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Old 29.11.2015, 12:50
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Help when buying...anything!

The difficulty when you live in a country where "customer service" is not always a priority and if, on top of that, you don't have the language skills to ask exactly what you are after, buying (whether a digital camera or a kitchen) can become tricky and frustrating.


This is an excellent buying guide (in English) we always use before going somewhere, at least we go and buy armed with the pros and cons. The language skills fit in somehow!


http://www.johnlewis.com/buying-guides
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Old 29.11.2015, 12:55
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

Moral of the story...

improve your language skills asap
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:01
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Moral of the story...

improve your language skills asap
Or buy everything online from the UK
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:05
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

You live in Geneva ...... French has to be one of the most crappiest languages for any non-speaker to learn.
It's all arse about face and spoken with the tongue stuffed firmly half way up the nasal passage, using only vowels.

Give me German, everyday of the year - firm structure with proper hard sounds and use of consonants.
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:11
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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You live in Geneva ...... French has to be one of the most crappiest languages for any non-speaker to learn.
It's all arse about face and spoken with the tongue stuffed firmly half way up the nasal passage, using only vowels.

Give me German, everyday of the year - firm structure with proper hard sounds and use of consonants.


Most crappiest??? How about a bit of English top up first before slagging off other languages?
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:13
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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The difficulty when you live in a country where "customer service" is not always a priority and if, on top of that, you don't have the language skills to ask exactly what you are after, buying (whether a digital camera or a kitchen) can become tricky and frustrating.


This is an excellent buying guide (in English) we always use before going somewhere, at least we go and buy armed with the pros and cons. The language skills fit in somehow!


http://www.johnlewis.com/buying-guides


Today only, thanks for the groan! Puzzled, really, as some people, if obviously not you, might find some useful info. It saved me from a disastrous choice being imposed by a pushy seller only a couple of days ago.
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:14
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Most crappiest??? How about a bit of English top up first before slagging off other languages?


It just affirms my dislike of learning French ..... 'most crappy' or 'crappiest' wouldn't have delivered the same feeling.
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:17
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Moral of the story...

improve your language skills asap
Ah, yes, Odile, for us language is not too much of an issue, it's the advice (or lack of) given to potential buyers. Trying to buy a kitchen, tiles and flooring is more of a challenge than we had expected, because we feel we are getting pushed into either the most expensive options or what the buyer wants to flog off.


Thanks to the JL buying guide (and the shadow of our bank manager looking over us!), we know how to stand firm with our own choices.
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:19
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

Ok, McTAVGE, I opened the link. It does have some tips. Perhaps I did not open the ones you find specifically good, but all I found in the clothes and furniture department were disguised commercials and random general advices that help no one - a little bit like the one-size-fits-all tactic of the daily horoscope.

I am lucky to have learned the language and be able to fend off by myself now. But in the beginning, when my German was in the early stages of pointing and grunting, I got myself to stores I knew had the patience and were willing to cater to foreigners in a foreign language (namely Manor, Globus, Jelmoli, etc). Yes, they are more expensive, but I knew I could speak English and would be nicely treated. Any item I was not specifically happy about was exchanged without any trouble, and the costumer service was impecable.

I do agree that it would be nice to have a good costumer service in every store in Switzerland. I have also had many bad experiences, but there are some work arounds (which unfortunately either involve a good grasp on the local language or a not so good grasp on your wallet).
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:19
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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It just affirms my dislike of learning French ..... 'most crappy' or 'crappiest' wouldn't have delivered the same feeling.


Blame it on bad teaching at school! How on Earth whoever heard Plastic Bertrand's "Ca plane pour moi" would not love French???
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:20
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Ah, yes, Odile, for us language is not too much of an issue, it's the advice (or lack of) given to potential buyers. Trying to buy a kitchen, tiles and flooring is more of a challenge than we had expected, because we feel we are getting pushed into either the most expensive options or what the buyer wants to flog off.


Thanks to the JL buying guide (and the shadow of our bank manager looking over us!), we know how to stand firm with our own choices.
But that's just selling techniques ..... immaterial of location.

