Recently I have been trying to obtain a replacement leather strap for a ladies Maurice Lacroix watch, quite a straightforward task you are thinking, well the simple answer is no.
First of all I went to Walkers Jewellers in Huddersfield to see if they could get me a strap. The very helpful young lady said she would contact the company to see if the colour of strap was still available and then ring me with a quote.
Next I went to Beaverbrook’s Jewellers, as I knew they were a certified retailer for Lacroix watches. The lady who dealt with me said she would have to e-mail their technical department with the watch details and then they would get in touch with Maurice Lacroix in Germany. When I asked, “couldn’t you just ring them” for a quote she said they were not allowed to ring Germany and it had to go through the technical department. She promised to ring me within a few days (how long does it take to send an e-mail?).
Still undaunted, I next went to Ernest Jones where a helpful young lady took details of the watch and said she would e-mail the company to get a quote. I said I would be at home later in the day as I got the impression getting the quote would be straightforward and that she would ring me, perhaps an erroneous assumption on my part.
Walkers were the first to get back to me within a couple of days, they were extremely apologetic but said Maurice Lacroix would not supply them as they were not a “designated outlet.” They suggested some alternative straps, which I could go and inspect at the shop. I promised to let them know in due course what I wanted to do.
Beaverbrook’s contacted after about a week and said they had received a quote for a black leather strap of about £132.00, I pointed out I had asked for a quote for a light honey coloured strap and would this be the same price. The lady didn’t know and said she would get back in touch with her technical department to get the correct quote (oh, the wonders of modern technology!).
After eight days waiting to hear from Ernest Jones I called in and asked the manager why had no one got back to me. The young lady rang you the other day he said, as though that was the end of the matter. I asked “did she say she spoke to me?” but his response was negative. I also pointed out that I had a 24-hour answer machine on the landline (as that was the contact number I had given her) but no messages had been left. His air of indifference was quite staggering and concluded by saying they couldn’t get the strap anyway.
I am now still waiting to hear from Beaverbrook’s for a quote for the honey coloured strap, so far my enquiry has taken11 days to deal with and is still unresolved.
To put the icing on the cake, last week I called into H Samuel as they had a very nice Citizen watch on offer in the sale. The young man who dealt with me was pleasant enough but his appearance left something to be desired. His shirt tail was hanging out below his jacket, which left him looking a little unprofessional for a customer-facing role.
He showed me the watch and I asked him to show me how to set the watch which, seemed quite complex. After about ten minutes and numerous “I am really sorry about this” by the young man, we were no further forward. I suggested I leave him to fathom out the watch and I would call back later in the week. But so far I have not been back.
In many ways I felt sorry for the young man as he was obviously inexperienced but very well intentioned, and needed some intensive “customer service” training, perhaps this is something the company needs to look at (or at the very least the branch).
The outstanding customer service has been from Walkers, who have their own “in house” watch repairer, and are never less than one hundred per cent professional when dealing with customers. Yes, they may be a little old fashioned, or perhaps more accurately “traditional” in how the shop presents itself, but they a league ahead of any other similar kind of outlet in the area.
Just as a footnote I tried a direct e-mail to Maurice Lacroix in Germany and they came back with a quote of £212.00 for the tiny leather strap. I responded by saying I just wanted a very small part of the crocodile, not the whole beast!