brent vs american AD round II

Well - this has now turned into a bit of a stoush.

I detailed in a thread below that my "as new"  QDI had arrived with both halves of the strap not fixed properly and with 3 or 4 reasonably significant "dings" on the case.   I sent a rather cordial email , giving them the benefit of the doubt and explaining the situation.   After consulting here and elsewhere I felt I was within my rights to ask for a replacement ,a refund so I could purchase elsewhere or I keep the watch + get some compensation.  I have no desire , having bought a new watch, to send it straight off for repair at my expense.

I also explained the significance of dings vs scratches on ratings scales like Timezone etc.......once dings are involved the best possible rating is Good which is a long way from LNIB.

I have found out in my travels that this AD was holding this watch as brand new stock and chopped a month off the warranty so as to somehow get around the fact that they are breaking the agreement they have with VC not to heavily discount brand new items.  I now know the real reason it was being discounted - they'd damaged it.

Anyhow - these people really know how to push my buttons.  I'm the sort of guy who does almost anything to avoid a fight , but not here ..........

Having received my comprehensive (and courteous) email detailing all of the above , this is what I received in reply ...............this is a full copy/paste of the entire email.

 Hello Brent,


We are sorry to hear you've had a change of heart.


We assure you that the timepiece you purchased is:


One New in box, complete, Vacheron Constantin Quai De'Lile Titanium Automatic Men's Watch,

As we are past return window, our hands are tied.





Not the slightest surprise at what I'd received or the slightest sign of concern for me - just "too bad" once they'd pocketed my cash.  The email I'd sent was 4 days after receipt as I'd been away a few days.

Needless to say that really got me angryangryangry

So I replied and , in no uncertain terms, let him know that he should prepare for correspondence from my legal people in America, the Better Business Bureau and that I'll happily provide him with some free (but accurate) publicity on the various review sites like Yelp etc........all for no charge.  

I received a quick reply requesting that I refrain and that they'll be in touch tomorrow to sort something out. 

I'll let you all know how it turns out .  These guys have really got me I'm letting off some steam here.

I haven't mentioned any names (although I'd love to) to avoid getting Alex into strife  angel   If you ever want to know who it is and you're buying overseas from an AD in the USA, just PM me.

crossing my fingers that things work out
11/27/2012 - 11:54
Rant away, Brent
11/27/2012 - 16:46
I recall letting go one in a while too angel.  FWIW, it seems the terms "mint", "like new", etc., are becoming terribly abused nowadays and really should be ignored for more specific condition questions.  One auction house that does a particularly good job provides this description of a V&C deck watch:CONDITION: Mvt: GRO, good balance motion, good poise, near mint luster plates show some MFS to FS, near mint slots & settings, no oxide on bright work or winding wheels; dial near mint original, a few fine scratches at 12, 3 and near 8-9; hands in mint dark blue; original heavy gauge case shows hardly any wear, frequent overall MFS, no dents or dings; bow tight, crown shows little wear; good glass crystal. As the purchaser, we have a right to the complete truth.  Any seller that disagrees should suffer appropriate consequences...
getting somewhere , but boy........these guys are in denial
11/28/2012 - 02:16
At this stage it looks like I'm getting a refund but I won't count my chickens yet.  They still refuse to acknowledge that the watch is anything other than perfect. I'll attach the photos at the bottom to refresh the memory of anyone reading this and will copy and paste the latest couple of emails from our correspondence.  If any newbies are reading , take note.  If I had not done my research prior , kept all records of advertising/written+phone correspondence and threatened to use them in some ways that would damage their business I would've been walked all over.  I've been aggressive (not abusive) and proactive in order to convince them that I mean business.Anyway here's the latest response from the jeweller (note the sudden change of tone now that they're worried about what I might do):

Hello Brent,



We hope that, after having a day or so to think about things, perhaps you do after all feel like you have gotten a good value from us. It is worth reiterating, the piece you have is exactly as described in all my communications with you. I know that, following my unfortunately terse email to you yesterday, you grew suspicious that we (**** Jewelers) are something other than what you originally thought. We are not. You purchased from a highly reputable business; we are a Vacheron Constantin Authorized Dealer; and your timepiece, which, again, I assure you is not pre-owned, was in our VC display up until the time I pulled it to prepare to ship to you. All the aforementioned are facts that I assure you you do not need to question (although I understand it is natural to do so) for a nano-second.


Should we reach the conclusion that a return is the best option - as long as, of course, you truly have not worn the timepiece (other than to try it on) and, as you indicated, it is in the exact condition in which you received it -we are willing to do that. And please know, I understand that returning would not be a "win" for you. We just want you to be happy with your purchase. We certainly expected that you would be and were of course disappointed to hear that that was not the case.


At your convenience, please advise.


