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Help I think my PP freshadama studs don't quite match

Discussion in 'Pearls' started by srke, Nov 15, 2018.

  1. cmd2014
    Ideal_Rock

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    by cmd2014 » Nov 26, 2018
    I think the problem here is a customer service issue more than a quality control issue. I'm a little surprised that they seem to be telling you that you should be happy with your earrings when you are not. I would still recommend that you send the earrings back for a refund and leaving it at that rather than trying to work with them to get another pair that you may be equally unhappy with.
     
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  2. pearlsngems
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    by pearlsngems » Nov 26, 2018
    I agree with cmd2014. Cut your losses and send them back.
     
  3. srke
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    by srke » Nov 26, 2018
    I don't want to give the idea that PP is refusing to do anything. They have said if I sent the studs back they would send me photos etc when handling an exchange so that i could be sure I'd be happy with the new pair. (Which would be perfect if I was based in the US and they would cover the costs of shipping .) The problem is that as they don't consider it a QC issue and and I'm international , I have to pay the costs of shipping both ways,which last time I enquired with the post office here was the equivalent of $30ish usd, registeted post without insurance. Given i've already paid $26 usd to get the studs shipped the first time, (and will have to pay for shipping back to me again if I wanted an exchange), whether I get an exchange or refund ,I'd have to spend a large proportion of the purchase price of the studs in shipping.
    Ultimately it's not huge figures, but in proportion to the costs of the studs, either an exchange or refund will mean a lot in shipping and ending up with not much. Hence why im debating whether even a refund will be worth it.
     
  4. marymm
    Ideal_Rock

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    by marymm » Nov 26, 2018
    Did you happen to pay via PayPal? In this case, with the language in the listing and the photos documenting the non-matched color & size, I'd elevate it to a dispute due to "item not as described" and be sure to state that the vendor is forcing you to bear the cost of international return shipping to receive a refund for the non-matching earrings. You can also or instead or first file an online complaint with the Better Business Bureau; maybe PP will do the right thing.
     
  5. cmd2014
    Ideal_Rock

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    by cmd2014 » Nov 27, 2018
    I think that PP is offering a fairly reasonable compromise then. They are offering to exchange the earrings and work with you to find a pair that suits you better (I missed that earlier, which is why I was surprised at what I thought was their response). If you were in the US they would pay shipping for free each way so that you could see the items and decide if they suit you, but even for a large business that would be cost prohibitive for international shipping. Part of buying as an international purchaser (which I am as well) is understanding the risk of paying for shipping back and forth if you don't like something or if you don't feel that the quality matches up with how an item was shown/described. It costs me about $100 to FedEx something back to the US, so personally I factor in planning to keep and regift lower cost items if I don't love them, and for higher cost items, I tell myself that the $100 I may pay in return shipping, the $26 - $35 USD I typically pay in shipping to me, and the pain of applying for my duty to be refunded is more than outweighed by the savings that I reap in comparison to either buying retail or buying from online jewelry stores here where our markups are way higher. I always try to ask for lots of pictures of what I'm considering too, but this isn't always possible during high volume times like these flash sales. Buying online is always going to be a bit of a risk because you can't personally inspect stuff before it comes. So you do have to weigh the savings against the shipping costs.

    If it makes you feel better, I have returned things a bunch of times at that $100 FedEx rate. The flip side is that I also have a number of pieces that I would never have been able to afford and enjoy without taking the risk associated with buying online as an international shopper. While this doesn't take away the sting in the moment when I'm having to return something (trust me, I grumble quite a bit inside every time I do this), it makes me feel better in the big picture.

    For your earrings though, I can see how the shipping back and forth would start to outweigh the value of the earrings. Honestly, I would still probably just send them back rather than pay shipping both ways again.
     
  6. katbran
    Brilliant_Rock
    Trade

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    by katbran » Nov 28, 2018
    Pearls are hard to photograph to begin with and they were stock photos- its impossible to know what you are getting with Stock Photos.

    What is the size difference ? They are meant to be 'very well matched' in colour and size.

    I'd just return them for the same reason many have mentioned - you aren't happy and you might always be bothered by them.

    I'm sure someone here can recommend a seller in your country. Then you don't have the shipping and duty issues either. But.. always get multi light photos with pearls .
     
  7. srke
    Rough_Rock

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    by srke » Nov 28, 2018
    Sorry for the long post again .I've tried to reply to a few people in the one post below :

    I think I paid directly by credit card unfortunately. And currently I'm still waiting for a reply to the email I sent yesterday to PP, so I'm still considering my options. But even if I'd gone through paypal I really don't know if I want to sink even more time into disputing this with them, if it ultimately came to it. I think chalking it up to a lesson learned is where I'm leaning. I've already approached another vendor and I'll go ahead with those purchases regardless of the outcome with PP.

