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Horrible Customer Service....

nehap1986

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
22
As many of you know, I had been in the process for a very long time to find a sapphire for my engagement ring. I want to share my experiences with a pricescope vendor so that the forum is aware of a situation that (in my eyes) is a clear display of horrible customer service. If you want to know who this vendor is, please PM me and I will be happy to share.

I used a vendor that is recommended on this site (although on other sites this vendor is not reputable) vendor to source my sapphire. I received a phone call from this vendor to let me know that they had a "beautiful" sapphire to view and that they could ship it to me. I wasn't told how much shipping would be, but when I received the stone, a $95.00 shipping charge was assessed to ship from coast to coast, including insurance. No big deal at first. I told the vendor that I would be taking the stone to my appraiser (aPHENOMENAL pricescoper) to ensure the stone was what it was marketed as. To my horror, there was a GIANT chip on the surface of the stone. My appraiser stopped the appraisal after the first 5 minutes and showed me under the microscope. I emailed the vendor right away and stated to him that there was a giant chip in the stone and that I would be returning it. More importantly, I had stated that I did not feel like I should have to pay for shipping on this item as I would have never bought or asked to look at a chipped stone. He claimed that chips in stones are quite common (not sure how common they are in sapphires as I looked at 20 or 30 stones and this was the only one with a giant chip in it) and that they could "buff it out" free of charge. I didn't get into details on who would pay for me to ship the stone back to him to buff it out had I decided to buy it as it was a pretty significant chip (at least significant enough to where my appraiser stopped the appraisal in the first 5 minutes).

I subsequently looked at one other stone from this jeweler as I had figured that this might have been a fluke. The second stone was a nice stone, but the pricing for shipping/insurance did seem somewhat questionable. They charge a flat fee, no matter where you are shipping to and shipping from, for all of their shipments. Anyone who has worked with fedex knows that shipment is not the same price if it's coast to coast vs a closer location.

Regardless, I did not feel as though I should have had to pay for the shipping of the chipped stone. He fought tooth and nail with my credit card company to ensure that I would have to cough up the cost, but I will never recommend this vendor to any pricescoper or friend.

Please feel free to chime in with your opinions!
 

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Kismet

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 6, 2005
Messages
2,991
There is no PM function on PS currently so you might as well just tell us who the vendor is. There's nothing wrong with saying you had a bad experience with a popular vendor and it's good to get both good and bad reviews about a vendor. $95 seems really high to me for shipping. I would expect any chips to be disclosed by the vendor before purchase.
 

y2kitty

Brilliant_Rock
Joined
Jun 30, 2009
Messages
1,770
$95 shipping fee sounds familiar....I think someone else was complaining about this vendor in the last year.
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,266
$95 is too much even if it came with flowers and chocolates
 

swingirl

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Apr 6, 2006
Messages
5,652
This thread can't help anyone on PS unless the vendor is revealed.
 

Michael_E

Brilliant_Rock
Trade
Joined
Nov 19, 2003
Messages
1,290
nehap1986|1317394319|3029679 said:
They charge a flat fee, no matter where you are shipping to and shipping from, for all of their shipments. Anyone who has worked with fedex knows that shipment is not the same price if it's coast to coast vs a closer location.
Although this is the case for shipping directly through FedEx or UPS, it is not true if you are using an independent 3rd party insurance company, (always a good idea for expensive stuff, as neither FedEx or UPS will insure jewelry or loose stones). I use Parcel Pro and they set up and arrange all shipping as well as provide insurance. The cost of this service does not vary with distance, but does vary with the value of the item. Most items which are valued under $5K cost around $30 for Express shipping while I have shipped a few items in the $25K+ range which did cost around $100, so whether the shipping cost is reasonable or not depends greatly on the value of your item.
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Of course, if you're paying triple key on shipping,( :evil: ), then $90 is about right.
 

Barrett

Ideal_Rock
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
2,218
ruffy...LOL...
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,616
$95 shipping is ludicrous BUT if that's the terms of the vendor and you agreed to them .............

In terms of the chip, I doubt whether it's "giant" as the appraiser had to find it under a microscope. I would be more interested to know the appraiser's opinion of the chip because it may be able to be polished out. Having said that, the vendor's response "lots of gemstones have chips" is wide of the mark and I would prefer disclosure at the point of sale - not to have to make an assumption that there may be a chip just because lots have them - which is fundamentally untrue!

