C**p Rating: Cocktail Scandinave

Those of you who know France well will not be surprised to learn that my efforts to return the parasol that was too big for my garden table were, if not unsuccessful, not at all satisfactory.

Cocktail Scandinave do not have a policy of reimbursement. Apparently it is not a legal obligation so of course, as they can get away with holding on to your money, they will. Only shops with a highly developed sense of customer service (and a worldwide presence) offer to reimburse (even if they make you jump through hoops to get your money back). At the national level, they don’t give a toss, business is fine without, so why bother?

I went to the shop today with the parasol wrapped in its original box. I went to the sales staff and told them about the parasol not fitting in my table and my desire to be reimbursed as I had brought it back in perfect condition box and all.

I was told that they are 100% not able to reimburse, but would swap it for something else. I said I didn’t want anything else, I wanted to be reimbursed. Here is a snippet of the conversation:

Me: "Why won’t you reimburse me?"

Manager: "Because it’s not our policy and we’ve been here for 25 years and doing very well without."

Me: "But your customer service is not very good if you don’t offer to reimburse customers when they buy a parasol that’s the wrong size."

Manager: "You should have checked the size before you came."

Me: "It was an impulse buy. Does that mean that it’s now dangerous to buy on impulse because one cannot return a wrong buy?"

Manager: "I can give you a gift card as a commercial gesture."

Me: "But I don’t want anything else in this shop, or the only other thing I wanted was a coffee table and I’d have to wait two months for that, and I’m not prepared to wait that long."

Manager: "I understand but that’s the best I can do and I don’t have to do that so if you don’t want me to change my mind you’d better revise your attitude…"

What to do in the face of such rudeness? I talked in English to my TWDB about the rubbish customer service, and as the guy was such a loser he didn’t understand.

So, take heed, dear French reader. I strongly advise you not to buy anything in Cockfail Scandinave because their customer service is more than bad, it’s a total shameful disgrace. Of course, they don’t advertise their delinquent customer service so you only find out when they’ve got you by the short and curlies.

I would also advise you to check the customer service of any store you wish to spend more than a few euros in, just in case, and BOYCOTT those who don’t reimburse their customers. We, the customers must MAKE A STAND and refuse to be treated like bunch of docile sheep.

It seems that the French are prepared to accept any old crap behaviour from customer services, so they get it. There was another guy in the shop who had ordered some furniture and paid a down payment of €35. He’d subsequently changed his mind, probably fed up with the wait, and asked to cancel the order and have his money back. Of course, said the shop assistant, we can give you a credit note to spend on some other piece of furniture. The old guy wanted to buy instead a cleaning product, but as that was not in the furniture section, he wasn’t allowed to. Same shop but different departments, you cannot even spend your sodding credit note where you want!

We left without thanking the manager for the gift card and I will be checking exactly where I can use it because I sure as hell don’t want to go back to effing ******** Scandinasse if I can possibly help it.

On a bright note however, we found a coffee table similar to the one that took two months to be delivered from ******** Scandipoo, less than twice the price, and IN STOCK from Conforama. That mission was accomplished, and if we’d just gone there first we wouldn’t have wasted a whole morning and I wouldn’t be €99 poorer.

Shopping in France is a parcours de combattant. Don’t think you’ll enjoy it because store policy is to part you with your money giving you as little as possible for as great a price as possible, taking the **** for good measure, and no come back. Do not undertake it lightly. You have been warned.


Funny, I didn’t get notification of these comments.

Anyway, I don’t want to move back to the UK, ta, I like it well enough here where I work, but it’s not all fabulous and marvellous and rose-tinted and all that stuff, it’s just like anywhere else, just with better weather (down south), decent cheese and cheap wine. But customer service leaves a lot to be desired in a lot of places, the manager was extremely rude and I’ve written to head office to complain.

Rebekah, I’m not surprised that you had to insist for your refund, or that the salesgirl was sarcastic. I think they hate being in a position of ‘servitude’, even if they’re being paid for it. That’s why it kills them to have a commercial approach to customers, unless the business is theirs and their livelihood depends on it (and even then…).

Totally agree with your last point.

I know it’s won’t change anything, but I do sympathise. I’ve just (very stylishly) bought some 3 for 2 face creams at Carrefour Market. Surprise, surprise the 3 for 2 discount just didn’t happen, so I complained and the Customer Service Lady (!) said I’d bought the wrong ones. I asked her to check the publicity and surprise, surprise (again) I had chosen the right ones. She promptly refunded the difference, but couldn’t resist saying, sarcastically, ‘I hope your very happy’! This is not the first or last time that this will happen, France isn’t very good at customer service and some of the stores that are, are subsidiaries of non-French companies.
Loving living in France doesn’t preclude us from complaining when customer service is non-existent or bad.

So glad it wasn’t just me…

I agree with the shop.

1/ You should have measured your hole before buying!!
2/ Did you not have someone who could enlarge your hole?
3) Could it be that your hole was a bit clogged up from lack of use?

Don’t thank me; where there is a problem, there is usually a solution.


Um- why is the guy “such a loser” if he doesn’t understand English? I can’t imagine finding anyone in a shop in the UK understanding a word of French - does that make them “losers” too? And he does have a point - why didn’t you measure what size umbrella-hole you needed? And I actually don’t see what’s wrong with giving you a credit note - given that the fault was yours, not the shop’s.

I have just received in the ‘pub’ in my boite de lettres a very expensive to produce thick catalogue from them, can you imagine how much thats costs to put in everybodys letterbox! shame they couldn’t put the money back into caring for their customers who have already bought, but then I suppose they make their money back and more with this very advertising! All wrong!

Also watch out in case your ‘credit note’ has a shelf life, I wouldn’t put it past them.

Catharine!!! Please dont spell check that last commentaire lol, I will spend the week in the corner lol

OOOHHHH You sound really angry, and I in oyur place would be as angry, where is this shop?? I will definitley make sure I never go there and if I hear of anyone saying they will, I will advise them not too!!!Although I do think that your credit note will have to be spent with them !!! Let me know what you bought lol

Guess the luck I sent you this morning wasn’t much help. Sorry.