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Super Contributor
Posts: 486
Registered: ‎04-14-2010

Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

I was at a friend's house last night and we were talking jewelry, one of our favorite topics. Smiley Happy

I've been a huge Honora fan for many, many years, and have hundreds of pieces in my collection. My friend had always admired my pearls, and last year finally took the plunge and got her first Honora pearls. Through our discussion though, I began to think about the changes over the past year since Honora was sold, and found myself quite sad.

It seems to me like they're just disappearing. They rarely post anything on their Facebook page any more. Maybe a quick post about an LTS or something through QVC, but then they don't even respond to customer comments on it, or questions that customers post anymore. Last time they were on Q, a caller mentioned a problem with a piece and Joel said to email them for help getting it fixed. Well, I had just done that about some pieces I had break on me, and nobody ever responded to my email. Previously they'd been so very good about their customer care.

They still have a sign up on their website for the Supearlative Deal emails that they used to do, but there hasn't been one of those newsletters sent for about a year. They used to come up with fun, exciting new color combinations all the time, but that seems to be a thing of the past for some time now.

I felt quite bad for my friend, as my talking about all those beautiful colors, fun interactions and things were part of why she finally took the plunge, and now it seems they're just gone. She of course, wonders what I was talking about!

Anyone else feel the changes?

Oh, and just a head's up if you're still a fan, they'll be here in later June, and looks like they'll have a TSV on June 23. (a ming pearl bracelet)

Super Contributor
Posts: 1,219
Registered: ‎12-28-2012

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

Jett, great post!

Quickly skimming the forum topics, it's apparent that Honora isn't the only vendor who has taken a left turn from quality and customer service we've come to expect over the years.
I think they only way to change it back, all of us band together and stop purchasing jewelry until the companies come back to their senses!

Or, maybe they're just too rich now and don't care. {#emotions_dlg.blink}

Super Contributor
Posts: 486
Registered: ‎04-14-2010

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

I don't know if the RLG now controls everything or what. I have seen new things show up at jewelers, I will say. But everything else that Honora was involved in just seems gives me the feeling of an abandoned amusement park - things still standing there just as they were, but now empty. A ghost town.

Super Contributor
Posts: 4,222
Registered: ‎06-23-2013

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

On 5/24/2014 kathoderay said:

Quickly skimming the forum topics, it's apparent that Honora isn't the only vendor who has taken a left turn from quality and customer service we've come to expect over the years.

It's all fine jewelry, imho. The price of precious metals went up, the price of pearls has gone up (a lot!), and companies are struggling to find their way. Consumers are less selective, flocking to stainless steel and clad. Yet at the same time, customers are more finicky, and there was a lot of criticism for Honora and the dyed colors, so I'm not surprised they tapered back.

As for the Honora FB and specials, well, I expect those are under review by the new owners. They may or may not continue, only time will tell.

As for customer care, I think that was based in the NY store, and the store is closed. Not sure where that department may have moved.

I don't blame Honora specifically. I'm glad they went with Richline, because the Richline ownership of Eternagold simply preserved the line. We still get the similar designs, and Ted, and it's all been seamless.

Super Contributor
Posts: 486
Registered: ‎04-14-2010

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

You do bring up many points ennui. On QVC, there got to be a point there was a lot of criticism for the colored pearls. The boards can get so sadly ugly. Yet in the larger picture, that was a part of what brought Honora to the forefront in their niche, and made a lot of people look at pearls in a whole new way. If you look at the jewelry stores that carry Honora online, there are new color combinations out there, as well as other styles that used to be seen on the Q, in a rainbow of solid colors.

And I'm not saying any quality has gone down, just their interaction with their customers has diminished. Granted, I have some items I was hoping I could send in, but they're years old. I wear pearls pretty much every single day, and I'm constantly amazed at how well my Honora holds up to the wear.

I'm going to disagree on the review of FB and specials tho. It's been almost a year. That's more than enough time for RL to decide what and how they want to interact. I work for a marketing division in my company, and in the marketing world, social media and the interaction with your customers is what it's all about now. It has never been more important.

