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Report: #55784

Complaint Review: Zales - Los Angeles California

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  • Reported By: W Hollywood California
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  • Zales 10800 W. Pico Blvd. Los Angeles, California U.S.A.

Zales, Gordens, Zales Outlet ripoff cheated employees and screwed the customers even more Los Angeles California

*UPDATE Employee: Customer/Employee Treatment

*UPDATE EX-employee responds: Don't sell lies

*UPDATE Employee: I take exception to this post in many ways

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I am a former Zales Manager and I wish to warn the public about this company before they grow any bigger and stronger.

I have been in Retail Management for many years (over 10) and have managed many different kinds of stores. Zales was my first and last venture into jewelry

In an effort to make this an easy read let me format it in two list.

Top 5 examples of how Zales and Zale Corp. screws its customers.
(Many of these things are in direct violation of the companies written rules, but are however thought to associates from corp. management.)

5. RETURN POLICY Customers are told they can bring back any item for a full refund with no trouble. FACT IS: Associates are trained to prevent all returns and many times tricks are used (no cash for return, or no manager) to prevent returns.

4. SALES PHILOSOPHY Customers are told customer satisfaction is number one.. and that the Zales name guarantees it. FACT IS: Zales is all about the dollar. All Corporate Management cares about is the bottom line and as a manager you are told to do anything it takes to make the numbers. Telling lies or bending the truth is understood as common practice in the company.

3. CREDIT The best way to pay for their purchase is the Zales Card. FACT IS: The Zales Card has one of the highest interest rates you will ever see (over 21%). The credit promotions are very had to comply with and often result in interest or fees.

2. CREDIT FRAUD Customers are told your information is safe with this company is the Corp Line. FACT IS: All associate have access to almost all of your information. Credit Applications are kept in store and are often used by dishonest associates to commit fraud and identity theft. (I saw this on at least four occasions in one year with the company.)

1. QUALITY All of the diamonds are of exceptional quality and Zales only has the best. FACT IS: Zales buys diamonds in bulk and more often than not sells treated and improved diamonds with no information that this is what you are buying. Zales uses 2nd rate gem labs and will never let its merchandise be rated my top labs such as GIA. They have a Colorless Flawless collection that is proven to be rated lower by almost every gem lab in the country. Except of course the one they use to grade this special collection. All diamonds are the smallest they can be legally to be marked at their size. Like a one carat may be 5 points shy of being a full carat.

Top 5 examples of how Zales and Zale Corp. screws its employees.
(Many of these things are in direct violation of the companies written rules, but are however thought to associates from corp. management.)

5. LOW PAY Zales has the lowest pay rate in the industry and often hires people who have no jewelry experience in an effort to pay as little as possible.

4. HOSTAL ENVIRONMENT Sexual harassment is rampant in the district I worked in. I experienced a hostile workplace every day as I am a minority, and despite my reports of the offences the people committing them were just transferred or slapped on the hand.

3. OPPRESSIVE AND MANIPULATIVE As a manager I was schooled regularly in how to interact with my associates to make them feel like they could not leave for something better and how to make them loyal to Zale Corp.

2. Non-Payment (Associates) Associates are often required to work through their lunch and breaks and are never paid for this time. Associates more often than not are underpaid every week by a few hours, as they are paid only for the hours scheduled and not hours worked, if you are late leaving for any reason including a sale you will not be paid for it.
1. MANAGEMENT In California the managers have no assistants. This is due to a class action law suit again Zales on behalf of its former Asst. Managers and Managers. The result is most managers are being paid for 48 hours a week. I personally worked almost 70 to 78 hours a week. I was never paid for or recognized for this time as it was just considered part of my JOB as a Manager. The workload for managers in this company is more than unfair most of them have no life outside of the company and if fact many have went on stress leave, or had to leave retail as a result of the pressure.

The above is why I left this company. I could no longer look myself in the mirror everyday while cheating customers, and manipulating employees. I would rather make less and live with myself in pride.

