I told the abridged version of this story as part of my Wedding Day thread, but after DF proposed we went down to Hatton Garden (London's "diamond district") to look at engagement rings. We were wandering around and were invited in by a saleswoman at one of the dealers (Saleswoman #1). She, and the ringmaker there (Ringmaker) sat us down, talked about our budget and ideas, and Ringmaker said to us, "Great. For [basic design that we were after], in rose gold, I can do a diamond of [c] colour, [d] clarity and [e] cut. I will also, as part of the price, do a silver "mock-up" version of the ring that you can come in and try on, and we can make little amendments to it while you are here, so you can have the perfect ring. All this will be for [Good Price]." He said all this over and over, and even wrote it down for us - the quality of diamond, a drawing of the basic ring, and the price "all inclusive".
We went away, thought about it, had a look at other rings and saw that he was giving us a good diamond for a *really good* price. So I rang up to make an appointment to discuss our ring in more detail, so Ringmaker could make the silver mock-up. We went back about a week later (the store was only open from 10am-5pm on weekdays, which didn't fit in around our work at all, so we were limited to weekends or leaving work to get there while they were open) and finalised our plans for the ring. Ringmaker kept going on and on (to the point that I mentioned to DF afterwards that he kept repeating himself) about the quality of the diamond, and the fact that he would make us a silver mock-up model. We showed him the piece of paper we'd worked off with him last time, with the price he'd quoted written on it, but he didn't say much about that...(should have heard alarm bells here).
So we made an appointment right then and there for the next week to try on the silver "mock-up", for which we'd actually have to leave work. Ringmaker asked whether we had a tight time frame to get the ring, and we told him that, while we were having an engagement party in three weeks (for which it would be *nice* to have the ring), it was more important to us to get it right.
Day of the appointment, we showed up. No Ringmaker. Just Salewoman #1 and another saleswoman (Saleswoman #2). Saleswoman #1 apologised that Ringmaker wasn't there yet, offered me coffee, went to put the kettle on, then came back and forgot about it. Both saleswomen were also panicking because one of them needed to leave the store to get diamonds for another customer (who wasn't there), and their insurance didn't cover the store if only one of them were present. So they ignored me for most of the time as they called the owner to see if he was OK with one of them leaving.
When DF got there, the saleswomen looked at us blankly, then called Ringmaker. He was "in his car", but they weren't sure where. We decided to wait for a bit. Saleswoman #2 asked what we were after. We spoke about it, mentioning the price. She looked confused and said, "For a diamond of that quality? I think it's a lot more than that." She did the calculations, and for a *lesser quality* diamond that what Ringmaker had originally quoted us, it was going to cost £1,000 more than his quote.
We were understandably confused, and asked whether maybe one of them could at least go and get the silver model for us to try on - which, of course, was the whole point of our appointment. They couldn't find it, so rang Ringmaker again. He "hadn't been able" to make a silver model of our design. Um, perhaps a call to tell us that ahead of our appointment would have been nice, considering we were both leaving work for it? But - never fear! - Ringmaker told Saleswoman #2 that he could "definitely have it done by the date [we] *need* it by" (presumably our engagement party). Both saleswomen seemed really pleased about this fact, how great that we could have it by the date we *needed* it by. We told Saleswoman #2 that, well, while we had told Ringmaker it would be *nice* to have the ring by that date, it was not a "need", and we'd rather have a silver model to try on first - that was why we were there.
We finally left, after asking the saleswomen to get Ringmaker to call us back that afternoon so we could work out what was going on. They took down both our numbers again, even though they already had them. We have never heard from Ringmaker again.
In the end, we went back to Hatton Garden (I was a bit put off for a few weeks after this episode - isn't engagement ring shopping meant to be fun?), to a place where a friend had got her ring. They were lovely. They were helpful. We've bought our engagement ring from there (and I just picked it up 2 days ago - I LOVE it) and will in all probability go back to get our wedding rings there. Plus, I'll recommend them to anyone (Raphael in Hatton Gardens, for all you London EHellions in need of a ring!), whereas the other place gets bad-mouthed.
Edited to fix formatting.