    I agree that international shipping costs are expensive for businesses and I certainly would not have expected them to cover it if I had just changed my mind or preferred another style. But that's not the case here.
    Normally I expect a vendor to take responsibility and cover the costs involved (including shipping costs) if it comes to getting a QC issue rectified. I don't think it would be fair to say that as an international customer I have to accept vendor mistakes or QC issues and constantly eat those shipping costs. If a vendor will sell internationally, they should also accept to resolve issues with international customers.

    What surprised me is that PP have indicated they do not consider this to be a QC issue, ie that this colour discrepancy is acceptable for their Freshadama quality studs. (I had read a lot of positive things about PP and probably gained a false impression of the actual level of quality i should be expecting in their jewellery.)

    I do always make online purchases knowing that there is a risk I might just not like something once I get it, and I accept that to be a trade off of buying from online vendors.
    But I don't think I should accept getting the wrong item or a lower quality item than what I ordered as just a part of that risk of buying something online (at least not when im ordering from a reputable business) . This is one of the reasons I usually research online vendors and go over other people's reviews before even buying small items.

    The size difference is slight but you can see it when looking at them side by side in the first set of photos. Also one stud seems very very slightly off round from some angles, and there are some slight flaws that exist but are not really visible (and which i normally would not care about or even have pointed out if not for the poster who raised the possibility of these not actually being freshadamas) . There is however also the colour difference that is more noticeable and really the one thing that actually bothers me...

    From their website, as another poster pointed out, freshadamas should have "Excellent matching". And I don't really feel the match here is that excellent.

    As I have said, I understand pearls won't be identical and would accept all the other slight differences in these studs. But I've bought $20 pearls off ebay that are better matched colour wise.

    Maybe this level of colour mismatch is acceptable for PP, but this certainly was not the impression I received when researching their Freshadama quality or from what you see of their vendor pictures.
    If Pearl Paradise comes back and says that these earrings, with all their flaws, still satisfy their criteria for "freshadama" quality, then so be it. But I feel it would be nice to get this clarification from them as to what they actually consider to be within the acceptable limits of their Freshadama quality grade. And where the line is before it will actually be considered a QC issue....
     
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  8. cmd2014
    Ideal_Rock

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    by cmd2014 » Nov 28, 2018
    I think they are telling you that they feel that these do meet their standards for what they consider to be Freshadama pearls (which is a made up designation btw, specific to them, that they use to market what is the top of the line that they carry). Given what you now know about that, I'd say the best course of action is to return the earrings and use this information to guide future purchases. That is the most power that you have as a buyer - to vote with your wallet. You have asked, they have looked at your pictures and provided an answer (which I understand you're annoyed by - I would be too), and I don't think there's much else you can do besides sending them back and maybe deciding not to buy from them again if you are sufficiently annoyed with them over this issue. Arguing with them about whether or not this meets their quality control standards is not likely to get you anywhere.

    FWIW, my impression is that as demand has gone up for the freshadama pearls (as they have done a very good job of marketing their freshadama line) the ease with which they are able to obtain the volume of pearls needed to meet that demand has become challenging. There are threads here where other people have had reservations about how round, matched, or blemish free their purchases have been, and whether or not they live up to the description anymore. There have also been discussions about other types of pearls and comparisons between vendors (because an AAA from one vendor may be an A- pearl from another - there are no universal grading standards like there are with other gems), where some have clearly been of higher quality than others. As always, do your research (which you have), but know that the best guide is your own personal experience.
     
  9. pearlsngems
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by pearlsngems » Nov 28, 2018
    FWIW, here is my Freshadama strand which I bought in 2007.
    Freshadama strand bought in 2007.jpeg

    While the shapes are well matched, the colors are less so--see in particular two noticeably whiter pearls in the front. Also there was one pearl with a pinprick near the drill hole, not visible when worn. I later restrung the pearls, rearranging them so the color layout would be better.

    So, I'm not so sure it's about current supply vs. earlier supply. I think there simply is a degree of variability with these pearls, and maybe that's because the supply of the highest end FWP has always been limited?
     
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  10. cmd2014
    Ideal_Rock

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    by cmd2014 » Nov 28, 2018
    That's interesting to know. I'm always amazed they find any to match. The millions of pearls that have to be sorted through to find matching pairs (let alone strands) always leaves me feeling quite overwhelmed.
     
  11. pearlsngems
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by pearlsngems » Nov 28, 2018
    I agree, and maybe that's why I don't worry too much about perfect matching. Especially when it comes to Tahitians and golden SSP. There are just too many tones, and overtones.
     
  12. GliderPoss
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by GliderPoss » Dec 4, 2018
    I think PP are offering a compromise but yes international shipping is expensive! o_O I can see the slight difference between the pearls but I would let is slide for earrings as you can't really tell when they are worn. If it does truly bother you, just return them and buy locally.
     
  13. srke
    Rough_Rock

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    by srke » Dec 5, 2018
    I have been meaning to provide an update but had been a bit busy at work.

    I was contacted by Mia directly last week who confirmed that they considered the studs met their freshadama standards, however she put forward a compromise where, although I would cover the costs of shipping back to them, they would either issue a refund which included my original postage costs, or effect an exchange and would cover the costs of shipping when sending the new pair out.

