The wedding set got its sparkle back, thanks to Peter Winhall of Winhall and de Stadler Jewellers.
Many businesses could learn from Mr Winhall, who believes in Warren Buffett’s dictum, “Just because everyone else is doing it doesn’t make it right”.
Soon after Peter Martin bought a wedding ring set from Galaxy Jewellers at Blue Route Mall, the claw broke and a small diamond fell out.
Galaxy refused to replace it or return the R10 000 the Martins paid and wanted them to pay for the repairs (R361) despite the Consumer Goods and Services Ombudsman (CGSO) ruling that Galaxy was in breach of the Consumer Protection Act.
Galaxy Jewellers is in liquidation and Mr Martin had the broken ring.
Mr Winhall, a member of the Jewellery Council of South Africa, is one of four people on the Western Cape panel empowered to arbitrate in disputes involving their members.
“Your headline says it all (“Wedding ring set loses its sparkle”, Off My Trolley, August 22). This was a wedding set, so for Galaxy to say the set is more for ‘dressing up’ is ridiculous. Things go wrong and they always will. It’s inevitable. If one of our panel members had been contacted they would have advised the company to repair the ring, and they would have retained a customer,” said Mr Winhall who offered to fix it for the Martins.
Mr Martin and his wife went to Winhall and de Stadler at Blue Route.
“Everyone was friendly and made us feel comfortable. Mr Winhall checked the ring and said it would take about 30 minutes to repair. We wandered round the mall and when we returned the ring was fixed, they polished it, it was sparkling and they did not charge us,” Mr Martin said.
“I can recommend them to anyone. We would like to thank you for the good work that you do for the community. We also thank Winhall and de Stadler for their professionalism and assistance,” he said.
Mr Winhall said: “The Martins were delighted and they will be bringing in other items for repair. Here was something that was so simple to do, it cost us virtually nothing, and yet made a young couple happy. ‘Our credibility; your confidence’ is our unique selling point, and there are few things better than happy clients,” said Mr Winhall, who has a string of qualifications.
Apart from a BA from UCT, Mr Winhall was the marketing manager of one of the biggest jewellery concerns in the then Rhodesia. And one of his mentees was Susan Jacques, now president and CEO of the Gemological Institute of America.
Compare Mr Winhall’s attitude to that of Jean Rossuw of Bellville Furniture in Oakdale.
Yvonne Gaffen bought a couch for R5 040 in March 2017 after a discount of 10% because it was shop-soiled.
However, when it was delivered to her Woodbridge Island home it was too large for the space and the salesman, Chrishan, who no longer works there, arranged for it to be collected.
Ms Gaffen said: “I bought two wingbacks for R4 000 and paid in full instead of off-setting it against the couch. Since then I have been trying to get my money back. It is difficult to contact Mr Rossouw as the staff refuse to give me his details, they say they are not allowed to, or pass the message on.”
She paid for the couch via EFT on March 15 and it was delivered on March 22.
They then collected the couch when they delivered the wingbacks on May 3 and Ms Gaffen said she noted this in her diary.
And Mr Rossouw’s reply: “I will gladly refund the money but I have no paperwork or proof the couch was picked up. It was never put back in the system and there is no paper trail.”
Further attempts to contact Mr Rossouw proved futile.
The Joshua Doore Group (JDG) helped Rahiem Gusha of Mitchell’s Plain.
Mr Gusha bought a bed and accessories from Sleepmasters at Westgate Mall on May 30 and it was delivered the same day.
“However, the mattress was torn and salesman, Yacoob Hayder, arranged for a new base set to be delivered the same day. For some reason size was never mentioned. When I set up the bed it was too big for the room as it was a queen-size bed. When we went back to Sleepmasters two days later to explain the problem, the store manager refused to exchange because of hygiene issues as we had already slept on it and the wrapping had been removed, although we also bought a mattress protector. Regional manager Lucille Martin said she would like to help me but there’s nothing she can do.”
When I contacted Ms Martin she wanted to know which branch of Sleepmasters sold the bed.
A day or two later Mr Gusha said the manager of Sleepmasters invited them to look at the double bed but they only had one on the floor.
“The manager said that if I wanted the same bed they would make one for me but there was a waiting period of three to four weeks. We opted to have it made and the new bed was delivered. I don’t know what you did, but it had the desired effect. Thank you from the bottom of my heart,” Mr Gusha said.
“I always read your column and just had a good feeling contacting you. Thank you very much once again. Continue the good work, fighting for those unable to.”
Several emails to Ms Martin asking why JDG changed their mind were ignored.