As many teachers, I have to wear a lanyard daily. As a science teacher, sometimes its not good lab safety to wear a lanyard and I take it off, but for the most part, I have a lanyard on every day.
This year I thought I’d splurge on myself and get a really nice, attractive lanyard that looked a little more like jewelry. Eventually, I settled on one from Brighton, and got it with my birthday money. I chose the “Heart Charm Reversible Badge Clip Necklace” (which retails for $40, and I paid full price. I bought it on the “tax free” day in my state for back to school, and while Brighton’s Belts and some other things were included, Badge Clips were not, so I paid full tax too). The exchange that day was friendly, and the salesperson talked to me about her experiences in Science Class when she was in high school, and how much she particularly liked her chemistry teacher. They wrapped it in a nice little bag and I was on my way.
I had been looked at two major brands when I made this purchase: Brighton, or Origami Owl. If you visit the Brighton website, you might notice the material for this lanyard is “Swarovski Crystal” and the finish is “Silver Plated, Gold Plated”. When I went to the store, I asked what metal the lanyard was made of and the response was, “Its solid stainless steel, except for the decorative plating and silver plating”. That seemed reasonable – and I was excited that even if it wore like my other cheaper lanyards did, there wouldn’t be ugly metals showing from beneath, because it was a silver metal! (Also, Origami Owl’s are Stainless Steel – but they are more expensive).
Ok – so I bought it in August and waited for school to start so I could wear my lanyard.
By the end of October, I noticed the finishes wearing off my lanyard. Firstly, the gold plate was wearing off the heart. Secondly, I noticed the silver plate wearing off the badge clip.
I admit, the pictures are bad. Its hard to take pictures of a shiny thing to show finish issues, because it just looks like a reflection or glare. Basically, the finish was coming off the edges of the clip part to show pink beneath (so it looks like a reflection of my skin) and the gold was rubbing off the gold heart. 10 weeks after I bought it. I’d been wearing it a little more than 8 weeks. And not all the time (partly for safety because I’m a science teacher and things dangling from your neck can be a safety hazard, partly because its something I’m occasionally forgetful about).
So, I contacted Brighton and they encouraged me to send it in “for repair”. You don’t repair plating, you replace it. I quit wearing the lanyard and just had it in my purse in its little bag – but one day I was unexpectedly near the store. Well, when I bought it, the salesperson wanted all my information (name, address, phone, email) and I don’t usually do that, but she said that they use it to maintain their database of shoppers/purchases/warranty information and expressly said “and this way if you need us to do something you don’t even need your receipt!”. So, I thought, “Hey! Maybe they can replace my necklace for me without my receipt!”
So I went in the store and waited for the manager (it turns out) to finish with a customer. I showed her my necklace and let her know I was disappointed because it obviously wasn’t solid stainless steel, and asked about my options.
She said, “Well, do you have a receipt?”
I told her I did not, but the salesperson took all my information so couldn’t they look it up?
And the manager actually laughed. “No, we don’t do that.”
“But the salesperson said that she wanted my information for my warranty on this, and to maintain records of customers for the purposes of keeping track of purchases.”
At this point, the manager said, “Look. Nothing you are saying to me makes any sense. Our pieces are not and have never been stainless steel. They are coated heavy metal. You must be doing something extreme to yours to make it wear so badly. Do you lean on your desk? Throw it in the bottom of your bag? Wear other big jewelry with it? I’m not even sure you bought it here. You don’t have a receipt. We don’t “track” our customers. We don’t keep records for warranties. Nothing you are saying makes sense.”
So, that didn’t go well. She pulled one off the rack, removed all the tags, and said as a “courtesy” she would “trade” me for mine. I accepted, as I was pretty sure this was both the best I was going to get and the last time I’d be in a Brighton store.
I had the second one for less than a month before it started doing the same things on the gold heart. I kept the protective plastic coating on the badge clip as long as I could, but now its just a matter of time.
So I don’t recommend Brighton Badge Clips. I don’t mine it anymore.
Here is the review I left on their website on 1/17/17):
“The finish wore off both the gold plated heart (revealing silver metal beneath) and the badge clip at the bottom (revealing pink-colored “heavy metal”, according to a store manager). I tried to return for issues with the finish after less than three months (about 8 weeks of incontinuous wear), but was only offered an exchange, as too much time had passed for a return. Within a month, the finish on the second was wearing off. I called customer service to let them know I was having this issue, and they said that since some people wear them everyday, they wear out faster. For me, a teacher, who didn’t wear it all the time due to safety concerns when I’m doing lab activities, that amount of time averages 6 weeks per lanyard.”
Their “guidelines” for review state: “When a product review is submitted on this web site, you grant Brighton and its affiliates a nonexclusive, royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable, and fully sublicensable right to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, publish, translate, create derivative works from, distribute, and display such content throughout the world in any media.” I would not be surprised if they elected to not display my feedback.