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Would France benefit from a Trading Standards Dep't ?


Chancer
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My vote is yes and there follow a few examples of practices that are rife and unchallenged in my area.

Is it just an unique expression of the Picard mentality or do these sort of things go on in your area and more to the point are they just accepted as an inevitable part of everyday life.

The mensongeuse publicité that comes in the letterbox every week.

Being on a survival income I shop at Lidl and Aldi and only use Intermarché and Super-U when they have good promotional prices on meat, I can guarantee that there is always at least one "pricing mistake" on every leaflet to bring the customers through the door, today it was chicken fillets at €2.45 per kilo except when you arrive at the rayon packed with other hopefulls searching for this non existant bargain it turns out to be at €6.95 per kilo, often a little more than the non promo equivalent.

Brico-Depot publish a catalogue every year that manages to be remarkably free from errors with the exception of the arrivages printed within where there will always be something too good to be true, they keep this up with their monthly mail shots where there is always at least one "pricing mistake" to lure the customers in.

At least they put up signs to tell us that an error has slipped into this months promos but every month its the same story, last month was the turn of extruded polystyrene insulation panels.

Being shorted on weights and measures.

A local builders merchant that when they tip a quarter or a half M3 of sand/ballast/tout venant in your trailer always ask "do you want a bit more?" and then go on to calculate the volume after measuring your trailer, trouble is the yard boy has been instructed to take the outside dimensions of the trailer and the height at the summit of the pile of material, they tried to shaft me for 0.76m3 for a half full trailer that only has a volume of 0.8m3 when it is filled level.

Brico-depot and others selling undersized timber, solivettes that are sold as 32 * 175mm only being 27mm thick yet the timber companies ticket stapled on the end is clearly marked 27 * 175mm. I used it for scaffolding and it deflected 30% more than my calcs due to this.

The grossiste that when I complained that I had paid for 36m2 of block paving (pavés autobloquantes) yet they had only delivered 3 pallets of 10m2 tried to tell me, after a few seconds reflection and with a straight face that I should be laying them with a 1cm cement joint between each one.

And my biggest bugbear of all.

Putting returned faulty goods back on the shelf for the next pigeon, Brico-Depot even ask you to put them back on the shelf for them but at least you have gotten the refund, I now slip a little note in the box informing the next mug punter.

In your view would a Trading standards or weights and measures department make a difference?

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Concerning the availability of items sold "en promo":

The items or services that are being promoted must be available

for sale throughout the period covered by advertising (with the

exception of sales and liquidations which state "while stock lasts").

If a product is found to be out of stock during the period of the promotion, the

trader must make every effort to supply it quickly at the advertised

price.

The consumer may demand a written undertaking from the trader

for a missing item.
 

This applies to the Leclerc, Brico or Carrefour promo leaflets you find in your letterbox every month.

If they advertise your favourite cheese, chocolate, cat food, fruit, washing-powder or tuna at a reduced price, they have to supply it at the advertised price during the period of the promotion.

If they run out before the end of the promotion period, you can either ask for a note promising to sell you the same at the reduced price when it's back in stock or you can try asking for an equivalent product to be sold at the price of the reduced item (they don't have to agree to that, but it's worth asking!)

For example, when a newer bigger Leclerc supermarket opened in a nearby town during the summer, they advertised a 42" flat screen TV at 50% off.

We bought one but the shop had run out of stock when my neighbour went for the same two days later and she missed out.

Because the special offer was on for a week, during that week, the shop was obliged to supply every customer who asked with une promesse de vente, which guaranteed that they would pay the special price when the TV was next in stock.

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Claire, I cant remember the wording in French but all the flyers carry the equivalent message to "errors and emissions excepted"

You state that "they have to",  what it means in practice (in Picardy) is that Champion did indeed order a promotional Rowenta vacuum cleaner for me but when it arrived it didnt come with the triangular cleaning head as shown in the picture which they had also printed and placed above the rayon.

"Sorry it was printers error it will cost you another €40 to buy one if you want one or use the standard one in the box", to be fair to the sales girl it remains the only time in France when someone has offered me their excuses (said sorry) and thanks to her frankness I did  indeed accept to pay the extra.

In Carrefour (I may have got the two mixed up) I went to buy a Phillips Senseo, colour black, that was only reduced in the promo by a few Euros, at the till it came up at the higher standard price yet a yellow one was at the promo price, the publicité clearly showed a black one which carried the same model number, - "tough luck take it at the price on the till or leave it"

Locally (Albert) at Intermarché or Super-U any question regarding promo stuff at a higher price or not being as advertised is met with "et alors?" being spat at you with heavily Picard accented (think of a cat bringing up a furball [:P]) derision.

I would dearly love to "encourage" them to respect their obligations but I have already been bounced onto the pavement once by their security guy for daring to enter the shop 10 minutes before their posted closing time.

I ask again, is it like this in other regions or just mine?

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I know what you mean!

I had a battle at Géant yesterday to get them to refund an overcharge on some items clearly marked at "buy one, get the 2nd at ½ price", but charged at full price at the till.

Their argument was that it applied to certain flavours only, mine was that it did not. I had to accompany an assistant to the aisle and show her the offer label which said "multiple flavours" and still she insisted on pointing to another label for another offer... [:D]

I got there in the end though!

