A welcomed “favor” at Decathlon

Those annoying, itchy, long white tags that can be found inside a new item of clothing and that drive you crazy if you forget to take them off — DON’T do it unless you’re sure the item is a keeper. This may seem like a no-brainer, but when you’re dealing with baby clothes sometimes you just assume it’s not necessary.

The other day I went to Decathlon, a huge sports chain here in Spain, and purchased a baby swimming outfit for swimming classes, complete with little matching flip flops.


Decathlon baby swimsuit

My son’s a big boy, but not huge. Since he wasn’t even a year old yet I decided to go with the 18 month size. When we got home I cut off all 4 annoying tags inside the suit and headed out on my merry way. Unfortunately, when we got to the pool locker room for class I was surprised to find that the bathing suit was way too small. Someone looked like a sausage coming out of its casing. I could barely even pull up the zipper.

So…back I went to Decathlon a few days later not really sure what to expect even though I had kept the sales receipt and all of the little tags that I had cut off. The only thing I didn’t bring was my baby so he could make a sad face when I explained the sausage story.

The person who attended me was very nice and said it would be no problem (all I wanted was an even exchange for a 2 year old size – again he was only 11 months old) until he saw the cut off inside tag. Uh oh. At this point a supervisor had to be called over, to whom I explained again that I really would never have thought that an 18 month old size would be too small. After a small exchange of glances between the two employees I was told that they could do a “gestor comercial” and exchange the item for me, but it was made very clear that this was a big favor since they wouldn’t be able to resell the merchandise. Ok, got it. After a few too many thank you’s I went on my merry way once again with the new 2 year old suit.

Overall impression? I’m happy with Decathlon since they did the right thing and didn’t tell me I was “wrong”, but it was a little strange that it had to be made so clear that they were doing me a huge favor. In any case, I’ll take the gesture/favor and am pretty sure they won’t be going bankrupt because of this incident! The next time I need some sports items I’ll be heading back there.

2 thoughts on “A welcomed “favor” at Decathlon

  1. Troy Cascia

    Hi Michelle! I love your blog! I feel like I’m getting the highlights of the expat experience vicariously through you, and I always brag that I have a cousin who lives in Spain. It’s something I had always dreamed of doing myself, but as I become more and more established with career and family, it becomes less realistic and more likely to remain a lovely dream. If I were to move to Spain I’d probably live in Barcelona though. I always say if I have to go into Witness Protection someday, my friends should look for me in Barcelona. And it’s not too far to visit Madrid!

    Anyway, I work in health care, but it’s still working with the public, so providing a customer experience is something I’m familiar with. I have to admit that when I do a favor for a patient, I do let them know that it’s a favor and not standard practice, just so they understand the way things are supposed to be done. As you know, if you give an inch, people will take a mile! But I think mentioning it once is usually sufficient, and definitely more polite than beating them over the head with it (but you know, we Americans are overly polite!). It does sound like they were a little excessive with you though… it’s like, “Ok, I get it… don’t cut off the tags!” But I guess now you know, so lesson learned. I’m sure it won’t happen again 🙂


    1. Michelle Post author

      Thanks Troy! I’m glad you like it. I was thinking of doing some blogging for awhile but just never got around to it. If you ever come over here to this side of the ocean you’ll have to let me know! Barcelona’s a great city too, but for me, I see it more as a place to visit and Madrid more as a city to live.

      It’s great to get feedback from Americans because sometimes, after being over here for so long and having a Spanish husband who’s used to how things work here, I can lose a bit of perspective…

      Happy reading and thanks again for the feedback!



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