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Old 05.01.2012, 18:10
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Bought an "empty box" at Globus

I was at one of the cosmetics counters in Globus in Zurich today and bought one of my staple items- fwiw a tiny eye product.

I get home and the box is empty. No product. The product is so small and light you wouldn't know it was empty unless you opened the box. I never thought I would have to check I actually had a product.

Knowing how the Swiss are about returning cosmetics, and that it is really my word against the saleslady's, AND my German sucks, I wonder how it is going to turn out tomorrow when I take my "box" back for an actual product.

When I worked in retail, I did have to keep the tester box to itemize it out at the end of the month, so I hope that this is the situation and that she can look in her drawer and sees she doesn't have her tester box any more.

Yeah I know, first world problem, what about the starving children etc etc, but so aggravating and 40 francs is a lot of money for me right now, especially if I have to shell it out twice.
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Old 05.01.2012, 18:21
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

Oh dear, that is terrible. I hope you can prove the box was actually empty and they don't think you just want a second product for free. Happened to me at MCDonald's take away where they forgot to pack the fries, and at Starbuck's they forgot the muffin which I only noticed when I got home, so now I always check if everything I paid for is there.
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Old 05.01.2012, 18:27
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

Try to go back around the same time of day, if you can, to maximize your chances of seeing the same saleslady.

Also, if it is Globus or Jelmoli the odds are that she speaks English - at least enough to get by - so try that first.

Describe the situation as you think it happened - "somehow I received the tester box instead of one with actual product in it." The idea is that you're producing the plausible explanation up front, not demanding one from her, so the situation immediately becomes less confrontational.
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Old 05.01.2012, 23:20
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

Oh, such an unpleasant situation! Hope it works out for you, let us know how it goes...
From now on will always check all the little boxes...
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Old 06.01.2012, 12:31
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

i mean, thats just logic: you cant finish a box of cosmetics in 1 day, not just a week(or when did you find out?). and your story to me does not sound made up. if you go there n explain the situation, you will get a filled box for sure. things can happen, 1mio boxes, impossible globus can check them all, especially durung/short after xmas. much stuff gets shoplifted. so go there n tell them. n let us know what happened.
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Old 06.01.2012, 12:38
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

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i mean, thats just logic: you cant finish a box of cosmetics in 1 day, not just a week(or when did you find out?).
Cosmetics is one of the products that is more prone to theafts, so it makes stores very touchy on the subject. You'd be surprised with the scams people come up with. They could accuse her of lying, and that she has the product hidden at home, while demanding for a second one for free.

When I buy in Manor, the ladies always open the boxes to make sure there is something inside, and that it's the correct product. That's why I like to buy there.

I'd try to go back to Globus and politely explain the situation. Maybe you are lucky and they give you a new package They are usually quite friendly.

Good luck, and let us know how it went!
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Old 06.01.2012, 13:59
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

Sorry to hear your story.
But I don't know how you can make them to believe. i don't mean to be rude by saying this. It is a little difficult task I think.

If I were you, I would go n try.
But even you fail, don't get so upset.
At least you learn a lesson "open the box before you go."

My fingers n toes are crossed for u!!
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Old 06.01.2012, 14:00
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

Aren't the boxes containing this sort of tiny cosmetic item usually sealed?
Not much help this time, but worth watching out for another time.

Hope you get a sympathetic sales lady who'll replace the missing item!
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Old 06.01.2012, 14:11
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

I would expect that if you explain the situation politely and remain calm and cooperative, the decent thing for them to do would be to give you another box. After all, to them it's just peanuts and processing a complaint can often cost more than the item in question. If you are a regular loyal customer (and have a customer card to prove it) it might help to mention that.
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Old 06.01.2012, 14:31
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

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Aren't the boxes containing this sort of tiny cosmetic item usually sealed?
Depends on the product, really. Face creams (at least from the brands I use) are usually sealed with transparent folie, but an eye liner from Estée Lauder won't, for example.

