Q: I sincerely hope you can help me. My son bought me a pair of aquamarine earrings for my birthday last March. He purchased them from a Zales in Wisconsin. I treasure them and wear them only on special occasions. I planned to wear them for Christmas, but the clip mechanism on the back wasn't working correctly.
I took the earring to the Zales store in Port Richey. The sales lady said it couldn't be fixed in the store, but it would be sent out. I told her that was unacceptable. This was a new earring. She asked if I had the receipt, which I believed I could get, and then if I had a service contract. Service contract? On a pair of earrings? She said there was nothing she could do; when I asked to speak to the manager, she said she was the manager.
I thought Zales was a reputable jeweler and would stand behind its merchandise. I e-mailed the corporate office but didn't get a reply.
A: When I sent your complaint to Zales Corp., it found its way into the hands of Dan Garcia. He phoned to let me know he was able to help solve the problem. You said you were directed to return to the Port Richey store and the earring would be replaced.
"I thank you and appreciate you intervening," you said, "because everything I tried on my own was to no avail."
Zales' corporate office responded quickly and efficiently to your complaint. It's too bad the same couldn't be said of the local store.
More like, what's up?
Q: I received a card in the mail last June that invited me to become a member of Who's Who. Since I had been prominent in the education field and had won many ballroom dancing competitions, I thought someone had submitted my name for inclusion. I thought it would be fun to be in it, so I filled out the card and sent it in. The card said nothing about money.
After writing an autobiography, I found I was to pay $108.95. Since I had gone this far, I decided to go ahead. I was promised three gift cards and a Who's Who book to arrive in January 2007.
I waited until February, then called to say I hadn't received my book. It was then that I was told my membership didn't include the book, just advertising on the Internet. I am 91 years old and have never owned a computer.
The gift cards I received are for $100, but you have to spend $300 in order to use them. I can't afford that.
When I call, I am told I didn't purchase a printed edition membership, and I get no satisfaction whatsoever.
Anyone would feel honored to be included in Who's Who in America. First published in 1899, it provides factual biographies of notable Americans and is used as a reference by businesses, libraries and educational institutions. All nominations and submission are reviewed by the editorial board, then either accepted or declined.
However, you were solicited by Manchester Who's Who, now Cambridge Who's Who. Its Web site describes the registry as a "worldwide networking forum where (business people) can establish new business relationships, and achieve career advancement within their company, industry or profession." Cambridge says its goal is to provide members "credibility," in addition to other things. It's essentially vanity publishing.
You called to say you'd received a call from Cambridge agreeing to a full refund. "They asked me to call the newspaper," you said, "and let them know." Since you haven't received your refund yet, I hope you'll also let us know if it doesn't arrive.