Clearly, if the stone was not as described then you should be refunded the stone and the postage and get an apology.

This isn't the worst customer service I've heard of but it's not good either. Please name the vendor as it's important to others who may buy gemstones.
 

nehap1986

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
22
Hi all,

Good point that it's of no help since we can't PM the vendor's name. I have worked with 6-7 different vendors and his shipping prices were definitely the most expensive. All items were shipped next day, but even next day shipping did not equate to $95.00 - although i'm not sure how much insurance is. To top it all off, the 2nd stone I looked at (which I guess is my fault..I probably shouldn't have given him the benefit of the doubt) was $130.00. All in all, I ended up paying him $225.00 to look at 2 stones, one of which was chipped to the naked eye. One stone's value (if I remember) was about 6k and the other was 8-9k. It seemed exceptionally high compared to the other vendors, but again, it's my fault that I didn't ask.

That being said, I still thought it was super unprofessional of him to charge me for shipping without telling me the stone had a chip in it (he said he didn't notice it, but I felt like that shouldn't be my problem). It was big enough to where you can see it with the naked eye. I am not a professional when it comes to looking at these things so I took it to my appraiser to see whether he saw it or whether it was just me. Of course, I was right in my inclination and it was a pretty big chip (big enough to see with the naked eye). The vendor is RW Wise. I'm dissapointed that this is his stance, but you live and you learn I suppose.
 

pregcurious

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Mar 18, 2009
Messages
6,724
I believe Richard ships with FedEx, based on my one experience having a stone sent to an appraiser.
 

nehap1986

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
22
That's correct. Shipment is through Fedex and insurance is through some undisclosed 3rd party.
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,669
nehap1986|1317407996|3029881 said:
Hi all,

Good point that it's of no help since we can't PM the vendor's name. I have worked with 6-7 different vendors and his shipping prices were definitely the most expensive. All items were shipped next day, but even next day shipping did not equate to $95.00 - although i'm not sure how much insurance is. To top it all off, the 2nd stone I looked at (which I guess is my fault..I probably shouldn't have given him the benefit of the doubt) was $130.00. All in all, I ended up paying him $225.00 to look at 2 stones, one of which was chipped to the naked eye. One stone's value (if I remember) was about 6k and the other was 8-9k. It seemed exceptionally high compared to the other vendors, but again, it's my fault that I didn't ask.

That being said, I still thought it was super unprofessional of him to charge me for shipping without telling me the stone had a chip in it (he said he didn't notice it, but I felt like that shouldn't be my problem). It was big enough to where you can see it with the naked eye. I am not a professional when it comes to looking at these things so I took it to my appraiser to see whether he saw it or whether it was just me. Of course, I was right in my inclination and it was a pretty big chip (big enough to see with the naked eye). The vendor is RW Wise. I'm dissapointed that this is his stance, but you live and you learn I suppose.
IMHO, the chip should have been disclosed if it was significantly large enough. I don't know the size of it. If it was a tiny microchip or micropit, perhaps that would have been a different story.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,616
nehap1986|1317407996|3029881 said:
Hi all,

Good point that it's of no help since we can't PM the vendor's name. I have worked with 6-7 different vendors and his shipping prices were definitely the most expensive. All items were shipped next day, but even next day shipping did not equate to $95.00 - although i'm not sure how much insurance is. To top it all off, the 2nd stone I looked at (which I guess is my fault..I probably shouldn't have given him the benefit of the doubt) was $130.00. All in all, I ended up paying him $225.00 to look at 2 stones, one of which was chipped to the naked eye. One stone's value (if I remember) was about 6k and the other was 8-9k. It seemed exceptionally high compared to the other vendors, but again, it's my fault that I didn't ask.

That being said, I still thought it was super unprofessional of him to charge me for shipping without telling me the stone had a chip in it (he said he didn't notice it, but I felt like that shouldn't be my problem). It was big enough to where you can see it with the naked eye. I am not a professional when it comes to looking at these things so I took it to my appraiser to see whether he saw it or whether it was just me. Of course, I was right in my inclination and it was a pretty big chip (big enough to see with the naked eye). The vendor is RW Wise. I'm dissapointed that this is his stance, but you live and you learn I suppose.
I find this incredulous. Vendors (typically) give their stones a check before mailing out. Firstly to say "most gemstones have chips in them" and then to say he didn't notice it is unbelievable.

Bearing that in mind your postage should most definitely be refunded.
 

