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returning goods to shops

Posted by dmcd-180624 - Created: 13 years ago
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Does anyone know where the law stands in France on the returning of goods to shops?

I bought a pair of shoes 3 weeks ago and when I tried to return them (never worn) I was told that I could not get a refund but only a credit note!?! Is this normal?

They were bought in a shoe shop in Cap 3000 for 150 Euro and were not a sale item.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

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5 replies (Showing replies: 1 to 5)

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 13 years ago

Mike's story of the Carrefour customer-friendly policy jogged my memory of an incident where the "superior" store policy was at odds with the law.

Carrefour's store policy for refunds (excluding defects) is something like the following;

"if you have a receipt AND if it is less than 30 days AND the product/packaging is pretty much intact, THEN we'll refund EXCEPT for certain product types"... "oh and by the way, sometimes when we are feeling particularly competitive, we will also refund you up to 10 times the price difference if you find this product cheaper elsewhere"

Their taboos cover any products concerned with hygiene or any products that were on special sale promotion.  This is fine that they exclude these from their generous refund policy but they cannot by law exclude refunding for defects on such items.

I had a protracted argument with them over the return of a defective electric shaver.  They recognised it was clearly defective but could not see past their store policy to the underlying law.  Needless to say, a little quoting of the relevant articles helped their manager on duty come to right decision.

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Posted by MikeP-180526 - 13 years ago

I believe that Carrefour operates more or less the above policy within reason - I doubt they'd take back half a bottle of whisky (hic!), but they were happy to take back some video camera batteries which I'd later discovered I could buy in the UK for 1/3rd of the price.  I went with a 'story' but they didn't even want to hear the reason, they just took them back and gave me a cash refund.

All in all, it pays to adopt this attitude rather than the usual 'the customer is always wrong' which is so common here.

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Posted by jjoepage - 13 years ago

About 30 years ago in the states a store called 'Norstroms' took up a policy to take back anything, anytime for any reason; quite like M&S.  In fact, if you attempted to explain the reason for the return, they would interupt you and say 'It's alright - whatever the reason'  It had a tremendous effect on all of retail.  People began to believe it was their right to insist money back anytime they were not absolutely pleased for any reason.  their remains no legal right in the states, but it is widely accepted that stores take anything back for any reason.  If a store refuses to maintain such a policy - wham! they are out of business.  The stores dealt with it by passing it on to manufactures.  Nordstrom would send all the returns back to the manufacture for FULL credit.  If the manufacture refused - Nordstroms cancelled their contract the following year.

What happened?  Manufactures are now well aware that if they produce things of dodgy quality, they will suffer a huge and certain financial burden.  I think it keeps the quality of things fairly high.  Just my impression; not necessarily a scientific fact.

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Posted by legend_in_my_lunchtime-182603 - 13 years ago

Linda has it right - there is no obligation under French law to refund or exchange articles [other than for the reason of "vice caché" which funnily enough has no legal limit in time]

In fact, you do not even have the true legal "right" to change your mind after agreeing to purchase. So, as Linda said, you are lucky to get a store credit voucher.  Look at it from their point of view - you have immobilised an expensive part of their limited inventory (capital) over the busy tourist season when they may have easily sold it - why should they just refund your money?

That is the law as applied to purchase in a shop.  There are other rights bestowed upon you for internet purchase or mail/telephone order that give you a right of return under certain conditions.  Some shops have improved their customer service by offering limited store return/refund schemes but this is a commercial favour and not your right in law.

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Posted by Linda Caird-193057 - 13 years ago

If the shoes were not faulty the shop is within their right to refuse you a refund, infact they were generous to offer you a credit note. If the item was faulty then with the original receipt you would have been offered a replacement or refund. This rule also applies in UK and is often very strictly enforced except in M&S where I have known people return items months after purcahse and still get a refund, albeit at the most recent sale price if they did not have their receipt. I think in France they keep to the rules and give you very little opportunity to change your mind unfortunately.I should accept the credit note and choose another pair of shoes when they have some new stock.