Thank you Brent,



And now here's my exasperated response.................Hi **** ,   I think , as they say in the classics , “what we have here is a failure to communicate.” After a couple of very long emails I’m not going to keep trying to convince you that the watch is not in new condition or of the reasons why your reputation, where you stored the watch, what you paid or what I paid are no longer relevant when the watch is damaged goods . I have also tried to explain how just a few dings make a huge difference to the value situation. I can only assume that you are required to follow an “admit no fault” store policy – that’s the only logical explanation.    I just cannot for the life of me understand how we are still at this impasse given your apparently great reputation for customer service. It’s pretty simple really – your watchmaker failed to affix the strap properly and you either knowingly supplied a watch with dings on it (as shown in your photos!!) or you have a claim against Vacheron Constantin for supplying you with faulty goods. I’m pretty clear on which is which at this point.   I’m going to have to request that you organise a return and I will reiterate my promise that the watch has been tried on once and has not been worn beyond that. I cannot believe that you are worried about still being able to sell this watch “as new” but that’s your business I suppose.     It still frustrates me that you cannot see my point of view , so I’ve come up with a little analogy for you where you play my part. You come into Brent’s Ford dealership and sign on the dotted line for delivery of a brand new car at a super duper price and my salesman advises you that you can expect delivery in a week’s time. As a bonus I throw in a free window tint (strap change). In the meantime -either at the factory or the dealership , we’re not sure- some hail damage occurs and there’s half a dozen dings on the hood and the roof. The window tint hasn’t gone well either and it’s already peeling away. I decide to deliver to you anyway .   Despite your very valid protestations , my repeated answer to you is this. “I can only assure you **** that you have purchased a brand new Ford , straight from the factory that has never left the dealership. It is not pre-owned and let me reiterate that we are official Ford dealers and reputable Ford dealers at that. The car is brand new and as described in all our correspondence. You got an amazing price , not much above cost and I hope in time you come to realise what a great deal you have received”. In the meantime you have a car that you’d have trouble selling if you ever needed to (without significant repair expense and time without a car) and a car you would have trouble insuring at anywhere near what you paid. Great deal indeed. You either accept the deal or take legal/other actions , which is where I find myself.   Anyhow................we agree to disagree I suppose. I await your advice re pickup etc..... for the return. As I said I take no joy in any of this – it’s taken plenty of time, correspondence and money (including wire fees, shipping and GST) to get the watch here and to be at this point is extremely disappointing. I may not find a similar watch at a similar price but I’m prepared to pay a bit more to get something in genuinely new condition.   Regards   Brent
11/28/2012 - 02:20
why don't you ask them to pick up the repair costs instead?
11/28/2012 - 10:50
I'd love to but.............
11/28/2012 - 11:20
They won't even acknowledge that there's anything wrong for starters!! LOL    There's now been half a dozen detailed emails go back and foward and not once have they expressed regret or acknowledged the dings or the dodgy job on the strap. It's clear to me now that they knew exactly what they were doing selling this watch and they don't want to admit it because if they do they'd be in danger of false advertising.  It's almost as if their legal people are vetting the replies. They just keep telling me how it's brand new and how reputable they are, that they're an Authorized Dealer for VC and that I should feel comfortable that it came straight from their VC cabinet and is not pre-owned.  If it wasn't so frustrating their attitude would be comical. I'd rather just make a clean break from them and quite frankly , on principle- given the disgraceful way I've been treated - I don't want to see them get this watch away.   I don't see why I should have to send the watch away for who knows how long to be repaired and then rely on a company that I don't trust as far as I could kick to pick up the costs for it. If they back tracked then I'd have to get VC involved and it could just go on and on.   I think it's safer to get them to take it back and be done with it......hopefully indecision.   I've had a  well respected member from this forum get in touch and ask who it is and , when they found out , comment that it wouldn't be the first time someone has been treated like this by this AD.. All I can say is if you see a QDI pop up on Ebay in a month or so described as "brand new" at a nice price then beware because I think they're going to try it on a second time around.
I was thinking about the problem
11/28/2012 - 23:34
If you ever watch an AD close their store, they are wearing gloves, but they are pulling all the stock and putting it into trays to put in their safe overnight.  They use multiple employees to do it and some of them consider this a nasty chore.  The same when they have to do it in reverse in the morning.  Those dings look just like the watch got hit by another watch or a tray edge.  If this is the case, then when they way the watch is new, they are right.  When they say it is not pre-owned, they are right.  In their mind they are selling a brand new watch, and given the carelessness of some of these employees, they may not even be paying attention to these types of issues. The only way to assure yourself of a perfect watch is to get it deliverd to you sealed from the factory.  That usually only happens from an AD when you order the watch in advance and they place the order.  But you know, I have been to an AD in just such a circumstance and they open the box for you to be sure you are satisfied, and bingo, it can happen again.  And, if you ask for a strap adjustment, you have to deal with how they actually handle the watch from the salesman to the person who does the strap and back again.  They are not all dilligent. I can tell you the same when I walked into a VC boutique.  I wanted a new strap, the salesperson takes out her ruler and pays no attention to the metal on metal.  I was having a heart attack on the spot. I hope for the best for you. PS, I had a VC 47100 skeleton chrono refurbed at the factory.  It was returned to me in their beautiful little box and packing.  I was the one who opened it all up, nobody else touched it, and I was a very happy camper.  Perfecto. You seem to have a beautiful watch, and what you are saying a great price.  Maybe consider a direct deal with the factory to refurb the issues and get it shipped back to you direct.  You should see it perfect. Best, Joe
11/29/2012 - 00:35
When I read "I was having a heart attack on the spot," I smiled, Joe. I have had the same heart-stopping experience on more occasions than I care to recall.  I find myself saying things like "Please don't put the watch down like that" when, for instance, a sales person lays a watch on top of its metal bracelet so as to ensure that the caseback will scratch.  I have put my fair share of marks on my watches, but I prefer to do the handiwork myself. Oh, well, your advice, based on a wealth of experience, is sober and wise. Best, Robert
How did this end up?
06/27/2013 - 14:18
I'm interested as I have a similar dispute going on at the moment with a seller in the US.  I was sold a VC Overseas Chronograph 41950 in 'perfect condition' only to find out that the the minute hand and dial need replacing due to rust and corrosion.  Does anyone know how much this could cost to repair?  This is my first post on the forums so if this question is inappropriate please forgive me. Thanks. Elliot