Last December I decided that it was time to pop the question to my girlfriend of 2 years, we have known each other for the past 10 years as we both grew up in the same small town of Clinton Missouri.
During this time I did as much research as possible to ensure that I could get her the most beautiful diamond ring that I could. My mother and I went to numerous jewelers and ended up at Kay Jewelers in the Independence Center Mall. The reason I picked Kays is because they were running a special last December, giving out Santa Certificates, basically the deal was for every $200 spent I was issued $100 worth of Santa Certificates to use towards the purchase of another item in the store, so long as the item was purchased on or before June 17, 2007. I was issued a total of $1000 worth of the Santa bucks.
Thankfully my fianc said yes in December after doing a romantic carriage ride on the Plaza.
A few months passed and on June 2nd 2007 she and I went back to Kay Jewelers in Independence Center to purchase her wedding band and a wedding band for myself.
Since we had the Santa bucks I used $500 worth of them on her wedding band and $500 worth on my wedding band and paid the difference in cash, the deal was that whatever you purchased using the Santa bucks had to be twice the price of the Santa bucks. So in this case for my wedding band, since the band was a total of $1000 I paid $500 of my own cash (plus a little more for an extended warranty for a total of $639) and used $500 of the Santa bucks on the remainder of the price. At this time a Kays employee named Neil Rice measured my ring finger (size 7.5) and told me that it should be in within the next couple weeks.
After over 2 months I got a call from Kays saying that they were unable to get my ring in the size I needed, I need a size 7.5 and the smallest it can be made is an 8.5, which I later found out if they would have simply looked (as I did on their website) that they would have known this ring could not be made small enough to fit my finger (I am not exactly sure why it cant be cut to a smaller size like most rings). At this point I was told to come in and pick something else out.
When I returned to Kays in August I looked at all the rings that cost as much as the one I already had and decided that I didnt like any of the others, most of them were too gaudy in my opinion so I began looking at some of the cheaper (diamond-less) rings, at no point was I ever looking to receiver any kind of cash value for the Santa bucks, just store credit since they would be able to sell my ring for full price.
The store manager Roman La Rue and I had a verbal agreement that if I choose something cheaper I would be credited for the remaining amount as store credit and could use that credit on anything else I wanted, such as a nice watch or another piece of jewelry. I then picked out a $200 ring and was told that they would go ahead and order the cheaper ring and still order the more expensive ring in the smallest size available (once again an 8.5) and we would possible try to use some sizers to get it to fit. This would have left me with approx $1000 credit ($1239 minus $200 for the new ring)
More than 2 months pass and I finally get a call a couple weeks ago saying that these rings were in.
Last week I went in to look at the rings and find out that they only received the cheaper ring so I decide that I will just purchase that one and take the remanding approx $1000 in store credit to purchase something else. At this point I give the more expensive ring (once again valued at over $1000 in the store plus another $200 for the warranty) and just assumed that everything was okay. I should have known something was up by the way the clerk Stephanie was on the phone for a while and never mentioned what she was doing. She then sits down 2 receipts in front of me, one stating the return and 1 with the new purchase price of the cheaper ring. I grab the receipts trusting that she has done everything correctly and quickly sign my name, immediately after doing so I realize that the return receipt says $639 (not $1200) and I was charged $200 for the new ring. At first glance I was thinking that was about right because I was thinking they were giving me $639 plus the value of the other ring (which at I the time I didnt recall the exact price of the new ring) so I just figured everything was okay. I then point out that $639 doesnt seem right since the ring I brought back was worth $500 more than that. At this point she tells me that since the Santa bucks expired June 17, 2007 I could no longer use them. Even though I already purchased the more expensive ring and they were not going to lose money on the ring I brought back. I quickly grab the receipt and scribbled my name out and asked for the more expensive ring back. They state the only reason they were giving me back only $639 is because that is how much cash I paid on the ring out of my pocket and the Santa bucks could not be used now. So at this point I am out $500. I demand to speak with Ramon (the store manager) and I was told that he is not there. I noticed about 8 other people standing around and ask to speak with another manager, a girl named Eva then comes over, grabs the receipt I scribbled out and tells me that I could not have the more expensive ring back because I already signed the receipt (even though I scribbled my name out, and I do have a copy of these to prove it) and that since the transaction had already gone through there was no way to void it out. I then ask for the police to be called as I had just been ripped off $500. Once the police arrive they are not able to do much about my situation, I tried explaining my the story Officer H. Echols (badge # 918) and he doesnt seem to be too interested and as you can imagine I am sure that he was somewhat confused by the whole story (as it is quite long), so he just listens to the girls working at Kays and proceeds to take their side.
