Everyone makes mistakes. Two years ago, I was still learning about blogging, and reviewing products, and dealing with companies. I was still naive, and thought people stood by their products. I wasn’t as experienced with shopping as I am today, and as I will be tomorrow. All I can do is share the knowledge I learn each day, and sometimes I’m forced to do a follow up on a review done over two years ago……..and sometimes that follow up review isn’t a good one.
Let’s start by refreshing everyone’s memory. In November of 2010, I was given a discount on an order, and in return, I provided an honest review of the product. The product was two charms with my children’s finger prints engraved in them. I was so excited, it made me so happy to have little pieces of my children with me every day. The owner of the company was very friendly, she was nice, she helped me choose the right pieces, and took me through the process of ordering everything. She did a buy one, get one free kind of discount, which still cost a decent amount of money.
The items were beautiful. I loved the charms, and that Christmas, I received them as a gift. I then had to wait to figure out how to put them on the chain, without them hitting one another. I finally put something together, with spacers to keep them apart, so people could see each one separately. I started wearing the charms every day in March of 2011. I took them off when I slept, and bathed, or went in the any kind of water. I don’t wear perfume, or scented lotions, and I don’t have chemicals in my home.
Unfortunately, the charms she created, didn’t stand the test of time……the fingerprints started wearing off. I emailed Tina, since she is the owner of her own business, and her response was “It’s not normal, but it’s not impossible for that to happen if metal is rubbing on your prints. Normal wear and tear is possible with any metal (silver, gold, platinum) when it’s rubbing on other metal.” She went on about how she outlines this in her customer service policies, and then goes on to tell me “chemicals, lotions, perfumes, body chemistry can deteriorate the metal over time.”
Now, since metal wasn’t hitting metal, and I don’t wear chemicals, lotions, or perfumes, I wasn’t really okay with this answer. And since I’ve had tons of jewelry my entire life, the body chemistry thing was kind of an odd excuse for the fingerprints to be wearing off of the top of the charms, and nothing was happening to the rest of the charms.
After explaining it to her, and telling her that it’s just crazy that this was happening after just two years, her answer was this “I can’t control what is happening to your pieces. I’ve sold thousands of these and had maybe a handful of similar complaints. Once my jewelry leaves my hands, I don’t know what they are subject to even under the best care. Prints will not rub off for no reason, so something is causing it. You may have to not wear them as much, if at all. I’ve suggested this to a couple customers…they weren’t happy with it, but I’d suggest that to anyone who had concerns about losing or ruining any cherished pieces of jewelry.”
I defer to all of you out there, do you think this is good customer service?
I didn’t think it was appropriate. In my head I was thinking “You’re telling me, in no uncertain terms, “tough luck.” You also want me to not wear jewelry that I purchased? WHAT?”
I guess I thought she would stand by her products. If I sold someone a piece of jewelry, I would stand by the product. Instead of haggling with her, and getting into an argument about it, I decided to re-do the review, give you the rest of the story of her lack of customer service, and find someone else to do a piece for me.
I found an amazing designer online. I happened to see that a friend of mine worked with her in the past, I asked her, and she gave a huge thumbs up. Her pieces were amazing, even a few years later. PLUS, I learned my lesson from my experience with Tina Steinberg! I asked my new designer how she dealt with situations like mine. She said, without hesitation, “I would replace it at no charge.” It goes for all of her jewelry.
Out of the way Tina Steinberg, and HELLO Designs by Janessa! This time around I think I’m going to do a bracelet, which Janessa assures me she stands by all of her pieces.
What have I learned? Yes, find out about how you will be dealt with when the products you purchase might not hold up. How does the company handle returns, replacements, etc. Do they STAND BY THEIR PRODUCT, do they understand that relationships with clients, and customers is important?
If I’m going to spend my money, and get the best value for that money, I want it to be with a company that appreciates my business, and won’t leave me high and dry IF something is damaged, or wears off. IF the pieces I received the first time were done at the quality they should have been done at, I really don’t think the charms would look like they do right now. LESSON LEARNED.
I’ll just keep moving forward! Learning, sharing, and fine tuning my strategic shopping skills!