When visiting Antwerp one would visit their Diamond District as one would visit Atomium in Brussels and Red Light District in Amsterdam even if not necessarily participating in activities.
So, I, as well, put Diamond District on my ‘to visit’ list. Diamondland came up on Google with its flashy and welcoming website and I thought it would be interesting to pay them a visit.
When shopping for jewellery, particularly diamonds (as they are our best friends) one would expect a little more than just pick it up from the shelf and go to the check up to pay for it. One would expect to be treated, a warm friendly welcome, a conversation, some information given to you, products shown, choices offered, one would expect to talk to somebody they can trust. One would expect it to be a happy event. Any way…
You walk into a large reception downstairs the size of a shop. A large shop floor upstairs with some information and tools displays, but nobody rushes to you with an offer to provide you with a guide, nobody welcomes or greets you, and nobody talks to you. Several shop assistants are chatting in a corner behind the far counter. It’s just me in a shop and them. I look at the displays, a lot of room, but the choice is quite limited, items displayed look all the same and quite boring, not everything you can see on price tags. By the time I got to the last counter I noticed something similar to what I might be interested in, but the cut is not what I like and I can’t see the stone characteristics on the tag clearly. I still have not been offered any help. After a while, eventually, reluctantly one shop assistant moves towards me with the facial expression and the whole body language screaming how much she detests this activity. When I explained what I was interested in the woman abruptly tells me that they don’t have anything like that as they do mostly one cut for certain stones (and that is the most expensive – she does not tell me this) and ‘there is no point’ of doing it otherwise, in her opinion unless it is a round cut it’s not worth selling it. When I ask if they have any lose stones matching what I am interested in, she says no, what is on a display, that’s all you can buy. She does not offer to show anything to me, does not explain anything, she simply can not be bothered, but the whole attitude clearly demonstrates that the only option which I have is to buy what they have on display even if it’s not what I am interested in.
I thought to myself: even if it was the last ever chance to buy a diamond I definitely would not want to buy it from this woman, so rude she was, by that point I could not even trust her. I just imagined if instead of me she was serving a young happy couple looking for an engagement ring, this woman with attitude like that would have ruined their whole experience.
When I told their receptionist how bad their customer service was she simply shrugged her shoulders and turned away.
There are quite a few shops in the diamond district and bigger does not mean better or more reliable (most importantly). On a corner with a main street there is a nice small shop Orsini, I had a totally opposite experience there. They had a much better choice and they simply just could not do enough for me. If I want to treat myself with a diamond in Antwerp it will be them.
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