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Unethical service - Review by Michael F | Time Zone

Time Zone


Unethical service 12/28/2006

I believe it's under new management and renamed Michael Helmi's Time Zone, but has the same phone number. Michael and Mo Helmi are the new owners. My girlfriend recently had the battery replaced on her expensive gold plated Gucci Timepiece 6100L at Time Zone. Michael, a certified watchmaker, who worked on her watch use a watch screwdriver to open the case. He tried several times to open the cover. He left 6 small visible dents on the watch body opposite the lip opening by prying the cover open with the screwdriver. When queried by my girlfriend, who observed the whole process, about the dents, he claimed that dents will happen with his method due to the curved nature of the watch. Michael said the other option would have been to take it to Gucci or Saks 5th Avenue where they have to correct tool for the job. They have a very expensive pressurized machine instrument that will open this particular brand model, the Gucci 6100L, without leaving dents. He says that Saks would have charged over $100 as opposed to his $20 fee. To add insult to injury, when I ask to have the $20 refunded for the unsatisfactory service, Michael wanted to remove the battery before returning the money knowing full well that he didn't posses the correct instrument to open the cover without further damaging the watch. Michael's full knowledge that using the screwdriver (not the proper tool) will in fact leave dents and that Gucci and Saks 5th Avenue have the correct instrument, and his failure to warn us of this fact before attempting to open the watch is what I believe to be unethical. I consulted Dan Gendron, a certified watchmaker, and he told me that a watch professional should never leave dents in a watch case back. That said if you don't possess the proper tool then you should not do the repair. Michael is hiding behind a disclaimer which he has posted on a wall that protects him from accidental damage to any watches the store repairs. My girlfriend and I were not made aware of this disclaimer until a week later when I demanded a refund. I wonder if that disclaimer protects him from using a butcher knife when opening Gucci watches. Both a watch screwdriver and a butcher knife would have been able to open the watch case, but they weren't the correct tools for this particular job. more
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