We wish to voice our surprise, dismay and disgust for the advertising by stores in London, especially Selfridges. The philosophy displayed in writing on store counters and in windows is: On purchases made by tourists, your Value Added Tax (VAT) shall be returned upon proof of purchase and a valid passport. Now comes the fine print: ". . . provided your purchases exceed X amount of pounds." At Selfridges Ltd., for example, you must make minimum purchases of 75 before you qualify for a VAT rebate.
Tourists generally shop around--20 here, 50 there. To be forced to buy in one store that may not have everything you are looking for is a real rip-off. We have traveled to many countries in Europe, and London is the first place where we had to make minimum purchases to have our VAT refund.
FRANKLIN and EVA HARDY