Kay Jewelers Parent Company Denies Allegations Of Systematic Gemstone Switcharoos

Image courtesy of kyler kwock

Kay Jewelers wants everyone to know something after a particularly damning report yesterday in an influential tip sheet for investors: the company says that it is not systematically and intentionally swapping stones out when customers bring in diamond jewelry for repairs. Instead, the company says that the “allegations on social media” have been “republished and grossly amplified.”

If even one customer has the stone that they believe is a precious symbol, heirloom, or just a shiny object swapped out, that’s too many. Yet as the story has spread, more people are showing up and posting remarkably similar stories on the jewelry chain’s Facebook page.

At issue are the rigorous checks that Kay claims its employees perform before and after sending stones out for repair: some customers report not seeing employees check their stone’s serial number or verify the stone’s serial number.

“Although our customer service team has not received an unusual number of complaints related to these procedures, we take every customer concern seriously and make every effort to understand, resolve and learn from each one – and when issues arise, we do everything we can to make things right.”

It’s true that comments on promotional Facebook posts aren’t a standard way of contacting customer service, but that method of making complaints known has become very popular with Kay customers.

The company went on to point out that it performs more than 4 million service and repair transactions every year, and customers are very happy with well over 99% of them. Yet if a stone gets switched out and the only way to tell is by noticing that it’s a little duller or by checking a tiny serial number with a loupe, the customer may not complain at all, or may complain years later.

1% of 4 million is still 40,000, though, and customers are only learning about the problem now. “Incidents of misconduct, which are exceedingly rare, are dealt with swiftly and appropriately,” the company claims, yet customers report having their concerns dismissed and swapped stones that weren’t noticed for years.




Signet Jewelers Issues Statement Regarding Its Longstanding Commitment to Superior Customer Service and Rigorous Product Quality Procedures [Signet] (via Bloomberg News)

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