Refusal to honor unconditional refund or exchange guarantee relating to Stuhrling watch.
Stuhrling Jura Ultrathin Watch in rose gold (Catalog # ES834) was purchased online (invoice date 12/5/2013)as Xmas present for husband. When opened On 12/25 noticed an extremely small (pin point size) imperfection in the crystal, which my husband said was no big deal. A couple of weeks thereafter my husband started wearing the watch. Thereafter, my husband noticed the watch would sporadically fail to show correct time. These events were sometimes separated by as much as a week or more. Finally on 1/30/14 we decided to send the watch back and delivered it to USPS with ********** return form and in its original packaging. It was delivered to ********** by USPS on 2/3/2014 (the 60th day after invoice date, the 59th day after payment and less than that from the delivery date). ********** guarantee states in full "If for any reason you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, simply return it to us within 60 days of receipt for a prompt and friendly refund or exchange." This guarantee appears in the ********** catalog and on the Herringtoncatalog.com website. On 2/4/2014 my husband received a call from ********** in which it was stated that no exchange or refund would be given because of the "cracked crystal." My husband explained that the return was because the watch did not keep good time and had nothing to do with the minor blemish on the crystal. After reviewing the ********** guarantee, my husband called ********** back that day and quoted the guarantee to the representative and made clear he was not satisfied with the watch because it did not keep time. The representative insisted that because of the defect in the crystal the guarantee was inapplicable, even though she was unable to explain why this was the case as the guarantee required only that the customer not be satisfied. She told my husband she would have her boss call me back the next day. On 2/7/2014 a representative of ********** called my husband and continued to insist that because of the imperfection in the crystal the guarantee did not apply. This representative stated that the defect could not have possibly existed when the watch was delivered to us and must have been caused by my husband. My husband explained that the imperfection was in the crystal when received and, in any event was not why he returned the watch,and pointed out that the guarantee was very broad and unconditional. My husband asked to speak with this person's boss. Later that day Patti ********, the operations manager, called and told my husband that notwithstanding that the guarantee was unconditional and required only that the purchaser not be "completely satisfied" no refund or exchange would be given. They intended to send the watch to the manufacturer for evaluation and would let him know what, if anything, ********** would do. In a later call that same day Ms. ******** finally offered to have the watch repaired by the manufacturer (not including the crystal) at **********'s cost. My husband told her that, given his experience with how ********** honored its guarantee, he did not want to deal further with them and wanted a full refund in accordance with the guarantee. She refused, but offered to have another representative of ********** call, to which my husband agreed. This person called but had nothing new to offer and continued to focus on the imperfection in the crystal and refused to have the purchase price refunded. The purchase price was $139 and was paid on 12/6/2013 with a MasterCard. The invoice date was 12/5/2013 and, although the exact date is uncertain, the watch was delivered sometime after 12/5/2013. The 60 day period in the guaranty was met because the watch was delivered to ********** by the US Postal service on 2/3/2014 (as evidenced by a USPS notice of delivery), which was the 60th day after the invoice date and 59 days after the payment date. Thus, it was clearly returned within 60 days of the original delivery date.
I want ********** to honor its unconditional guarantee and provide a refund of the purchase price of $139 and the delivery charge of $15.95, for a total of $154.95.
Approximately two months after the purchase date, ********** Catalog received back a Stuhrling watch that suffered damage (a chip) to the watch's crystal. Had this watch arrived back in the same condition it was sent, the customer would have been given an immediate credit. Since there was damage to the watch, it was sent to our supplier for evaluation. They determined that the chip was not a manufacturer's defect, but something caused by the consumer. We advised our supplier that the customer indicated the watch was not keeping time. They offered to repair the watch free of charge for our mutual customer. The customer was not pleased with this outcome, and wanted a brand new watch. Since the damage sustained on the watch was caused by the customer, and not a defect, our supplier was unwilling to replace it, but again offered to repair it free of charge. When this resolution was offered to the customer, they deemed it unacceptable. The customer indicated at that point that they would initiate a chargeback with their credit card company. In an effort to resolve this matter, ********** would be willing to credit the customer, if they have not yet initiated chargeback proceedings, as earlier indicated.
Final Consumer Response
(The consumer indicated he/she DID NOT accept the response from the business.)
Herrington has offered a "credit." This is unclear. If it means a store credit, it is unacceptable; I do not want to deal with these people in the future. If it means a full refund it is acceptable. I am only asking that it honor its unconditional guarantee. (Although I continue to dispute its claim that I damaged the watch crystal, I note that its "Matchless Guarantee" would still cover a crystal that was damaged by a customer in that the customer might not be "completely satisfied" because the watch crystal could be damaged so easily in normal use within 60 days. The guarantee has no conditions or limitations - it is broad and unconditional. Herrington could have made its guarantee subject to whatever conditions and limitations it wanted to, but it chose not to impose limitations or conditions and it should now honor its legal obligations. It cannot after the purchase impose secret undisclosed limitations to its guarantee.) I note that Herrington explains its refusal to honor its guarantee by claiming its supplier would not replace it. It does not matter what kind of deal Herrington has with its suppliers. What matters is what its deal is with its customers.
I have requested my credit card company to investigate and initiate a chargeback. This is ongoing at the present time. If Herrington is offering to refund my purchase price I will have my credit card company cease its investigation and no chargeback will be made.
Final Business Response
As stated in my response of 2/18/14, in an effort to resolve this matter, ********** is willing to credit the customer (i.e.; a credit to their credit card). I am not sure why the customer is not accepting the resolution that they requested!