Tiffany's Dazzling Customer Service More Than Makes Up For Shipping Snafu

Ritzy Fifth Avenue jeweler Tiffany & Co. failed to ship Chris’ grandfather a bracelet for his wife in time for Christmas. We expect a certain level of service from high-end stores, but Tiffany’s extravagant amends caught us by surprise.

My grandfather ordered an engraved Tiffany silver bracelet as a surprise Christmas gift for my grandmother. He had custom engraving put on the bracelet, and had arranged for the bracelet to be delivered to my house about 2 weeks before Christmas. Two weeks after the order (when we should’ve received the bracelet), there was no bracelet. We gave it another week, and the my grandfather emailed Tiffany customer support. He received an automated response stating that because of the overwhelming Christmas rush, he needed to contact customer support via their 800 number. Of course, the 800 number was impossible to get through to also.

My grandfather, being the laid back man that he is, wasn’t really angry, but he wanted to know what was going on with the bracelet. Tiffany customer service ended up calling him on the Friday before Christmas. As luck would have it, he was out fishing, and my grandmother talked to them, thus ruining the surprise. When he returned home, he was able to actually get through to the rep who called him earlier. She informed him that because of a Christmas rush they were not expecting, the bracelet would not be arriving before Christmas. To make up for the fact that they had ruined the surprise and would not be getting the bracelet to my grandfather before Christmas, they would be giving him the order FREE. He asked to clarify, asking if they just meant the shipping or the engraving free, but no, the ENTIRE COST of the order was FREE. Of course, he was blown away (after all, this is a $255 bracelet, plus the cost of engraving and shipping).

Tiffany ended up shipping the bracelet on Saturday, overnighting it to my house where I received it on Monday. There was no invoice or such in the box, so we were still wondering IF the bracelet was actually going to be free (with the final call coming from the credit card bill). Sure enough, when the credit card bill came that would’ve contained the charge, there was absolutely no charges from Tiffany.

So, it’s nice to know that there are indeed some companies who want to keep their reputation that treat their customers well.

Sometimes you get the service you intended to pay for. For Tiffany, which stocks $210,000 bracelets, $255 isn’t much to keep the customer happy and willing to consider larger purchases.

Comments

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  1. XTC46 says:

    that is above and beyond for sure, and is above and beyond what most companies can do if they plan on staying in business. I’m looking to buy some diamond earing for my girlfriend, and now I think I will go with them.

  2. BugMeNot2 says:

    I once ordered a $100 replacement earring for my girlfriend from the Tiffany’s in Chicago on Michigan Ave. When I went to pick it up and pay, their computer system was down. They gave it to me for free, rather than making me wait until the system rebooted.

  3. Rawkus says:

    It just seems a little weird to me that this story is now just coming to light, and that the same item happens to be on the valentines day selection of “gifts for her”.

    I highly doubt a company like tiffany would fabricate such a thing to drum up sales, but hey i clicked the link and checked out what they had to offer.

    With a slump in consumer spending I’m sure jewelry sales are down, and a tactic like this could certainly increase sales/confidence in this company. The fact that this happened a month ago is probably the weirdest part though.

  4. barfoo says:

    @Rawkus: You’re right to be skeptical, but the post did note that the proof lay in the credit card statement, which makes the timing plausible.

  5. Rawkus says:

    Another weird thing is that when i clicked the link 30 min ago it went to the valentines day version of it. Which would explain how i knew it was on that listing. Now it goes to the generic version of it in the bracelets category.

  6. quiksilver says:

    Holy sh**! That is impressive!

  7. ChrisC1234 says:

    @Rawkus: I can definitely understand everyone’s skepticism (and I probably would be skeptical too). However, it was my grandfather who got the free bracelet, and it was supposed to have been shipped to my house. I promise you that this is not a ploy from anyone to drum up business (actually… I almost wish it was, because then I’d be getting paid).

  8. ChrisC1234 says:

    Oh yeah, and the bracelet pictured above is the exact one that my grandfather had ordered (and the link that I sent with the story originally went directly to that bracelet)

  9. antisocial says:

    Too bad he didn’t order the $210,000 one…

  10. zingbot says:

    This is great and all, but doesn’t everyone know this about Tiffany already? This is really normal behavior for them and always has been. They look at customers like customers for life, even before they get money.

  11. DAK says:

    @Rawkus: There’s a fine line between being a skeptic and being a conspiracy theorist. One makes you smart, the other makes you crazy.