Los Angeles, California

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/05/2003 06:47 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#3 UPDATE Employee

Customer/Employee Treatment

AUTHOR: Alix - (United States of America)

POSTED: Thursday, September 23, 2010


I have worked for the company for almost three years as a JC and I have NEVER been told to lie or manipulate or omit the truth. Believe me I would not work for a company who told me to do that. And all of the associates in our store know how to process a return and though we are encouraged to suggest exchanges rather than returns, having a 100-day no-hassle return policy shows that we are dedicated to customer satisfaction.

The only real complaint I have of the corporation is the terrible jewelry repair company that we now use. I miss our local jeweler, who did beautiful, quick and inexpensive work for us.

I guess I just had a fantastic manager who never made us clock out for lunch, and who always paid us for extra hours we spent in the store. I am very sorry that you other hard workers had a rough time with Zales, but I love my job and I have never had a problem with the ethics and practices of my store.

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#2 UPDATE EX-employee responds

Don't sell lies

AUTHOR: anonymous - (United States of America)

POSTED: Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Obviously RJ is from corporate. I used to work for Zales Corp. and my girlfriend still does. She is a manager, so that is why I am writing in anonymous since they would fire her in an instant for letting the public know what is going on. They made her sign a contract stating she couldnt talk to the media in any way, shape or form. Obviously this is a while after the last post but most of what the first manager has said is true even today. RJs following the book as to how corporate and management are told to respond to customer questions, no employee I have ever met, that works in the stores, is truly happy with anything. Zales lies, cheats and steals from all of its customers. And they dont necessarily break rules from the book, but they leave loopholes big enough for a tank to drive through, so they can steal from customers and employees, the managers were told to deny valid discounts, and to say that they were out of a current promotional, free item with purchase, unless the customer specifically mentioned the advertisement. I will rewrite the same list the others have.

Top five reasons Zales Corp. screws customers:

5. RETURN POLICY: They really only have limited cash in the store. The fact that RJ stated that refund checks are issued 2 times per week is more of an indication that RJ is from corporate, since no one that we have ever met has ever mentioned the checks, it is also not stated anywhere for employees, or customers to know. I personally have had a customer do a return and it took 3 months for them to get the money. Finally, no, it does not take management approval to do returns, but management is discouraged from training associates on the procedure. In most cases it is true that they need a manager, but in others it is because if they take the return they may be written up because it will hurt the numbers, and they may lose their job. They are constantly threatened that if they take returns they WILL lose their jobs, and they really have been firing associates for it.

4. SALES PHYLOPHISY: In Minnesota, which is FAR from CA, they are told that they are not LYING to the customers, rather they are embellishing the truth. We were told to leave out information and twist the facts to make sure that the truth was told. We were told to only give facts that were asked for by the customer, and not to let the customer know if it was treated or natural. Every customer was to buy something, at any cost, even embellishing the truth if not they would find someone else to do it.

3. CREDIT: Now the interest is 24.99% COMPOUND! There is also a $10 fee, which is not mentioned to customers, to receive the no interest promotions. After the 90-days if they havent paid it off, on a $2000 sale, the customer will end up paying $450.20 extra, just for the first 3 months. If an employee doesnt get a specific number of credit applications per day/week they will be written up and if it happens again they will be fired.

2. CREDIT FRAUD: This is the one area I agree with RJ on. They have procedures in place to stop it, you no longer give then your SSN, you write it down, and when they input it into the credit app, they give it back to the customer, and sensitive information is blacked out with pens and markers.

1.      QUALITY: Zale Corporation does indeed buy diamonds in bulk, as do most major jewelry chains. This is how we can offer exceptional diamond quality at affordable prices. Zale does not and has not sold "improved" diamonds (fracture-filled, etc) with prior knowledge. I copied that from RJs because that is a flat out lie. It even says it is improved by the code on its tag, I have seen fracture filled diamonds and color treated diamonds, where it only says it on the tag, and they promote it as the fake quality it is not. To quote him again In my store, I have diamonds which have been graded by IGI, EGL, IGL. Each of these institutes/laboratories have reputations which would suffer if they were to be "proven to be rated lower by almost every gem lab in the country." None of them are going to jeopardize their reputations simply for Zale business. That is the problem in the first place, these certification places are already the lowest places to have the diamonds certified, Zales is all about the bottom dollar and these are the CHEAPEST places to get the Cert. Cards. They have no reputation to tarnish. I have seen diamonds that were certified colorless, but were more yellow than a highlighter. You get what you pay for when it comes to them. Atleast Zales gets what it pays for, not the customers.

