Who Do I Talk to About Poor Customer Service From Vacheron Constantin?

To whom it may concern,
I've recently received the wonderful gift of a time piece of your Overseas collection from my loving wife of 10 years. Much to my dismay after only a few months of wear the strap detached from the case with two missing screws. As this was a fairly new piece we returned the watch to the central London Selfridges Time2 service center to be sent to the Vacheron Constantin (VC) service department. We were concerned at this point that if such a critical piece of the watch case had failed so quickly VC would surly like to survey the item and ensure the rest of the piece was up to VC standards.

I was disappointed to not have my new watch for about a month including the entire time we were on Safari in Africa, however a gift of this nature was meant to last decades given the appropriate care which I was glad to provide. During the service I had requested that the half link in the strap be removed to improve the fit, as it was a gift this had yet to be done so I thought instead of having a clerk do the work I would request it be done by the authorized repair center while they were already addressing a problem with the strap.

Upon completion of the work I found that the watch strap was now over-tightened at one of the hinge points between links in the strap, such that the link joint no longer moves freely and the watch no longer sits properly on my wrist. I also found that the half link had not been removed as requested and clearly printed on the Time2 work order.

In an effort to maintain my level of enthusiasm for the gift I've returned the watch to Time2 to send in to the VC authorized repair center. This time to have the link screws properly set, and the half link removed from the strap. I've also requested a complimentary valet of the piece as a sign of good faith for having to send my watch back in for it's second month of service work in the 4/5 months that I've owned it.
  It was my understanding that the VC commitment stated below was a sign of an organization truly committed to both customer service and stringent quality demands. As such I've given VC every opportunity to rectify basic mistakes in craftsmanship and repair. I've just received a call from the Time2 clerk who spoke with the VC authorized repair center to be told that I shouldn't remove the half link even though they don't have any idea the fit of the strap, and that the binding of the hinge is to be expected and likely a result of glue. I'll remind you that the link in question isn't where the strap originally failed, and point out that an authorized service center should have properly ensured the strap in working order before sending it back to a customer.

"Our commitment

The history of Vacheron Constantin has been forged by the quest for excellence, in harmony with its motto “Do better if possible, and it’s always possible”.

That is why all Vacheron Constantin watches issued from 1755 to the present day can benefit from repair, overhaul or restoration work scrupulously complying with the aesthetic and technical criteria of each individual timepiece.

Vacheron Constantin builds upon its enduring watchmaking know-how by promoting in-house training. Its master-watchmakers are thus also responsible for educating new generations of watchmakers with respect to the brand’s stringent quality demands.

This means customers can be sure of getting the best possible service. Always."

I am a walking billboard for VC time pieces, and my social circle is both of the means and inclination to purchase watches in and above the price range of those created by VC. In the few months that I've been able to wear the watch I've been asked by multiple people what kind of watch it was and my thoughts. I would like to continue to answer those questions in a way that reflects the Vacheron Constantin commitment to me as a customer.
  Please don't hesitate to contact me at this email address or the phone number below with your questions or apologies.


