Retail Trauma

If you can’t get yourself to Vegas to be married at the Little White Chapel by an Elvis Impersonator who takes offense that you don’t refer to him by the more status-gratifying title of ‘Tribute Artist’ then you do the next best thing.  You get married on Elvis’ birthday that we would all be aware is January 8.  And that’s exactly what Carl and I did.

So Sunday was our Wedding Anniversary and I hit the shops looking for that very special gift.  During my pursuit I walked past a homewares shop and displayed in the window was a huge sign saying ‘All Riedel Wine Glasses Greatly Reduced’.  And Carl and I love Riedel wineglasses and we used to have quite an enviable collection but tragically we are like a couple of Greeks and just keep smashing them.  I went into the shop and stacked up on the top shelf so high it was only just clearing the ceiling was a box that contained four Bordeaux glasses and four Chardonnay glasses.  And I did like the look of the Chardonnay glasses because they were the ones without the stems and I was thinking these could be good for us because they probably wouldn’t be as smashable.

Here’s two we haven’t smashed

The owner of the store came over to serve me and I asked her about the box I had my eye on.  She told me they were a terrific deal because they had been reduced to $99.00 and actually you were only paying for the four Bordeaux glasses and the Chardonnay glasses were being thrown in for free.  And I was thinking ‘Carl will absolutely love these’ but actually, the truth is that I was thinking how great these would be in the background of all my photos on Hotly Spiced.  But that would be something I wouldn’t disclose to Carl, especially on our anniversary.

So the deal was done and I paid for the glassware and as I was walking out of the store with the box under my arm the owner of the store accosted me and said, ‘I’m terribly sorry, I shouldn’t really even be here because I’ve been working 10 days straight and I go on holidays tomorrow and I’m so tired I got the price wrong.  They’re actually $199.00 so I’ll have to get you to pay another $100.00.’

Three more steps and I would have been out the door.

She took the box from under my arm, almost forcibly, and told me to come back to the counter.  I told her I didn’t want to give her another $100.00.  And then she said, ‘Well then you’ll have to give me your card and I’ll give you a refund’.

And we had a bit of argie-bargie but she would not concede.  I reluctantly handed her my card and my $99.00 was returned to me and I went home box-less and Carl received nothing.

Once the transaction had been done would you have happily paid double?


  1. Happy Anniversary for the 8th ! Sorry that Carl didn’t land up with a present – did you get one instead ???? Absolutely not – I would have sprinted out the shop as fast as I could !!!! What a cheek – she told you the price – not your fault she had worked 10 days straight and didn’t know what she was saying.

    Have a great (glassless) day anyway !

  2. No I wouldn’t pay the extra $100. The transaction was done, those glasses should have been yours for $99. I can understand a small business not wanting a loss like that, but those kind of mistakes they should just wear, if only for the sake of good customer relations and PR.

  3. LOL – that is OK !

    I am with Tenille – I think that for the sake of customer service, they should have worn the mistake – not you.

    Have a great day !

  4. What she did may actually have been illegal – by the time you’d paid and been given a receipt, I would have thought the goods were legally yours. The Department of Fair Trading would be able to let you know, if you were curious to find out. Having said all that, we switched years ago from Riedels to Spieglaus – the glasses were almost as fine, but about a third the price!

  5. What a disappointment! And what makes that shopkeeper think you’ll ever shop there again? Bah!

  6. What a pain. If this had happened to me I would have called over my wife Liz (a native NYC gal) and she would torn that sales lady apart…arguing to she surrendered and we walked out with the lower price.

  7. No, I would not have paid an additional $100 !! I really don’t think that was fair, when a store marks an item incorrectly, they have to sell it to you for that price. Hopefully you were able to enjoy a very happy anniversary!

  8. Not a chance! It would always eat at me for paying double.

  9. Oh lame. She should’ve let you have them. I drink my wine out of the finest glasses: the infinitely smashable IKEA ones that are only 99 cents each 🙂 Someday I hope to graduate to Riedel – or Spieglaus, I suppose!

    In any case, Happy Anniversary!!

  10. Happy Anniversary you two glass smashing delights! I definitely would not have paid double the amount and I would have asked for a refund on the credit card and probably wouldn’t go there again 🙂

  11. happy Anniversary and no, absolutely not, I would not have paid double.