    I know it may have been better for me to have just gone with a refund in this case, but I decided to give it another chance and have asked to exchange the pair. (I think I just didn't want to have spent this time and return shipping costs and end up right back at the start). She has confirmed that they will send me photos of new pairs to choose from so I'm hoping that will allow me to avoid further issues.

    So currently the studs are on their way back to PP, and I'll come back with an update once I the new pair arrives.

    I have also at the same time ordered another 2 pairs from another vendor, so at the end of it all I'm going to end up with a lot of earrings :whistle:.
     
  14. amoline
    Shiny_Rock

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    by amoline » Dec 5, 2018
    You may be better off considering some Akoya earrings, if the color/roundness is a significant mind-clean thing for you. Akoyas will always be of the more perfectly round shape than any FWP. Granted, it's a little more expensive, but not absurdly so compared to the Freshadama line.
     
  15. srke
    Rough_Rock

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    by srke » Jan 2, 2019
    Look what came in the post today... The new pair from PP is here :).
    They were posted out mid December and, by the looks of the tracking, did a nice little week long tour of the USPS LA international distribution centre, but finally managed to land safe and sound in my mailbox this afternoon :)
    I havent had a chance to properly test drive them, but looking at them at home I think the colour between the two studs seem to be a lot better.
    IMG_20190102_192731.jpg IMG_20190102_194440.jpg IMG_20190102_194818.jpg IMG_20190102_194542.jpg
     
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  16. srke
    Rough_Rock

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    by srke » Jan 2, 2019
    I am very happy that we managed to get this resolved in the end, and that Mia was able to take care of this exchange for me.

    I also want to share some pictures of the other pair of white studs and pendant had purchased from another vendor (pearlescence) , while I had been going through my discussions with PP. This pair is smaller but the colour is absolutely gorgeous.
    IMG_20181213_103043.jpg IMG_20181213_103347.jpg IMG_20181213_104329.jpg IMG_20181213_104158.jpg IMG_20181213_104218.jpg
     
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  17. pearlsngems
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by pearlsngems » Jan 2, 2019
    The new PP pair do look better! I'm glad that worked out, at last.

    That middle pearl of the pearlescence set has a mesmerizing rose tone.
     
  18. amoline
    Shiny_Rock

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    by amoline » Jan 2, 2019
    Great news! And glad that everything worked out. All of them look great
     
  19. tigertales
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    by tigertales » Jan 10, 2019
    Phew! The new pair is lovely.
    If you save up for a it, invest in some Mikimotos to add to your collection. The matching is astounding...partly because they have such vast fields and pearl farmers working for them.
    You can have more than one set! Then, wear the Freshadamas for gardening, playing soccer, bathing the dog... LOL.

    Enjoy!
     
  20. louisediamondsandpearls
    Rough_Rock

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    by louisediamondsandpearls » Jan 11, 2019
    those smaller pearlescence pearls are indeed gorgeous, im on the hunt for some timeless studs for a wedding present. what did you order to get them? TIA :wink2:

     
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  21. srke
    Rough_Rock

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    by srke » Jan 11, 2019
    @louisediamondsandpearls I contacted Wendy directly to ask about a few loose pairs I saw on the website https://www.pearlescence.co.uk/index.php/cPath/26_275_278/osCsid/4afrj1dahsh5tc12epoaav6ck3 , as I wanted to make sure the colours matched to the extent I wanted, and she created a custom link for the complete jewellery set once we decided on what I was after :).

    The pearls I got I think Wendy described as from a lot of super metallic natural whites ranging from 6mm to 8mm. She'd initially suggested a set that was white with a touch of gold and a real pink overtone which would have looked amazing with rose gold, but since I don't usual wear rose gold jewellery I went with silver as the metal and these with pearls with silver overtones instead.
     
  22. louisediamondsandpearls
    Rough_Rock

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    by louisediamondsandpearls » Jan 12, 2019
    ah wow thank you so much, i want really big identical natural white pearls (with a pale champangne overtone if thats even possible) for my sister to wear as earrings on her wedding day .
    I have messaged Pearlescence with my requirements...
    will let you know how i get on ..=)2 much appreciated SRKE!
     
  23. louisediamondsandpearls
    Rough_Rock

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    by louisediamondsandpearls » Jan 13, 2019
    so ! great news SRKE - i have been messaging wendy of pearlescence. really helpful .:dance: shes going to thailand and hong kong soon and assured me she will find exactly what i am looking for in time for the wedding . thanks again for the info :D:appl::clap::D

     
  24. srke
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    by srke » Jan 14, 2019
    Yes wendy is lovely and I'm sure she'll find you something gorgeous. Hope you share some pics once you get the earrings :)
     
  25. louisediamondsandpearls
    Rough_Rock

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    by louisediamondsandpearls » Jan 18, 2019
    I will ! she said she will find me the perfect pair . i really hope so because i am so busy with helping my sister plan her wedding i havent really got time to think about jewellery :wall::lol::D
     

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