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Old 14.06.2012, 21:43
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accused of shoplifting, but not really?

so, i would greatly appreciate some feedback on this situation (as it has never happened to me before, in any country i've ever lived in...) today, i was looking in a jewelry boutique. i found a necklace i liked, and i put it in my hand. the little girl i take care of was looking at other things (earrings, she just got her first pair and she is a proud little duck) and a store clerk followed me (discreetly, at first) to where she was standing (maybe 3 meters away). we looked for a little bit, and the woman followed me around. i was kind of shocked, but didn't know what to do. the little girl was really into looking around though, and as i had some money to get her a present, i didn't just want to leave. well then, the sales lady told me in awful swiss german (i understand the dialect here, but have no idea what hers was...) basically that i needed to hand her back the necklace that was in my hand. i was so shocked i spoke to her in english, that i wanted to buy the necklace. she then put out her hand, and was literally like "hand it over." i was flabbergasted. i shook my head at her, and walked away to the cash register, where another clerk checked me out. the awful sales clerk stood by the whole time shaking her head at me, and my cute little duck. i wish i could complain to a manager, but i don't think it'd be a good use of my time. i am just so shocked by the whole thing, and kind of traumatized, but at least i have a cute necklace.
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Old 14.06.2012, 21:48
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

In my experience, if you were still inside the shop, you are not shoplifting.

If you stepped outside the shop (some shops even have levels where you cannot bring goods to another floor), then you can be accused of shoplifting.

In the worst case, ask for the store manager and then ask him/her to call the police if they want to settle their differences.
You have done nothing wrong if you stayed inside the shop.

BTW, are you certain the saleswoman was accusing you of shoplifting?
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Old 14.06.2012, 21:51
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

I've had this happen to the extent where someone followed me out of a shop and up a street before accusing me of shoplifting a shirt. I marched him back into his shop, found the shirt for him on the rack of clothes, said a few choice things to him and then told everybody I knew never go into the shop again.

This was in Australia, by the way!

There's very little you can do apart from feeling a bit of righteous anger. It's definitely not a Swiss thing, and your only revenge is to enjoy wearing your necklace.

There's a shop my daughter loves going into (full of souvenir things and cheap gifts - perfect for a little girl!) but I've noticed that the woman who runs the shop always follows us around or anyone else who dares enter her shop. We've stopped going there, because it feels so uncomfortable, and I'm guessing we're probably not the only ones who won't go in there anymore. That's a form of revenge in itself!
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Old 14.06.2012, 21:55
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

i was definitely inside the shop, and the the store was actually pretty little, so we were in eye's view the whole time. and that's the thing, i'm not sure if it actually counts as accusing me of a "crime," rather she told me to give the necklace back to her. and i am pretty sure that the fact that i look like a foreigner accounted for a large part of that ugly incident.
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Old 14.06.2012, 21:58
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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We've stopped going there, because it feels so uncomfortable, and I'm guessing we're probably not the only ones who won't go in there anymore. That's a form of revenge in itself!
that's what my bf told me, "you probably shouldn't buy jewelry from there anymore."
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Old 14.06.2012, 22:13
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

Did you actually buy it after that? I would not have done that.
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Old 14.06.2012, 22:18
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

yeah breezy, i unfortunately did. in retrospect, i probably shouldn't have. and in the future, i won't be frequenting that shop for my jewelry needs.
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Old 14.06.2012, 22:29
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

A few years ago (true story, maybe repeated here before):

To give you some congruence, my wife was once "held hard by her arm" by the Ferragamo shop salesgirl in Zurich BH-strasse, and accused of taking a wallet on sale without paying.

She was of course shocked. Then she took the saleswoman to the place where she replaced the wallet, and the woman let go of her arm.

My wife and her friend (both ethnically chinese ladies) were shocked and embarrassed. All the time the security guard shook his head, disbelieving the 2 chinese women.

It took me a call and an email to the HQ of Ferragamo Europe Sales Director, the shop called me and my wife to apologise. And guess who called? The sales manager (woman).
She spoke matter of fact, that she will "make a present" to my wife and then we can go to the shop to choose one. She also said the saleswoman was a temp worker. She DID NOT utter a word of apology during the call.

When i heard the sarcastic tone, a second email and a call to the Director.
I told him, we are Chinese and we are not beggars, and please educate your Zurich sales manager. It is no way to speak to customers. She should be fired! The sales manager of course apologised again and promised to look into the matter.
I promptly told him, that I worked with thousands of Chinese tourists, and this is the end for his brand.
I can only imagine his expression.
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Old 14.06.2012, 22:46
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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A few years ago (true story, maybe repeated here before):

To give you some congruence, my wife was once "held hard by her arm" by the Ferragamo shop salesgirl in Zurich BH-strasse, and accused of taking a wallet on sale without paying.