    My experiences with Tiffany make me think that this is totally believable.

  12. XTC46 says:

    @zingbot: I didnt know this about them, and because of this story, they have a new customer.

  13. fredmertz says:

    Service like that isn’t free — it’s built into the price of every single thing they sell. That’s why you get service like that at Saks, Coach, Neiman and Nordstrom. You’re paying for it.

  14. chandler in lasvegas says:

    .
    The secret to the Tiffany magic is that those $255 Sterling Silver bracelets actually cost less than $40 to manufacture and engrave. If they sell a thousand of them and give a few away WOOO-HOOO.

    A CONSUMERIST
    WOULD NEVER SHOP AT TIFFANY IN THE FIRST PLACE!

  15. kepler11 says:

    did you ever wonder why their stuff costs so much? Now you have the answer.

  16. XTC46 says:

    @chandler in lasvegas: why not? I am willing to pay for great service. I also tip huge amounts when service is really good. A “consumerist” should spend money on things of value, and good service is a great value.

  17. listenherebub says:

    @chandler in lasvegas:

    “a consumerist would never shop at tiffany in the first place!”

    -what WOULD a consumerist do, then? Buy a cheap, fake piece of jewelry that will tarnish or break within a month of use?

    Sure, Tiffany is expensive but with that name you also get quality and customer service. If you have a Tiffany piece and it happens to break 10 years down the line, you can return to any location and have it repaired.

    If a person spends 300.00 on a Tiffany necklace that will last them for the rest of their lives, I’d say there’s alot more value behind that than spending 40.00 on a necklace that won’t last 6 months before it needs to be replaced.

    It’s like buying a Hundai or a Honda…

  18. ajones4 says:

    I don’t think it matters if the bracelet cost the company $40 or $40,000. The point at hand is that Tiffany takes steps to ensure customer satisfaction instead of waiting for the customer to make demands.

  19. PICKLES_IN_MY_TUNA says:

    @chandler in lasvegas: Cheap much? Should we feel bad for your wife and/or girlfriend? I have always LOVED finding that signature blue box waiting for me at christmas, birthdays or whenever! Always beautiful and timeless. And I make sure to reward the giver, if ya know what I mean *wink wink*.

  20. xl22k says:

    I’ll sum up this article…

    Basically, you get what you pay for.

    If you go to somewhere like Tiffany’s or even Nordstrom you get better service than Target or Wal-Mart.

  21. Frostberg says:

    @chandler in lasvegas:
    I think a consumerist’s woman might though

  22. boxjockey68 says:

    wow, I will go there from now on. Nice to read this post.

  23. PMinDC says:

    hundreds of people were affected by this. I purchased a $400 ring and received $110 in refunds/extra gifts. This sounds like a better deal (clearly) but if anyone else was in this situation, it’s worth pushing!

  24. nrwfos says:

    I would think that most of us don’t think that we are the Tiffany clientele. At least I’m not. I’m not big into jewelery to begin with, but my Mom and my daughter are. So with that kind of customer service and with a great name value – I’d consider seeing if I could bring myself to part with the money it takes to buy from them. I just wish that more retailers would take the customer’s needs and regard this highly.

  25. stopNgoBeau says:

    Wow, what people we have here today. If someone had bad service from Target, someone would inevitably say “well thats why you shouldn’t shop at cheap places.” Now that someone has had a good dealing with an “expensive” company, we see “well why would you want to shop at a place that costs so much.”

    How things are skewed from one extreme to the other.

    Way to go Tiffany. Thats how you keep customers, and make new ones! I’ve never been into jewelry (and haven’t dated anyone who was) but if I have the occasion to need something, I’ll be looking in that direction.

  26. UpsetPanda says:

    Tiffany’s really is great. I have always gotten great service from them, despite not yet being a customer. I’m pretty young (20s) and anytime I walk in, dressed casually, I never get the kind of condescending look I get when I walk into Zales at the mall, as if their $130 (on sale!) generic strand of squiggly diamonds necklace is too good for me.

  27. EmperorOfCanada says:

    @STOPNGOBEAU

    By far most people here have basically said ‘Price be damned’ the service is worth it.

  28. chikinpop says:

    This must be why Holly Golightly loves Tiffany’s so much.

  29. KJones says:

    This is the same as any other “above and beyond”, whether it’s lousy TV/cable service, faulty cars that need to be recalled, or tainted food.

