Kay Jewelers Sends Wedding Rings To China For Repair: Will They Ever Come Back?

Jennifer and her husband bought her diamond wedding ring set in 2006, and the anniversary band to go along with it in 2007. They also bought an extended warranty for the rings, which was either a great idea or a terrible one, depending on how you look at it. It was a great idea because her rings seem to be defective. It was a terrible idea because she ultimately sent the jewelry off to the vendor in China for repair, and now Kay representatives are ducking her questions. She fears that the rings have been lost.

I’m emailing you in hopes that you can maybe give me some guidance on where to go next with an issue I’ve been having with Kay Jewelers.

In 2006, my husband and I bought my wedding and engagement bands at Kay Jewelers, along with the extended warranties on both pieces. In 2007, he purchased as a Christmas present the matching anniversary band (he was going to hold off for our anniversary, but the band had been discontinued), this one with a warranty purchased for it as well. Everything was fine with the rings, the only thing I had to have them sent in for was having them rhodium plated and soldered together, not counting having them all sized.

May 2009 is when the issues began. I brought them in to the store for a routine cleaning. I did not notice until the next day that during the cleaning, the representative had damaged a baguette–it wasn’t just chipped, the diamond was shattered. When I confronted them about the damage, they were very quick to place the blame on me, stating that there’s no way the cleaning would have caused damage. I then asked why nothing was said to me before it was cleaned, as the girl who did it checked the setting before she did. They didn’t have an answer for me on that one. They offered to send it in for repairs, however when they looked up my warranty in their computer system, they stated that my warranty was no longer in good standing, as I hadn’t had my ring in for the inspections I needed every six months. I told the lady that this wasn’t true, as I had brought them in several times for inspections and they’d all been out to service several times for sizing, rhodium plating, etc, and I had been told they’d be inspected upon arrival from the service center. They stated that yes, they would be inspected, but these inspections didn’t count towards the actual warranty inspections required every six months. I had misplaced my paperwork in a move and I was unable to produce what I needed to prove that I had inspections done on my wedding set, so they refused to foot the bill for the repairs.

I was finally able to get a manager involved (mind you it was finally end of August before I got this resolved) and get her to reinstate my supposedly “voided” warranty and have the ring sent out for service, where they had found one more stone that was also damaged and needed replacing. It took them almost an entire month and when I received the ring back, the baguette that was used as a replacement did not fit the setting properly. I was told that I would more than likely not get a better fitting stone than the one they had replaced it with. They could send it back, but wouldn’t be able to guarantee an exact fit.

Ever since I got the ring back from the original service to replace the shattered baguette, I’ve had nothing but problems. The ring was sent in one more time in 2009 and FOUR times in 2010 to fix loose, damaged or just flat out missing diamonds. Also, to repair the structural mess they made of my wedding set when they were crookedly soldiered together and also when they smooshed down a channel in order to “fix” a baguette that would occasionally slide out of place.

I had it sent in for repairs in November 2010, received it back, and barely two weeks later, one of my center stones fell out. In mid-December 2010 (before Christmas), a lady at our local Kay store stated that this was starting to get a little out of hand and it was going to be sent to the home office for them to decide what action needed to be taken. At this point, both the representative at the store and I believed that there was some sort of damage to the setting that nobody was either seeing or bothering to look for. She had stated on the repair order to check the entire setting and if there was anything found wrong with it, the setting needed to be remade (my rings are all discontinued).

I was told if a replacement was to be authorized, I’d only be given the amount I paid for the rings (not the appraised value, which is worth more than I paid by several hundred dollars). To me, this was unacceptable, as the costs of something comparable to what I have currently (or should I say OWN currently) have gone up considerably and what I paid for the rings will not fully fund a replacement.

So…like the idiot I am, I agreed to have them send everything in to home office. I was told to expect an update after the holidays. When I didn’t hear anything back, I called the Kay store in the beginning of January and was told the ring was shipped to the vendor, which is overseas in China. Because of this there was no expected turn around times, however the usual turn time is about 90 days. I was told that they’d probably be back first week of March. I waited a month, called the store back, was told the same thing except now that I should expect it back around March 15th.

Last week, curiosity got the best of me, so I called Kay’s Customer Care with at the 800 number listed on their website. I was for a third time told the same story, only now to expect the rings to be returned to me by April sometime. She wouldn’t even specify early, mid, late. At this point, I let the lady know that I was sick of the excuses being made. I wanted it returned ASAP. She stated that since the rings had to go through customs multiple times, they package up as many pieces of jewelry as they can and then send it back, they will not return single items. I wasn’t getting anywhere and decided to end the call before I got really mad.

A few days later, I called back, spoke with someone who was willing to try to help me. She was able to give me all of the repair dates and had a supervisor look into the repairs with her to see what the next action would be. So…after I got a call back, I was told that we had to wait for this to get back, as we haven’t had issues with the center stone before. I told this girl that I had had enough. I explained everything I had been through, everything I had been told. I told the girl that my ring is due for an inspection this month. Were they going to void the warranty. She couldn’t respond. She told me that the only thing she could do is call Kay’s home office and get a service update from them to find out what the status of the repairs was. She was to call me back Last Thursday, 3/10. By Friday, I had not received a phone call back. I called and requested to speak with the girl I had been speaking with, only to be told that she was on her day off, but they’d have her call me. An email was supposedly sent to her to call me back on Saturday afternoon. It is now Monday, 3/14 and I have yet to receive a call back. I am irate. Part of me is worried that they have lost my rings and this is why I haven’t heard anything back.

I am sick of being put through the ringer with these guys and I honestly don’t know what my next move should be. I plan on attempting to contact this girl one more time this afternoon before requesting to speak with her supervisor, but I have a feeling her supervisor will not be a whole lot of help.

So Consumerist, I come to you. What should my next move be? I would really like to avoid taking this to small claims court if I can.

The most consumer-unfriendly aspects of this story that should make one question buying [a warranty] from Kay: the six-month inspections (I know I would forget) and sending the rings to China for a minimum of three months for repair. Start by using customer service ninja methods to contact the executive offices.

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