Mackenzie Hoppens had found the perfect wedding ring to match her engagement ring and decided to have the two rings resized and soldered together. With a little more than a month before her wedding, she thought this was enough time for the adjustment. Unfortunately, Hurricane Irma came barreling along and flooded the warehouse where the rings were stored. The strangest thing about this? Hoppens lives in Omaha.
“I went to Kay Jewelers in Council Bluffs, Iowa, which is right across the river from Omaha,” Hoppens told Yahoo Lifestyle. “That’s when they told me they couldn’t do it in store. I was like, ‘OK, that’s fine. No big deal.’ But I had no clue they were sending it to Florida.”
Last Thursday, her fiancé got a call that the rings were in a building that had been flooded, and the company could not reach anyone there.
“I don’t understand why a company would send stuff down there, when literally the whole entire country knew there was a hurricane coming in advance,” Hoppens wrote in a Facebook post after receiving “short, dismissive” answers from the corporate office. No one would tell her exactly where the rings might be. With her wedding coming up on October 1, she was getting nervous.
That’s when Hoppens learned about the bad reputation Kay had earned in 2016, when several customers took to social media to complain that rings they’d sent to Kayfor repair came back in worse shape, sometimes with their diamonds replaced with smaller ones.
“I had no clue until I put that social media post out there,” she said. “Everybody knows Kay Jewelers, so I thought it was a trustworthy place.”
The day after her Facebook post, she started getting phone calls from the company. The rings’ last known location was a UPS facility in Riviera Beach, a city near Palm Beach that was hit by Irma. There’s a chance they might be found, but no one could guarantee that.
“We are continuing to work with the common carrier on recovery of the customer’s ring, and have offered to provide a replacement if her ring cannot be returned in advance of her wedding day, which the customer was amenable to,” Frank Cirillo, director of public relations for Kay’s parent company Signet Jewelers, wrote in an email to Yahoo Lifestyle. “Recognizing that this experience is not aligned with our standards, we are committed to doing what is right for our customers. If we are able to return her original ring in advance of her wedding day, we will still extend an appropriate compensation to reflect our commitment to exceptional customer service.”
Hoppens hasn’t decided if she wants a replacement, or if should continue to wait for her original. Her fiancé bought her engagement ring at a pawn shop, so no replacement would be quite the same. Despite this uncertainty, she does have some perspective about it.
“There is so much worse stuff that has happened down there [in Florida],” she says. “People’s homes have been lost. For these rings to be gone — it’s a big problem to me, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not like the worst thing that could have happened.”