VapidLapid

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Feb 18, 2010
Messages
4,266
Dont vendors routinely scrutinize their stones and make notes of condition before sending them out so they can accurately assess them when they come back?
 

T L

Super_Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Sep 20, 2008
Messages
22,669
VapidLapid|1317410156|3029928 said:
Dont vendors routinely scrutinize their stones and make notes of condition before sending them out so they can accurately assess them when they come back?
Well, yes. I know a good vendor will tell you every little detail, like an inclusion, or some flaw. I only sold a few stones in my life, but even then, people would care about such things, and I felt it was important to disclose them. I can't imagine being in the biz that long, and not disclosing such information :confused:
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
Actually, I would disagree that a lot of stones don't have chips - I've possibly seen more with than not (including ones from TOP vendors). I would hazard a guess that a trip into any of the big names on New Bond Street would net me stones with mini-chips.

The buyers on PS are significantly more eagle-eyed than 90% of the gem-buying public who aren't going to get a loupe out. Plenty will put chips in their own stones in a matter of weeks (judging by the state of a lot of my friends rings :rolleyes: ) and not even notice.

The vendor's consideration is: do I mention the chip and potentially lose an online sale when the chances are extremely high that the buyer won't even notice it.

Is not mentioning a chip any worse than not saying that there's a window or that there is colour zoning? All are flaws...

Some chips are also not chips but cavity inclusions, or where an inclusion has reached the surface - I have a stone in my collection that has this, I took it to a lapidary to have the nick repaired and they said that they weren't prepared to touch it.

There is a potentially massive risk in repolishing. A friend of mine has a little baggy full of pieces of a very fine and expensive tanzanite. He sent it out to a potential buyer who returned it with a masssive scratch on the table, he put it on the lap for a quick repolish and the whole stone disintegrated.

Not trying to defend anyone btw, just throwing out some thoughts.

Btw, would your appraiser have even mentioned the chip if you hadn't asked about it? Just that I have seen appraisals on coloured stone rings that don't make any mention of flaws and inclusions.

Can't comment on postal costs as I know nothing about the cost in the USA.
 

LisaRN

Ideal_Rock
Premium
Joined
Nov 1, 2007
Messages
3,064
Pandora|1317416930|3029994 said:
Actually, I would disagree that a lot of stones don't have chips - I've possibly seen more with than not (including ones from TOP vendors). I would hazard a guess that a trip into any of the big names on New Bond Street would net me stones with mini-chips.

The buyers on PS are significantly more eagle-eyed than 90% of the gem-buying public who aren't going to get a loupe out. Plenty will put chips in their own stones in a matter of weeks (judging by the state of a lot of my friends rings :rolleyes: ) and not even notice.

The vendor's consideration is: do I mention the chip and potentially lose an online sale when the chances are extremely high that the buyer won't even notice it.

Is not mentioning a chip any worse than not saying that there's a window or that there is colour zoning? All are flaws...

Some chips are also not chips but cavity inclusions, or where an inclusion has reached the surface - I have a stone in my collection that has this, I took it to a lapidary to have the nick repaired and they said that they weren't prepared to touch it.

There is a potentially massive risk in repolishing. A friend of mine has a little baggy full of pieces of a very fine and expensive tanzanite. He sent it out to a potential buyer who returned it with a masssive scratch on the table, he put it on the lap for a quick repolish and the whole stone disintegrated.

Not trying to defend anyone btw, just throwing out some thoughts.

Btw, would your appraiser have even mentioned the chip if you hadn't asked about it? Just that I have seen appraisals on coloured stone rings that don't make any mention of flaws and inclusions.Can't comment on postal costs as I know nothing about the cost in the USA.

Just an FYI -I was curious about what you mentioned regarding inclusions in appraisals. I just pulled out my appraisal on an Alexandrite and it does list "Minor eye visible inclusions". It does not goes into specifics on the inclusions though.

I know I am not as knowledgable as the more experienced gem collectors here, but why wouldn't you disclose an eye visible chip before selling a stone? That doesn't seem right to me.
 

LD

Ideal_Rock
Premium
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Jun 29, 2008
Messages
9,616
Pandora - interesting post with some thought provoking questions.

