Back in January, I wrote about an issue I had with some Pandora jewellery and how the store I’d purchased it from weren’t interested in doing anything to help me with the problem (or even apologise for the fact that I’d felt there was cause to complain). I said I’d contact Pandora directly, which is what I did, but due to laziness I didn’t come back to share the outcome with you.
I feel a little bad because this was all resolved back in February, although this was with no assistance from Pandora‘s customer service team. Here’s what happened after my original post…
I’d been advised by the Pandora store to contact customer services via email, which is exactly what I did. On 27 January, I received an email which stated that customer services could only deal with issues related to online purchases and I was provided with the correct email address for my complaint. Clearly the store were incapable of providing me with correct information, which I shouldn’t be as surprised about as I am.
In my email to the correct address, I explained the situation again, asked who the owner of the Pandora store was (as I knew it was a franchise) and who the CEO of Pandora was. On 3 February, I received the following reply:
PANDORA does not cover for loss of product therefore we will not be able to issue you with a refund for the cost of the replacement clip you have purchased.
I wasn’t especially surprised at Pandora‘s response regarding “cover for loss of product“, but I was slightly bemused that Sarah Howell (who was the sender of this email) was “not at liberty to provide the details of the PANDORA CEO” as this information is publicly available and is hardly a secret. Perhaps she didn’t know who he was?
Instead of helpfully being given the CEO’s name (who is a guy named Allan Leighton),
I had to resort to using Google for the answer which wasted a whole 30 seconds of my life.
I located the details of Fitzgerald Jewellers and sent them an email about the problems I’d had- they didn’t even have the courtesy to reply. I also did some research on Allan Leighton, who has been involved in some huge organisations in the past, including Asda and Royal Mail.
My research of Allan Leighton revealed that he has previously written a book and in that book, he stated ten golden rules of business, which are:
- 1) Keep it simple
- 2) Focus on execution
- 3) Listen to your operators
- 4) Think small. Small is big
- 5) Less often is more
- 6) Your people come first
- 7) Think like a customer
- 8) If in doubt, do the right thing….
- 9) ….but then do things right
- 10) Remember, EGO stands for “edging good out”
Using the same format used in Sarah’s email address to try and guess Allan’s email address as well as using other variations of his name, I sent off my email directly to him on 3rd February. In my email, I also mentioned that I’d read his ten golden rules of business, that I couldn’t agree more with them and that under the circumstances, I felt that numbers 1 and 7 from his own list were highly relevant to my situation.
First thing on 4th February, Allan had replied to my email:
Thanks for this…sorry this has happened…let us get some more background ..and we will be back to you.
Interestingly, Allan’s email was sent from the domain “going-plural.com“. I had a look at Going Plural‘s website, which seems to offer a business consultancy service via an online form, used to submit a business-related question to Allan. There’s no mention of costs, but I’d be surprised if it’s a free service.
Less than 3 hours later, I received an email from Kate Walsh (Vice President Retail), which read:
PANDORA products are hand finished to a very high quality standard and thankfully we have had no other reports from customers of clips from our current collection being defective or coming off bracelets.
However, as a gesture of goodwill on this occasion, I will arrange for a £40 gift voucher to be sent to you, if you could please provide your home address details?
To be honest, I’d rather have had my £30.00 back as a refund because I didn’t want to buy anything from Pandora again out of principle, but I’d exhausted every avenue and this was going to be the best offer I’d get. Also, I’d be £10.00 better off from it, although it wasn’t my intention to receive more than I’d paid.
I provided my address details and despite being promised the voucher would be sent asap, I still hadn’t received it after a week, so I emailed Kate again. She apologised for the delay and said she’d chase it up… the voucher was received just before Valentine’s day, which was useful. I used the voucher at a different Pandora store.
I wouldn’t rule out buying anything from Pandora again, but I’d have to have a pretty good reason to do so and if I did, I wouldn’t be using the store I’d used originally.
Allan Leighton and Kate Walsh were reasonable and quick to resolve my issue, but it’s a shame that I had to jump through a few hoops and go to the highest level to get anywhere. It’s also a shame that Allan Leighton is no longer the CEO of Pandora– his successor as of March 2015
is Anders Colding Friis, who was previously the CEO of the Scandinavian Tobacco Group and who in my opinion, looks like a bizarre cross between the Joker from Batman and Tony Blair.
It’s a strange transition from tobacco to jewellery, but what do I know? I only write blog posts moaning about things. Occasionally.