Sorry to hear about your story
10/04/2011 - 13:01
And sorry that I cannot be of any help... I just hope your problem is resolved quickly. It is always frustrating paying a high price for a luxury item and not have it perform as expected... I must say that I am surprised to hear that VC uses glue in the construction of the OS. Good luck! Regards, Francois
I remeber your story with your very first EP QP Chrono...
10/04/2011 - 18:40
you didn't act histerically, Francois. You kept your cool, right? I was in awe and admiration for you when you returned the watch - takes balls, brotheryes you still got another one of the very same model no later than what, 3-4 months later, and you've been a happy camper ever since.
Re: Who Do I Talk to About Poor Customer Service From Vacheron Constantin?
10/04/2011 - 13:55
Hello, I feel very sorry to what happened to you. Did you get the watch from an AD, because I went to Time2's  website and noticed that they were not a Vacheron Constantin AD. I hope the issue will soon be solved for you. Kind regards, Berny
Hello Hildy, welcome to the Lounge!
10/04/2011 - 16:56
I'm sorry to hear about your difficulties.  I've always had very good customer service experiences when communicating with VC directly (i.e. through a VC owned Boutique vs. an AD).  I'm lucky in that there are now VC Boutiques in Shanghai and New York - which are convenient for me to visit.  Unfortunately I do not believe there is a Boutique in London. I would contact the Richemont Service Center in London directly and see if they can provide you any assistance or further information.  I found their contact information on VC's website, please click here As you, I expect the best from VC and while nobody is perfect or mistake proof - the attitude and attention I've received have always lived up to my expectations. Please let us know how things go. Best Regards, Dan
Marc, you mind if I copy your text and use it once I purchase a Range
10/04/2011 - 18:57
Rover and have to send in a well-mannered but on the point complaint to the facory? Anyway, do not worry a bit. VC always stands behind its products and will set things right for you for sure. Flaws do happen every once in a while, like with evey other hand-made luxury product. It did happen to a lot of us before, even with brand new pieces. Sorry to hear it came across your special anniversary gift. It will be repaired and you will get to enjoy it for the long years to come. Just make sure you deliver the piece to a VC AD. BTW, what model did you get? Care to post any pictures?
Re: Who Do I Talk to About Poor Customer Service From Vacheron Constantin?
10/04/2011 - 19:39
FWIW, I've found a vast difference between the service and communication provided by real Vacheron Constantin staff and our Richemont service center staff.  Needless to say, the latter was sorely lacking in knowledge and empathy.  If at all possible (crawl over broken glass if you have too) seek out genuine VC contacts for your service needs!  Bless their hearts, the local Richemont staff turnover means I'm talkinig with different people every time and they are ignorant of the VC brand.  I tried to demonstrate the proper way to pronounce Vacheron Constantin (not Constantine) recently to a polite young lady on the phone, and enourage her NOT to annoyingly refer to "Vacheron" this and "Vacheron" that...poor Francois Constantin is always being forgotten frown.  I fear she has made a note in my file at Richemont something like; "this guy is a crank"...
If this is true and I have no reason to doubt it,
10/06/2011 - 12:17
I think it's about the worst I ever seen written about V&C. What I noticed over the last two years,are to many of the same kind of stories. Vacheron&Constantin apparently has a very bad service.  I had a watch, Malte Règulateur Chronometre DTR, quite expensive, that I had to send three (!) times for repair, of different reasons, everytime it took to long time, more than a month. I thought. not least the third time, that I could have got a new strap, as a gesture. But no excuses from Vacheron Constantin, only facts what's been done. OTH, I received a very nice strap, as a personal gift from Alex! heart This was before The Hour Lounge, and Alex had nothing to do with V&C !  Again what worries me most, is that you dear new friend, BTW welcome to the Lounge, is that this is not the first time we read about similar bad service fom V&C. no It's obvious that this is a main problem, that must get first priority at the old firm, yes, even before the &, because this is unacceptable from the worlds oldest brand! I can see no excuses. If this was the first time, I read about it, it could have passed as a mistake, but this is repeated... Vacheron Constantin must immediately do something about this enormous problem. I spoke some years with the only AD in Sweden about it, they told me that stopped selling V&C for several years, just because of this! Now, I'm glad to tell they do it again. Last, I want Vacheron Constantin to send an excuse and a gift to Marc! Good luck in the future Marc, Vacheron Constantin are good watches, but have a rotten service organization smiley Cheers Doc
Vacheron Constantin Response Re: Poor Customer Service
10/17/2011 - 14:36
Below is the response which I've received directly from Vacheron Constantin. I see it as a very strong desire to correct any unfortunate customer service issues. Some of your comments point to Time2 being the problem, as it may well be. It is part of the Oxford Street Selfridges, and the location which I was told to visit by numerous Selfridges employees regarding my service needs. Clearly the strong customer service focus of VC isn’t always being reflected by their retailers and associated service departments. It is however very satisfying to see the official response from VC conforms to their corporate vision. I am also reassured to see all of your notes regarding my post, and excited to see the strong dedication that so many VC customers have. Marc

Dear Mr Hildebrand,

Further to your message on the Hour Lounge dated October 3rd, please find attached the letter of our International Customer Service Director, Mr Laurent Mugnier.

We remain at your disposal should you require further assistance.

Best regards,

Aurélie Bottex

Vacheron Constantin
great things were settled in a satisfactory manner. Now you can fully
10/19/2011 - 15:04
enjoy your watch. And don't hesitate to participate :-)