I can't say the transition has been seamless either. Thus, my post. It just makes me sad. Like losing a friend and they didn't say goodbye. {#emotions_dlg.sad}

Super Contributor
Posts: 4,222
Registered: ‎06-23-2013

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

On 5/24/2014 jetts_mom said:

I can't say the transition has been seamless either. Thus, my post. It just makes me sad. Like losing a friend and they didn't say goodbye. {#emotions_dlg.sad}

{#emotions_dlg.confused1} Friend? Honora is a business. {#emotions_dlg.sad}

This is one of the biggest pitfalls to home shopping. The hosts and vendors come into our living rooms, and we think of them as friends. They are not. But if you read the Ripka forum, or the Pollack forum, or the WEN forum ... the lines are blurred. People obsess over LisaR. Why? Because she's a "friend," in our living room.

I like Joel and Ralph as much as the next person, but let's face it, if sales were only based on a hang tag on an item in the department store, I wouldn't notice a whit that the company was sold.

Super Contributor
Posts: 486
Registered: ‎04-14-2010

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

It was just a saying ennui. I could use the same words when speaking of Franco-American being bought out and then the canned macaroni and cheese that I grew up on and loved, was discontinued.

Of course they're a business, but they're also one that prided themselves on their customer relations as well as their product, which I've purchased just as much, if not more from other sources than I have from QVC. It is also one of the reasons that I, and others, have remained loyal customers for many years. Not to mention that the reason business are so involved in social media is because it is proven to increase customer purchases and loyalty, if they feel "connected" in some way. Not to mention the valuable marketing data companies can get first hand from said customers.

There are those that look beyond a price tag when deciding where to spend their money, and do take customer care and company practices into account. Examples might be not purchasing from a company because of their treatment of overseas workers, or not buying a product because of animal testing or involvement in the fur business, or not continuing to buy from a company that doesn't stand behind their product once purchased, especially if you have issues with their product.

Please re-read my original post. It was not necessarily directed at QVC/shopping channels, but at everything else they were involved in; their unattended FB page where they no longer interact as they did, and customer comments and questions go unanswered, emails to customer service that aren't responded to, and website which is not updated. Perhaps the earlier analogy I have used is better - "But everything else that Honora was involved in just seems to give me the feeling of an abandoned amusement park - things still standing there just as they were, but now empty."

I realize not everyone is on Facebook where they participated, or on their website where they also had blogs and other customer interaction areas, in online groups where Honora had joined, or may not have had occasion to email. In those cases my post may not be understood as intended. But there are others who did and I know are missing it, too.

I'm certainly still a customer, just sayin' things have changed and some do notice.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 12
Registered: ‎03-13-2010

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

jetts_mom, I agree 100% with what you are saying. While it is understandable that things will change when a company changes ownership, Honora's on-going involvement with their customers via social media and their outstanding customer service were things that set them apart from the crowd. In this day and age it was like a breath of fresh air to find a company that actually cared about customer service. Sadly, I agree with you. It seems those days are gone. I guess we shouldn't be so surprised at that.
Super Contributor
Posts: 4,222
Registered: ‎06-23-2013

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

I'm trying to decide of social media and pearls really go together. Mollusks don't turn on a dime to meet the whims of the trendy.

Super Contributor
Posts: 1,219
Registered: ‎12-28-2012

Re: Honora since their sale to the Richline Group

On 5/24/2014 ennui1 said:
The price of precious metals went up, the price of pearls has gone up (a lot!)

The price of metals, pearls, (and I'll throw in gemstones) going up has happened before, without the effect on the consumer as it has in this age of mobile media. Times have changed. People have the option to shop anytime, anyplace! I'm guilty of using my mobile device at the beach to shop, just because I thought of a purchase and I could. lol

Anyway my point, all the things discussed here in Jett's thread play together to increase demand, which by causing a high-paced by-it-now-anytime market for which production and customer services are struggling to keep up.