Nine years ago my husband and I decided to exchange rings. Since we were both still in High School we went with some cheap silver bands. The year after I graduated he came into some money and wanted to replace it with something my sparklier.Yay :D
I'd seen a ring when I was 13 that had been the epitome of a wedding band, it was a specialty item at a local store but not too expensive. $2700 - which for us was the sun and the moon and the whole of our budget but with the extra cash he impulsively bought it.
The young woman in the shop, Barbie told us that through their credit card we could get $500 off the ring purchase. Since we had the money and could pay it off immediately we said yes. She filled out all of our paperwork with us and informed us of a store policy that included a temporary engagement ring while we were waiting on our set. Apparently something to flash around and squeal about. We declined the offer as I never wore yellow gold anyway.
It was July. I went back to college in August. I gave them my phone number as I had a cell and he didn't. Barbie said the ring would probably be done in September. No problem. My college was three and a half hours drive away and I didn't really want to come home before that anyway.
In August I pack up and head off to college. The first week I'm there I get a call that the ring is done, almost a month early. Yay :D
Only not-so-yay. I drive all the way back, head to the store, Barbie smiles and greets me and shows me... A plain yellow gold band. My 'temporary' engagement ring band was in. Not even with a diamond in it yet and I told her I didn't want it. I correct her and drive all the way back. The next week another call. My ring is complete.
I call and clarify that my 'wedding set' not the engagement ring is complete. Barbie says yes. I drive back down there. My white gold band is in. No diamond. I point out to her that it's a very large drive from Michigan to Ohio and ask that she make a note that I only be notified when my ring is complete.
The next week another call. This time when I call to clarify I get a man not Barbie. The man informs me he's looking right at my ring and it's complete. I drive all the way back again. You can guess can't you? My yellow gold engagement ring is all done. I re-iterate that I don't want it and ask him to SHOW me that he's noted that on my account so that I don't have to mess about with returning it. He lets me look at the computer my account has notes all over it and in bold letters this little gem:
"Foreign customer. Doesn't understand English well. Rude for no reason."
Excuse me? First of all my name might look foreign. It's spelled oddly and my last name is very French but me, all my relatives, and certainly my accent and looks are as plain American as you can get. I'm from Ohio, we're known for not even having much of an accent. :c
So I drive back, am barely there two days and get a call from the store, Barbie again. I stress to her that if the ring isn't complete and I drive down there again I'm going to cancel the whole damn thing, dream ring or not. She assures me it's in and it's ready. I drive all the way back down but get caught in a traffic jam and only make it to the store while they're closing. The kind old man who owns the place greets me warmly. I inquire about the ring.
Still no diamond.
I explode, not meanly, but I cry, I yell, I fuss. I have driven 192 miles each way. My back hurts, my head hurts, my gas budget is broken and gone, and I haven’t had time on the weekends to study for anything because I’ve been in transit and early on when I asked if my mom, dad, hubby-to-be, to be able to pick it up instead they said no, since mine was the name on the ring. I'm fed up. I snarl about canceling everything.
The owner is shocked, he asks what's happened I tell him and can see by teh look of growing horror on his face that he had no idea how bad Barbie was at her job, or why he'd been losing customers recently.
He offered me: the $500 discount from the credit card. Ring cost: $2200
One hundred dollars off per trip I'd made done, unnecessarily. Ring cost: $1700
And another $500 off for the hassle. Ring cost: $1200
He clarified that anyone I wanted could come pick it up, and that he would personally handle everything else with the account and fire Barbie, immediately. He'd do it on the phone if I wanted to listen. I did.
The ring came in September 10th, like my paperwork had said it would. I did go pick it up with my hubby-to-be foreseeing more trouble but there was none. It's beautiful and perfect and still glows 9 years later.
My friend Dani though doesn't have a happy ending yet to her saga. She started saving up to propose to her girlfriend last year. She finally had enough for the ring and the trip to be a x-mas surprise and ordered the ring. It was mailed to her last week. She signed with fed ex and brought the box inside. The edges were a bit banged up but the package looked find. She flipped it over to find a slit at the bottom. Ring gone.
Fed Ex won't talk to her because she isn't the shipper. The ring company told her that a full investigation would be launched within 22 business days and her reserved trip started three days after the ring 'arrived'. Since Fed Ex inspects the packages and they're reporting it was fine. The driver must have taken it, which means other valuable presents are liable to go missing on his route this year.
Tl:dr I drive back and forth across state lines unnecessarily because a woman can't do her job and my friend's ring is stolen by the person delivering it.