“Guarantee” is open to interpretation. You need to know what a particular business means by it before you depend on it.
Dominic’s Fine Jewelry has a guarantee you can depend on. It includes an appraisal by a certified jeweler, free unlimited cleaning, sizing, prong re-tipping, stone replacement, and trade-ins. They also give you a “cheat sheet” on what you need to do to keep your jewelry in perfect condition.
Standing behind the guarantee is Dominic with his unblemished reputation for providing the highest quality jewelry and unsurpassed customer service. Dominic, who grew up in the area and continues to be involved with the communities he serves. Dominic, who only deals with suppliers whose ethics are as deeply held as his own.
So let’s look at Matt and Beryl and Doug. Who? Never heard of them, have you? They are the CEOs of some of the largest jewelry stores in this country. It’s unlikely that they have ever set foot in the store you patronize and certainly have no knowledge of the item you bought. They are far removed from their stores, the communities in which they are located and their customers.
Their stores give guarantees—that you have to read carefully.
“Some of our diamonds include certification from respected leaders in the gemological industry.” Some? What could be more vague than “respected leaders . . .”?
“If you find the same item for less, we will match the price plus refund 20 percent of the price difference.” Then read the hoops you have to jump through. Don’t even bother—you’re not going to find exactly the same thing. They will find something different about it regardless.
Then there is the “Protection Policy” or “Extended Service Plan” that can add another $100 to a $500 purchase. The policy can be four or five pages long, in small print and crammed with legalese. Beware the “* Limitations and exclusions apply.” One clause always included is if damage “does not impede the functionality of the item,” the item isn’t covered. So if you can still wear your bracelet, the scratches and dents that you thought were covered aren’t. You’ll see “normal wear and use” repeatedly. Another phrase that can be interpreted however they want.
Your head spins when trying to figure out all the loopholes, which is the point.
An item of jewelry is a very personal purchase, whether for a loved one or for yourself. And you deserve personal and knowledgeable service. In those jewelry conglomerates, continual staff turnover is the norm. There is little chance of developing a relationship of trust, and that also lessens the ability of any guarantee to offer you assurance.