I understand totally your views on the stones with chips comments - just to clarify what I meant by that. I wouldn't expect to buy from this particular vendor and find a stone with a chip that hadn't been described. In fact, I wouldn't expect that from any of our favourite lapidaries on this forum and would be equally as surprised to hear it. I've seen descriptions that have included inclusions/flaws in their descriptions. If I bought from Ebay (for example) a chip, window, dirty great big crack, wouldn't surprise me!

For me, it's about standards - perhaps my expectations are flawed.

BTW most of my appraisals make comment on flaws. My appraiser found a chip on one of my Emeralds that I didn't even know was there :(sad
 

Pandora II

Ideal_Rock
Joined
Aug 3, 2006
Messages
9,613
LisaRN|1317421804|3030044 said:
Just an FYI -I was curious about what you mentioned regarding inclusions in appraisals. I just pulled out my appraisal on an Alexandrite and it does list "Minor eye visible inclusions". It does not goes into specifics on the inclusions though.

I know I am not as knowledgable as the more experienced gem collectors here, but why wouldn't you disclose an eye visible chip before selling a stone? That doesn't seem right to me.
Yes, they will give a general statement much as you would give a clarity grade, but they don't say things like 'chip on girdle, veil and crystal inclusions seen, small internal fracture' - a small chip on a facet edge would make a stone a VS rather than a VVS but not an SI or an I if that makes sense.

The other issue is what does eye visible mean? It means you can see it at a viewing distance of 10-12 inches which is a fair distance. I just checked my e-ring stone which has a small chip and even knowing where it is I couldn't see it at 10 inches and I have perfect vision.

If I'm buying a stone sight unseen then I do tend to ask details of inclusions etc if I know I am going to be picky about them.

LD - I've had stones from several of the preferred vendors on PS which have had very small chips - one I had repolished, the others I left as is.

I will say that if I was buying a $5k + stone I would be a little suprised that they hadn't already sorted it and I would very much hope that the vendor would offer to polish it out. (I would be especially suprised if someone sent ME a stone without eagle-eyeing it first as they should know darn well that I will do at this end!) If I loved the stone then it having a small chip wouldn't preclude me buying it but I would be asking them to polish for me unless there was a valid reason not to.

Would I blame the vendor - probably not, as you don't know if their staff dropped it will packing it or something like that. What I would look for is their response in dealing with the issue - ie. nothing I can do = :nono: , send it back and we'll give it a bit of a polish = :))
 

Arkteia

Ideal_Rock
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Nov 3, 2009
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7,294
I bought from R. Wise only once and give "neutral"' to his customer service. He told me he was Fedexing my stone and that I shall return it in 3 business days but since it was Fedexed on Friday, I did not get it till mid-next week. So I paid $ 75.00 for a stone which cost $ 350.00 since it was on sale, Not what I had expected, but in all honesty, he warned me about Fedexing the stone, I just did not expect the cost to be that high. The stone is as expected.

I once returned three expensive stones to the other Coast by Fedex, insured, and it cost me about $ 100.00 so I am not surprised by the price. My vendor, however, paid for his portion of the shipment, and he was sending stones on a memo. I am expecting another shipment on a memo, and the vendor is paying for the shipment, but obviously each vendor is different. One vendor sent me a stone with a nick on the surface, but warned me about it in advance and said that it could be repolished. He just wanted me to look at the color. It is my understanding that this is how things are customarily done in the trade, or at least this is what I would expect.
 

nehap1986

Rough_Rock
Joined
Jun 27, 2011
Messages
22
Thanks for all of the thought provoking questions/comments. The situation is definitely a lesson learned in some senses. While I agree that it's feasible that he did not know that there was a chip in it, I think the bigger issue with me is how he handled the situation after I brought it to his attention. He briefly explained that he had to source the stone from someone abroad and that he also had to worry about his costs. I understand that he has a business to run and also "worry about his costs", but I personally would not have taken such a stance in this circumstance. To have a customer pay $95.00 shipping on an item that wasn't disclosed as having a chip to the naked eye (to answer one of the PS'ers posts...the chip was large enough to see when examined closely...I didn't really check to see if you could see the chip from a further distance). There was no attempt to meet me halfway or alleviate the situation. Had he even said, i'll refund you half the shipping, I would have been a happier customer. It's certainly not someone I will do business with in the future.
 

JewelFreak

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Joined
Sep 3, 2009
Messages
7,768
Nehap, I'm sorry you had this hassle & disappointment. I wish you had a better experience -- can imagine how fried you are about it; I would be too. Thank you for putting it up here so we can take it into account in the future.

--- Laurie
 
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