Tag Archives: WSJ Cranky Consumer

Tiffany Makes the Princess Pout

Hello and happy Thursday!

Today we are doing the post in two parts, so that those not interested in listening to our tale of trauma can scoot over here and read all about sales of a Preptastic sort and gaze upon the loveliness of pink and green shoes you may actually want to wear!

Today we are being completely self-centered, wallowing in self-pity. We will also advise readers up front we are more than a little peeved at one of our formerly-favorite retailers, Tiffany. (Please note emphasis on “formerly”.) Why?



That would be a photo of Tiffany Blue Band china, and we are violating our self-imposed policy of not boring readers with tedious details about our more-than-pedestrian lives in order to share something we would never have revealed previously because we are just. So. Boring.  Who cares what dinnerware is used here at the Prepatorium for more formal occasions..? Perzactly.

Those who follow us on Twitter already know the news: we learned yesterday our pattern has been discontinued. Under normal circumstances we might be a tad despondent about this, but would move quickly to decision-making mode and go on to the next step.  But then, this would hinge on one’s definition of “normal” when dealing with Tiffany these days. For us “normal” meant the company keeping its word regarding policies on customer notification in the unlikely event of a pattern’s discontinuance.

You see, when registering with the company shortly after our engagement, we were assured multiple times that we would receive “proper notice” should this happen. Naturally we were advised of this in the borderline-arrogant tones Tiffany is accused of employing at times with customers, the supercilious “Ah, do you not know with whom you are dealing? This is Tiffany, dear, and we rarely retire patterns. Frankly, we are a little surprised you feel the need to question us about such an unlikely occurrence. But I assure you, of course you will be notified if such a thing is to happen.” (For full impact, insert salesperson’s nose-in-air sniff here.)

Suffice it to say no such notification occurred, nor is there any sign such efforts were made by the retailer. We only discovered the Blue Band’s fate when looking for something entirely unrelated at the website.  After completing our initial task we scooted over to the china department to look at possible additions to our set. Not seeing the pattern online, we thought it best to call the company, laughing internally at our alarmist reaction.

Imagine our dismay at being advised the pattern has been discontinued. After regaining motor skills that allowed us to speak, we made the standard inquiries: when was it discontinued, how can I buy pieces, what-do-you-mean-there-are-no-pieces-anywhere-in-any-warehouse-or-secret-hiding-place?

A darling young lady at the call center did her best, saying “We are emailing customers to let them know.” When we  explained, “But you don’t have my email, there is now way you could ….hello?” she resorted to the dreaded hold function. All we can say is the conversation did not improve. At any point.

There you have it. And yes, we are fully cognizant the world is awash in problems of a vastly more serious nature. We comprehend all this but are still going to pout for at least another day, as it really isn’t about the china pattern at all. Of course not.

It is about losing yet another relic of a more refined and genteel time, when service was provided as a matter of personal pride, a time when we respected ourselves and others more than we seem to now. And it is about the years we have defended Tiffany’s customer service when many consider that phrase an oxymoron. And it is about letting go of the delusion that certain establishments and institutions are the same special places of our youth; they are not, nor will they be.

In an interesting twist, today’s Journal has an outstanding story from the Cranky Consumer (one of our favorite columns), The Dish on Replacing Chipped China.

In today’s vernacular, the Princess needs to get over it.  We’re working on it.

End of whine-a-thon. We apologize for the self-indulgence and extend our gratitude to those kind readers with enough fortitude to continue reading.


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