  12. For shame! You certainly should have been allowed the glasses for that price. You should email or write a letter of complaint to the store, and tell them they have lost a customer. And then go online for that great bargain Celia mentioned!
    Happy anniversary anyway 🙂

  13. No I would not have paid and I would do exactly what celia said and buy Spiegelau at Victorias Basement or Peters, they are made in the same factory and you wont know the difference, although I guess the moment has past now. Happy anniversary anyway!

  14. I wouldn’t have paid double and I would take the complaint to the Department of Fair Trading. You had a biding contract, you negotiated the price and paid the consideration, had a receipt and the transaction was finalised, deal was done!

    I would NOT go back! and I would name and shame the store on my blog! Yes I am a little vindictive but you don’t want anyone else to have to deal with such bad customer service and rude sales staff.

  15. The important thing is…. I bought Charlie a gift. Otherwise life would not be worth living!
    Xxx 🙂

  16. I would have done as you did and I would have told her I would be filing a complaint afterward and then done so. Had she been a clerk, I wouldn’t have because that mistake would probably have been taken out of her paycheck. No matter what was done, though, It would have been small consolation since you still ended up glassless. I hope you had a wonderful anniversary just the same — and Happy Birthday, Elvis, wherever you are!

  17. That just sucks, Charlie Louie; in Canada the larger retailers would have to give you the item for what it was rung in, some even have a policy that if they ring it in for more you would get it for FREE! I would have walked away too. Since we’ve had our soapstone countertops, we too have been smashing glasses like nothing! Crazy! My favourite glassware are the Waterford Marquis lineup (by far the most elegant Martini glasses ever!). I recently bought four (to replace the three we recently sacrificed!) for $68Can.— they were on sale! Imagine my surprise when I saw the EXACT four at a discount retailer for $19.99! I bought four more for the vault, I’m sure we will need them soon!

  18. PS Happy Anniversary. We stayed at a lovely B&B in Napa Valley and the host seemed to be an Elvis impersonator; fortunately for us, he did not break into song!

  19. Happy Anniversary!!!
    Never shop that place again, EVER! They are just pure thieves!!!!!!

  20. What a total drag. shoot! I hope you had a wonderful anniversary anyway!

  21. That is unbelievably unfair and I agree, once you’d paid they were yours! Sure it’s a big mistake on their part but you’d already paid the agreed price.

    I’m off to check out Celia’s alternative too.

    Have a lovely anniversary!

  22. I was married in Las Vegas at the little chapel but no Elvis. I’m wishing you a belated congratulations on your anniversary. I think you did the right thing the glasses, by the way.

  23. I hope you had a lovely anniversary regardless – ‘smashing’, even…! What a cow, no way on earth would I have paid the extra cash and I agree wholeheartedly with the comments that they were yours, but still, that’s easier said than done, to just say ‘up you, their mine now’ and bolt for the door! No doubt some people would have. I do love the stemless Riedel though. I am a big fan of Everten Online and you can usually grab a good bargain there. The woman in the store may have been afraid that it would have had to come out of her pretty meagre pay, which some places insist on.

  24. A belated Happy Anniversary. I too love Reidel glasses and I too have smashed a few in my time, usually when washing them *carefully*. Whatever the law relating to retail sales says, it seems extraordinary bad for customer relations to accost a customer, who has already made payment, on the way out the door seeking extra money to cover the assistant’s mistake.

  25. A good store would have given it to you at the price that was quoted. I once spotted a skirt at a clothing store that was on the sale rack. I tried it on, it fit and I went to go pay for it. The clerk said the skirt shouldn’t have been on the sale rack as it was not marked down. But because it was mistakenly put there, she gave it to me at the 30 percent off sale price. Now, that’s a store that I would — and have — returned to because they showed such courtesy.

  26. Nice glasses…sigh! I used to have a fantastic collection of glasses but everyone around me visitors, husband, seemed determined to smash them all. In the end I think I gave away the remaining few as I could not bear how annoyed/anxious I got when people were rough with them (I had one visitor who insisted on using them everytime she came over, even if it was just to have a glass of water!!). We have been doing the ikea wine glasses for far too long now. Perhaps I could sneak in some good glasses that I hide at the back of the cupboard for my use only…?!

    • hotlyspiced says:

      I can’t believe you have a friend who wanted to drink out of your best glasses even when drinking only water. Some people are so brazen! Yes, find a secret place and stash some away from yourself.

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