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Socks again for Christmas? You may be stuck with them

The Local · 27 Dec 2010, 08:26

Published: 27 Dec 2010 08:26 GMT+01:00

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Aigner told Monday’s edition of the daily Rheinische Post that businesses were under no legal obligation either to refund money for unwanted presents, nor even to offer credit for another gift of equal value.

“If a shop takes back its goods and reimburses the paid price, then that happens out of pure willingness,” Aigner said.

“If a customer in a shop decides on a particular item and buys it, then he makes a purchase agreement with the trader. The buyer is just as bound by this agreement as the seller and both sides must be able basically to trust the legal validity of the agreement.”

Germany’s retailers were expecting a bumper Christmas shopping period – indeed the best in years, the German Retail Federation said late last week. It predicted sales to jump by

“The people have not let the chaotic weather spoil their shopping,” said spokesman Stefan Genth.

Story continues below…


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

10:45 December 27, 2010 by Prufrock2010
German merchants' and retailers' contempt for customers is already legendary. "Customer service" in Germany is the mother of all oxymorons. This will just give merchants added justification for their policy that the customer is always wrong.
11:59 December 27, 2010 by storymann
That is so true prufrock,,I never try to return anything here,,,the aggravation far exceeds any value of the item.
12:06 December 27, 2010 by michael4096
After a number of years in the US, my wife got into the habit of buying on the assumption that, following reflection, half of the things would be returned. She was warned that the same would not work in Germany but continued the habit anyway. The amazing thing is that it has nearly always worked for her. And, the few times she has been refused a full cash refund she has always been offered credit notes.

I know service in Germany can appear painful, but it is usually sincere when you find it. I certainly don't miss the plastic smiles and murderous looks when you tip what you think something was really worth.
12:20 December 27, 2010 by tallady
When you do find good customer service it is sincere as the norm is bad service...and the employee is under no threat of being chastised or fired over it as they would in the USA,however,I do agree that those plastic smiles are irritating and tiresome .
12:55 December 27, 2010 by michael4096
I find the German customer's attitude to vendors more irritating than the other way. Perhaps it is a history of having too few goods, rather than too many, to choose from.

At work it is almost impossible to get my German colleagues to stand up to suppliers, particularly major American companies. They are incredibly timid even when many millions are on the table. We happily take what we are given and say thank you for the priviledge.
13:19 December 27, 2010 by raandy
I don't know about that,,I was in Globetrotter trying to buy a pair of shoes for my daughter,,I asked the clerk or(Jerk) if he could measure her feet for size he pointed to the shoe scale,and said you do it..I asked him if I could speak to his manager ,he said he is in the office feel free..you could walk out but you find the same discourteous people in the next place.
13:21 December 27, 2010 by marimay
I gotta admit, I really don't bother buying much other than food in this country. The shopping is atrocious anyway... lol
18:54 December 27, 2010 by Gretl
I mainly shop on-line, but with clothes, it is really better if you try them on. My recent trip last week to Bayern reminded me that customer service really doesn't exist.
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