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Customer relations

Hi all I witnessed an incident where a customer while trying on a
ring dropped it and broke the opal in the ring. My question is what
are the financial consideratons in a situation like this? Have any of
you had this kind of experience and how did you handle it? KPK

This is an interesting question. I have actually had some similar
experiences with fragile gem materials. We have always just sucked
it up and absorbed the loss. Unless the retailer had spent quite
some time beforehand explaining exactly how fragile the stone was or
unless the customer had been truly negligent (like throwing the ring
to a friend across the room) I think the financial situation must be
absorbed by the retailer. Of course there are stores with fragile
knickknacks that often have “you break it, you buy it” signs, but I
can’t say that I have ever seen one in a jewelry store. In the pure
interest of customer relations, it is my opinion that the jeweler
should absorb the loss and use the situation to explain why the
customer would be much better off not getting a ring with an opal in
it and should buy a more durable (hopefully more expensive) stone.

Daniel R. Spirer, GG
Spirer Somes Jewelers
1794 Massachusetts Ave
Cambridge, MA 02140

KPK, Ouch! Unless the customer was being blatantly reckless with the
piece and had been warned of the fragility of the product prior to
having it handed to them, the store should accept responsibility.
This advise has no legal backing but come on we’re talking customer
service here. Besides, where was the counter pad?

If the customer steps up and offers to pay for the stone use it as
an opportunity and offer to split the price. This will make the
store look good. Depending on the size and price of the item you
have also covered your cost. Give them the broken item. They paid
for it. Now offer to recut it in to a usable stone if possible and
mount it into a new piece at full retail.

Good Luck
John Sholl
Littleton, Co