A good salesman doesn't 'sell', but lets the customer buy ....... but only what he wants them to buy.
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:24
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

You obviously didn't have a brilliant teacher, like ... some () I know.

Must say we had a great experience buying from SABAG in Neuchâtel- the young woman did her very best to give us the best quality and style for the best price- she was really keen to practise her English and asked us to speak in English to her
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:26
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Ok, McTAVGE, I opened the link. It does have some tips. Perhaps I did not open the ones you find specifically good, but all I found in the clothes and furniture department were disguised commercials and random general advices that help no one - a little bit like the one-size-fits-all tactic of the daily horoscope.

I am lucky to have learned the language and be able to fend off by myself now. But in the beginning, when my German was in the early stages of pointing and grunting, I got myself to stores I knew had the patience and were willing to cater to foreigners in a foreign language (namely Manor, Globus, Jelmoli, etc). Yes, they are more expensive, but I knew I could speak English and would be nicely treated. Any item I was not specifically happy about was exchanged without any trouble, and the costumer service was impecable.

I do agree that it would be nice to have a good costumer service in every store in Switzerland. I have also had many bad experiences, but there are some work arounds (which unfortunately either involve a good grasp on the local language or a not so good grasp on your wallet).



As John Lewis is a department store, they will show their products, understandably, but if you scroll down to the left, you then have a link to various tips and guides, including from Which, an independent consumer guide.
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Old 29.11.2015, 13:28
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

True if Timow had been in your or my capable hands, he would be a lover of all French things and culture!
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Old 29.11.2015, 18:06
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Moral of the story...

improve your language skills asap
I'm fairly certain the OP's french skills are at least as good as yours, Odile.
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Old 29.11.2015, 18:55
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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I'm fairly certain the OP's french skills are at least as good as yours, Odile.


You are too kind, HeatherM!
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Old 29.11.2015, 20:05
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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It just affirms my dislike of learning French ..... 'most crappy' or 'crappiest' wouldn't have delivered the same feeling.
I think "confirms" rather than "affirms".

The great thing about English is that it is possible to express even the most powerful emotions without using a) foul language or b) bad grammar. For example (and this isn't directed at anyone):

You are a bleating foal, a curdled staggering mutant dwarf smeared richly with the effluvia and offal accompanying your alleged birth into this world. An insensate, blinking calf, meaningful to nobody, abandoned by the puke-drooling, giggling beasts who sired you and then killed themselves in regret for what they had done.

You have all the appeal of a paper cut.

Would that a hawk pick you up, drive its beak into your brain, and upon finding it rancid, set you loose to fly briefly before spattering the ocean rocks with the frothy pink shame of your ignoble blood. May you choke on the queasy, convulsing nausea of your own trite, foolish beliefs
It would be even better in French.
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Old 30.11.2015, 02:37
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

I usually window shop around. DON'T let the salesperson near you - just look and note prices at 3-4 places, and i think you'll have a fair idea.
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Old 30.11.2015, 06:11
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

Customer service is over rated, I prefer my shopping unhassled by sales peeps.

Research product online, find which product is best for you, lookup prices on something like toppreise(http://www.toppreise.ch), find cheapest vendor with best customer feedback, order online or find nearest brick and mortar store, avoid all sales staff, locate product, purchase.

Most electronics are actually cheaper here, but media like music, films, books etc are cheaper elsewhere, I mostly buy that from from amazon.co.uk.

Clothes are ridiculously expensive here, and it's hard to find stylish stuff too, at least I find that as a guy who doesn't want to be a walking billboard. A weekend shopping trip to the UK will cover itself in savings if you shop in bulk.
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Old 30.11.2015, 10:39
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Re: Help when buying...anything!

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Customer service is over rated, I prefer my shopping unhassled by sales peeps.

Research product online, find which product is best for you, lookup prices on something like toppreise(http://www.toppreise.ch), find cheapest vendor with best customer feedback, order online or find nearest brick and mortar store, avoid all sales staff, locate product, purchase.
.....
Ditto that. Even at DIY / hobby stores.
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