But the stuff is so expensive, I make sure to check validation date, content and change before leaving the store. Paranoia McScrudge is my name, nice to meet you!
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Old 06.01.2012, 14:41
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

All is well that ends well- I did exactly as MathNut said, I went in, it was the same saleslady, asked if she remembered me, then handed her bag, box and receipt and said "I think I got the tester box, can you help me?" with a big smile. She was surprised, had to talk to a few colleagues about what to do, and she wound up ringing it up as a broken return and exchanging the item no questions asked and no charge. She checked the other items in the display case, I think she thought as you said, mine must have gotten shoplifted from the display case and they left the box.

Sooo.... Big Up to the Benefit counter at Globus in Zurich.
I think it is a fine line between being too strict about returns (as has happened to me in Switzerland before, which is why I was dreading going there today) and being too lax like the US. I see people at Sephora in the US return eye shadow palettes where they have hit pan and were all like "yeah the color doesn't work for me."

I'm quite happy now, especially not to be out 40 francs.
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Old 06.01.2012, 15:18
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

Remind us - what colour is your hair?
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Old 08.01.2012, 18:21
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

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Remind us - what colour is your hair?
*pleads the fifth*
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Old 08.01.2012, 19:41
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

One of the noce things in Globus is how helpful they are on returns. I had a case of wine where I had two corked bottles. When I took one back I mentioned that i had had another corked bottle in the case and the wine guy just gave me two new bottles, no questions asked and a happy smile.
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Old 12.01.2012, 19:57
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

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All is well that ends well- I did exactly as MathNut said, I went in, it was the same saleslady, asked if she remembered me, then handed her bag, box and receipt and said "I think I got the tester box, can you help me?" with a big smile. She was surprised, had to talk to a few colleagues about what to do, and she wound up ringing it up as a broken return and exchanging the item no questions asked and no charge. She checked the other items in the display case, I think she thought as you said, mine must have gotten shoplifted from the display case and they left the box.
Its always nice to hear about a great customer service experience. Honesty and politeness are always the best policies, and almost always produce the best results.

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I think it is a fine line between being too strict about returns (as has happened to me in Switzerland before, which is why I was dreading going there today) and being too lax like the US. I see people at Sephora in the US return eye shadow palettes where they have hit pan and were all like "yeah the color doesn't work for me."
Unfortunately, those 'generous' return policies in the US still result in profits for the companies that practice them. The companies simply raise the price of each of their products a little to cover this 'cost of business.' This is less costly and preferable compared to the alternative of these 'customers' publicly claiming they were discriminated against and/or even attempting a lawsuit.

Imagine how much more expensive things could be in Switzerland if Swiss businesses adjusted their prices to cover these more 'liberal' return policies....

Imagine how much less expensive things could be in the US if US courts had more of a 'loser pays' tort system...
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Old 12.01.2012, 20:24
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

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Unfortunately, those 'generous' return policies in the US still result in profits for the companies that practice them. The companies simply raise the price of each of their products a little to cover this 'cost of business.' This is less costly and preferable compared to the alternative of these 'customers' publicly claiming they were discriminated against and/or even attempting a lawsuit.
Ethically speaking, you're right.

However, for a company, it also costs money to deal with complaints, write letters and refute claims. Or even just an attendant who is arguing with you is not able to serve other customers in that time and is so being unproductive and leading to lost income. Sometimes it can actually be cheaper to give the customer what they want. Especially if the value of the object itself is but a small part of the sales price, things like staff and real estate costs contributing much more. Of course there is also a class of customer who will then exploit that and so it goes on.
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Old 12.01.2012, 22:28
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Re: Bought an "empty box" at Globus

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Ethically speaking, you're right.

However, for a company, it also costs money to deal with complaints, write letters and refute claims. Or even just an attendant who is arguing with you is not able to serve other customers in that time and is so being unproductive and leading to lost income. Sometimes it can actually be cheaper to give the customer what they want. Especially if the value of the object itself is but a small part of the sales price, things like staff and real estate costs contributing much more. Of course there is also a class of customer who will then exploit that and so it goes on.
There's costs with either decision, as has been mentioned. Fortunately, companies are becoming more clever in how they handle customer returns with policies such as restocking fees and identification requirements. Requiring identification has especially been effective in identifying 'serial returners,' thus reducing the costs associated with customer-friendly return policies.
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