One of the fundamental differences between here (France) and there (the US) is that here, they don’t have to help you.
It’s not that there’s no customer service, but unlike the US where they’re supposed to (and expected to) be nice and helpful to customers, the onus here is on the salesperson, or the person behind the desk: They alone can decide if they want to help you. Or not.
And you’re job is to convince them to help you, any way you can. So the decision is yours.
How are you going to get them to help you?
This is baffling to many American visitors, who stare at me with wide-eyed disbelief, that there are really people out beyond their borders that don’t care if they make money or not, which is what ‘helping the customer’ is presumably all about. That the almighty dollar is worth a lot less than they think (and going down every time I look.)
I explain that this is not a capitalist country or culture, which perhaps explains why the economy here is a tad lackluster right now. But for many of us Americans, we have a really hard time understanding that other cultures are different than ours.
So here’s what you need to get with the program: