baby, behbeh, Customer service, department store, engagement, engagement ring, experience, forever, gem, gems, happiness, husband, life, Lobster, Lord & Taylor, marriage, memories, ring, ruined, unhappy, wedding, wedding ring, wife
I left off in my last post, explaining how the store manager at Lord and Taylor here near me had spoken to me directly about the various issues I was having: my ring going in for cleaning and possible stone replacement, and the repair center messed up the replacement stone, lost my original stone, then gave me a stone that wasn’t mine and tried to sell me on the idea that it was my original stone.
Well, the day that I posted up the original post (link above), the store manager called me back at 11am and spoke to me regarding the issue. Our conversation went along the lines of this (this is NOT quote for quote but pretty darn close):
manager: So I spoke to the repair center and the owner is insisting that the stone they sent back IS your original stone.
me: Well I’m sure he THINKS it is, but its not. I’ve had that stone for 8 years and its not my stone.
manager: Can you please tell me again, for my notes, why you don’t think this is the original stone?
me: sure. Its too dark, its the wrong size, its the wrong cut, and its not my stone.
manager: Okay, well I’m not sure what else I can tell you. He’s insisting that they don’t keep any loose tanzanite stones just laying around in the shop and this was the only one and it is yours.
me: So you’re telling me that despite what I’m telling you about how it can’t possibly be my stone, he’s saying this IS my stone?
manager: yes he is saying that this is your stone.
me: uh huh… So then if this IS my stone as he keeps insisting, where is the chip that I had on my original stone?
manager: oh. Well, he’s saying that it might have gotten rubbed off during the cleaning process.
me: thats ridiculous and he’s lying because I’ve given this ring into you guys for cleaning twice before, and the last of those times the chip was there and it came back as I had given it. So how is that THIS time the chip on the side of the stone got buffed off?
manager: I’m not sure, but that’s what he’s saying.
me: okay then we have a problem. I’m saying it isn’t my stone, he’s saying it IS my stone. And IF this is my stone, which it isn’t, then someone at that repair center worked on my stone without any consent or permission from me. As a result the stone no longer looks the way it did when I gave it to your store and thats not okay. Now i have to pay someone to fix the mistake your repair center made.
manager: I want us to both be partners on solving this issue and come to something that would make you happy. He’s saying this is the stone and you’re saying it has been worked on without your permission and I understand how upsetting this is. So, what can we do to move forward?
From there onwards I pretty much explained to her that I wanted my refund for the original work done to get the replacement stone, which was just complete crap:
(crappy replacement stone they gave me – note the wonderful line down the middle of the stone)
She offered that the repair center owner take my “original” stone and encase it into a pendant for me free of charge, as a way to make up for the issues. I told her that under no circumstances did I want him or his shop to touch that stone again. My words “I’ll be taking it to a real professional jeweler to have that dealt with.”
By the end of the conversation, the following terms were agreed to:
- I get a full refund on the $106 I paid for the initial cleaning and replacement of the original stone to the crappy stone.
- The store returns the “original” stone back to me, untouched and I deal with it myself.
- The repair store owner sends a selection of Tanzanites of equal – higher value to my original stone, that I will then go to the store, look at and pick one from.
- The repair store owner will then remove the crappy stone from my ring and replace it with the stone I pick.
- The repair store owner will also provide certification for each of the stones he sends so I know exactly what the caret, value and quality of each of the stones is.
The manager said she would try to get all of the requests approved and get back to me. Later on that day I got an email that the stones would be arriving at the store by next week and that she would be in touch. She also said she would send along my request for the info on each of the stones to be provided too.
That night, I stayed up until 4am, crying and stressing and getting angrier and angrier over the completely injustice of everything. Here was an owner of a giant repair center that works with Lord & Taylor, and one of his employees has either stolen, broken, or lost my original stone that I had on my engagement ring. He’s now insisting that I accept HIS word that the stone he’s sent is my stone, despite the fact that I KNOW that it isn’t.
And now what are my options? Hire a lawyer off our unemployment income to take care of this mess? File in small claims court myself and sue them? What could I possibly do that would make up for the fact that the original stone was absolutely and completely gone?
To top it off I had to trust the fact that that the stone Lord and Taylor’s repair center guy had sent back was equal value to my stone and not just a piece of purple glass. Coz lets face it, with the amount of dishonesty I’ve dealt with so far, its a very likely scenario. I was so stressed out, I barely slept.
The next morning I called my parents, got some very valuable advice from a lot of people including my best friend’s mother and came to the decision that I would get the “original” stone checked out by my parents’ jeweler to see what it was and I would go into the store when the stones come in and not leave with any of them without official certification with the value included on it. As I said, I really don’t trust their or the repair center owner’s word at this point. I want proof of what they’re saying.
After that I would be done with Lord and Taylor.
This morning I got an email from the manager stating that the stones had arrived in the store and were available for me to look at. Provided that the weather is not totally crappy tomorrow (KHAAAAAAN!!!) I can drive in to take a look at the stones he’s given and make a decision from there. Funny how quickly they were able to do this request but it took almost a month to locate where my stone was and send it back to me (and still ended up NOT being my stone).
Lord and Taylor has proven themselves to be unreliable, unprofessional and unwilling to take a customer’s word at the truth over some guy at the repair center. Yes, they SEEM to be jumping through hoops to make this right, but that is because I assume they don’t want to deal with a lawsuit and has nothing to do with doing the right thing. It took me throwing a full blown fit over the internet and harassing them via phone for anything to get done. That to me is disappointing and extremely unprofessional.
Once this drama is over, I will never step foot into another one of their stores again and will be sure to let everyone I come across know of my experience at their hands. Remember kids:
Friends don’t let friends shop at Lord and Taylor.