6.      TELEMARKETING: Since we agree on one thing I decided to add another. Zales employees are forced to call customers ATLEAST once a month. It is not a written rule but they will write you up and can and have fired people for not doing it. They are told that it doesnt matter if they say no calls, you still have to call them.


5. PAY: HA! Not the lowest pay?!?! My girlfriend is getting paid $9.50/hr as an assistant and she is also in the top 5 in the entire region as far as pay rate. She never got a raise when she was promoted, because she is technically a manager in training not an assistant manager. She was hired at $8 an hour 5 years ago. They are now hiring at $9, something she worked 4 years to get. They still dont pay you for a 30 min break, yet dont allow you to take it since they have to have 2 people working at all times, but dont give the payroll to hire someone to come in for breaks. If any manager tries to do something, they are fired. You are forced to eat on the floor, while working. A former employee is filing a lawsuit currently.

4. HOSTILE WORK ENVIRONTMENT: Zale has a very aggressive anti-harassment policy which is required participation for each and every employee. I, personally, have not experienced any hostile environment. RJ must be a male, because where my girlfriend works, the manager hugs, flirts, spanks, and makes sexually explicit comments, to the female employees. My girlfriend had to threaten to kick his a*s before he stopped doing it to her. No one can report anything that is why you dont hear anything. EVERYTIME anyone reports any type of harassment, or mistreatment to the anonymous tip-line, nothing ever happens to the manager, and the person who reports them get fired or written up. I know 5 people who have called, only 1 is still employed but was written up, and had their goal raised in hopes that they wouldnt make it so they could be fired. They have traced phone numbers and e-mail addresses, for record only reasons, yet those people manage to be known and written up, I challenge RJ to explain it.
3.      OPPRESSION AND MANIPULATION: Umm yeah, all I have to say is, where the hell were you during the management meetings? That is one of the key training practices. They have no choice but to do those things. Why else would ANYONE work for a company this corrupt? Need I say anymore?

2.      NON-PAYMENT: Some of this was covered in #5. You arent even allowed to take the break due to payroll. This issue has been reported many times to corporate yet they have yet to fix this issue. They require managers to take off the pay in order to make it look like they are complying with OSHA, on paper anyways.

1.      MANAGEMENT: The regional sets the store managers schedule at 60-70 hours a week, at least here. Corporate says when managers must work and sometimes tell managers that they cannot have any time off. My old store manager once worked open to close for 14 days without a single day off. I have not heard of this class action either, but I do know that they are not allowed to have an official assistant, they are called managers in training, that way they do management work for associate pay.

In summery RJ is more than likely from corporate, and getting paid to write this, and is also a complete moron. Please do your own research and you will find I am telling the truth.

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#1 UPDATE Employee

I take exception to this post in many ways


POSTED: Tuesday, July 22, 2003

As a current manager for the Zale Corporation, let me state that I take exception to this post in many ways. As was done in the original complaint, I shall address each issue individually.

First, it is Zales Jewelers, Gordon's Jewelers, Bailey Banks and Biddle Fine Jewelers, Zales Jewelers Outlet and Piercing Pagoda.

I have been in various management positions for over 10 years myself, three of those with Zale. This is my first venture into jewelry, but I shall not be leaving the industry or my company any time soon. You have stated "Many of these things are in direct violation of the companies [sic] written rules, but are however thought [sic] from corp. management." As you will see from my rebuttal, none of these things are in violation of anything, although some of my statements may be being TAUGHT in our stores.

RE: Top 5 ways Zale Corp screws its customers:

5. Return Policy - The company's return policy is clearly printed on each and every Client Receipt in OVERLARGE BOLD print. As per federal regulations, each store is required to have clearly posted its returns/exchanges policy. It is true that we do not refund cash over $50 in most stores. This is due to the small amount of cash we are allowed to retain (for our own safety) in the store. The company issues refund checks twice per week. All retail establishments want to discourage returns, however no management approval is required for MOST returns.

