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Archive for the ‘Customer Service’ Category

Common sense is obviously somewhat lacking at the French Fedex’s offices during the summer. At almost the same time last year I had a run in with them (my first of many) which you can read about here.

It would appear that their corporate brain goes on vacation during the month of August. Or, maybe they’re working in collaboration with organized crime and earning themselves a neat profit from criminal activities?

What leads me to think this?

Fedex have mastered the knack of finding unoccupied properties during the summer months and marking them clearly as targets for all and sundry to see.

How do they do this?

They put a bright yellow sticker on your front door saying that you’re not there!!!

Fedex advertising to Criminals when a property is empty! BRAVO FEDEX!!

Yes, seriously. Whilst La Poste, DHL, UPS and other courier companies are behind the times and simply leave a calling card in your letter box, the intelligent folks at Fedex have over-engineered the calling card and have diversified their business activity at the same time.

Thankfully, the bright yellow sticker was only on my front door (which is street facing nevertheless) for one day, but imagine if I had been decided to stay away for longer? As it was I had been away for 5 days due to a bereavement in Hubby’s family, but I could have quite possibly stayed longer in which case my property would have been advertised as empty all that time! Or, some clever monkey could have nicked the post it for a bit of fun and I would have been none the wiser that they had tried to deliver.

Seriously Fedex – get a grip and use your brains! Do you really want to be responsible for burglaries and missed packages when you could just go back to basics?

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Sometimes I think that I’m just not meant to cook! I mean, for months my induction hob had slowly been passing away and at the end I only had one measly ring left working on it, so cooking anything that required two pans (or more!) instantly became a logistical nightmare.

At the beginning of February I had hoped that all that would change when Hubby and I agreed to buy a new one. We had hoped to get the old one repaired, but when we discovered how excessively expensive it was to get it repaired and that the reparations were only guaranteed 3 months (yes, just three months for brand new pieces – that just goes to show how much confidence the manufacturer has in them!) we decided it was just better to buy new!

So after weeks of waiting last Friday, my brand new shiny black induction hob was delivered. Only, it wasn’t any good. After all are careful measuring we had managed to order the wrong size. Disaster! Yet more juggling with the pans in the kitchen!

Not wishing to have to wait another month for a new one to arrive, we made the decision to order at trustworthy Darty. We could get their guarantee extension and be delivered on Monday. Youpee!! Hubby managed to negotiate the price down to a reasonable level and we ordered knowing that we were putting our money with a trustworthy company.

So, Monday came and the guys from Darty delivered and installed the new hob. Fantastic until I saw how clumsy they were. Imagine two great big hulks that look like they’re stood on a ball (a bit like a bowling alley pin) rather than standing on two legs. They managed to break a Champagne glass within the first five minutes, and oh, yes, they also managed to break my Dietrich fitted microwave. They literally pulled the door off thinking that they could remove it from its unit by pulling the door really really hard!

Darty being Darty, they immediately arranged for someone to come round and repair the microwave. They came yesterday but quickly admitted defeat when they saw the level of damage their colleagues had caused. They needed to order a new door – which takes a minimum of a week to arrive! So, now I can’t use my microwave and all the extra portions I’d cooked on Sunday for Tuesday evening have had to go to waste as I can’t heat them up!

Given that I didn’t have anything else we could eat as everything needed to be re-heated thank goodness for Plats du Monde, a restaurant delivery service! We were able to order good Mexican food from them yesterday and be delivered within the evening without it costing a fortune and still being able to eat reasonably healthy at the same time (unlike most takeaway food). The food comes from the actual restaurant and is from their restaurant menu so you’re getting the same as if you actually went there which is good. It was really great and very very tasty even if one of the Burritos was a bit too hot for me! Next time we’re going to try Indian!

Mexican Restaurant Lyon - El Sombrero

Mexican Restaurant Lyon - El Sombrero

So, the microwave is out of action for the foreseeable future and I’ve just wasted a load of food which I’d cooked on Sunday so my kitchen conundrums are still not over!

Being British I think I’m going to write a letter of complaint and see if I can get some cash out of Darty – I mean, because of them I’ve been deeply inconvenienced and had to order food in from a restaurant!

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I’ve had a bit of a shitty week and hopefully its all due to come to an end tomorrow as I’m off to Lisbon to see my parents. Its been a while!

I should have known on Sunday evening that I was going to be in for a cracker of a week, as Hubby & I were invited round to my neighbours for dinner. All started well, until I learned that we were going to be eating my two most feared foods:

1) Magret de canard (duck): I actually like duck but others always cook it bloody and I then have to negotiate not eating it or slipping it to my hubby for him to eat.
2) Fondue! I have not eaten this since my Fondue incident at the beginning of February and everyday I live with a reminder in terms of a big red scar on my hand…

I should have taken these signs as a bad omen and cancelled all the rest of my plans for the week…

Roll on Tuesday and I had an important work meeting. By Tuesday night I was exhausted and I nearly passed out on the motorway whilst on the way to the airport. Pretty scary stuff I can tell you as I couldn’t breath and began violently shaking. I just about managed to pull over onto the hard shoulder and then my poor passenger had to drive my right hand car to the airport with me just about managing to give directions! He should have read my driving tips!

At the medical centre in the airport I met the nicest Nurse and Doctor I’ve ever met, and even though my blood pressure was in free fall they were really lovely and never once made me repeat myself. When I felt better I realised that they probably hadn’t been able to understand a word of what I’d been telling them about my symptoms (try speaking French when you’re hyperventilating!) and yet they were professional and didn’t sneer like most people do.

They even managed to save me 160 Euros on the short-term car parking as apparently I’d got my colleague to park it in there at some silly price like 2 Euros a minute! Thankfully the nice Nurse sorted it out and she saved me a lot otherwise that would have been the cherry on the cake.

Then on Wednesday, hubby made me an appointment with my new doctor (who is lovely, speaks English even though we always speak in French, and used to work in Japan). Worryingly he didn’t even have to give my name for the appointment as apparently I’ve been there so much in the last month that I will soon qualify for a Frequent Visitor loyalty card (LOL). I patiently waited for the appointment time to come and battled my way through the maze of intricately guarded Interphone and front door systems, only for me to get there at said appointment time to find a note on the door to say that they had to cancel and had tried calling me but couldn’t get through. Oh yes, we had broken the telephone, I’d forgotten about that!

So now we’re Thursday and I’m just getting through the day, slowly but surely… It’ll be Friday soon and I’ll be on my way to Lisbon and hopefully getting some sun… Or, knowing my luck it will pee down all weekend!!!

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I’m often told that I moan, so for once today I am going to sing the praise of a French company !

Last night I was looking to book a nice hotel in Paris close to the Eiffel Tower but all the nice little boutique hotels on my favourite website were fully booked or excessively out of price range (more than 300 Euros for a 1 night stay when all we want is somewhere to put our heads down for a few hours and also not including breakfast!) so quite disappointed I booked a Best Western Hotel which are fine, but not quite as snazzy and upbeat as I’d been hoping.

Not being very familiar with Paris, I sent the hotel an email asking for directions, not to the hotel but from the hotel to the airport. I didn’t really expect an answer. But at 9 am this morning, I received an email in reply giving me detailed directions and a link to the RATP website with the exact map on it! I rarely come across customer service like this in France so a big well done to the Best Western Alma in Paris, thank you!

Nb. Now just need to hope my stay goes okay!

Eiffel Tower from-Montmartre

Eiffel Tower from Montmartre

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