May 10, 2006, I purchased, and had installed two watch batteries from Kay Jewelers (Columbia Mall, Bernadette Rd. Columbia, Mo.). The cost was $12.95 per battery which came to $25.90 with tax. At the time of I purchase a "Lifetime Battery Warranty" which is clearly stated on the receipt. I was told at the time of purchase that by paying a little more for the batteries (batteries usually cost about $9.98) they would be replaced, by Kay Jewelers, at no charge, for the life of the watch.
June 5, 2007, I went into Kay Jewelers to have one of the batteries replaced and they refused to honor the contract. First, I was told by some woman identifying herself as "Joanie", that they didn't have the tools to put batteries in my watch. I pointed out to her that they had the tools when they put the batteries in a year ago. Then she said that they would not put the battery in my watch because I didn't buy the watches at Kay. When I bought the batteries, purchasing the watches at Kay was never even mentioned as a criteria for the contract. She was shown the receipt and I told her that Kay was contractually responsible for putting batteries in my watch. I have a contract with Kay Jewelers for a lifetime of batteries for each watch. On June 5, 2007 I sent a complaint (Case # 1324366) to the Better Business Bureau in St. Louis, Missouri. They sent two notices to Kay Jewelers main offices, which they chose not to respond to until July 6.2007. The outcome of which was that Kay Jewelers was to honor the contract.
August of 2007 I went to Kay Jewelers again, now both of the watches were not keeping correct time. I asked to speak to the manager who was too busy flirting with a customer and so I spoke with a salesperson. I showed her the watches and my receipt. Because there appeared to be “some” energy left in the batteries, the hands on each were “flitting” back and forth, she told me they did not need batteries so she would not put any in. Once again I was sent on my way without working watches.
September 12, 2008. I have been pushing these watches around on my desk for 15 months and I finally decided to insist on my batteries! I walked into Kay and a woman (later identified as Amanda, the Assistant Manager) asked if she could help me. I pulled the watches out of my purse and told her I needed batteries and showed her the “Lifetime Battery Warranty” on my receipt. She said nothing, took the watches and we moved to the repair area. The hands on the gold faced Perry Ellis had completely stopped but the hands on the silver/black Gruen were still trying to move. She began prying the back off of the Perry Ellis and removed the battery. She then looked at the Gruen and not even being a jeweler or watch repair specialist, stated that the Gruen was broken and she would not replace the battery. She then “tested” the battery conveniently confirming her pronouncement. I asked her to put a battery in anyway just to see if a new battery would fix the watch and she refused. At this time I made it perfectly clear to her that if I took the Gruen to another jeweler and they determined that it was not broken and I had to pay AGAIN for a battery, I would report Kay Jewelers not only to the BBB but to the Attorney General for Missouri as well as every complaint board on the Internet.
She couldn’t get the back onto the Perry Ellis and we moved across the aisle to a kiosk run by two men selling jewelry and batteries. (Gold Valley Jewelry, 2300 Bernadette, Columbia, Mo. 573.445.4243) The owner, Seresh put the back on the Perry Ellis watch and Amanda left. I asked him if he would look at the Gruen and tell me what was wrong with it. He laughed and said, “It needs a battery.” He put a new battery in, charged me $8.64 and the watch is keeping perfect time. I left Gold valley and went over to Kay Jewelers. Amanda was with a customer, I stood for a minute or two (she was clearly ignoring me) when another salesperson came over and asked if she could help me. I reiterated what I had said earlier about the BBB, the Attorney General and every complaint board on the Internet. They both smirked like they were enjoying my frustration. As I was leaving I remarked that I didn’t know why anyone bought anything at Kay Jewelers and the customer should run from the store. At this point Amanda threatened to call security. I told her to go right ahead and waited. She didn’t.
The first time I went to Kay, I was treated well by the staff, so much so that I had recommended the store to a friend. What I don’t understand, in this most recent episode, is why she simply would not try a 50 cent battery in the watch when I asked her to. Is this much bad publicity really worth the small price of a battery? Or is this just some ego trip played on an unsuspecting customer by powerless, incompetent salespeople?