    A business only gives exemplary customer service because of one reason: a cost/benefit analysis of keeping or losing customers.

    People who buy $2000 items from Sears get the shaft, and people who buy $20000 cars barely get a fair deal.

    How much you pay is a sign of how much you are worth to them.

  30. Trai_Dep says:

    Yup. Sometimes you get what you pay for. Take that, Sam Walton.

  31. Xkeeper says:

    Damn. I guess I know where to go when my mother’s birthday rolls around.

    But yeah, it’s amusing to read the comments. Buy cheap? “Of course you get no service”. Buy expensive? “Why would ANYBODY want to pay for service?”

    I miss the days when commenters were axed for being idiots.

  32. SteKos says:

    This is the definition of “you get what you pay for”. I’ve been a long time customer of Tiffany’s, and have never had anything but top-line professional service. Phone calls from sales-people to confirm that my shipment made it and that it was all acceptable, free overnight shipping to replace something that *I* ordered wrong. etc.

    Yes, their products are pricey, but they’ve been around for a long, long time, and have many, many dedicated customers.

  33. FCAlive says:

    I bet Tiffany’s margin on the bracelet was 90%. It probably only cost them a fraction of the retail price.

  34. DCGaymer says:

    Of all my ONLINE shopping experiences I can say without reservation, Tiffany’s has alway’s come through. I’ve been using them for year’s and they’ve never let me down. They’re not the fastest…but if there is an issue. They’ll make it right.

    I only wish my in person shopping expeditions to Tiffany stores (San Francisco, Union Square) were as successful. I’ve alway’s found their in-store sale associates to be Disingenuous at best. Be warned if you’ve not shopped there before. They’re hawkishly commission oriented. While introducing my step-daughter to Tiffany’s on a shopping expedition they treated her with disdainful rudeness because she only bought some silver pearl earrings. They were obviously on the lower end of the Tiffany spectrum but tastefully respectable for a first time buyer. She has nothing good to say about Tiffany’s.

  35. descend says:

    @PICKLES_IN_MY_TUNA:

    You’re missing the point: the offerings at Tiffany are cheap junk, but with an extra 500% markup slapped on. Tiffany isn’t high end, regardless of how many housewives are willing to fuck for the little blue box.

    Cartier is high end.

  36. UpsetPanda says:

    @descend: Apparently you’re in a totally different income bracket than most of America because most of America can’t afford Cartier. Tiffany’s might not be the most high-end out there, but why get a BMW when you can aim for a Ferrari? Most people can’t afford that either. Tiffany’s is not cheap, not compared to the jewelry section of JC Penney. Just like Tiffany’s is cheap, compared to Cartier. It’s relative to income. You saying “it’s cheap junk” doesn’t make it cheap, it just makes it cheap in your opinion. For a lot of people, it’s been a good place where a lot of people have found good gifts.

  37. arch05 says:

    I freaking hate that bracelet and the matching choker. Every skank stripper in every city has one of those & thinks they’re ‘classy’.

  38. howie_in_az says:

    They make it up in their diamond prices.

  39. jaydez says:

    I ordered a bracelet from them for my girlfriend a few years ago and needed Saturday delivery ($40 extra). I was told it would be there by 12:00 on Saturday, garunteed. UPS scanned the package at 11:59 as delivered, 2 towns away. I still didnt have it at 12:00 but it was shoping delivered. I called them up and the guy, without hesitating put me on hold and called UPS to figure it out. Five minutes later he told me he was issuing a full refund for shipping and told me UPS will be there within 2 hours. at 1:45 on Saturday I had the bracelet and didnt have to pay a dime for shipping.

  40. PICKLES_IN_MY_TUNA says:

    @descend: Um…perhaps you’re missing the point, completely. Last year for Valentines day my children gave me a beautiful silver heart lock charm engraved with MOM. It probably wasn’t more than $200.00 but, they pooled their money and their dad took them down to Tiffany’s to pick something out. It was fantastic, they were so proud. Everyone got lots of hugs and kisses and mom treated them all to something special in the form of a homemade hot lava cake for dessert. As with other gifts from other stores, I’ve always been a gracious recipient. Even when it wasn’t from Tiffany’s; I was just as thrilled with the Cartier watch I received for an anniversary and hell yeah, I fucked him that night. BTW, that Cartier watch doesn’t work any better than my Rolex or my Mickey Mouse watch from Disneyland.

