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Credit card refunds


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Whilst in France recently, I had cause to return an item I had bought a couple of days earlier. It was a car part, and I had been sold the wrong size. They were fine with the principal of refunding my money but refused to credit the refund to my credit card (MasterCard) with which I had paid for it. They insisted that I took cash. Is this normal in France? Why did the store state that it was impossible to make a credit to a card, any card; a view which was adhered to by waiting customers? My card company say that cash should not be given in return for items paid for by card amd that they can see no reason for this refusal.

Be interested in others’ experience and views.


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I had my card refunded recently in Brico-depot in lieu of  "un avoir" as I was not going to be buying anything else that day, in the past thay have given me cash.

My most interesting refund experience was at a VAG garage, family owned franchise I think. I had bought a aircon compressor clutch and politly but firmly negotiated/insisted on a discount, I got 10% but left with the impression that no-one had ever asked before, they werent put out, just bemused.

Over one month later I tried to return it as I had damaged the compressor shaft removing the old one and decided to do without aircon than replace that as well.

I had absolutely no right to return it, their normal terms were 7 days but for stock items only, this had been ordered for me, with this in mind I negotiated politely and much to my surprise they agreed; all of my French friends said that I had no chance and were outraged that I should even consider trying.

I offered to the parts salesman the debit card that I had originally paid for and he said that they couldnt, and that the accounts lady would send a cheque at the end of the month, they kept my original facture and I left without any evidence that I had ever purchased or returned anything.

At the end of the month a cheque arrived for the list price plus TVA so I had made 10.196% on the deal[blink]

I couldnt live with myself so took the cheque back, after much discussion they decided that things were complicated enough as it was and that I should accept the gift with their compliments, they were equally bemused that I had returned!

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In France I have always been given cash back and never a credit on my credit card. Quite a good way of getting hold of cash if you can't get to an ATM or it is out of order as often happens here at the weekend. (I suspect it has just run out of cash too!). Or if your debit card is unavailable. Or if your current account has nothing in it!! All you need to do is use your credit card to buy something expensive at Carrefour for example. Go straight from the till to the Acceuil. Say you have changed your mind and bingo!

Interestingly, when in Spain recently I returned an item and was given a credit on my card. The credit made it onto the next statement but the debit didn't. I was up on the deal for a whole month and it was quite a large amount.
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