Suddenly, everything went into slow motion. The words that rolled off his lips seemed to hesitate in the air, gathering untold amounts of potential energy before unleashing their harsh reality on my ears. “There’s no way we can set a stone in this setting.”
As these words made their way across my tempanic membrane, they didn’t seem real. At first, I thought that I was in some surreal dream. I was half expecting the clocks on the wall to start melting, and the man’s face to contort into some mockery of a human visage.
Unfortunately, it was true, and something needed to be done right away. Months had passed, and no resolution had come of the whole mess. Something would be done today. If need be, my typically mild disposition would be pushed aside by the rage of a consumer scorned.
Let me back up a bit. In August, I purchased a diamond for A2C. At that time, she didn’t know what type of setting she wanted, so we decided to wait until she figured it out. By the time she left for China, I knew what she wanted and where to get it. Armed with this knowledge, I called the vendor – who shall remain nameless – and ordered the setting, or so I thought. It turns out that the setting I wanted was not availble alone. It only came with a stone. However, I could order a reproduction of that setting. It would take 8 weeks. This was crazy, but I agreed, desiring to obtain the setting that I knew A2C would just love. So, I placed the order and waited.
At about the 6 week mark, I received a shipment notice. Yes! The ring would soon be complete. Upon arrival, I immediately noticed that the ring I held in my hand was not the one in the accompanying photo. The design was different: not even close. I immediately called them and informed them of the mishap. They readily acknowledged the error and offered to ship the correct one right away. I sent the wrong one back and waited.
Upon receipt of the second ring, I again noticed that it wasn’t 100% the same as the one I selected, but it was closer. I asked A2C if this was okay. She hesitated, mulled it over, but in the end, she wanted what she wanted, and so did I. For all this effort, waiting and trouble, I wanted to get what I had paid for. I called the vendor again, and explained. Again, they were willing to work with me. They agreed to remove the stone from the original and ship that item to me. Naively, I agreed to this.
Another week passes, and I finally receive the correct item. I call around to find a place to get it all put together. Being the week before Christmas, this was impossible. So we decided to wait until after the holiday to conlcude our months-long quest. I took a half-day the first Monday after Christmas, and A2C and I journeyed to the dealer from whom we purchased the stone. I showed them the setting and made my request to get it set, sized and appraised. Then things got surreal.
That brings us back to the moment at hand. A cold sweat started to form on my brow, and my stomach began to feel like the epicenter of a brewing storm. Instinctively, I reached for my phone and searched for the phone number of the setting vendor. Not there. I asked the dealer if they could retrieve the number from the vendor’s website. Within minutes, I was speaking to the salesperson that I dealt with. I explained that I was standing at the jeweler’s and had just been informed that the setting was in very poor shape. I was told that many of the prongs were damaged, and that there were signs of previous repair attempts. This was not acceptable. This vendor has a policy of no refunds, but my case was extenuating, and the salesperson quickly complied with my request for a refund. I was wholly ready to wage a war over this matter, as I was one very dissatisfied customer. Luckily, the scorn was not needed.
So, my irritation still subsiding, we decided to take a look at the settings that were available at the dealer’s shop. We were told that if we wanted a custom setting, it might take some time. A2C interpreted this to mean that there was no way she’d get her precious that day.
Our guide led us to the other showroom and helped A2C refine her selection of a setting. After viewing several samples and deciding on 3, I could see the disappointment on her face. It was tearing me up inside. Then, I noticed that one of the setting she picked was already in the metal she wanted, and was available. It also happened to be the one of her selected 3 that I personally liked. I whispered in her ear that if she picked this one, we could go home with it today. Her eyes lit up, and a smile of joy burst from her lips. Decision made.
A few hours later we walked out of the shop, ring on finger, one happy A2C, and an even happier malfunction54.