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Cali Craft and Gems

Advice required - Jewellery related

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

Hi all

 

I need your advice.

 

Sold the below ring to an in-store customer on 26 January 2013:

 

Gemstones - Sterling silver ring - MIXED GEMSTONES - Dreams Collection (size 9.75 / S half to T half) was listed for R210.00 on 26 Jan at 12:37 by Cali Craft and Gems in Oudtshoorn (ID:87113846)

 

The customer returned a snake chain last weekend claiming "it just broke" yet admitted that she slept with it on, etc when I pointed out to her that you could see the chain had been bent - she admitted that she could have been at fault. I accepted the return and gave her another chain.

 

This morning she comes in "unhappy with the quality considering the price" and returned the ring. I can see without doubt that it is bent thus the setting "popping loose" at the soldered point. (green Peridot stone setting has torn from the shank)

 

I have not given her a refund, but said I'd look into the matter. I know for a fact that she works with her hands and she rides a motorcycle (wore the ring on her right hand). The ring is terribly scratched and the stones are dull - she admitted to only taking the ring off at night. Also claims that the ring is "poor quality" as it has "taken on the shape of her finger" unlike any other items of hers. (my hubby pointed out to me once she'd left that the accelerator for the bike is on her right - could this be why or where the ring bent?)

 

We do not want to give a refund based on a few things - firstly we don't have a returns policy in the shop (no refunds, returns or exchanges), we do not accept responsibility for damages caused by your own negligence, nearly a month has passed since she purchased the ring.

 

What do you think? All opinions (from a seller and buyer's point of view) would be sincerely appreciated!

 

(hubby gave a good example - you buy a car, damage it, then want to return it as it is 'poor quality'!?!?)

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lilythepink    10
lilythepink

Cali, if it were me I'd have to consider the value of the ring sold and the profit made on it. If this gives you leeway to replace the ring then do it - sometimes good customer relations spread by word of mouth and are better advertising than you could wish for! Perhaps with sales you need to include your business card and state that returns are not acceptable as prices are already low!? :confused:

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Miss Jewels    10
Miss Jewels

I know for a fact that she works with her hands and she rides a motorcycle (wore the ring on her right hand). The ring is terribly scratched and the stones are dull - she admitted to only taking the ring off at night.

 

Sterling Silver items do not need to be taken off, so her admitting to only taking it off at night is irrelevant. Genuine stones will also not become dull from wearing it regularly, even some cz's do not become dull after such a short period of time. I have clients who have been wearing sterling silver and cz rings for more than 3 years with no negative effect. What might be causing this is how she is using her hands for work. Hard labour and chemicals will cause scratching and discolouring.

 

Also claims that the ring is "poor quality" as it has "taken on the shape of her finger" unlike any other items of hers. (my hubby pointed out to me once she'd left that the accelerator for the bike is on her right - could this be why or where the ring bent?)

 

If she is physically picking up heavy items 24/7, or working with bricks or other hard materials, the ring will damage, as will any other material ring. I have never seen a ring "take on the shape of anyone's finger before....unless is wax/clay. This is simply not possible! What I did experience once was a buyer purchased a ring from me (size 8), but told me it had been badly damaged and was bent beyond wear. I asked him to return the ring. Upon inspection, I found that the ring had actually been forcecefully damaged with a pliers. When he requested another ring in a different size I knew my instinct was right. He had actuallly damaged the ring himself, stating it arrived like that from the PO (although there were no marks on the evelope as I made him return that too). Just my experience but made me think....

The clutch or brake handle of the bike will not affect the ring as you only use your forefingers to change or pull in the brake. The fingers are in a slight bent position when doing this, so actually the ring is "protected" during this process. So I would personally rule this out.

We do not want to give a refund based on a few things - firstly we don't have a returns policy in the shop (no refunds, returns or exchanges), we do not accept responsibility for damages caused by your own negligence, nearly a month has passed since she purchased the ring.

 

In light of a previous experience, I would not refund and would consider this to be "abnormal" wear and tear. I would however suggest you inform her that she should rather consider a stronger material in future, as obviously sterling silver is not suitable for her. Titanium or stainless steel would work, although stainless steel will also show scratch marks over a period of time.

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

@ Miss Jewels - thank you! It was your opinion we were hoping for!

 

Re the customers work - she claims the only "liquid" her hands were subjected to was dish liquid. However, she does work in a factory / warehouse that manufactures and distributes other cleaning products, health and beauty products.

