Pandora’s Box of Bastardness

Pandora's Box of BastardnessSeveral years ago, a colleague of mine mentioned that he was looking to buy his girlfriend a bracelet from Pandora. I remember him going on and on and on about how great these bracelets were but I ignored him at the time, mainly because he was a bit of a twat.
However, I recently bought a Pandora bracelet and am already wishing I hadn’t done.

Pandora store has opened up nearby, so on 12th December, I went to have a look around with the intention of buying a Christmas present there. I liked the idea of being able to personalise a bracelet by adding various charms, from a choice of hundreds (or perhaps even more).

Prior to visiting Pandora, I had a quick look in Argos; surely any jewellery seller would have a customisable bracelet? Turns out Elizabeth Duke was a waste of time.

So, off I wandered to Pandora with a skip in my step and with the highest of high hopes. As I approached the recently-fitted store, it was almost glowing with a warm, welcoming embrace. It was so pure and white; almost as beautiful and as wonderous as an Apple store.

The Pandora store was pretty busy so I started to look around at the different bracelets and charms on offer.

Jesus christ- how much?????

Seriously, Pandora have some nice jewellery but does it warrant the price of a kidney on the body organ black market?

It’s like a trap. First of all, you choose a bracelet and the prices for these aren’t too terrible, but we already know that you need some accessories to complete the bracelet. Ok, so let’s take a look at some of the charms.

There’s some fairly pretty and intricate charms, in all different shapes, colours and representing all kinds of different things. Because there are so many charms to choose from, I’d see one I liked and lose it immediately when I glanced away for a second.

Right, I like that one, that one, that one and…. that one. How much please?

Erm, on second thought, I’m not so keen on three of those after all.

Wow- you can easily spend stupid money in Pandora as it’s hard to whittle down your selection of charms after you’ve spent a while finding some which you like. Just as an additional kick to where your kidneys used to be inside your body, you have to pay extra for these little clasps that cover a thread (which you screw the charms over to make them more secure) which makes the whole bracelet a little prettier to look at. Of course, you can’t just buy one of them as that would be stupid.

It’s one of these little clasps which has prompted me to write about Pandora today.

The Pandora bracelet has been worn for exactly one month (obviously given as a Christmas present). Yesterday, it was noticed that one of these little clasps was missing and no amount of searching would reveal it’s whereabouts.

The charms which I bought before Christmas are the same charms which have remained on the bracelet since it was given as a present on Christmas day. At no point have any of these charms been removed or played around with. The bracelet has been cared for and has received no damage whatsoever. Clearly, the clasp was faulty and I’d need to go back to Pandora with my receipt.

Today, I visited the shiny Pandora store and explained the situation to a (very young looking) sales assistant. She politely informed me that the Pandora warranty doesn’t cover lost pieces of jewellery. I explained that the missing clasp was lost in the sense that I couldn’t locate it but that it could only have become lost due to being defective and that I’d like Pandora to replace it.

The young sales assistant went to speak to a senior member of staff, explaining that I had lost the clasp. I interjected and told them both that I hadn’t lost the clasp; the bracelet had. Again, I was told that the Pandora warranty didn’t cover lost pieces of jewellery.

I asked if there was anything which Pandora would do for me under the circumstances. There was:  fuck all or sell me a replacement clasp at the full price of £30.00.

As you can imagine, I was a little pissed off by this. I’d already spent hundreds of quid on a fancy bracelet; a part of which had disappeared through no fault of my own, yet I still had to spend even more money.

I can understand if I’d turned up with no bracelet at all and told them it had fallen off due to the main clasp becoming faulty (which does appear to be an issue) or if I’d said that one of the more expensive charms had fallen off. But I didn’t. A small, removable part of the bracelet has fallen off due to being defective.

I was gobsmacked that a reputable company wouldn’t simply replace the missing part. I mean, cost-wise, it’s nothing to Pandora and they get to retain custom at the same time.

I did start to walk around the shop, telling potential customers about the faulty clasp which didn’t go down too well at all. The senior member of staff told me I couldn’t do that but she was wrong- I was doing it.

I became bored and realised that I must be coming across as a lunatic, so I left the store with my head held high, knowing that I wouldn’t be beaten by these corporate bastards.

I returned to the store within 3 minutes and bought a replacement clasp, simply because the bracelet looks wrong without it now. Whilst the sales assistant fitted the new clasp and put the bracelet down on the counter as she fished around for a bag, I was tempted to grab the bracelet and run out with it. Now that they knew the date of the original purchase, I was worried they’d locate me through my credit card details. Obviously, I didn’t rob Pandora.

I’ve emailed Pandora directly about the situation so I’ll await their reply. Hopefully, they’ll be reasonable but if not, rest assured I’ll tell you all about how I eventually get my £30 back.

Have you sold your kidney in the past to buy your partner a ridiculously expensive piece of jewellery?

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