    You come off a bit douchey in your response to my post, good luck to you and all that money you have to spend.

  41. scoli83 says:

    @descend:

    Watch this, I’m going to out-snob you.

    Most of the offerings at Cartier, especially their watches, are cheap junk. You’re paying 5k for a $20 quartz movement that was put into a $1000 case. When it comes to the quality of the watch, Wal-Mart is just is good. But, people like you and me don’t buy Wal-Mart watches because we like the status of the Cartier, just like people buy Tiffany necklaces because they like the status. Cartier isn’t high end, at least not in quality.

    Patek Philippe is high end.

  42. MommaJ says:

    So Tiffany completely screwed up someone’s order–they couldn’t handle their Xmas rush (how many Xmases has Tiffany’s been in business?), their customer service reps were unreachable, and they ruined a surprise–but they are getting kudos here. I suppose it’s nice they they comp’ed the bracelet (never would have happened with a pricier piece), but given their ridiculously overpriced merchandise, I think the least you can expect is that they won’t screw up everything in the first place. I’ve always found their sales staff to be snotty and overbearing if you are just looking at their low-end (for them) silver pieces, and the blue box doesn’t make up for the poor value. Lousy service on top of that is really outrageous.

  43. ceejeemcbeegee is not here says:

    @chandler in lasvegas: Word. Everyone and their momma has those bracelets, thus devaluing their status in my opinion.

  44. UpsetPanda says:

    @MommaJ: I think you’re right, though the OP said that Tiffany’s message stated they didn’t anticipate their Christmas rush. If that is true, I would understand (but still be ticked) that they didn’t expect to have so much business. They probably wouldn’t have given him the bracelet for free if it was more expensive, but the fact that they valued the customer over the $200 they would’ve gotten shows a lot about a company, or at least a store and its staff.

  45. descend says:

    @scoli83:

    Eh, we’re making the same point, we just disagree on the threshold. One should buy quality products. I’d rather see someone buy from Target than from Tiffany, because either way they’re getting the same shoddy product but at Target they’re not paying a packaging surcharge.

  46. deadlizard says:

    30 or 40 years ago it was normal to expect this kind of customer service from an American company (yep, including Sears, airlines and utilities). I don’t know when it all started to go to hell.

  47. jhuang says:

    @UpsetPanda: Sadly, though I do love Tiffany, I have been treated like that when I walk into the store.. while employees always seem to jump at the chance to ask older, presumably more wealthy patrons if they would like some help, whenever my boyfriend and I have visited to browse, it takes a while before anyone even approaches us.

    When he bought me my first Tiffany pendant, he went up to the counter where a sales rep was standing, only to be pretty much ignored.. a younger rep finally came by and asked him if he needed any help, to which my boyfriend replied by pointing at the pendant and saying, “I’ll take that one.” The original sales rep, from what he told me, looked pretty pissed that she didn’t get any commision.. but that’s what you get for discriminating!

  48. intelligentselection says:

    I had a similar experience with Godiva chocolates. I ordered a huge box for my girlfriend for Valentines Day one year. A few days before, there was a landslide a few miles past her house, so there was a ‘road out ahead’ sign near her driveway. The FedEx guy seem to think this was a chance to not have to do some deliveries. I didn’t know this, so I e-mailed Godiva when I found out that nothing arrived at her house on the 14th (Luckily I flowers!). To make it short Godiva didn’t charge me for the chocolates, they were delivered the next day, and they overnighted me another box!

    I am usually the first to say that brand loyalty is a foolish endeavor, but this won me over.

  49. velvetjones says:

    @FCAlive: The margin they make on sliver is probably closer to 99%, they make sooo much money on it. That said, I shop there often, and it has always been a pleasure, no matter how little I spend, or how long I browse or how poorly I’m dressed. I do miss the days when they would polish your silver jewelry for free.

  50. astruc says:

    When I was 21 years old I was engaged to be married. My fiance and I registered at Tiffany. When I called off my wedding, our engagement party had already happened, and I had 12 place settings of Tiffany china I needed to return to the guests. I was young, and mortified, and didn’t know where to begin. I talked to Tiffany, they told to me bring back everything, and they went through all of the gifts, figured out who had given us what, and contacted the guests to explain that the wedding had been cancelled, and would they like credit or a refund for the gift? Tiffany was AMAZING. Absolutely amazing. I buy every gift I can there.

