Disgruntled Customer. Help wanted, please.

I am not that demanding, really. It’s just that when I take something for repair, I expect that it isn’t messed up further. I lost a prong on my engagement ring in mid-December. A prong from the centre, also largest, stone. Everything else was perfectly lovely. This is a three-stone, oval diamond, engagment ring. Platinum setting on a gold band.

I took it in that week and was supposed to get it back Tuesday, but it didn’t get back to the local place until Thursday. When I got it back there was a) space wide enough for my fingernail to go between the replaced prong and the stone; b) a blob of platinum on the shoulder of the centre stone; c) a flaw in one of the side stones that wasn’t there before - the entire ring was so cloudy I thought it was cracked, d) the fine detail work on the setting is now all blobbed over, to the point that I couldn’t distinguish between the (two different coloured metal) shank and setting, and e) there’s this weird tarnishy crap on the shank, on the outside and inside.

The local store’s owner said that they couldn’t get the work done until after Christmas, but that they would have it out with the jewellery repair person. I let the local rep know that if it isn’t repaired to my satisfaction, the goldsmith could replace the ring or we would take further action. Legal action. I haven’t got a lot of jewellery, but what I have is of good quality and in good shape. I certainly will not walk around with that horrid repair job on my finger, with a cloudy side stone, when the whole ring together was a thing of beauty and was in perfect condition, other than the prong, when I gave it to them to fix. It’s not two months salary, but it’s a pretty good chunk of change to replace.

So. Five weeks later, fast forward to last Friday. I got it back. The setting is now not on the same axis as the ring. The side stone is still not as good as it was before - I don’t think it can be fixed. The weird tarnish is still there. There are deep grooves on either side of the shank on one side of the ring. The setting is tilted to one side, it’s not symmetrical, and the bottom of the setting (the part that sits on my finger) looks like a beaver has been gnawing on it. The top of the ring is now so ragged that if I were to wear the ring, I would scratch myself and everyone around me.

What can I do? The goldsmith will not return my phone calls. The local jeweller says that the goldsmith said he ‘didn’t touch those things’. I don’t want to go to court over such a small amount of money, but this is my engagement ring. When I got frustrated while packing, or dealing with immigration and the State Department, or freaking out over some frustration in the wedding planning, or when I get so homesick for my friends and family that I want to cry until I’m out of tears, I’d look at this ring and I’d remember why I was doing what I was doing.

I’m so upset about this that I want to cry and scream and firebomb things. Please, please, what can I do?

Hit 'em with the local Better Business Bureau. Try to catch their attetnion before bringing lawyers in.

I have, in fact, composed an email to Get Gelfman. I may or may not send it to other local news shows who have a consumer advocate. Before I sue them, I’ll try to shame them.

Better Business Bureau and a lawyer on standby. Do you have a picture of the original? Are you sure the stone wasn’t replaced with one of less quality? I would be in tears myself. I would at least consult an attorney to see what my options are. I get so tired of people getting away with crap! I was always taught to “just let it go” well, after 40 years I got sick of being taken advantage of and started standing up for myself.

I’m currently in two lawsuits and I’m not going to settle till I’m satisfied! You have the RIGHT to get what you paid for and damages. Get mean and take care of business! Good luck too!

Oh, Ginger, I’m so sorry. You must be heartsick!

I have no advice except to wish you luck and determination.

Ginger: you can always send your local contingent of Friendly-neighbourhood thugs with baseball bats and pillowcases of doorknobs to have a friendly conversation :wink:

Were you planning to come visit, then, Coldsweat? If so, bring Coke and Timbits.

Write them a detailed letter, explaining what happened, and what you expect to make things right. Demand a response within 10 days of the receipt of the letter. Keep a copy of the letter.

Send it certified, return receipt requested. If you don’t hear anything in writing within 10 days, take them to small claims court. You will need proof (hence the letter and the return receipt) of what you discussed with the jeweler in court.

Get a second opinion again, in writing from another jeweler on the damage and what it will cost to set you right again.

