This is why I’m feeling so low today.
I’ve made a purchase on the internet on the website with Eram, a famous shoe chain boutiques in France. This is not my first purchase online. It’s really practical to order online because we can access to several other commercial products that interest us and we need not drive miles away to get them. Moreover, the facteur for the Colissimo is a really nice guy and I never had any problems with his service.
Anyway, this time for my order online, I decided to choose my pickup location in one of the Eram boutiques situated in the centre of the town since it’s their branch so if there is any problems with the size I could return to exchange with them easier. Ordering online was a success and following-up of the order was super fast. Yesterday before picking up my kids from school, I pass by the Eram boutique and requested for my order.
There were 3 employers on the floor and no customers around. All of them were busy stocking up. I approached one of them, a middle aged lady and asked for my order. Her tone wasn’t very welcoming but I didn’t think much about it. She asked me to present an identity card for the order. I took out my french identity card. She came out with a huge carton of 80cm by 50cm.
Looking at the size of the box, I asked kindly if she could open up the box and remove the 3 pairs of shoes that I’ve bought to put them in a bag so that it will be easier for me to carry them as I will be picking up my girls from school by foot right after that.
She said, “No, we don’t provide any bags for customers anymore.” pointing at the boxes of shoes arranged below, she implied that all boxes has holes on the right and this is used to hook up a line for customers to carry their purchases.
Huh? what? They are holes to allow easy access for employers to reach their desired shoe boxes! Nevermind about what I think. I stayed cool and said, “It’s ok if you have no bags. I have a rather ample handbag. Could you kindly open up the carton and I’ll just take the three pairs of shoes and put them directly in my bag?“
Looking at me, she pointed out,” There is a public rubbish bin outside on the right. You could do that yourself. We use the same bin too.”
!!!..!!!****** I replied nicely, "OK, if that’s is how the service in Eram works. Very nice of you.Its nice purchasing shoes from your boutique"
With some hesitation, she stretched down and took out a big bag and slid the entire carton into the bag. Stretching both ends of the handles(with 10cm wide apart), she showed me that it’s possible to carry this way.
Firstly, where does the bag come from out of the sudden? Secondly, does she thinks that it will be easier for me to carry this way??
So, once again, I told her that I will really appreciate if she could removed the carton and put the 3 pairs of shoes in the bag instead. She gave me a look and said that it’s really ok to carry them like that. And if I really insist then she’ll open it up for me.
With all the time left for me before picking up my kids, I decided to leave the boutique and open up the carton myself outside along the buzzing streets and repack the 3 small boxes into the precious bag that she provides.
Was it because I am Asian that she treats me this way? I have practically no accent when I speak French. I usually have no problems when the people speak to me over the phone but face to face service, I have lots.I love France. I really do. I hold a French family name, I have a french nationality, I live in France, I have a French husband, my kids are born in France. But after all these years, I can say that I’m French but am I really a part of it?
Cosmopolitan is not a word here.
This is why I’m feeling so low today.
Hi Georgi… It’s not because you are Asian. It’s because the standard of service in this country has plummeted to such depths that no-one cares if they do their job or help anyone who requests help whilst in their shop/factory/restaurant/cafe. My french partner says he has never had such bad service in his life and it is getting worse. Please don’t be sad. It’s not you!AND… They certainly are NOT cosmopolitan!
Exactly Sarah, very well put. No battle for me today, I’m staying in! Phew…
Seems to me many sales staff wage a private war to win some battle over hapless customers. The one you met at Eram, Georgi, had decided she would NOT dispose of the box and whatever you said, she would not budge, but would rather argue about it and offer different solutions rather than the one you wanted.
It’s very bizarre when you come across it because you have to work out which ‘battle’ it is you’re fighting today.
Well, I think it happen to everyone whether you are French or Indian or any other races. Even my husband and all my french friends and family had different bad encounters here and there.
There was another case that happened to me which was a matter of life and death. It made me so mad that till now I’ve not gotten a ‘medecin traitant’ for my whole family.
I was clearing my husband’s old clothes to rearrange everything when out of the sudden I felt my ears itching. Then my eyes start to tear. A minute later my neck itches really badly,and I felt my air pipe closing slowly . Realising that I’m suffering from an allergy breakdown (it’s the first time in my life that I felt this way), I went straight to grab 2 Zyrtec from my pharmacy box to swallow it down.
It was a Wednesday and my kids are home playing. There was one of the artisan working in my house for some renovation. I asked him to watch over my kids for me (knowing that he’s trustworthy of course) while I walk to the nearest clinic around to get a doctor to help since it’s just about 3 mins walk.
Reaching the nearest clinic cabinet, there were 3 doctors in this cabinet. I explained my condition to the front office secretary and she asked," Do you have an appointment?’ then “Is any of our doctors your ‘medecin traitant’?” Confused by all these questions in my state of mind I replied no quickly. And she said she’s not sure if there is any slot available for any doctors to see me. Then she said she could slot me in for a training doctor that will be free soon after a patient.
So I asked how long I will have to wait. She replied,“Oh, she’s not here yet. But she’ll arrive shortly. Just wait for her to arrive and right after her will be your turn. And if anything could happen to you, you’re in the waiting room. The doctors are not far.”
Can you imagine that!!! I was furious! I try to stay calm for 2 mins but the heater in the waiting room is not making me feel any better. So I left and ran out to the park nearby and called my husband for help. Luckily while waiting for help, after a few minutes the Zyrtec that I took starts to take effect and my windpipe starts to open up. I knew that I’m fine again and I returned back home and called my husband to cancel any help that he has asked.
This was not the case if I step into any other hospitals in other countries. They will get help ASAP. I realised that I’m lucky to still be alive with the little medical knowledge that I have. But I also realised that the nearest clinic cabinet are not going to have 4 more regular clients due to the service they provide. Probably not the doctors’ fault as they weren’t even there.
I agree with Alexa, sometimes the way people speak to you is really bad, on many occasions my husband has asked me not to make a scene (he is french) So I dont but honestly there is no such thing as customer service with certain people
Funny thing is that the shops in smaller towns and villages are usually friendlier than those in the big towns and cities.
Well, luckily it does not happen all the time or I’ll end up doing home shopping everyday. There are still nice sales staff around. But when they want to be mean, they can really do it.
By the way, as for the shoes, they aren’t make for walking. Bought their new brand- Buggy shoes for my girls and me. My feet hurt after 10 mins walk and one of my girls had the same problem too.
So, I paid for a worthy lesson.
Hope the shoes were worth it
Wow…not a nice shopping experience … Customer service seems to be not a word understood in France , I’m amazed at the rudeness of some staff sometimes and wonder how they are getting trade.