I am trying to help a friend out but I think he needs some advice . Is there a French equivalent of the Citizens advice bureau?
I have never come across an advice bureau here but then I live in a very rural area.
Without naming your friend would it be possible to ‘post’ what you think he/she needs advice on ? There are many experts here, they are friendly (we all are) and I am sure someone could be of help.
If it’s an admin issue, normally you can go to whichever section of the administration is involved, they’re a lot more hands-on and public facing than in the UK (eg the people at the tax office will give good advice on tax matters, CPAM will advise on healthcare, the commune will have a designated “assistante sociale” who can help with all kinds of problems to do with social rights - the mairie will put you in contact).
If it’s a specifically “Brit in France” issue there are lots of hand holding services, including one run by this forum - click on Skype Consultancy on the toolbar at the top.
So there is lots of help available but AFAIK there is no publicly-funded equivalent of the CAB.
Thank you ladies…
He just wanted to know if there was an equivalent to CAB …he has a French girlfriend, so he should be ok.
He could have asked her couldn’t he and saved you the trouble of posting and us the trouble of replying
Sadly, the French don’t seem to be any better informed than us. I’ve found him information that she had never heard of. I just meant that she would be able to help him with the language, if needed. He’s a very good friend, so I’m happy to help him.
Had a similar conversation recently with a friend who’s a UK CAB adviser. And agree that the commune and local offices of various services do provide most of what many CAB people do, and there are also some consumer organisations for those sorts of problems. For example a neighbour got into financial difficulties and it is the assistante sociale who is negotiating with the debtors to find a solution. I was very impressed. But I wonder what will happen when the number of communes reduce, and local tax offices close like they all have done in UK?
But I can’t agree that in general french services are more hands on and public facing. Yes there are people you can see face to face easily, but often they are slow to take responsibility for sorting an issue and you can go round in circles so it’s hand-on and public facing in quite a superficial way. I’d swap a face to face session with a CPAM person who just passes paper to next in line, with one of the better UK customer telephone services any day.