Monday, June 22, 2009

Are the Swiss too trustful?

My online shipment,
delivered before I even had to pay one cent...

So I ordered some gardening gear online a few weeks back (boy is this a rarity - I miss shopping online), and as payment by credit card was not an option, I wondered if they would send me a payment slip in advance or just send it all at once... and low and behold, they did the latter. They sent it before I had even paid one cent!

I received all the things I ordered (new gloves and a special tool, a rotational hoe or something like that translated x 2 because I broke the neighbors!), plus the orange payment slip in the same box.

That just kills me. Every time...

I mean, what a trusting company. What a trusting country.

I cannot believe that they deliver the goods before I have even paid for them.

This is not the first time that this has happened, nor will it be the last, I am sure, but regardless I am always amazed when it does because THIS WOULD NEVER HAPPEN IN THE US. I mean, it just would never.

I suppose we used to operate on an account system. 'Just put it on my tab...' was all you needed to say and then you paid at the end of the month. People were just more trust-worthy back then I suppose.

But what has happened to the world in that this is endlessly fascinating to me now.

What do you think? Is this backwards? Are the Swiss too trusting or is America just too corrupt for its own good?
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juanitatortilla said...

Oh... Yes, definitely trusting, but there WILL be hell to pay for those who abuse that trust.
(Remember how there is that "police record" check while applying for an apartment? I THINK that's where those unpaid / late payslips come to haunt people... But that's just my theory.)

Adrian said...

The whole trust is backed up with the law. If you fail to pay they simply open up a request at the "Betreibungsamt" and you'll have to pay for those fees. Keep in mind this is a tiny country. Trust is gone if you're going to order in Germany.

They're at your door, even with public transportation, in no time trampling over your precious salad.

Jessica said...

Not my salad!!!

Ok, I will pay... (and did so immediately when I got the slip for fear or the salads stompers themselves!)

Romy said...

Very, very trusting. My husband walked out of the jeweler's with my engagement ring and a payment slip after having given the man no more information than his first name and email address. I'm pretty used to the payment-slip thing but even that boggled me. I love it!

Anonymous said...

I agree with Adrian - that never would happen in Germany, with the caveat of small towns and villages and local businesses. In my town in Niederbayern, I could get things like produce from the local farmers, or even books from the tiny local Buchhandlung, but this was also possible, I think, because everyone in the town knew everyone - no law was needed to persecute people if payment wasn't made :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Jessica,

Thanks for your great blog.
I was amazed when we invited some customers of ours ( party of 8 people) to a chic restaurant and upon receiving the bill at the end of the meal, my colleague just handed his business card and told the waitress to send the bill at the adress mentioned on the card. And we thus left the restaurant without having paid a cent. Never seen this anywhere else!

Nik said...

I was at Kings Kurry at Wiedikon a few months back, in something of a rush to make my bus -- living out in the sticks there's an hour wait between them after a certain time of night.

They had problems with their card processing machine, and I didn't have enough cash for the bill. "No problem," they said "just write down your address, we'll send the bill to you."

Well, obviously, they said that in Swiss German, and it took a few attempts before I understood what they meant.

Surprised the hell out of me at the time.

Jessica said...

wow.... seems like there are a lot of trusting Swiss examples that even better than mine.

Must be nice not to be so skeptical of everyone... I think Americans are brought up to think that everyone will take advantage of you so watch out. Is sad really, but I guess being such a big, bad country we have more people that take advantage of the system...

Thanks for sharing everyone! :)

sandaleen said...

i agree, we've been amazed at the orange slip when you buy online attitude, but the weirdest was when we had our cars serviced and both audi and vw refused immediate payment and asked to send us an account - middle earth i tell you...

stacy said...

We get payment slips for everything! car repairs, online purchases, etc! At one point in time, there were even payment slips at the Central Starbucks... Even more amazing to me is the products that people leave on the road and you just put your money in a little box. Flowers, produce, eggs, etc! We were buying eggs from a woman in our little town and she said, hey if you ever don't have any money but want eggs, just take what you need and leave me note and just pay me next time you come around. She had just met us. all we told her was our name and that we live nearby. By the way, she has a full size refrigerator next to the road filled with dozens of cartons of eggs. Can you even imagine what would happen if that was in the US....?!?


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