Friday, 12 April 2013
Taken for a Ride
A while ago I inherited a little jewellery which included two fine gold chains and two rings. I got the rings re-sized and decided to have one of them re-set. To this end I took the ring to a nearby manufacturing jeweller and showed him what I wanted done. I then put the two gold chains on the counter and asked if they could be used in the re-setting, if needed. The young apprentice was about to weigh the two chains but his boss intervened and said it was not necessary, thanked me, took the chains and told me the work would take about a week. I duly fetched the ring and was charged R1200 (about $155) as per the quote. Nothing was mentioned about the chains and I thought nothing of it at the time. A while later I happened to need a gold chain for another purpose and was amazed at how expensive they are. I began to wonder. I wondered even more when the tiny ring which connects to the clasp on my pearl necklace broke and I went back to the same place to have it fixed. This took about 5 minutes and I half expected the same man to say, "No charge, madam". To my surprise he said the new tiny ring was 9 ct gold and I owed him R60 (about $8). Without a word, I paid up and left the shop. This tiny piece of gold is a circle about 1.5 mm. in diameter. It seemed a huge price to me. I was sorry I hadn't asked him for a quote in the first place and further suggested that a piece of stainless steel wire would have served the purpose. He must have seen me coming. Of course I won't ever go back there and in future: I shall do my homework or go for two quotes. We live and learn: no use crying over spilt milk.