4. Sales Philosophy - All corporations are concerned with their bottom line, especially those who actively trade on the stock market. Telling lies and bending the truth may have been the practice in your area/store but it most certainly not something that is acceptable. I have terminated one employee for explicitly lying to a client. Misrepresentations and deceptions are not tolerated.

3. Credit - The best way for a client to purchase jewelry from our corporation may well be a Zale Corp brand credit card. While it is true that the interest rate is high (currently 23.73%), qualifying for credit promotions is not difficult. ANY and ALL purchases are available for 90-days Interest Free. The payment must be received in full by the 90th day. Twelve-months Interest Free is also available on all purchases over $500. To determine your minimum monthly payment, your total purchase price is simply divided by 12. At the end of that 12-month period, your purchase is paid in full--with 0% interest.

2. Credit Fraud - Unfortunately, credit fraud does exist. The corporation, however, does have a program in place to reward honest associates for reporting suspected instances of credit fraud, either internal (re-running declined applications) or external (fraudulent ID's presented to acquire credit). From my experience, the episodes you describe are a rare occurrence.

1. Quality - Zale Corporation does indeed buy diamonds in bulk, as do most major jewelry chains. This is how we can offer exceptional diamond quality at affordable prices. Zale does not and has not sold "improved" diamonds (fracture-filled, etc) with prior knowledge. It is a requirement that such gems be labeled as what they are. Some stores may carry colored diamonds which have been "irradiated." This is a common practice in the trade to enhance or provide "fancy" color (blue, green) to diamonds which were otherwise undesirable in color. In my store, I have diamonds which have been graded by IGI, EGL, IGL. Each of these institutes/laboratories have reputations which would suffer if they were to be "proven to be rated lower by almost every gem lab in the country." None of them are going to jeopardize their repuations simply for Zale business. Your assertion that "all diamonds are the smallest they can be legally to be marked at their size" is an blatant lie. A one-carat diamond is considered to be anything between .95ct and 1.05ct. In my current stock I have one-carat diamonds which are .98ct (3), 1.02ct (2), .96 ct (1), 1.12ct (1) and 1.13 (1). In fact, most of our diamonds are LARGER than the minimum legal requirements.

RE: Top 5 ways Zale screws its employees:

5. Low pay - To cite Zale as the lowest pay rate in the industry is often inaccurate. Most pay in the company is based on 1) store volume and/or 2) associate experience.

4. Hostal [sic] Environment - Zale has a very aggressive anti-harrassment policy which is required participation for each and every employee. I, personally, have not experienced any hostile environment.

3. Oppressive and manipulative - I have never been " how to interact with my associates to make them feel like they could not leave for something better." Of course Zale wants to breed loyalty in its employees! Obvious loyalty in employees helps to encourage obvious loyalty in its clientele and lowers the cost of recruiting and training.

2. Non-Payment (associates) - Associates are, indeed, sometimes required to spend their lunch hours in the store. During those times, it is the MANAGER's responsibility to ensure proper time-keeping procedures have been followed. Employees are entitled to 30-minutes paid if they are required to remain in-store for lunch. If your employees were underpaid, the blame lay entirely with the person running the payroll in CATS at the store level. Corporate Office has no way of knowing if Joe had to work through his lunch hour. That is why payroll is done at the store.

1. Management - I confess I have no knowledge of the alleged class-action lawsuit against Zale on "behalf of it's [sic] former Asst. Managers and managers." Managers are paid for 46 hours per week, three of those are supposed to be reserved for training time. I acknowledge during high-traffic times (Xmas, Valentine's, Mom's) we, as managers, are required to work over-long hours. However, we are also encouraged to take every ounce of comp-time we can. Yes, I have worked 70-80 hours per week. No, I have not been paid extra for that. It is simply the manager's responsibility to ensure that he or she has the adequate staff so he or she can work his or her normal work schedule. I agree the job is stressful, but what management position is not?

In summation, I regret that you had a bad experience working for Zale. However, to use this valuable forum to engage in a smear campaign against the company is unscrupulous at best.

Thank you for your time.

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