  51. ManicPanic says:

    Long story short-I wanted the black titanium ring when it first came out and my boyfriend tried to get it for my birthday in the beginning of December. There was a snafu but I got it in mid-December only to realize that I had asked for the wrong size. I waited until I went to visit my parents for the holidays where there was a Tiffany’s nearby. I returned the ring to the store only to find out that there were TWO in the entire country left at an actual store in the size I needed. I gave the girl my address and hoped for the best. The system wasn’t real time so there was a chance those rings could have been gone.

    I got my ring a couple of days later and I am pretty sure she called me to let me know it was going out. I was very impressed by the customer service.

  52. chandler in lasvegas says:

    .
    MANICPANIC AT 07:14 PM
    This is exactly what I am talking about. Titanium is one of the most abundant metals on earth. You can get it for $3 an ounce. It has wonderful properties but when Tiffany can put the Tiffany logo on a product and sell it for $350 (a casual glance at the online catalog for Titanium rings) you are paying more than $300 for the Tiffany name and cachet. I’m just saying, pay for the actual value.

  53. kerry says:

    @xtc46: Exactly! A truly good consumerist rewards excellent service with loyalty, and spends as little money as possible at places with crappy service. We vote with our dollars.

  54. chandler in lasvegas says:

    .
    Would you buy that Tiffany ring if you knew that each and ever $30 ring came with a $300 service contract?

  55. ihateauditions says:

    This is exactly why I shop at stores like Nordstrom’s, Tiffany, etc.

    I spend a little more, but I can be sure that nearly every aspect of the shopping experience (including problems) will be handled in a way that doesn’t leave me frazzled and distracted.

    Life is too short to pinch every penny. When I die, my net worth might be a hundred thousand lighter than it would’ve been if I banished high-end retailers, but so what? I would’ve spent my whole life hating shopping, instead of enjoying it. Bad trade.

  56. ihateauditions says:

    As for people who believe that Tiffany is nothing but a name, I’d point out that the margin information is easily available.

    Tiffany current runs on approximately 50-60% gross margins. Interestingly, this is almost identical to down-scale jewelers like Zales, Caldwells or Bailey Banks and Biddle.

    If you want more bang for the buck, you really need to hit the online retailers like Blue Nile (or on the low-end, Bidz). But there, you lose the ability to see the pieces in person prior to purchasing. Both of them run on 20% gross margins (lower overhead allows it, obviously).

    but the idea that Tiffany is pure mark-up is a falsehood. I say that as a satisfied Tiffany’s shopper, and as a TIF shareholder.

  57. chandler in lasvegas says:

    BY IHATEAUDITIONS Firstly, Tiffany DOES run 50-60% if you add in their multi million dollar pieces and all merch across the boards. Their low end merch is WAY over priced. And if I died spending $100K that I save from unnecessary markups on everyday purchases on a second vacation home, that would suit me just fine as well. Go buy some bottled water.

  58. THEREWILLBEFOOD says:

    People, people…

    Unbelievable. The middle class verbally/literarily annihilating each other over how much a luxury retailer values their money! Did you know that Tiffany raised their prices on their cheap bracelets this past holiday season because there were alarmed that 13 year olds everywhere were hawking them? They are quietly seeking ways to price out wannabe aspirational shoppers that really can’t afford them in the first place. Tiffany does not want to become the “Coach” of jewelry. A true luxury brand is not accessible to Homer & Marge Simpson.

    You should buy jewelry at the diamond district in downtown L.A. But that’s really a gamble, right? ha ha ha OK, carry on.

  59. ihateauditions says:

    @chandler in lasvegas: Your comment would be a lot more impressive if you did a few things:

    1) if you used realistic examples. You cited a $330 ring and claim it should cost $30. A quick check of comparables showed far simpler rings (single-metal, no design) selling for $100 at pure discount retailers.

    This (at a minimum) indicates that you’re exaggerating the issue by a rather huge amount.

    2) if you weren’t rude. “Go buy some bottled water”? Give me a fucking break.

    3) If you took people’s arguments seriously. I’ve done the financial analysis and shopping at shitty stores won’t make any measurable difference in my quality of life, at all, assuming that my career doesn’t completely crash and burn.

    It won’t mean a vacation house, a college education, or aynthing else like that. If I shop at shitty stores, and hate it all, my sole reward will be a slightly larger number in my bank account when I die.

    (And for what it’s worth, I’m a CFA, so it’s not like I’m simply failing to understand the value of money.)