Wear a nice suit to court, and don’t interrupt the defendant with “You damn liar” while they’re talking.

Good luck, and let us know what happens!

Absolutely threaten legal action, Even if its not worth $4K. If you don’t get satisfaction, don’t be scared to follow through with it.

Ivylass has good advice with the certified letters. That way you can document that you are not being unreasonable and just want to have your ring back to its original condition.

Do you have a appraisal certificate or other photo of it in preworked-on condition?

I have an appraisal, which was done in Canada. The US figure will be smaller, of course, but it’s still almost twice what Dave paid for the ring. I can get pictures of the original ring from the jeweller that Dave got it from.

What, no tea?

My heart goes out to you. A local jeweler here botched my wedding ring. The sentiment I had about such a thing (and the fact that most of the money was sunk into workmanship–crappy workmanship at that) has me so upset I could not deal with the jeweler effectively. He stopped returning my calls, and I dropped the matter. Except five years later, I can hardly drive by his shop without wanting to heave a rock through the window.

Your point should be this: if they didn’t feel the ring was fixable, or at least not with their techniques/skills, they should have let you know immediately and not done the work. There’s no shame in that. But to have taken the job and screwed it up–that’s bad, and they owe you a remedy. You should take it to another jeweler and get an opinion on what needs to be done, if it can be fixed, and what it would cost. Then take that opinion back to the original jeweler (assuming he will talk to you) and work from there.

Your ring was so pretty! I should send Nessa after him.

Get the apprasal. Get the picture. Write the letter. Phone the BBB (although they can’t actually do anything, most businesses don’t want a black mark on their BBB report).

Make sure you spell out EXACTLY what you want the Jewler to do - ie Fix the ring so it is EXACTLY as it was before the repairs, or replace it. Get prepared to go to court.

This sux. :frowning:

I spoke with the local jeweller today. I outlined to her exactly the course of action that I will take, as follows:

I will allow the goldsmith to return my calls and offer restitution. If this is not done, I will contact the BBB and the Jeweller’s Vigilance Committee. If they can’t help, I will contact the consumer advocates at various area news stations. If that fails, I shall file suit, and name the local jewellery store, the goldsmith’s company, and the principals therein. Including her.

I told her that I would prefer not to go to such lengths, because I realized that it would cause much more damage to their respective businesses than it would cost for them to go to the national jewellery store chain and buy a new ring. She told me that she would talk with the goldsmith tomorrow and ‘get on it’.

I’m entitled to this. I hate like hell that it has happened, but I am entitled to my property, in the same state it was prior to their messing it up.

Do you have any good photos of your ring in the befor it was screwed up state? Perhaps in your wedding album?

If you do have an enlargement made and take that to the repair shop and show them where they did indeed touch those things.

You’ve got to be kidding? What kind of rep do these jewellers have?

Do you have a consumer reporter type thing in your area?

Hope everything works out, Ginger.

Sounds like someone got sloppy with a heat source (flame or other) and torched your ring pretty good originally.

** Ginger, **

From your description of the cloudy stones, it sounds like they may have tried to replace your clearer stones with ones of inferior quality. This happened to a relative of mine who had a very old diamond ring. (Old diamonds, I guess, are cut in a different way than they are today, and it makes the stone more valuable, or so the story goes.) She noticed the difference, and complained. It was a long time before it was settled, but it turned out that the jewelery repairman had tried to switch the stones, thinking she wouldn’t notice.

I might have a reputable jeweler take a look at it before you go any further. It could be that the stones aren’t even diamonds, or are ones of very poor quality. Plus, another jeweler can document the damage for you.

Actually, astro got it right. The goldsmith left the third stone in while replacing the prong. The setting itself is platinum, and you have to remove the stones while working on it. I don’t know why he did that.

We should find out something further later today. I will, of course, keep you posted.

Guinastasia: The consumer advocates in our area were mentioned in my first response here. “Get Gelfman” is the advocate with Baltimore CBS affiliate, WJZ.