Category Archives: Marketing and PR

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

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