Kay Jewelers is launching an internal investigation into diamond servicing practices after an Illinois woman accused the jewelry store of stealing her diamond engagement ring when she took it in to get serviced.
Requitta Darshae East slammed the jewelry chain in a lengthy Facebook post that has since gone viral with over 1,500 shares, claiming that Kay Jewelers tried to give her the wrong ring and failed to track down her actual one. Since her post, hundreds of other Kay shoppers shared their own similar stories in the comments on Facebook. This isn’t the first time the retailer has faced these allegations: A 2016 Buzzfeed exposé also uncovered a similar case of a woman whose $4,299.99 diamond was swapped with a different stone when she brought it in for a repair.
Now, Kay Jewelers’s parent company Signet Jewelers — which also owns Zales, Jared the Galleria of Jewelry, H.Samuel, Piercing Pagoda and more — is working to rectify the situation by launching an internal investigation and working with Darshae East directly to resolve the situation and address her specific concerns.
In an exclusive statement to PEOPLE, a representative for Signet Jewelers said: “We’ve been working diligently on the customer complaint you reported on to understand the underlying concerns. I’m pleased to share that we reached a resolution that has satisfied the customer and we continue to work to resolve other concerns that were posted in connection with her post.”
In an effort to understand the concerns, Signet has launched an internal investigation: “Our goal is to treat all customer concerns with a high level of integrity, seriousness, and care. Once we become aware of a customer complaint, we run it to ground until a resolution has been reached. We are continuously re-evaluating our policies and practices to ensure we are providing the highest levels of service at all points of the repair journey. Like all customer complaints, we have launched an investigation into this particular matter and remain in close contact with the customer in question as we work toward a resolution.”
As for what the internal investigation entails, a representative said: “The internal investigation retraces every touchpoint of the customer’s jewelry journey. The customer’s jewelry stays within our jewelry Design and Service Centers or, is shipped to the manufacturer that created the item. We have 241 Design & Service Centers internally, with 2,000+ employees are skilled artisans held to our exact standards.”
Representatives from the company also detailed the servicing process, writing in the statement: “Our policies and procedures ensure that Signet has the right skilled people to do the right skilled work to treat each of our customer’s pieces with care and professionalism.”
Signet also noted that work is completed at multiple touchpoints: “Virtually all of our work is shipped to and cared for by Signet’s jewelry artisans at our 241 Design and Service Centers, and two Signet manufacturing centers. A small percentage of work is completed by expert Signet-approved manufacturers and specialists. All packages containing customer jewelry are closely tracked and monitored throughout the process by a third-party as part of our chain of custody process.”
There are also three phases of servicing, they say, (1) take-in to log the details of the piece, (2) inspection upon completion to confirm repairs have been done, and (3) delivery to make sure it satisfies the customer. At that point, the company says it “performs a side-by-side comparison of the original photo to the repair image under a Digital Gemscope, obtains a customer signature expressing 100% satisfaction with the quality of the repair work, and provides a six month guarantee on the repair workmanship.”
The company noted that employees who handle jewelry are required to participate in ongoing training, which begins with multiple training systems within the first 180 days of employment.
“To ensure that our entire repair team intimately understands our process and policies, the majority of our leadership has been promoted from within the Company. Every one of our Design and Repair Service center managers and leaders have deep experience as jewelers, each with a high level of training and relevant accreditations,” representatives for Kay Jewelers said.
Darshae East described her experience in detail on Facebook.
“Where do I begin…?? There are so many layers to this,” Darshae East began her post. “July 2nd, 2018 – I take my wedding ring (both the engagement ring and band) to Kay Jewelers In River Oaks Mall to have it serviced. My ring is white gold, which needs to be dipped in rhodium to keep it from yellowing. Anyway, I take it in, the employee is supposed to check the diamonds before sending it out to have it dipped. Oddly enough, the diamond checkers aren’t working. She looks at the ring under a microscope and says that the diamonds look fine. Sends the ring out and says that the repair will take about 2 weeks to complete.”
“I receive a call from an employee at the store about 2 weeks later. My ring is back, but apparently I have two chipped diamonds in my center stone that need to be replaced. (Isn’t that what was supposed to be checked before the ring was sent out in the first place??” FYI: There are NO chipped diamonds indicated on the receipt I received on July 2nd.) She asks if its ok to go ahead and send the ring to corporate for repairs. Of course it is. So she sends it back. She tells me that it will take about 8-10 weeks for repair.”
She continued, “Fast forward 8-10 weeks… I receive a call on a Friday from Kays, “Hello Mrs. East, your repair is back in the store.” I get to the store only to find that the ring that was returned is NOT MINE. I explain to the employee (who happens to be the store manager) that the ring is not mine and proceed to show her pictures. She looks at both rings and agrees that the ring is not mine. She tells me that she will call corporate on Monday to figure out what happened.”
After going back and forth to the mall store multiple times to pick up her ring, at the final visit, the employees tried to give her a ring that looked like her own, but in fact, was not hers.
“Are you ready for this?? I make my way to the store only to find that the ring is…. (you guessed it) NOT MINE,” she wrote. “Not only is the ring not mine, but it is the exact same ring that I went to pickup the first time, only now its engraved…!!”
Darshae East alleged that not only had her engagement ring been taken, but her mother’s LeVian diamond ring had been too.
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“To top this all off, the day I dropped off my ring, July 2nd, 2018, I also dropped off my mom’s $4,000 chocolate Levian diamond ring. We haven’t received that ring back either,” she wrote.
According to Darshae East, instead of returning her original ring, a representative from the jeweler called and offered her the cost of the ring, plus an additional $650, which she called “absolutely not enough.”
She added, “In my opinion, there is a way to rectify any and every situation. Kay Jewelers has failed miserably to do so. This is NOT OKAY. And they keep insisting that the rings were NOT stolen!! SO where are they!?!?!!?! What really happened?!?!?!”