Post # 1
Two of my closest girlfriends (B and A) and I are all at a point in our respective relationships where we are seriously considering which rings we want for our engagement rings. Especially B – she and her SO are planning on flying to Vietnam in July to get married. I know this sounds like a digression from the point but I just want to make it clear that whilst we were not looking to purchase that day, we were not just looking at rings for fun and giggles.
Anyway, we went into Michael Hill’s, which is the most popular jewellery chain that we have in NZ. B was in love with a round brilliant diamond ring and I was trying to find a cushion cut ring to no avail. We’re trying on rings and asking questions about sizes, cuts, financing options, etc. A then asks to try on a sapphire ring. The salespeople – one of them the store manager – both give her a look and said something along the lines of: “Eugh… a sapphire? Why would you want that?? No, no, you want a diamond. You definitely want a diamond. Your boyfriend wants the best for you right? Sapphires, ewww.”
If it wasn’t for B, A and I would have walked out of the store right there and then. I understand that they work on commissions and a customer purchasing a diamond ring would be more beenficial but come on!!! Insulting your customer’s taste isn’t exactly going to help you get that commission either. I couldn’t resist sniping back “Well, if it’s good enough for royalty…” That shut them up. The store manager tried to salvage the situation by giving us his card and letting us know that sapphires and even rubies are fine – “as long as there are at least diamond sidestones of course” – and told us that they can do custom rings, etc. – yeah that didn’t really help.
I’m not going to write off Michael Hill stores in general but I really hope that is not the sort of attitude that they are promoting amongst their staff.
Post # 3
Wow. Some salespeople just don’t get it. Maybe they are under tons of pressure to sell, but still!! No excuse.
Post # 4
we went into Michael Hilll’s
say no more. i have one gold and diamond ring from them and i had constant issues with the prongs snapping and diamonds falling out – took it to our jeweller (where i should have bought it from in the first place, this ring was a impulse buy) to have it done properly and no issues since
I couldn’t resist sniping back “Well, if it’s good enough for royalty…” That shut them up
ha! good for you
Post # 5
Perhaps you can tell your story to a corporate person who would reign in their staff a little better? That was a little uncalled for and quite off-putting.
Post # 7
And this is why I avoid jewelry stores like the plague.
Post # 8
How rude! I love sapphire engagement rings. They are a beautiful alternative to a diamond.
Post # 9
“…as long as there are at least diamond side stones…”
Yes, Mr. Manager, because clearly you get to dictate what us poor misguided souls put on our own fingers. It’s only for the rest of our lives, after all.
Glad you got in the jab about the royals. If I’m ever in NZ I’ll be sure to go in and show him my diamond-less tourmaline rings. He’ll probably have a heart attack.
Post # 10
Hehe thank you! I’m glad that I actually spoke up and said that, rather than just thinking it and spending hours afterwards going, “Why didn’t I say that??”
@StuporDuck: I’ve sent an e-mail to their head office but I’m not holding my breath to be honest. As a consumer, the most I know I can do is not to give them my business and I don’t think A will be purchasing a ring from them either. And apparently, neither will B since she found a better priced ring at another store and because she was annoyed at what they said to us – which sucks for them since she was ready to drop about NZ$5000 on the round brilliant ring.
@KatyElle: Lol I thought I’d be open minded and give them a chance. Luckily, a friend to whom I told the story informed me that she used to work for the manufacturer from whom Michael Hill purchases their jewellery from – and this manufacturer sells to the public minus the retail mark up. I’m so going there for any future purchases.
@MrsBlueSeptember: Indeed they are I’m thinking of getting either a gemstone or moissanite ring myself.
@linguo42: I love your rings!! In fact, seeing your rings caused me to add tourmaline to my list of preferred gemstones.
The funny thing is we went to another jewellery store where, looking at their pieces (one of them being a diamond ring priced at over nz$100k), I would have expected them to be snobby… but they weren’t. They happily showed us their collections of diamonds, sapphires, emeralds, rubies, tanzanites, amethysts, tourmalines, etc.
Post # 11
Funnily enough, I am not at all surprised that Michael Hill staff act this way! It is a store to avoid. There are so many wonderful, independent businesses out there to support, I would recommend trying one of them!
Post # 12
@Miss Circe: That is crazy that they acted like that. We went to a local jeweler and started out with the setting first. I knew I wasn’t sure if I wanted a Diamond, and I wasn’t completely sure I wanted one. We (the jeweler and I) had discussed moissanite and I almost pulled the trigger on it until I got home with the pictures and kept thinking about it. I called the next day in tears saying that it just wasn’t what I wanted, and if I really didn’t want a diamond, why was I getting something similar. He was completely awesome and started suggesting other stones. He mentioned aquamarine, and I said “I had thought of that, but kept forgetting to bring it up”. So he said he would bring in a stone for me to look at. It took a while for it to come in, but it was well worth the wait. After my boyfriend went and looked and we decided on the stone, even the jeweler kept commenting on how gorgeous it was. When I came back the next day to drop off my dad’s wedding band to get sized for SO, he was still commenting on it and asked if I had it on yet!
If you have any independent jewelers around you, I suggest checking them out as well. This jeweler was referred to another friend when he got married, and it stuck with us. We refer him anytime we can because we were treated so well, and the product is just breathtaking. I’m looking foward to posting the finished product, but not until it’s officially on my hand!
Good Luck with your Sapphire hunt!
Post # 13
@CupcakeLove: Yep, we got ours from a small itallian jeweler who makes all jewelry on site. I admit, Fiance could have gotten a larger ring for the same price at a chain, but having a one off ring made by an old man who remembered by fiancé when we went in to get it resized makes what he paid so worth it
Post # 14
I only had one pleasurable experience in a chain store where I didn’t feel like the salesperson was sizing me up & judging the whole time. She seemed to genuinely like her job & was super chatty, taking as much time as I wanted. And that’s probably the first and only time that’s happened to me.
Unfortunately everyone who works at the small store Darling Husband got my ering from is a total dbag. I always feel pressured & like I’m bothering them. They always seem to be telling me what I want, not the other way around- I can’t stand that!
Post # 15
@CaptainSpaulding: Sorry you had to go through that – that definitely is not providing good customer service.
Well after complaining to a friend from university about the incident, she told me that she used to work for a local jeweller (who coincidentally is someone from whom Michael Hill purchases their pieces from). Anyway, she told me his name and number and said that he did custom designs and one could buy similar pieces minus the retail mark up which sounds great to me.
So I think the plan for me now is to get an Avarra gem from BTD and then take it to the jeweller who will hopefully set it into a custom band for me. As for my friend A, I’ll be giving the jeweller’s contact info so we can both avoid going to Michael Hill again.
Post # 15
There’s a few Michael Hills in Melbourne Australia and luckily I’ve yet to have any issues with their customer service. My only concern is their ridiculously overpriced diamonds. If I wanted to pay 18k for a 1ct diamond that doesn’t have awedome stats then I would’ve gone to Tiff and Co!