We have already told you about what merchants have, or not, the right to do. The law is nice, but it does not only apply to professionals! We too, as consumers, have rules to follow. Yes, SURPRISEEEEEEE: the customer is not king. Get that out of your head. It’s not because you put your hand in your wallet that everything is allowed… Simple reminder shot.
1. Taste a fruit before buying it
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It is strictly forbidden to taste a fruit, like any other bulk product. Even if you decide to buy a bunch afterwards, the swallowed grape will never be paid for. Legally, it’s theft. In practice, no one will piss you off for a grape… But if that ever happens, you’ll be at fault! OH NO DON’T GET ME OUT BY ARTICLE 1587 OF THE CIVIL CODE! This applies only to fairs or shows. Nothing to do with your Carrefour Market, what.
2. … Or open any package before checking out
In the same logic as the previous point: as long as a product is not paid for, it belongs to the store. You are therefore not entitled to open a packet of cake to snack on while shopping, or to take a few sips of water. Once again, in practice, traders are still quite flexible on the issue… As long as you pay them at the end, of course!
3. Walk into a grocery store with a dog
In decoration, ready-to-wear, jewelry shops, merchants are free to accept or not the presence of animals in their establishment. On the other hand, their presence is formally prohibited by the European regulation n°852-2004 of April 29, 2004, for rather obvious reasons of hygiene.
Exceptions exist for guide dogs or assistance dogs (article 88 of law n°87-588 of July 30, 1987 as amended).
4. Separate a yogurt from its pack
Stores do not have the right to subordinate the sale of product (translate: to sell them as a group), if this sale constitutes an unfair commercial practice (within the meaning of this article). Otherwise, subordination is tolerated, and in this case you do not have the right to separate products packaged together, such as yogurts.
In fact, the law is a little more complex still, because the sale by batch must be of “interest for the consumers”. Firstly, this means that the grouped sale must be financially more interesting than the unit sale. Then, the quantities proposed must not exceed the normal needs of the customer. Nobody needs 12 cans of coke, for example, so in that case you can ask for the lot to be split.
To put it simply: you are free to take only four yoghurts in a pack of sixteen or a single bottle in a pack of six, if and only if it does not alter the packaging!
5. Yelling because there are no toilets available
It’s not illegal, but it’s absolutely useless. First, no one is going to install any toilets after your visit to please you. NOBODY. Then, no text requires supermarkets to have toilets available to their customers. SO WE STOP YELLING AT THE CASHIER, SHE HAS NOTHING TO DO!!!
6. Request a refund for a product purchased in store (excluding food)
The legal right of withdrawal exists… For online purchases! When the purchase is made directly in store, it is considered that there is an “agreement on the item and its price” and therefore: that the sale is final. Many brands accept the return of products. It’s very nice, but nothing obliges them! If you are told no… it’s no, and it’s the law!
7. Refusing to pay for a bottle you broke
Under Article 1240 of the Civil Code: “Any human act that causes damage to others obliges the person through whose fault it manages to repair it”: in the event of breakage, it is your responsibility that is logically engaged. Once again, in practice, you will rarely be asked for anything, the vast majority of businesses being insured for this type of incident!
8. Bar you with the shopping cart beyond the car park
I’m sure I’m going to teach you something crazy, but… Carts and baskets belong to the store. Not to you. Phew, right? Getting out with no deal means bringing home something that doesn’t belong to you. Guess what it’s called? From… ? Vooooo…? YESIII, FLIGHT! BRAVO, THAT’S IT! Raaaah, you are really strong, huh.
9. Flip through or read a book/newspaper without buying it
Officially, no text prohibits black on white to ask you on the carpet of the FNAC to read a comic strip. On the other hand, some merchants associate this practice with “consumption inside the store”, without going through the checkout. Imagine that it’s a packet of cake, that you open it, eat it on the spot, then leave without paying for it… It’s theft! Well for reading on the spot, it’s more or less the same, if you think about it.
Yes, no, because we talk a lot about “stealing” (in the sense of “stealing”, not “taking oneself for a bird”, huh), but if we don’t tell you that it’s completely forbidden not law… Bah, yeah, I understand that you couldn’t know, yeah! My poor little deer, no one warned you? Ralalalaaaa fortunately we are here! Come on, now that you know, I’m counting on you not to do it anymore, huh?