvements we have made and we continually monitor our service level and make improvements where necessary.

    The British Gold Refinery would like to apologise if you feel the service level you have received was not as you expected, however as above, the terms surrounding the return of INCONCLUSIVE items are very clear and in both cases, you have confirmed that you have read and understood this procedure.

    INCONCLUSIVE items are items which have been rigorously tested using market leading equipment and machinery but have not shown any evidence of precious metals.

    I would also like to extend an open invitation to anybody who has posted on this board to come forward with your customer ID number and email me – James@BritishGoldRefinery.co.uk.

    As the new Operations Manager at The British Gold Refinery, I will be happy to review the service level you may have received, and where necessary try to resolve this with you.

    With Regards,
    James

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January 9th, 2012 18 Comments » Industry News, Selling Tips |