Friday, July 17, 2009

Tiffany's Free Jewelry Cleaning - Woes and Redemption

Something free from Tiffany's?
When does that ever happen?

{See update below: Aug 09}

"From July 15 through 19, it is our pleasure to offer you complimentary cleaning of up to six pieces of Tiffany sterling silver jewelry and accessories. Simply bring your selected silver favorites to a participating Tiffany & Co. store and let us make them shine." ~ Tiffany & Co.

{Update 7/18/09: Took my pieces in today. While the usual $10 cleaning fee per piece allows you to have your jewelry ready within your same shopping trip, this promotion requires that you pick up your machine cleaned jewelry 3-days later. Silver pieces will be hand cleaned only if they include pearls or gem stones.}

Hawaii Locations:
2100 Kalakaua Ave in Waikiki (Honolulu)
Shops at the Wailea: 3750 Wailea Alanui Drive (Maui)

{Check online for participating locations.}

Addendum: Aug 09
Here's my terrible (though redeeming in the end) experience with Tiffany's free jewelry cleaning special. When I went to pick up my six pieces from Tiffany's I was horrified to find that each piece was in far worse condition than when I had dropped them off. The majority of pieces were so discolored and scratched up so badly that it was really shocking.

The pieces I were given had blotches of brown tarnish embeded into the front of some of the pieces, had dirt lodged into crevaces that I knew weren't there before, and most had a now dulled look like it was over 70 years old--which I knew was not possible particularly for pieces that I just received or purchased a few months prior. In fact, the pearl on one of my necklaces was covered with caked on white polish that wouldn't come off. The store assistant took it to the back where she used chemicals to wipe off the polish, but now the luster of the pearl is gone. I still remain saddened by this.

In the big picture of things, jewelry is simply a material item. But I was particularly disapointed because sentimentally a few of the pieces were gifts from significant people.

At the end of that visit I refused to take the pieces home and Tiffany's agreed to clean it once more. I left the store appalled, especically since Tiffany's is a company that prides itself on it's reputation of quality and service. I suspected that they probably threw a ton of jewelry into one big cleaning tumbler to save time in the cleaning process and/or that the pieces we received upon pick up were not the exact pieces we submitted. (i.e. perhaps they just gave anybody somebody's else's piece, since all the Tiffany's jewelry look identical as they are constructed from the same mold). I figured that I was probably given someone's jewelry who never took the time to care for them--it was that bad.

The redeeming piece: When I went to pick up my pieces the second time, I didn't know what to expect. Could they really take off the brown blotches, the new liquid stains, and the terrible scratches that made each piece look like an antique? Apparently not. So what they did do, was give me sets of brand new pieces...(expect for the pearl necklace)...which not only saves their reputation but attests to the quality of service that one expected from Tiffany's in the first place.

Lesson learned: Don't take your jewelry in for these public free cleaning events. Pay the $10 fee, take it on an off season...or just do it by hand (buy a bottle of the Tiffany's jewelry polish at the store). Hand polishing the pieces myself is what I've done for years...and will continue to do from here on out. The pieces come out nicely cleaned...and it saves one the hassel of the above experience.

No comments: