Are Germans too stubborn?

Having trouble with companies that won't give in.

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Bricks
Hello all.

First of all, I am generalising in this post, and I do realise that aside of cultural differences there are also individual ones.

The situation is that I have an IKEA-geschenkenkarte from another country, where in the homepage of that specific country it sais that their geshenkenkarte can be used in following countries: and here is a list of EU-countries, Germany being one of them.
So there is the fact that I should be able to use my card on a German IKEA-warehouse.
Having had trouble with similar issues before I had my friend call IKEAs personal service here in Berlin and ask about this issue. The lady in the phone said no, you cannot use a gechenkenkarte from that country in our German warehouses.
My friend then said that we had read on the homepage of the country where the card was issues (Sweden) that we can indeed use it in Germany. Even so the woman said once again no. "No, you cannot use a geschenkenkarte from Sweden because of the different currencies." Without even replying to the fact that it said on the Swedish homepage that we could.
Fact being that it is after all a Swedish company, so they should know right?

We later called to Sweden just to ask about this, and they double checked it saying it is fully possible, only that the German warehouse decites the currency rates.

Now this is something I have noticed, in Germany, even when presenting a fact, the person receiving this fact can still refuse to admit or even look it up themselves. It has happened before, the last time being a car rental service saying I needed a BE license for their car and a trailer even when I had papers prooving them wrong. He simply refused to look at the paper stating he knew better than me. Sure, by all means except I had official papers stating he was wrong.

This is part of the German stubbornness that I have encountered, and as it might be charming in a way it does cause quite some inconvenience as I can't stand being told I am wrong when I am right, especially when something important depends on it.

I'd like to rent that car and I'd like to buy my furniture from IKEA but this stubbornness is driving me insane. Really, German people are really cool and interesting for the most part but why do you have to be so pig-headed? >__<

So people, it there a way to tackle this behaviour or do I need to live with it, what forms of papers do I need to proove them wrong. Really, I don't know what to do.
Am I the only one that has experienced this? My German friend also said he hates that they are often like this, so he has noticed it too living in Sweden for a couple of years where they are generally very helpful, people working in stores and such that is.

And even my friend who complains about the stubborn Germans is a little bit like this. If he thinks something is in a way, he tells me as if it were a fact, and even when I suggest something different he will deny it, almost defend it. It's like if he hasn't heard of it, it doesn't excist.

Hilfe!
grampus
I can't stand being told I am wrong when I am right, especially when something important depends on it.
You're gonna fit right in...
gaberlunzi
Hello all.

First of all, I am generalising in this post, and I do realise that aside of cultural differences there are also individual ones.

The situation is that I have an IKEA-geschenkenkarte from another country, where in the homepage of that specific country it sais that their geshenkenkarte can be used in following countries: and here is a list of EU-countries, Germany being one of them.
So there is the fact that I should be able to use my card on a German IKEA-warehouse.
Having had trouble with similar issues before I had my friend call IKEAs personal service here in Berlin and ask about this issue. The lady in the phone said no, you cannot use a gechenkenkarte from that country in our German warehouses.
My friend then said that we had read on the homepage of the country where the card was issues (Sweden) that we can indeed use it in Germany. Even so the woman said once again no. "No, you cannot use a geschenkenkarte from Sweden because of the different currencies." Without even replying to the fact that it said on the Swedish homepage that we could.
Fact being that it is after all a Swedish company, so they should know right?

We later called to Sweden just to ask about this, and they double checked it saying it is fully possible, only that the German warehouse decites the currency rates.

Now this is something I have noticed, in Germany, even when presenting a fact, the person receiving this fact can still refuse to admit or even look it up themselves. It has happened before, the last time being a car rental service saying I needed a BE license for their car and a trailer even when I had papers prooving them wrong. He simply refused to look at the paper stating he knew better than me. Sure, by all means except I had official papers stating he was wrong.

This is part of the German stubbornness that I have encountered, and as it might be charming in a way it does cause quite some inconvenience as I can't stand being told I am wrong when I am right, especially when something important depends on it.

I'd like to rent that car and I'd like to buy my furniture from IKEA but this stubbornness is driving me insane. Really, German people are really cool and interesting for the most part but why do you have to be so pig-headed? >__<

So people, it there a way to tackle this behaviour or do I need to live with it, what forms of papers do I need to proove them wrong. Really, I don't know what to do.
Am I the only one that has experienced this? My German friend also said he hates that they are often like this, so he has noticed it too living in Sweden for a couple of years where they are generally very helpful, people working in stores and such that is.

And even my friend who complains about the stubborn Germans is a little bit like this. If he thinks something is in a way, he tells me as if it were a fact, and even when I suggest something different he will deny it, almost defend it. It's like if he hasn't heard of it, it doesn't excist.

Hilfe!
and as it might be charming
My wife would not agree with you, but after 50 some years married to a kraut she got used to it.Only she blames it on the Bavarians.
Bricks
You're gonna fit right in...
It's really that bad? I guess I'm going to need a lawyer around me wherever I go

My wife would not agree with you, but after 50 some years married to a kraut she got used to it.Only she blames it on the Bavarians.
I need to go soft on those Germans. It's charming in a comical way, as if I would watch it on TV, whatever doesn't affect me, I welcome it.
Masala
Don't you see,
you're replicating the exact trait
that you're complaining about:

You think you're right
IKEA lady thinks she's right
Was the voucher accepted? No! That means she's right and you're wrong
But you're somehow still right?
That's stubborn.
medic82
Was the voucher accepted? No! That means she's right and you're wrongBut you're somehow still right?That's stubborn.
just cause the voucher was not accepted, does not mean the op was wrong.
punkinside
You've got to be more stubborn than them. Bring lots of documentation. Ask to speak to their managers, threaten them with legal action. Get legal insurance so you can go through with your threat. Don't give up easily.

But don't expect them to ever admit they were wrong. They'll begrudginly do what they were supposed to do in the first place, but they'll never apologise or change their mind. It's a weird type of doublethink, don't know how they manage it.
ovbg
Agreed with punkinside there. If you are right, you will have to fight for it. These Germans (by this I mean the ones that possess the trait you are describing), will never admit they are wrong. It is mentally impossible for them to do so.

I generally don't ever do business with any company after they treat me like you describe. But what I do do, is keep a note of the employee that pissed me off and buy from another company. Each time I buy a product from the other company, a pre-prepared email goes out to their manager explaining why I am spending my money elsewhere and who is responsible for it.

Not only German businesses that can possess this bizarre trait of never admiring when they were wrong. I have met people in social circles that refuse to admit geographic mistakes regarding the country I was born in on the other side of the world, despite them never actually even going there.

Thankfully a great deal of German's are not like this and I tend to keep well clear of those that are.

Anyway. Stick to the general rule. If a company pisses you off, what ever you do and at the very least, don't give them your money. If you also make sure they know this and why, all the better. If everyone voted with their feet, the quality of customer service would improve in this country dramatically.
Beuel
This is what the website sais:

Presentkorten gäller i alla svenska IKEA varuhus och har en giltighetstid på 10 år.
Swedish vouchers = Sweden

Die IKEA Geschenkkarte kann in allen EURO -Währungsländern eingelöst werden. Ausgenommen sind unsere Einrichtungshäuser auf Mallorca (ES), Gran Canaria (ES), Lanzarote (ES), Teneriffa (ES) und alle Einrichtungshäuser in Griechenland.
I guess it is possible in theory, but I guess they don't have a way to book it into the system if you want to pay directly with the voucher. So if she said it is not possible she was probably right. Technically impossible because they work like prepaid cards. Maybe you can change it into a euro voucher instead.
2B_orNot2B
[center]odds R even[/center]
[left] Bricks = solid material, breakable when hammered >>>>><<<<<<Germans = solid material, experienced at hammering
[/left]
Seriously though, with a very few possible exceptions when dealing with total numpties, it's not too hard to put this kind of stuff behind you. Your first priority, when you want someone to provide a service for you, regardless of the fact that you believe it to be their job to serve you, is to get on the same wavelength as they are before making your request. Instant rapport is what you need to aim for. It is always easier face to face, but even on the phone there are plenty of techniques you can learn to make people feel good about themselves.

There's a virtual law of human psychology, "The Law of Reciprocity", which effectively says people who feel obligated to you for making them feel X or Y will have their revenge on you as soon as possible. This is true whether you start off by making them feel they are at risk of losing face as it is if you start off by making them feel very happy to be at work. Starting by thanking them for taking your call and asking their name, thanking them for their answer, repeating the name and asking if you have pronounced correctly. The favourite sound any human is aware of is their name so, by mentioning their name twice along with thanking them twice will usually mean they are then at least very friendly, polite, and awake to your needs. You are always better to ask for their help and advice rather than insisting that you get your way straight off the bat. Tell them what you need not what you want. As Masala pointed out the other party is still holding the cards or, as the German phrase says, they're at the end of the longer lever.

You might already do all the research in advance and be prepared to back up your case as soon as doubt arises, but if someone feels backed into a corner they may also feel they have no choice than to launch a counter attack in defense. Better to use good humour and keep it very relaxed, mention their name regularly, compliment them on their professional attitude and they'll already be damned if they prove you wrong in that assumption.

Above all, learn to roll with the punches and you'll stay on your feet longer.

2B
grampus
Don't you see,
you're replicating the exact trait
that you're complaining about:

You think you're right
IKEA lady thinks she's right
Was the voucher accepted? No! That means she's right and you're wrong
But you're somehow still right?
That's stubborn.
Your response
Is like poetry to my eyes
Hi Du, Haiku
poohsan
Don't you see,
you're replicating the exact trait
that you're complaining about:

You think you're right
IKEA lady thinks she's right
Was the voucher accepted? No! That means she's right and you're wrong
But you're somehow still right?
That's stubborn.
I wish you had a different handle - every time you post I get hungry for some Malasadas
loz_adele
That is crazy annoying!! Bet you were ready to punch them! I find it interesting cos my german bf gets really mad sometimes if i contradict him about stuff. He HAS to be right, even if he's wrong. So many times there have been situations where I know I'm right and point out the evidence and he simply refuses to entertain the fact that he might be wrong. It's kinda funny really. The last time we had one of these disagreements it was about the monster in the film Super 8. We came out of the cinema saying about how neither of us had seen the monster clearly and started saying what we thought it looked like. I think I said it had four arms and two legs or something and he said it had four legs and two arms. But as the debate went on, he started to get really worked up about the fact I didnt agree with him - about a monster! how ridiculous is that?! I found his reaction so silly that I couldnt stop laughing, which only seemed to get him more worked up. So funny! I always wondered where this weird stubborness comes from, I just figured he's a weirdo but maybe it's just part of a larger cultural difference about being assertive.
rhody
Right... so when is the wedding?
farmerandy
Shoulda got Chigur with her, Freind-o
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