She was of course shocked. Then she took the saleswoman to the place where she replaced the wallet, and the woman let go of her arm.

My wife and her friend (both ethnically chinese ladies) were shocked and embarrassed. All the time the security guard shook his head, disbelieving the 2 chinese women.

It took me a call and an email to the HQ of Ferragamo Europe Sales Director, the shop called me and my wife to apologise. And guess who called? The sales manager (woman).
She spoke matter of fact, that she will "make a present" to my wife and then we can go to the shop to choose one. She also said the saleswoman was a temp worker. She DID NOT utter a word of apology during the call.

When i heard the sarcastic tone, a second email and a call to the Director.
I told him, we are Chinese and we are not beggars, and please educate your Zurich sales manager. It is no way to speak to customers. She should be fired! The sales manager of course apologised again and promised to look into the matter.
I promptly told him, that I worked with thousands of Chinese tourists, and this is the end for his brand.
I can only imagine his expression.
oh my god, hat. this was just a podunky little store in east switzerland, if that happened to be on the BH i would have probably cried. and i love salvatore ferragamo.

and on a side note, i "love" how shocked people are when they hear that i'm an american and not turkish, indian, or spanish, or some other "poor" minority. it makes them behave a lot better. i love switzerland, but sometimes i hate that ugly SVP mentality...
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Old 14.06.2012, 23:10
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

Definitely don't go back if you can avoid it. DO write a strongly worded letter to the company management. It probably wont' do anything but it will make you feel better! If you can go back and get the woman's name even better. Put her name in the letter.

The only really horrible experience I've had was in Manor in Lausanne. I got the woman's name and wrote a letter with her name in it. I wrote in English.

They wrote me back apologizing. Even if they hadn't wrote back it made me feel much better just writing it.

The best part was I never saw that woman in the store again. So in my mind I got her fired! I probably didn't. But it feels that way to me.

ETA: Oh, I just read that it was a small store. Maybe writing won't help. But maybe writing and saying that you are telling everyone about their terribly rude behavior might make them think again about what they are doing.
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Old 14.06.2012, 23:31
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

that is the best to do for the smaller stores as they survive on word of mouth. we had a problem with a very small jewelry store here in lausanne- my husband bought me earrings and the woman said they don't give receipts, but not to worry as it was her mom's store he could just return them if i didn't like them.

when we went back they tried their best to say he was lying and didn't want to give the money. i was quiet until they accused us of lying as my french isn't as good as his and then i lost it---a small crowd started to gather as it is a kind of kiosk in the center and the woman finally gave the money back after telling me not to call her tu. no apologies though or anything though and at first she tried to give 30 chfs less. to this day i still make ridiculous gestures to whomever i am with when we pass, it still bothers me the way she accused us.

that being said you could simply go back and explain that you didn't like the treatment. best to show them that they can't intimidate you either.
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Old 14.06.2012, 23:42
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

i hope she didnt make you buy the stuff..
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Old 14.06.2012, 23:44
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

Name and shame!
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Old 14.06.2012, 23:52
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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my husband bought me earrings and the woman said they don't give receipts,

Oh, You should have had shopped them into the tax authorities!
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Old 15.06.2012, 00:08
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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and i am pretty sure that the fact that i look like a foreigner accounted for a large part of that ugly incident.
Define "look like a foreigner" so we can avoid it.
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Old 15.06.2012, 00:16
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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Define "look like a foreigner" so we can avoid it.
I assume she means non-white...ya know, a healthy abundance of melanin.
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Old 15.06.2012, 00:25
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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Define "look like a foreigner" so we can avoid it.
Foreign flag attached to clothing
Stetson
Cowboy boots

On second thoughts I know too many Swiss who dress like that
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Old 15.06.2012, 00:26
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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and on a side note, i "love" how shocked people are when they hear that i'm an american and not turkish, indian, or spanish, or some other "poor" minority. it makes them behave a lot better. i love switzerland, but sometimes i hate that ugly SVP mentality...
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I assume she means non-white...ya know, a healthy abundance of melanin.
y'all have seen a lot of Turks or Spaniards sporting a healthy abundance of melanin?
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Old 15.06.2012, 00:30
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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y'all have seen a lot of Turks or Spaniards sporting a healthy abundance of melanin?
Why yes, certainly.

OT: Say shorick, did you by any chance open the cargo doors of a moving truck? I thought I recognized you in a video earlier.
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Old 15.06.2012, 00:32
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Re: accused of shoplifting, but not really?

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Why yes, certainly.

OT: Say shorick, did you by any chance open the cargo doors of a moving truck? I thought I recognized you in a video earlier.
Are you unhappy with the goods?
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