Unpleasant product exchange at Carrefour - anyone know their policy here?

Does anyone know what Carrefour’s return policy is here or have any experience returning things to their stores? I couldn’t find anything about their policy in Taiwan specifically but noticed most other countries seemed to have a 7 day return policy, so I assumed it would the same here.

Almost daily I buy a coconut water product from a small carrefour near my apartment. The product is very good. But this time I got a bad bottle - no flavor at all, tasted like water. So I went to ask to exchange it. I used google translate and wrote to them: “I buy this product frequently. There is a problem with this one - it tastes like water, it has no coconut flavor. Can I exchange it for another?”

I walked up to the counter with my receipt, the bottle and showed them the message.

The first girl at the checkout was totally bewildered by my request and had no idea how to respond; finally she said: “you can’t return it, you already opened it.” I tried to explain if I hadn’t opened it and tasted it I wouldn’t know there was a problem. She passed me to a manager, who also didn’t seem to understand what I wanted and suggested I buy another bottle by another brand. Finally I got passed to a third manager, who was also perplexed - he went so far as to open the bottle and start smelling it for some reason, which I found very odd. As he was smelling it, I wrote him another message: “There is a problem with this bottle. It has no flavor. I like this product, I just want to exchange it for the same kind.”

Finally he said ok ok, and then rushed away. I get the impression he still didn’t understand or want to allow the exchange but was just too uncomfortable with the situation and wanted to put an end to it.

I was in there about 20 minutes before they agreed to the exchange. Overall, the most tense and unpleasant return experience I’ve ever had in my life. I understand from what I’ve been told from locals that Taiwanese people never return anything, no matter if it is faulty or defective, but I’m still surprised by what happened, since Carrefour is an international company.

For those of you with more experience returning things here, are there any secrets to a smoother transaction, or is this the way things usually go?


I think you’re lucky they exchanged the item at all. Taiwan’s consumer protection code says once you buy it in person, you cannot return it. For example if you buy something at Apple and want to return it, they will refuse.

The merchant might have their own policies that’s more consumer friendly. For example Costco still lets you return it. Apple does not, even if you haven’t opened the packaging. I tried to return an unopened Apple keyboard at Taipei 101 apple store within 3-4 days (with receipts) and they refused.


wow, this is true even for food purchased in grocery stores? what about fruit, for instance? fruit is pretty expensive and sometimes you get fruit that is bad or never ripens but you don’t know until you take it home and try it. no consumer protection for this, you just lose your money here?


If you order something online, the consumer protection code says you have 2 weeks to return it. For something bought in person, the merchant doesn’t have to return or exchange it so it’s up to their discretion. For perishables, it’s unlikely to get a refund if you bought it in person. So I’d say Carrefour was pretty nice about it.


I remember trying to get a refund for a wrapped pastry that had a dead cockroach imbedded in it at a Douter (sp?) Coffee shop. To no avail.


amazing. well, if not even a dead cockroach will make them take responsibility for selling a bad product, I guess nothing will. I guess it’s a miracle I walked out of there with a new bottle!


Yeah it’s an eye opener if you come from a western country like the US or Canada with strong consumer protection code. You’ll quickly notice which companies (like Apple) do the absolute minimum to get away with things.


I was amazed as well. Was hoping that things have changed since then, but sounds like more of the same. There is a time early on when I realized accept, adapt, and overcome. :beers:


yes I was just going to say it seems like the ideal environment for capitalists to operate. I’m surprised they just don’t all abandon the west and set up headquarters here. For a company like apple it’s particularly disgraceful, since their market cap exceeds the financial worth of many actual countries.

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Seems to me you had a communication problem. The staff gave you an exchange and it was the worst experience of your life. Some people are known to consume a product replace it with water and claim a refund or exchange. For fruits in any case you inspect them before purchase. Coscto has very large watermelons you hear people tapping on them before deciding to buy one.


I didn’t say it was the worst experience of my life, I said it was the most unpleasant return experience.

Yes, I eat a good deal of fruit, and I do inspect it before purchasing but all the tapping and inspecting won’t alert you to a bad or not properly ripened fruit, only your tongue will. There are always some watermelons, cantaloupes, etc. that seem to pass all the tests, but turn out to be sour/tasteless. Part of the reason this happens is because most fruits are picked unripe. Grocery stores are very aware this is the reality, and that a percentage of their fruit is not going to be edible. I’ve never had any problem returning those to stores back home - they are accepted no questions asked. Haven’t tried here, except one bad watermelon from a local wet market, where the merchant did exchange it for another.

I have never had issues returning items at Carrefour, but I have never returned an opened item.


back home has no relevance to Taiwan. Also it is common knowledge that fruits here are sold before they are ripe. If they waited until they were ripe a lot of fruits would spoil before they were sold. I have my own fruit trees with Mango and Papaya. Sometimes I wait too late and the fruit has dropped to the ground and split open. Grocery stores are well aware. The unaware is you. You’ll get used to buying fruit bring it home and eating it in a day or two after it has ripened.


your product was not bad, you just didnt like the taste. if there was a foul smell, anything that indicated a problem with product quality you had a case, but you argument is "it doesnt taste like coconut ". i think you came to the staff as an entitled foreigner.
fruit that doesnt ripe is not the vendor’s problem, nor is it their problem if it goes bad, maybe you stored it wrong, or just ledt it out too long without eating. if it was, nobody would be selling avocados.


I think Apple just being dicks. i never had an issue returning unopened products in stores like Carrefour, Uniqlo, Decathlon Ikea, Hola, and even my neighborhood 百貨.
in case there is a no return policy (e.g. on discounted items)it was always communicated to me in advance.


5 posts were split to a new topic: From return

I returned a sandwich that had a fly inside the wrapper (seen when opened), it was the manufacturers fault not the convenience store, the store gave me a refund and a small gift of an easy card. No argument or to many questions asked.

Edit: this was about 5 years ago.


Sounds like you made out better.

The nice touch was the email I got from the manufacturer a few days later with an apology, which showed they did move it up the chain and not just bin it and forget it like a lot of companies would.


That is nice to hear. I am happy to know that there is a positive change taking place.

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