 

As for the gemstones, they are natural / genuine. The scratches / dullness is mostly on the outer shank all over and there are two "flat" sections which has given the ring a bent appearance. Also, the part that has broken loose has not simply "come loose" but is not even in alignment anymore as to where it had been attached.

 

Of all my years with trading with this particular suppliers' items (and all others too I might add), not once have I ever experienced something like this. My first instinct after inspecting the item was that it has been damaged by her negligence or own-doing - I mean it is not a manufacturing or quality issue.

 

Re the "ring taking the shape of her finger" - in my opinion too this is impossible! Rings do not simply bend on their own or by doing "light" work - they have to undergo a reasonable force to change shape!

 

Still don't know how to handle this though as I don't need any "bad publicity" and we all know it only takes one unhappy person to put the word out there! I just found it odd that firstly she came back with the only two expensive items she's ever bought from us (two weekends running) and both nearly a month after purchase!

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Just Beachin    10
Just Beachin

Eish! not a situation I would want to be in. Time for Tough love, this looks like a case of abuse!(on you and the ring)

Edited by Just Beachin

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alloway65    10
alloway65

My point is how valuable is your time, re your communications with the buyer and the time taken for these postings etc, not to mention the frustration and anguish you are going through really over a few Rand. Give the b***h her money back and be done with it.

 

If I have a unhappy buyer I tend to refund with no arguments and get on with my life. However if a seller sells me rubbish or if an item is not as advertized....I fight!

 

Just my point of view.

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Not1CentMore    10
Not1CentMore

I would 'bite the bullet' (instead of 'firing from the gut') and refund her monies, explaining that you had considered offering her an 'exchange', but just would not feel comfortable 'burdening' her with another piece of jewelry from your shop that would undoubtedly not live up to her expectations and she would have to take time out of her busy schedule to return it... somewhere down the road. I would give her an inexpensive 'token' for all her trouble and then.... 'kick her to the curb' (walk her to the door).

 

Should she come in again, I would simply tell her... "Oh, dear, as much as I would love to sell this to you, it would bother me greatly your having to return it sometime down the road because it did not wear well for you. Let me check to see if I have something that might be 'just right' for you". (Go through the motions and...) "No, I don't seem to have anything that would work for you, but I do hope you can find what you are looking for at another shop in town". Good-bye. So long. See ya.

 

If she can't take the hint, the next time she returns, hand her two aspirin and tell her she is a headache... go home and go to bed.

 

Ruthie

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Cali Craft and Gems    10
Cali Craft and Gems

@ Ruthie - LOL! You've just made our day!

 

I wish I could "show her the curb" but this is a very small town after all so we can't step on too many toes - not that we're in the good books for starters! (being young English city dwellers who have expanded their business so quickly, we have made many enemies already!)

 

This particular customer is newish to town herself, but seems to get her way with many people - when she walks in my heart sinks.

 

Hubby and I have discussed the matter further and have decided to contact the Jewellery Council for advice or to see if an independant person could inspect the ring and give his or her report or feedback. We feel that this is the most professional way to handle the matter without simply giving in to her expectations or demands.

 

I have checked my records and must however point out that she actually purchased two rings that particular day - one for herself and one for her mom. I want to ask her if her mom is happy with the ring as the style is virtually identical! Let's see what she says...

 

The purchases were all made from the old store before we moved and our policy for "no returns / exchanges / refunds" was visible at the till point. This sign has not been put up at the new store yet as we have been waiting for other signage to go up first. Would it be bad for me to point it out to her now? (I clean forgot about it this morning when she came in - I must have given her the impression that I would not accept the return, but she ended up making me feel so bad that I said I'd look into the matter)

Edited by Cali Craft and Gems

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Not1CentMore    10
Not1CentMore
... this is a very small town....

 

Even better! Small towns 'roll up their sidewalks' at dusk. Perhaps she can be 'rolled up' in it and come morning, you will find she was 'swallowed up' into the cracks.:angel:

 

... not that we're in the good books for starters (being young English city dwellers who have expanded their business so quickly, we have made many enemies already!)

 

Tell 'em to 'eat rocks and bark at the moon'.:whistling:

 

All kidding aside, you are very committed to 'customer care' and I am quite sure you will 'diplomatically' resolve the issue for the best possible outcome for all....

 

then put on your steel-toed boots and kick her to the curb!

 

Ruthie

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