Monday, May 30, 2016

Is Kay Jewelers Stealing Diamonds From Customer?

Do some employees of Kay jewelers steal, or
at least do incredibly clumsy work?
A growing drumbeat says yes. 
Every kiss begins with cubic zirconia, apparently.

CBS Money Watch has a disturbing story about allegations that Kay Jewelers is taking expensive diamonds and gems from jewelry people bring in for servicing and replacing them with chief knockoffs.

Aimee Picchi (a fellow Vermonter!) writes that a number of people have reported the thefts. There's even a Boycott Kay Jewelers Facebook page. 

The Facebook page consists mostly of people complaining of shoddy work on jewelry at Kay's and other chain jewelers owned by parent company Signet Jewelers.

CBS Money Watch cites a report in BuzzFeed News about one woman, Chrissy Clarius, who took her $4,300 engagement ring to Kay Jewelers every six months as part of their gemstone guarantee program.

When nobody could find the diamond's certification number at one trip to Kay's, Clarius grew suspicious, took her ring to another jeweler and found the diamond had been replaced by moissanite, a cheap stone.

I really hope employees at Kay's are not stealing diamonds. According to CBS Money Watch, Kay released a statement saying they have "rigorous processes in place to help ensure this won't happen." The jewelry chain said it is "actively reviewing this issue."

BuzzFeed News also reports Kay is facing an onslaught of consumer complaints from people who bring in their jewelry for repairs and get them back looking worse than before the repair.

To me, all this sounds like a retail chain cutting corners with inexperienced workers, cheap goods and crappy customer service, all in the name of maximizing profits.

Like many (but not all!) companies, I suspect Kay is burning themselves with short term, quarter-by-quarter thinking. That sometimes temporarily results in ever increasing profits.

That is, until consumers get the memo on how people think the stores are crappy. Then there's a cascading series of financial troubles that can bring down these types of retailers. I noticed Picchi cited stock prices falling as much as 11 percent last week due to disappointing earnings for Signet Jewelers

The CEOs and top mucky-mucks tend to come out of this type of situation with huge bank accounts from their sky high executive pay, leaving a trail of unemployed former workers, angry customers and angry shareholders when things go south.

There outta be a law....

No comments:

Post a Comment