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Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

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Savannah, Georgia
posts: 4
reviews: 3
Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

My daughter is currently on a study abroad semester, living in Montepulciano for 10 weeks. She entered this establishment, MERCERIA LINGERIE, picked up a bra to look at, and then tried it on. When she emerged from the dressing room, the clerk (or owner? we don't know) absolutely went off on her, saying that the bra had spots on it (that were there when she picked the bra up) and must be purchased immediately. My daughter is 21 and would never damage a piece of merchandise in a store. But when this woman was yelling at her, then brought in two other people from the shop next door, and they were all yelling at her in Italian and gesturing wildly, she broke down and bought the bra to get out of there (I know, that was obviously their tactic.) She now owns a $73.00 bra she probably wouldn't have purchased (because of fit). We have traveled the world and have NEVER been treated in such a manner. They preyed on her inexperience, the fact that she was alone and did not speak the language well enough to defend herself. Avoid this establishment at all costs.

posts: 190
reviews: 1
1. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

I will be traveling to Montepulciano in 2 weeks to visit my best friend's daughter who is doing a 10 week semester there. What is your daughters name. I would be happy to look her up and say hello. Myra

United States
Destination Expert
for Cinque Terre, Lucca
posts: 8,351
reviews: 13
2. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

Your daughter probably didn't realize that it is not the custom in Italy to just pick up merchandise and go try it on without consulting a salesperson. I always ask permission before handling anything. It is easy to avoid situations like this if you are aware of the local customs.

TAB

Imperia, Italy
Destination Expert
for Italian Riviera
posts: 20,710
3. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

There are plenty of places in Italy where it is the custom to try something on without consulting a salesperson. Indeed in the larger clothing chain stores like Oviesse you would have a hard job to find any salesperson at all except the ones looking harassed behind the lines at the cash desk.

Certainly it is not the custom in very small stores. But to try on a bra, there must presumably have been a very obvious fitting room to go into. I find it hard to understand what happened here.

United States
Destination Expert
for Cinque Terre, Lucca
posts: 8,351
reviews: 13
4. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

<<Certainly it is not the custom in very small stores.>>

Yes, that is MY experience. I do not shop in the large chain type stores. I presume that this shop would fit into the small shop category. In most of the places I have visited, the sales person wanted to "present" the merchandise to me by unfolding it and showing it to me.

Also not all changing rooms have been obvious. I went into one that was the storage area and I had to walk around a stack of boxes to get to it. I did buy the sweater. ;^)

TAB

Savannah, Georgia
posts: 4
reviews: 3
5. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

So your opinion is that the clerk acted appropriately, unjustly accusing a customer of wrongdoing and being verbally abusive? I'm not buying your "be aware of local customs" advice in this case. By the way, I never said that she didn't consult with the salesperson first.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 986
reviews: 5
6. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

Sounds like you have a vendetta out on this little shop in Montepulciano...

Dont buy the "beware of the local customs" advice and end up in the same situation as your daughter has just experienced.... That sees smart!!! NOT

Kamloops, BC...
posts: 9,751
7. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

I'm sorry your daughter wasn't prepared to say no. Survival in these situations requires the words, no and basta (enough), followed, if necessary with polizia at the top of the lungs, while leaning out the door. The local constabulary know which shops pull this sort of act, and everything usually quiets down very quickly when it becomes obvious that one is willing to call the officers in.

8. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

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Los Angeles...
posts: 4,826
reviews: 295
9. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

Thank you for your post. Although I am not likely to be buying bras in Montepulciano, it is good to know when the establishment treats its customers unfairly. I also do not agree that the issue is in whether the young lady picked up the bra herself or was assisted by a salesperson. A crook is a crook and will find the way. And, there are plenty of crooks in Italy, so the romantic attitude toward the country, immediately assuming that it must be the poster, is plain silly. Be grateful that someone bothered to tell her story so all of us can be more careful.

Sydney, Australia
posts: 986
reviews: 5
10. Re: Beware When Shopping: Merceria Lingerie Il Montepulciano

I think you will find these so called "CROOKS" everywhere you go in the world, not just ITALY.

"Be grateful that someone bothered to tell her story so all of us can be more careful." - it would be fine if the original poster took the advice, but it seemed that it was just about putting the boot in (as we say in Australia) to the shop. Anna-Roz, lets be fair here, we have heard only one side of the story!!