Just need to let off steam. Waited in all morning for a parcel which Chronopost emailed me to say would be delivered before 13.00 today. Then at 12.44, I received a second email advising that the driver did not have enough information to be able to deliver ! This was a french email and also an English email suggesting I telephone a certain number to advise them when I would be in for this delivery. As suggested I went into the 'follow your colis' space only to find that there was a message saying that I was not in and there was nowhere to put an 'avis de passage'. (in FRENCH and ENGLISH

I was livid - there was no way the driver had called as it is a small house with a bell as well as the ability to tap on the glass of the front door - I was sitting no more than 3 yards from the front door. I also have a post box attached to the front fence of the house by the gate. The house is on the main thoroughfare through the village and has a number beside the front door which can be seen from the road.

I telephoned the said number and was told in FRENCH and then in ENGLISH that no lines were free and call back later. I kept pressing repeat number and just after 2pm (how fortunate as they had probably swallowed the last piece of their bagette) I got a sorry to keep you waiting message - trying to connect you, again in both FRENCH and ENGLISH. After almost 11 minutes a frenchman answered - he could not speak English and he was not able to offer me anyone who could - by this time I was exhasperated. I proceeded in my best (or worst) french and I think he understood BUT I could not hear him - I asked him to speak up but I still could not hear him. The sound problem was their end not mine....his voice was muffled. I eventually put the phone down and now I have received an email telling me they will try and deliver the parcel tomorrow.

My main reason for getting so uptight was the fact that all roads leading to my frenchman had been offered in English, then suddenly....the carpet was whipped from under me......... why ?????? You know how hard it is trying to sound really annoyed in French.......

Our local subcontractors all phone when they are nearby, thus giving someone a couple of minutes to get out to them (they are wary of our hounds) albeit both drivers yesterday and today are 'regulars' so cannot use the can't find reason anyway. If they are not doing that then Chronopost should 'sack' them but if there are no others locally...

Yes, they outsource but ultimately, it is their responsibility to ensure that their sub-contractors are up to the job. Inability to find an address, a common reason given, is absolutely no excuse. Glad they don't drive ambulances!

To be fair, they use different delivery services locally. I have had four things arrive when one of those orders that comes from hither and thither that you order through Amazon arrived. All were sent Chronopost, the two yesterday on the day and today's two the remainder that were supposed to be Saturday or Monday. In that sense, Chronopost are somewhere in the middle and I cannot say they are a problem, although I have once had a delivery driver lie about nobody being at home and complained in response to the notification, including a copy to Amazon, so had it first thing next day. In some areas, no matter who is handling orders it often depends on a small choice of local delivery services. If they are bad it hardly matters who it is sent out via.

Same every time with that service here. I refuse to order anything from anyone who uses them. Hopeless

Hi Doreen, exactly the same happened to me this morning, almost to the letter (not a pun). Sms stating delivery failure also arrived at lunchtime. Bless them. Like you, hard to dish out a bollocking over the phone in a foreign language. This has happened before by the way.

We live in Beziers and have had no end of hassle - mainly with La Poste. Last year four birthday cards for our 15year old son went missing (2 from England, one from Antibes and one from Pau so the common denominator was Beziers) - of course they all had cash in. This year one (at least) Christmas card was opened and cash removed.

Last year one package was delivered for our son but as he was only 15 they wouldn't leave it with him!

Drives you mad.

Welcome with such start into 2013! Now there is a good chance your delivery will, with a little bit luck, go back to the sender. Chronopost sometimes works in Paris, preferable when addressed to a company. For private use, especially in the Provence, this awesome service with its inherently nerve-racking adventures has system and simply does not really work.

Everything which is send from abroad via DHL, Fed-Ex, etc is handled here in France by state-owned Chronopost and the success record has a ratio is 50:50... with sometimes costly effects like missed flights because the passport with visas ended up somewhere else; or, a letter send to my address, stating the driver could not find my address

The difference between lottery and Chronopost is huge: with lottery you have the chance of luck, with Chronopost you are dependent on the drivers individual feeling of his understanding for his responsibilities. Also this is system-immanent.

Normal posted parcels work to a certain degree better when send as regular mail; at worse you need to drive to your post office to pick it up yourself. Yes, it takes longer, still this way you save yourself a lot of hassle.

Yes Doreen, Amazon are good about it. I ordered loads of stuff for Christmas and all arrived inside predicted times. However, when I had the parcel that would not get here, it was not the first time and it was resolved by doing my address slightly wrong! But it has worked since, so what the heck.

I certainly can't complain about delivery in SW France. Yesterday afternoon I ordered a George Foreman Grill from Amazon UK and was advised to expect it on Wednesday 15th January. I thought this was pretty good. We were having lunch at about 1.30 pm today when we heard a vehicle on our drive. Believe it or not a very polite Frenchman was delivering my order. Did they bring it by rocket powered launch?

I think a lot of us have been there and done it, I had a post up about an Amazon delivery that was returned to them as a non-existent address although other parts of the same order that were sent separately reached me. Go to your local sorting office, fill in a complaint form (which they may at first deny exists) and have a look at their delivery round lists to make sure your details are right. Mine were but they still failed to deliver.

You are not alone Doreen! Have encountered the same problem on several occassions. However I have often found venting my frustration in English before continuing in French brings me some relief, even if I am not understood, the tone is expressed! At least I feel better! x

When I lived in England I tried to argue in French to resolve problems with these kind of (international) services.....didn't work either. ;-)