A Present to Rectify the Past

Today, were going to take a break from the rigors of computer science and instead focus on how not to run your business.

To truly appreciate the magnitude of failure of this company, one must comprehend the importance of the gift I was purchasing. For this we must travel back in time to the day I was married to my beautiful wife.

It was a wonderful day, filled with joy and anticipation. I had been to weddings before, once as a groomsman, but this one was mine. It’s hard to put into words the array of emotions I experienced that day.

It all started as anyone would have expected. I was helping set up the church for the ceremony as my wife’s friends smuggled her in. The time came for me and my men to start getting dressed. The ceremony was upon us. The photographer, a friend of ours working for free, was taking enough pictures to wallpaper the house we’d eventually buy with only wallet-sized images, using each one at most once. As I slipped the ring on her finger, my bride, although she had promised not to, whispered (in perfect Gollum), “My precious…” The ceremony ended, and everyone moved to the next room for the reception.

Her sister had made all of the food for the reception, including the cakes and chocolate-covered strawberries. I figured that as the groom, I’d have a chance at getting at least a few of those. I had one. My grandmother had to have at least five. I’m not bitter about it.

It happened when my wife and I were mingling separately with the guests; I recall my wife telling me a few days later. The ring that I had given to my wife when I proposed was given to me by her mother. It was the same ring which my wife’s father had given when he proposed. Apparently, my new mother-in-law approached my wife, asking to see the ring. When my wife produced it (we had matching bands which we used for the ceremony), my mother-in-law took it, put it in her purse, and walked off. The fact that it was a loaner was not made clear in the terms and conditions when I accepted the ring.

Oh, well. Such is life, and such are people. I was mad about it, but now… I’m still mad about it. Regardless, this is the inspiration for the anniversary gift: I will, after eight wonderful years, and now that I can afford to do so, replace the ring stolen from her that day.

It was now three months before our eighth anniversary. I was searching online for the perfect ring. I tried the web site for every jewelry store that I could remember. None of them seemed to have the perfect ring: one that will pair nicely with our bands. Nothing. Some of the jewelers have rings that are… okay, but none that really screamed, “That one!” So I altered my approach. Instead of searching catalogs, I loaded up my good friend Google and typed in a description of the ring I wanted and hit Images.

Page after page after page of rings that meet my criteria, and I saw it. The perfect ring. I followed the image to Jeen Jewel’s product page. When I saw the price, I was elated. I couldn’t believe such a beautiful ring was priced so well.

Because I’m not a stupid man, I researched the company. I looked at reviews. I checked fraud reports. Nothing indicated that Jeen Jewels is anything but what it says it is.

Also, because I’m not a stupid man, I told my wife that I was going to spend $1500 of my annual bonus to buy something but that I couldn’t tell her what just yet. Reluctantly, she trusted me. I ordered the ring. That was March 18, a Wednesday. As advertised on the website when I placed my order, the expected delivery date was that Saturday, March 21. Just for reference, keep in mind that our anniversary is April 25.

Just to be safe, I paid with PayPal so that the payment was traceable. I received my receipt via email as expected, however, I noticed that the shipping address was incorrect. I wanted it to come to my office rather than the house, so I contacted the vendor (via phone) to have the address changed.

I received another email confirming the change. In it, I found this (among other unfulfilled tokens).

Order: #000465 placed on {date} Payment: {payment}

Hmmm. They don’t seem very well put-together. Well, maybe they just don’t know how to manage a website.

March 25: Four days late and no ring yet. I called Jeen Jewels to get a status update, and the number kept going to voicemail, where I got a polite message saying that the inbox is full.

Hmmm. They don’t seem very well put-together. I completely freaked out at this point: surely my hard-earned money is gone.

I sent them an email explaining my experience with the phones. A short time later (a matter of minutes), I received a reply stating that their phones are being upgraded and that was the reason for the phone fiasco. Additionally, they gave me the status update I requested:

For the order status –
All our items are handcrafted and custom-made to order. It normally takes about 10 to 14 business days for the order to be ready and shipped out, depending on the style. If there is more work like, many stones/lot of hand carving etc. it may take longer as it is hand done.

Once the order is placed, it goes through 7 stages of processing.

  1. Getting the CAM/CAD ready
  2. Getting the Mold Ready for the ring setting
  3. Creating Gold Casting for the ring
  4. Pre-polishing of the ring for setting the stones
  5. Setting of all the stones
  6. Final polishing and plating of the ring
  7. Final Quality check before the ring is shipped out.

Your order is in the third stage of processing right now.

Once your order is ready to be shipped, we will send you an email with the updated shipping and tracking details.

I reached way down into my calm and found a little patience. The website said that I would have the ring by now, and they’re only on step 3 of 7!

April 10: Still no ring. The reply to another status inquiry was that it should be ready by the following Tuesday or Wednesday. But wait, there’s more: they’ve upgraded the order to “EXPRESS Overnight shipping for FREE” (emphasis theirs). Forget that they’re already three weeks overdue.

