Letter to Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

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Dear Madam, Sir,

My Eurostar ticket came with your generous offer for a complimentary glass of champagne at your Paris department store. Unfortunately for me, my ticket is from London to Brussels and not to Paris, so I shall be unable to present myself at your welcome desk.

While this saddened me at first, I was comforted upon reading the small print. In the end, my choice of destination had not bereft me of this potential pleasure: even if I had made it to your welcome desk with my E-ticket to hand, and after spending a minimum of 40€ in your store, I would still be ineligible for this tempting complimentary glass of champagne, for I do not hold an English passport.

For a moment this led me to believe that you were perhaps discriminating your customers on the basis of their nationality, which would have been a serious matter, and one that might get a respectable enterprise like yourself in some trouble, but that was before I got your joke.

Of course, I thought, you would not risk discriminating on the basis of nationality. It’s all in the small print! Once I had read it properly it was clear to me: you do not have any champagne. For there isn’t such a thing as an English passport, so not a single customer, whether they are Scottish, Irish, French or indeed English, will meet the criteria required for that prominently advertised complimentary glass of champagne.

I hope your joke gets a good reception among the many thousands of people of a great many nationalities who travel with Eurostar every day. I do look forward to the stories of those who bought in to your ‘plaisanterie’ and took to your welcome desk with a thirst for complimentary champagne, only to find out that they’d need a fake passport to qualify.

Please will you keep me updated of any future complimentary champagne offers, especially those that would require the presentation of a Dutch passport?

With compliments for your exquisite sense of humour,

Remco van der Stoep


One response to “Letter to Galeries Lafayette Paris Haussmann

  1. remcovanderstoep

    Today, 18 June, a representative of Galeries Lafayette got in touch with me by telephone to apologise for their clumsy advertisement and to invite me to pay a visit to their welcome desk. According to the representative the advertisement will continue to be printed on Eurostar tickets, but the welcome desk has been instructed not to ask people for their passports.

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