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Thanks to UK orchids

hi all, This is just to say thankyou to all the UK orchid members who
gave me names of suppliers, galleries, exhibitions to see on my
recent trip to London. I found the info very useful, and it certainly
saved me loads of time. I have had a wonderful time, met some great
jewellers and drooled over lots of work. I was so much " out
galleryed " that I could not even shop for personal clothes!! Just as
well with the weak Aussi dollar! For anyone else visiting London I
found Capital Gems in 30 B Great Sutton street , Clerkenwell, pH 020
7253 3575 very helpful, friendly and had no problems with claiming
back VAT. They even provided the stamped addressed envelope. They
are currently putting a web page together for on line ordering. I did
have an unsettling experience with Holts gemstones in Hatton Garden.
Basically I found out what their min. purchase was for VAT. 100
pounds. Purchased more than three hundred pounds, asked for the VAT
papers and then was told no VAT. A further discount was offered, but
not the full VAT amount. Looking back I can see how I was strung
along by a very attentive young man. However I don’t like to be taken
for a ride. I regret now that I did not walk out and let them sort
all the little gemstones back into their respective boxes!! Of
course these are my experiences and others might have different ones.

What was that recent thread about customer service!!

Felicity Peters in sunny west oz.

I must apologize for the inappropriate experience that Felicity got
from Holts. I bought from them for years. They are more expensive that
other suppliers but they cater mostly to amateurs. Mr. Holt is a kind
and generous man who would not have knowingly had anyone treated this
way. Why not write to him? I’m sure he’ll reply. Next time I’m in
London I’ll talk to him about this. I don’t know him that well but I’m
sure he’ll be upset.

They certainly don’t have a minimum order at Holts (as of six weeks

VAT is always reclaimable - unless you paid cash and went, shall we
say, under the counter.

Dear Tony,

Thank you for your reply.

   They certainly don't have a minimum order at Holts (as of six
weeks ago) 

Tony… I purchased these goods in the first week of July. I had
heard that some place have a min order to reclaim VAT. IE Dept stores
have a 75 pound min.

   VAT is always reclaimable - unless you paid cash and went, shall
we say, under the counter. 

No I did not pay cash. I paid by Visa card. I do preface my remark
that others could have had different experiences. However when you are
out of your own environment, and short of time, it is always nice to
hear others experiences. To expand on the transaction, I was given
handwritten pieces of paper with all the parcels written separately.
There was no Holts letterhead on the paper. ( I did think it strange,
but thought they would transfer the amounts etc to the computer
later) and the receipt came out of a small receipt book!

Nothwithstanding the above, I had a wonderful time. Seeing the VA was
like all my Xmases in one. And I enjoyed the “Treasures” exhibition
at Goldsmith’s Hall

Best wishes

Felicity in West Oz

Dear Felicity,

I’m really angry with Holts.

If there’s anything I can do to help please let me know. I’m due back
in the UK in September.

Meanwhile if there’s anything I can do please let me know. I feel
you’ve been badly let down and I’m sure the traders in the garden will
be just as cross!

Tony Konrath Gold and Stone

Dear Tony,

Thanks you for your concern, and distress at my treatment at Holts. I
don’t need any further action taking with them.

It has been a lesson learned by both sides, and the Orchid members
reading this thread can make their own minds up as to where they shop
for In the long run, good service will always encourage a
client to return, irrespective whether we are the “clients” or the

Best wishes, and thank you again

Felicity in West Oz