April 15: I received an email that the ring has been shipped! They’ve given me the tracking number, so I dutifully entered it into my phone’s Deliveries app. It’s delivered the next day. At least the shipping company can keep timelines.

At this point, I was just so excited (and relieved) to have the ring that I didn’t really pay close attention to it. I took it home and hid it so my wife wouldn’t find it (I’m really good at that). For the next couple days, I’d occasionally look at the ring, imagining my wife’s reaction when she sees it.

Then one night, I noticed something. I wanted to take a closer look, so I got out my daughter’s (crazy powerful) magifying glass. There are diamonds missing! It was late and our children were asleep. I couldn’t loudly exclaim the explicatives I would have liked to. Just to be sure, I loaded up the images of the ring from the website. Yep. Missing diamonds. Now I’m livid.

I grabbed my phone, and set the camera in “macro” mode to take close-up pictures. It still wasn’t quite focusing properly on its own, so I used the magnifying glass in front of the lens to fix it. Perfect. Nicely zoomed-in , clear(ish) photos.

After further scrutinization, I found some other errors and typed up an email to Jeen Jewels:

I have received the ring. Upon receiving it, I thought it looked great. However, after inspecting it further I found some areas of concern. I have attached several screenshots from the ring posted on your website as well as some photos I took of the ring you sent me.

  1. The website photos clearly show diamonds on both sides of the white gold underneath the yellow gold. On my ring, I found only holes where diamonds should be, but there were no diamonds.
  2. The symmetry of the ring is off. One side of the yellow gold is very clearly higher than the side across from the center diamond. The website image shows near-perfect symmetry.
  3. The center diamond is noticeably smaller on my ring than it appears on the website.

Now we have a conundrum. I expected to receive the ring that is depicted on the website, but I received something that is… close. I understand that it can’t be a perfect replica as jewelry of this nature is hand-crafted, but the above points are egregious errors. Add to that the fact that I received the ring over a month later than I was told on the website when purchasing it, and I am one unhappy customer. The asymmetry I could get past, but I cannot look beyond missing diamonds and a larger center diamond which I clearly paid for.

I was expecting to present this ring to my wife this Friday as an anniversary gift.

How do you propose we settle this?

Here are the photos I attached:

Missing Diamonds

Symmetry

Stone Size

At this point, Jeen Jewels had an opportunity to be a customer service hero. They failed:

Thank you for your email. We do apologize that you are not 100% happy with the ring. As you mentioned, these are handcrafted items. There may be some difference with the items made. The experienced jewelers work the rings to be best possible proportion/option and as close as possible to the picture. This is one of the most popular style in our catalog We ship a lot of customized ring based on our buyers needs on a daily basis.

First to address your concern,

  1. The side diamonds are missing as it was impossible to set them when the ring was being made. The jewelers have tried but they were not able to accomplish the same.
  2. The symmetry as compared to the picture and what you received again are based on how the setting is done and it can vary while setting the stones, depending on the space etc. needed to set the diamonds.
  3. The size of the diamonds cannot be compared to the picture as the pictures are enlarged to show detailing.

While we understand you are not 100% happy with the item and need it for the gift this coming Friday, we have the two options below.

  1. You can ship the ring back for a refund. Below is the RA number for you [omitted].

[omitted return details]

  1. We can offer you a 10% discount ($150) on the ring and refund the same to your account, if you would like to keep it.

Please confirm how you would like to proceed. We want our customers to be 100% happy with the products and if you are not satisfied, we do apologize for the same again.

Wow! There are so many levels of failure in this response.

  • They could have told me that they were unable to install the diamonds before the ring shipped.
  • The center diamond on the advertised ring is clearly the same diameter as the encircling yellow gold below it. On mine, the entire setting is smaller than that circle; and the stone is smaller yet.
  • A 10% discount on them not installing 30% of the diamonds! How does that work out?

I decided to return the ring. However, before I did so I took it to the local jewelry shop where my wife and I had ordered our wedding bands to get their impression. They were glad I was returning it. At one point during the visit, they showed me a comparable ring which they made, and the difference was staggering. The stones they used were (forgive the pun) crystal clear and incredibly bright! The ones on my ring were inconsistent but mostly a milky white.

I’d like to say that I’m just disappointed with Jeen Jewels, but that wouldn’t be true. I’m angry about the service and misrepresentation of the product.

In the end, I’m still out $70 that they claimed as a “restocking fee.” The perfect kick in the pants.

I guess they haven’t learned anything: their product page still states that the ring will be delivered in 10 days. And what’s really sad is they’ll probably meet that date with the next poor schmuck who buys this ring by sending them the one that I returned.

For those of you who made it this far, I thank you.

I haven’t yet decided what to post next, but I have several ideas lined up. We’ll look into one of those. Or not. It’ll be a surprise for everyone!

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s