I purchased a $130 men's Citizen watch from a local jeweler to replace an aging $25 Timex that still worked but looked somewhat worn. At least, it looked worn to a lady friend who wanted me to go shopping with her. The internal workings of the Citizen watch were from Japan, and it included a flexible metal watch band by Speidel that was made in China.
The watch kept good time, but the watch-band links started to split and separate. I took it back to the local jeweler, along with the receipt and leftover links from shortening the original too-large band. The jeweler repaired it at no charge. But the band failed again and again and again, pretty much every 9 to 12 months. As the five-year guarantee was going to expire within the year, I asked the jeweler if I should contact his supplier about this serious quality problem.
The jeweler -- who must have been tired of repeated repair visits from me -- agreed and gave me the contact information. After an exchange of emails and letters, the company told me that the guarantee covered only the watch and not the "bracelet," which must be jeweler talk for watchband.
I wrote a fairly hot letter to the name and address I found on a Website for the North American president of the Citizen company. That produced a more positive response from a company employee, who sent instructions for mailing the watch to them for inspection and repair.
Of course, this was "not technically covered." They wanted $16 for their trouble -- it was their "policy." I paid in the spirit of compromise -- and to get my watch back. They replaced the band with a new one that didn't seem to have the flaws of the original. But two months after the five-year guarantee period ended, the watch quit for good. It's back to the Timex for me.
This entry was submitted by C. K. Walter and edited by Rob Spiegel
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