The title of this post is actually very misleading, as it may imply that there *is* such a thing as customer service in this country.
My recent bitter experience at Mariage Frères is bringing back fond memories of the U.S. In the first few weeks after I moved to DC, money was really scarce and I found myself fuming at home after finding a twin bedsheet in a package supposed to contain a double. When I vented to a friend, she said, "Just go back to the store and they'll give you your money back!". From an *open* package? I just couldn't believe it was possible. But sure enough, I did get a refund. And they did not even ask for my receipt!
Well, the exact opposite just happened to me today. I went back to the store with a sealed metal box of tea in its original packaging (expiration date in 2017), with what I thought was a reasonnable expectation of store credit and they just told me "sorry no refunds or exchanges whatsoever". My gut reaction is to take my business elsewhere - since they apparently prefer to upset customers rather than budge from their stupid principles.
The only problem is, their competitors' customer service is likely going to be just as bad, so what is one supposed to do? Stop shopping in France altogether? I'm already enforcing this policy for clothes, I wonder how far I can push it. Grocery shopping has to be kept local, and I have already had to reduce the list of places I shop at by the customer service criteria: usually, as soon as I've had to experience their customer service, I just stop going. So, service is defined organically: if you have to request it, forget it. But I've been amazed in the past eighteen months at how basic things such as paying listed price and paying only for items actually in your cart can become stringeant constraints.
So basically, any recommendations for good tea places (bulk, no flavoring) in the greater Paris area are welcome!