  60. LoLoAGoGo says:

    @chandler in lasvegas; @ihateauditions: As a former Tiffany employee, I know mark-ups on their lower end jewelry are only 30%, not the 50-60% some claim it to be (it’s quality of materials and the extensive labor involved in making the item that drives the price up).

    I’m surprised they gave anyone an item for free, it is very rare and unlikely for them to do so (usually in these cases they send out a new one if there is a problem with shipping and file a claim with UPS, with the intention of getting the merchandise or the price back).

    The commission for sales associates, even the fine jewelry ones, does not top 2%.

    If a sales associate ever gives you a rude or chilly reception, let the manager know. The company HATES that anyone would leave Tiffany’s feeling marginalized, and knows happy customers are more likely to return. The employees are trained to give the best experience possible, even if you are not buying (however… Christmas rush is an entirely different story, it gets HECTIC very quickly and it’s hard to accommodate everyone involved).

  61. Curiosity says:

    I realize that this is not a popular thing to say considering the popularity of the bluish box, but my Tiffany experiences have been off and on. However in the end they manage to do the right thing.

    I do hope people realize what you are paying for when you go to Tiffany’s – nothing more than the guarantee that they will have a high quality of product and look after your interest more than others. This is the premium that you pay for and realize that it is LIMITED. Their return policy is no great shakes (and is certainly not L.L. Bean) and states -

    “Articles are accepted for credit or exchange in the U.S. if returned in saleable condition within 30 days, accompanied by a sales receipt. Returns may be sent to our Customer Service Center, or you may take your return to any of our retail stores in the U.S.

    A refund will be made to the purchaser upon request if payment has been received. Gift recipients are entitled to a nonrefundable merchandise credit. To return or exchange your gift selection, please follow the instructions included with your package.”

    Unless you are going for a trademarked look, or buying the image you can get a larger diamond or better things other places for the same price.

    [www.diamond.info] is a good forum for educating yourself so that you can tell quality. I particularly like their negotiation primer which points out things like:

    “What does a new car, expensive jewelry, and a home have in common? Their respective transactions all involve a large sum of money… and in any such transaction, it is worth the seller’s time to try to “tailor” each deal to maximize the amount of revenue that can be extracted out of every individual buyer. Economists call this “price discrimination” and it simply means that you will pay more if the salesperson detects:

    1. strong emotional affinity for the product (e.g. you’re in love with a particular ring)
    2. desperation (e.g. you’re planning to propose tomorrow but still don’t have the ring)
    3. price insensitivity (e.g. you’re rich),
    4. lack of education on the purchase at hand. “

  62. seeldee says:

    Tiffany’s customer service is truly unbelievable. A friend of mine was given a $7,000 Jean Schlumberger ring as an anniversary gift last fall. Less than two weeks later she lost the ring in an airport (the ring still needed to be properly sized and fell off her finger, unknown to her). Embarrassed at her carelessness, my friend ended up returning to Tiffany to buy a replacement ring rather than admit to her husband that she lost it. A week later, when my friend returned to pick up the new, properly sized ring, the sales person who was helping her throughout the process told her that Tiffany wished to make a gift of the ring to her, and wished her a happy anniversary.

    Now that is customer service!

  63. Curiosity says:

    @seeldee:

    However this is not always the case, when a friend of mine was returning a ring when I was with her b/c it was given to her with scratches on it. (I know for a fact the box was not opened before being given to her and they knew it was a gift), Tiffany’s:

    1. Would not return it,
    2. Asked if the customer would like to speak to a manager (a no brainer), and
    3. The manager explained that they could not take it back b/c it had scratches on it and they would never sell something of that quality and she must have done it – insinuating that my friend intentionally damaged the ring and then pulled out their return “policy” to justify their actions for not returning it.

    I found this utterly insulting considering she just wanted an exchange for a non-damaged item and had everything in order.

    While Tiffany’s finally did make it right they only did so because I pointed out that they were not only insinuating that my friend was a liar (and almost causing her to cry), but also that I would not back down till they made it right and they had the responsibility to make it right.

    What I learned:
    1. Tiffany’s values their reputation. I simply don’t think that a customer has to state loudly that Tiffany’s has a certain reputation to uphold in order for they to uphold it – though I do give them credit that they thought that their reputation was important.
    2. Tiffany’s applies their standard sometimes only if they will be embarrassed by it.
    3. Tiffany’s can do the right thing.
    4. As they stated to me when they saw I was becoming angry when they would not honor a routine rejection of goods upon inspection exchange – “We are like every other jewelry store our responsibility ends when it leaves the store.”

