Today, whilst out shopping with friends who have just arrived in Florence , we popped into the Spar Supermarket in San Lorenzo market to buy ear plugs and a fan – there were no fans to be found but there were ear-plugs under a price tag of €4.38 – a high price we thought but there were 8 little plastic moulds in the box so “okay”.
I also spotted some Raid anti-zanzare refills ,which had been unavailable at the Magi Market this week, so picked up 2 of them – they were marked on the shelf at €4.98, 2 cents less than I pay at Magi Market on Via Guicciardini – on the packet there was only a bar-code – I went to the check-out and was surprised, and said so , when the check-out girl said “deice-nove, novant’otto” but had no time to protest before I got the receipt plus 2 cents in change from my €20 note – I looked up to find my friends equally dumbfounded by their change of 4 cents from a €10 note for their ear-plugs. The check-out lady showed us that the products they were displayed under was for something completely different – which wasn’t there in either case, but there were lots of Raid Refills and earplugs hanging under these incorrect price tags.
We protested at the price, double the amount we would normally pay – both in UK Sterling or in Euros, we also protested at the incorrect shelf stacking but most of all we protested that the girl told us that it would be contrary to European Law to give us a refund once the “scontrino” (receipt) had been produced even if we were dissatisfied with value of the product – our only choice was to get something else of equal value from the shop!
I was prepared to accept this for myself , but appalled for my newly arrived friends to get such an unpleasant welcome to my beloved Florence, so I asked to see the manager – she was busy I was told – although she hadn’t been summoned, or even advised of the developing situation, – which was beginning to create quite a queue at the check-out!
We waited off -line for sometime before the Manager turned up on some completely different errand ( she still hadn’t been called!) and I explained that my friends hadn’t left the shop- or opened or used the merchandise – they just wanted to pay a fair price for the product! Eventually, after further consultation, the Manager agreed to let my friends give the ear-plugs back and get a signed refund!
What a nightmare? I am still not certain who is right and where the European law stands on refunds at the check-out but I have been told there is, by European law, a cancel button on every till, which enables the vendor to issue a refund if a product is unsatisfactory?
I have today checked the price of Raid refills at S Lunga and they are €4.98 – in fact I got a whole new Raid night and day set with 2 refills for just €4.25!! My suspicion therefore, is that their pricing strategy is designed to catch the unwary tourist and this really bad marketing as I , for one, will certainly warn off all prospective customers from deSpar in San Lorenzo Market!
Has anyone got any answers or similar stories to share?