Regarding legislation:

Basic info: Source   (in English)

en cas de différence entre le prix indiqué en rayon et celui lu en caisse

Il

est d’usage, en présence d’un produit indiqué à deux prix différents,

de faire payer le prix le plus favorable au consommateur (sauf erreur

manifeste, par exemple un téléviseur à 10 euros)

Promotions: soyez vigilant

Hors périodes de soldes et liquidations, les produits portés sur une publicité doivent être disponibles pendant toute la durée de validité de la publicité.

Si le produit vient à manquer, le commerçant doit tout mettre en œuvre pour vous procurer le produit au prix annoncé.

If you do not get satisfaction on the spot and you really want them to feel the heat, this is the contact info:

or for Picardie:

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Thanks Clair I have printed it off and next time will select several of  the promo item and try and get them to sell it at the published price.

Mind you I expect that the only ones getting satisfaction on the spot will be those bouncing my head off the pavement, they seemed to enjoy it last time.

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Rather than asking the assistant who is probably doing what he/she is told to do, go to the "help" (!) desk. Show them their own promo advert and say you want this or that , but they don't have it. See what they suggest and if they don't offer an alternative at the same price OR a promissory note, hit them with the legaleese.

If that doesn't get you satisfaction, make a point of taking down names, date and times, saying you want to make sure you have all the details correct before you contact the relevant authorities to bring the irregularities to their attention.

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I agree with what you say Gastines re any regulatory body that is paid for by the subscription, levys or fines by the industry but I have had dealings with the Sussex and Kent Trading Standards Offices and have found them both to be eager, very competent and most of all traders have a real fear of them and their powers.

It is the latter that I find is missing in (my part) of France.

There seems a distinct lack of comments either agreeing or disagreeing with the thread title, I really would like to know if my experiences are typical or otherwise with repect to other reasons.

Perhaps it is not just the French (my region) that are apathetic and accepting of the situation?

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[quote user="Clair"]Rather than asking the assistant who is probably doing what he/she is told to do, go to the "help" (!) desk. Show them their own promo advert and say you want this or that , but they don't have it. See what they suggest and if they don't offer an alternative at the same price OR a promissory note, hit them with the legaleese.
If that doesn't get you satisfaction, make a point of taking down names, date and times, saying you want to make sure you have all the details correct before you contact the relevant authorities to bring the irregularities to their attention.
[/quote]

What you say is quite correct Clair and I do do this however the law, precise though it may be is only concerned with sales prices i.e. sale price 79cts, was 99cts soit 20% reduction etc, the promos usually are slightly different or modified products to the usual gamme and are sold till epuisement of stocks.

I have printed out the legalese and it is in the car ready for my next confrontation.

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The postman has just handed me the weekly stack of promo leaflets.

At the back of the Leclerc one, it says:

"Ces offres sont valables pendant toute la durée de l'opération sauf mention contraire en pages intérieures. Les articles proposés ont été commandes en quantité suffisante pour répondre à la demande. Si l'un d'entre eux venait à manquer, veuillez le commander à l'accueil de votre magasin. Le produit ou un produit similaire vous sera fourni dan les meilleurs délais au même prix."

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Im quite apathetic towards this, I suppose. Yes, im almost certainly getting shafted each time I do the shopping, but Im simply not willing to queue up again and argue with disinterested staff about it. Besides, even if I did go to the effort of arguing the toss, the money saved would hardly be a fortune - certainly not enough to buy the shiny things I lust for. Thats supermarkets though, anything on a larger scale will always make me stand up for what I am due.

C`est la vie, I suppose.

As to the original question, yes - I think France would ultimately benefit from a good agency able to enforce the rules. However, it would be a massively uphill struggle to change the mindset of the retailers. Would the disruption be worth it? probably. On a smaller scale, I personally dont rock the boat in the supermarket, as I dont want to have to find another that I like. When the service proves to be unacceptable, I vote with my feet and wallet, and go elsewhere, as I did earlier in the year with Geant due to the deep fat fryer incident. Otherwise, I stick with what I know.

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They dont regret it though, thats the problem. They humour you for a few minutes, refund your pennies, than carry on as before. The "best" you can do is make a staff member feel miserable by having a real go at them, but the chancer are the error is nothing to do with them anyway, so how does that help?

Im all up for standing by your principals, but I personally dont feel the return justifies the time and effort in these cases.

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Even in the UK you get done over now and  then.

We recently bought a new frig/freezer from a huge multinational with a large shop in Salisbury.  It cost almost £850 with a website 5% extra off promotion. 

Well they 'forgot' or couldn't as we bought it via the phone,  we phoned them again & got a promise they would do it; and then recently it was not on latest statement, so yet another  phone call! & only costly 0844 numbers too, and lots of garbage to listen before you can speak to a human !

We now await the next statement - and 5% here is worth quibbling over.   But, I would hate to have to do it in French.

Tegwini

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[quote user="dave21478"]They dont regret it though, thats the problem. They humour you for a few minutes, refund your pennies, than carry on as before. >[/quote]

A lot of shops (Bricomarché being one which particularly comes to mind) are franchises, and franchisées seem to dislike having their after sales (or lack of) explained to other potential customers.
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