  64. seeldee says:

    @ Curiosity – man, that sucks! I am sorry to hear that your experience was so negative (and cruel!). I’m no spokesperson for Tiffany, just relaying a friend’s very positive experience, and know that even the best retailers can sometimes give shitty help and poor resolutions to simple-to-solve problems…

    I, too, have shopped at Tiffany here in Toronto a few times and have had only very pleasant experiences with sales clerks. Perhaps the level of service is dependent upon the location? Still, it sounds like you guys got the shaft, for sure. If I had that experience, I’d avoid shopping there, without a doubt. I’d also probably write a letter to head office afterwards.

  65. That70sHeidi says:

    It’s too bad those bracelets are very 2002 and oodles of 14 year olds get them as gifts (after whining and crying, of course), as well as single 40 year olds who buy them for themselves. I always had to chuckle when someone would proudly show off their bracelet. “Yeah, I’ve never seen ANYTHING like that before! It’s super!”

    If you’re going to spend on Tiffany’s, make sure it’s not a dead-common item… Otherwise, nice story :)

  66. Curiosity says:

    @seeldee:

    Despite the fact that I am a lawyer I just don’t think you need to to assume people mean poorly, or people should start off (or finish) rude without trying to understand a situation and come to a win-win situation. Professionals should be just that – professional.

    I was just noting that personal experience differs and that Tiffany’s is far from consistent in how they treat their customers. I am not saying that they are a poor company, but that testimonies hold limited value (good and bad).

    I admittedly had far better customer service at Marshall Fields (extinct) and L.L. Bean than at either Tiffany’s, Nordstroms, or other highline stores, but then I am not overly impressed by “pandering” or sucking up when I do not get what I am (hopefully reasonably) asking for.

  67. kellyd says:

    I have bought low-end (Silver) items from Tiffany a few times in my life. Always treated well in the store. My favorite experience with Tiffany was when I went to buy a silver bracelet for myself because it matched a ring I’d been given as a gift and I really wanted the bracelet to go with it. Totally self-indulgent–I was embarrassed to be doing it.

    The sales associate was super helpful and friendly, said lots of nice things about how well-suited the ring I’d been given was to my hands. When I bought the bracelet, she insisted on wrapping it in the blue box with the white ribbon even though it was for me because that little feature is such a nice experience. I love some of their stuff and will continue to shop with them. (This actually WAS San Francisco Union Square.)

  68. Me. says:

    I got horrible, snobby customer service at the Scottsdale store (I wanted to buy the $600 Peretti Bone cuff). I wrote a letter to corporate detailing the experience and praising the one man who helped me.

    In return I got a “sorry ’bout that” ho-hum response from corporate and to this day, the “good” employee at the store hasn’t heard any praise from his manager or gotten any word about the glowing letter that was written about him.

    Way to go, management….

  69. monica24u says:

    Sorry folks but Tiffanys has always been a great experience for me. I mean i’ve traveled as far as Guam and went into the Tiffanys there and was very impressed with the service. There was even a tall guard at the door who greeted me with a smile and that is rare to find in any high end business.

  70. wasagirl says:

    I found in interesting to find this posting today – not so much because of the proximity to Valentine’s Day, but I was just commenting about the high customer service I had received at Tiffany’s compared to an incident this weekend at Jared. I have been able to return and exchange jewelry I have received as gifts to Tiffany’s with out any sort of receipt and nothing other than the box it came in to state it was from Tiffany’s. While I now the items I returned were authentic, they never questioned the items. I will keep my disgust with Jared from this discussion and will just say I will never return to their business.

  71. spamtasticus says:

    I have had nothing but flawless service from always. when I was looking for a ring for my wedding, they flew a $2000 ring from Chicago to Miami for me to “look at” and when I did not like it in person and told them I would not be buying it there the sales clerk smiled at me in the same way as If I had just bought 20k of gems from her. They are the real deal.

  72. Elphaba says:

    I ordered a $400 watch charm from Tiffany & Co, because I can’t make it myself at home. I lost it 4 days later off my Tiffany bracelet. I called customer service in tears, and they sent me a new charm, free. Excellent customer service. The watch is now soldered onto my bracelet.