Back in 1998, Mark C. Vadon walked into a Tiffany store to search for an engagement ring, he was so frustrated with the sales clerk that he started his own jeweler business online called Blue Nile. He told the New York Times that when he asked the clerk the differences between the two rings, the clerk replied, “Buy the one the speaks to you.” Now Vadon’s online venture ranks behind only Tiffany on sales, yet without having a single store.
Having firsthand experience with Tiffany, I could relate to Vadon’s exasperation. Tiffany might sell real, high-end diamonds, but its business ethic is downright phony. When you buy its product, the staffs will give you their undivided attention. When you return its product, they act like you don’t even exist, and will do anything (even lie) to get you to back out, like 500 dollars sizing charge if the item was to return even though the policy has nothing written about it.
Though a full refund was made through the manager, the returning process was not as smooth as the purchasing transaction, which complimented with a glass of champagne. Ms. Sarah Law, who sold me the ring, didn’t look as lovely as she did when we first met. It was like getting splash in the face with cold water. Not that I ever could afford to step back into the Tiffany stores again, but they had given me the reason not to.