At this point I continue to tell him that I just want what I walked in there with. If I was going to only get $639 out of a approx. $1200 ring that is too big for me, I would rather sell it to a friend. Once again I am told that the transaction already went through and they were not giving me the ring back. They then demand that I sign for the new ring, I then state that I do not feel comfortable signing anything after what just happened with the last thing I signed. She then asked the officer (who seemed more interested in flirting with the pretty girls working at Kays then helping me out) to make me sign the receipt and if I dont I would be out everything I had already paid. I then signed my name and the Officer Echols initials next to it (in which I am not sure what authority he has doing this as he is not a notary, and I have the receipt to prove he signed it therefore it is clear I was pressured to sign something I didnt want to). I then leave the store very upset and with a $500 store credit, not the $1000 that I was due.
The following day, last Thursday 10/25/07 I call the store to speak once again with the manager Ramon who ask me what I would like to do. I told him that we had worked out the agreement that if I pick out a cheaper ring I would be issued store credit for not only the cash I paid but also the Santa bucks. He asked to call him back in a couple hours after he does some research. Once I called him back he tells me that my only option is to come back in and pickup the ring I brought in the day before (remember it doesnt fit, nor can it be made in my size). I tell him that I would rather just have the cheaper ring and store credit for other merchandise (just like we had worked out a couple months ago) he tells me that is not an option and the only thing he will do is give me the old ring back.
I then come in last Friday to pickup the old ring that doesnt fit.
So today, almost 5 months after the initial purchase I am still without a ring that fits, the one I currently have is a size 10, and I am told that the smallest size 8.5 (as they were supposed to have already ordered for me) would be in by Dec. 8th, our wedding date is Dec. 28th.
I feel that something must be done. I have contacted customer service at Kays corporate # and was treated very much the same way I was treated in the store, like I am just one person and they dont care if I am not happy. I was told if I dont like it then I should hire a lawyer. I was also told conflicting reason on why they would not issue the credit, the first excuse they tried was that the Santa bucks specifically state that it cannot be used on previous purchases which after quite a bit of convincing we both agree this is not what I am doing. They then tell me that I said I wanted cash back for my Santa buck, which was not the case, and finally I was told an outright lie in that when I picked the ring back up for the 2nd time I was offered store credit, which was never the case and if it was, why was I shorted $500 the day before.
I do not feel like it is my fault they could not check to see if that ring could be made in a 7.5 upon selling it to me. If I would have known on June 2nd that the ring could not be made to fit me I would have spent the Santa bucks on something else in the store and gotten what was rightfully mine.
In summary Kays sold me something they could not deliver and now I am stuck with the results, my only hopes are that I can take the ring to a better jeweler who might be able to size it to fit me.
I realize this is quit a long email and I probably jumped around a lot. If anyone has any questions I would love to speak with you. I would just like to protect others from making the same mistake I made in choosing Kay Jewelers, esp as we approach the upcoming holiday season and I would also like to let Kays know that people have a choice and if they are going to treat their customers like this then that choice should not be with Kays.
I would also like to point out I have all the receipts and names of the employees I spoke with at Kays. I also have the agreement from the Santa bucks and there is no where that states I will not be credited my Santa bucks if they make a mistake and dont deliver on what I originally ordered. It is really frustrating because I work very hard for my money and I did nothing wrong to deserve this treatment. It was entirely a mistake on there behalf and in order to get a ring that will fit me, I will lose $500 worth of store credit. Plus I am still dumbfounded as to why the manger Roman had me looking at other rings if I knew I was going to loose $500 of the value of the Santa bucks, no one in their right mind would agree to that.
All of my coworkers and friends believe that Kays is wrong in every possible way and given the opportunity to lay out all the facts I am sure that you all will agree. It is time someone takes a stand against large companies like this.
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