On August 19, 2005 my wife and I went to Fred Meyer Jewelers East Town store in Madison to drop off her Wedding band and engagement ring for the two of them to be soldered together and Rhodium plated, and to have a new stone set in her engagement ring. We were told that the jeweler would be in early in the week and would call us with an estimate.
At that time I told the "retail sales associate" that we weren't concerned about the cost as we had already discussed an estimate of the cost on a prior visit, and that he should simply begin the work right away.
I was called the following Thursday and was given the estimate but the work had not yet commenced, however we were assured that it would be done in two weeks. That takes us up to Labor day weekend.
After the weekend, we waited for a call from them to update us on the status of the ring and after not hearing from them, we decided to give them a call on the 8th of September, at such time we were summarily told that, no it was not done yet but should be in soon.
So we called again on Tuesday the 13th, to be again told it was not done yet but the jeweler ASSURED us it would be done when he came in at 3:00 on Thursday. I asked if I should call before we came in and the girl on the phone said no, don't bother, it will be done on Thursday.
Now my wife and I have ridiculous schedules right now, but this was important to us, as you can imagine, so between work shifts and meetings we ran down to Madison to pick up said rings. At 5:00 pm the rings were not done. The girl at the counter gave us a half hearted and brief apology and said "the jeweler is still working on it, but it will be done by 7:00 pm. At which we explained that its a 45 minute drive and we have things we need to do so that is not acceptable. (I had a meeting at 7:00 with a client). She offered to FedEx us the ring and we'd have it by Monday. To which I rapidly replied "that isn't going to work, I'll be in on Saturday to pick it up" (we wanted the rings for photos)
So, on September 18, my wife and I finally got a day off and we headed back to the store to pick up the rings. When we got to the store, we were greeted by a young lady who took our claim slip to the back room and came back with an envelope. She said "its all done". We opened the envelope to shake out its contents and the only contents were Jen's engagement ring, and the chip diamond from the original setting. No wedding band.
My wife very flatly said "Where's the band?", and I took the claim slip from the "retail sales associate" and pointed out the clearly written words "bandS to be soldered together". Panic. She ummed and uhhhhed for a few seconds, scooped up everything off the counter in front of us and ran back to the "management desk".
Suddenly the "sales associates are all on their phones, they're digging around in the jeweler's room, they're back on phones, they're in a huddle whispering. So the Sales Associate with most seniority comes over to us and starts to stammer and I stop him. He says "we can't seem to locate the band". My wife incredulously asks "Do you mean you lost the band?" To which he replied "its not LOST, we just don't know where it is right now and we can't get a hold of the jeweler" . Me: "I'd call that lost".
To let the him off the hook a little, I told him that it was an in-stock band from their store, and we went over to a case and got a matching band. One issue resolved, if they don't find the first one, at least they owe us an identical replacement from store stock. So I told the "retail sales associate" "keep these together until you find the ring we purchased".
At this point I realize he hasn't yet written anything down. So, I ask " are you going to write any of this down?". And I proceed to quote to him, item by item, the things remaining to be done. Once he has another work order slip filled out I ask him " How are you possibly going to make this right with us?" no answer. Then he began to stammer "well obviously there will be no charge for the service to the rings" to which I flatly replied "obviously" and my wife added "that'll almost cover the gas for four trips to Madison from our home."
He begins to put the rings in the envelope, but before he can I ask very calmly "Look at that stone and tell me if you think it looks level in the setting". He put the ring on an mandrill and begins to inspect it and immediately I can recognize that he too sees that the stone is tipped in the setting. But he continues to inspect it for another 30 seconds and says "I don't know, perhaps when it was resized the setting twisted"
One problem. It hadn't been resized yet, and a competent jeweler would not set a new stone and then re-size a ring. So I make him write "re-check setting" on the card as well. More incompetence ensues but essentially at one point I take my wife, now in tears, and I walk out of the store and have a brief huddle and go back in. I tell the associate that I will be in at 5:00 pm this coming Thursday to pick up the finished rings and that they will be done. In the meantime they have the time to figure out how to make this right with us.
I returned up the rings on Thursday the 25th, and they were still not finished, however the rings were at the store. I asked to take the rings with me and for a refund of the "lifetime service policy" because I could never trust them with the ring again. The associate claimed they could not refund the cost of the service policy and took the rings and I left message for the manager to contact me about compensation. When I got home I also placed a call to the regional office left a message stating my complaint and requesting a return call. To date, I have never heard from either.
The following Saturday we took all of our documentation to the LaCrosse, Wisconsin Fred Meyer Jewelers, where the associates treated us kindly and with respect and assured us that they could have all of the work completed by the coming weekend. They came through for us in aces and we got the ring the following weekend with just one week to spare before our wedding.
I saw recently that the store that so severely mistreated us was closed. However on closer inspection I saw that it was only for renovations. Hopefully that means new management as well.
Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin