La Poste - now run by Kafka Konfusion Korporation

I positively enjoy the French way that things are done. Shops closing for lunch, everyday politeness and, on occasion, a slightly less efficient but more relaxed approach to life. But today illustrated that there can be exceptions…

I ordered a replacement lawn mower part from Germany. It was originally scheduled to be delivered today (26th), which was perfect as I’ve been away from home for the last week.

When the package arrived in France, the La Poste tracking system kicked in, and it stated delivery was to be on Monday 24th. As it needed a signature I changed the delivery so that it would be held at the local post office until my return.

I received a confirmation on Monday that it had been delivered, so today (Wednesday) I went to the post office to collect it.

“Ah yes,” they said. “It arrived on Monday. But it was addressed to you and as you do not live here we returned it to the main post office in Poitiers. But they called us this morning to say that we should keep it here for you, so they are returning it. It might be here tomorrow. What would you like us to do with it?”

I had to think carefully and count to 10 before answering as the part in question is a heavy steel plate about 30cm x10cm with sharp edges.

Now where’s that bottle of wine?


Enjoy your wine. :slight_smile:

Sounds like the fun I had with DPD here in the UK a year or two back, where despite my uploading to their app my complete address with house name and postcode, a photo of the entrance to our driveway, a WhatThreeWords location correct to the nearest 3mx3m square, my mobile number, instructions to call me on said mobile for directions, and my business being marked with a pointy thing on Google Maps, their drivers regularly claimed they “couldn’t find the address”.

A slap with a wet fish is probably a safer retribution than using the lawnmower blade. :smiley:

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“What would you like us to do with it?”

My answer, since La Poste is asking, would be I’d like you to deliver it to my home then please.

Wondering where they got the “since you don’t live here” from too

I’ve perfected the gallic shrug.

DPD never cease to amaze me. Having thrown antique brass curtain rails over our portaille in preference to using the intercom button, I feel any further delivery fiascoes pale into resignation. I’m just grateful when/if things arrive.

Just to tie up the loose ends: I went to the post office this afternoon and the parcel was there, waiting for me. From the state of the packaging, I think it had been used as the ball in some of the Euro Cup matches that are going on. Luckily, German steel was up to the task and the part survived undamaged.

I did ask the person why she sent it back to head office. A slight shrug and “Désolé. Je pensais que c’était pour le mieux”. I shrugged back, smiled and left…


Now you’re cooking!! :laughing:

Did you get the la Poste calendar this year?
I did as always do, also gave my postmistress / postie a box of chocolates. No post shenanigans here. Or maybe your postie doesn’t like foreigners?

I can raise you on that :slight_smile:

Last year GLS refused to deliver a mattress from Lidl. They’d proposed a date and I’d selected another one. They confirmed by email for the new date but didn’t turn up. There was just no comms, no response to any query, no info.

Delivery promise was 5 days, 10 if they claimed an exception.

After trying to receive my mattress for 22 days, I cancelled it invoking my right to cancel due to non-delivery and requested a prompt refund. Lidl Customer Services accepted this, and said they had sent the refund instruction to their responsible department while we were on the phone.

Late afternoon 5 days later I returned home in a thunderstorm having been out since 7am.

I couldn’t open the gate. Because a large cardboard box containing a mattress had been tossed over the gate into wet-for-days thigh height
grass behind it. And was just lying there with torrential rain falling onto it.

Phoned Lidl told them it was cancelled 5 days ago and a refund already agreed, and said no prenotificarion of delivery, and I rejected it. Mentioned tossed into wet grass rained on all day if I had been there I would have rejected it and was calling them immediately I’d returned and found it.

Told them to collect it immediately, and I still wanted my refund, the package was rejected and would stay in the position their deliverer had left it until collected, from now until they collected it. Frankly no one would have accepted a mattress delivered in that state under any circumstances.
Told them to collect it immediately and it was now left as it had been delivered, under the elements exactly as their deliverer had left it. (photographed extensively and photos kept).

It was left there about 21 days in total uncollected despite chasing. I only got a call from someone who tersely said they were a manager but not from which firm Lidl? GLS? another deliverer? and arranged a time for collection the following day.
This was only after I finally sent Lidl Legal Dept a formal Mise en Demeure email. Giving them 14 days to collect their mattress from where it had been left behind my gate by their deliverer stating if not collected by then I would donate it to Emmaüs or a similar charity.

I reminded them it had been sitting out in the weather for 21 days exactly as it had been delivered. Of course I had actually done a bit better than that having found a platform to put it on and a serious tarp to cover it but it was incredibly stressful.

Meanwhile while all this was going on, Lidl had not refunded me as agreed the day I had cancelled. They still didn’t until 2 or so weeks after the mattress was finally collected. Clearly they were treating it as a return (stvp1d 1d10ts) and were waiting to get the product back.

After they refunded me (clearly only triggered by them getting the mattress back 2 more weeks later despite the fact that it had been cancelled 5 days before it was suddenly delivered anyway without notice) I called to request the statutory % of price to be refunded extra. As they had not refunded me till well over 30 days after the cancellation. This is a legal right, it’s 10% or 15% for any refund not made within x days and is due in cash. They tried to fob me off with a voucher with restrictions on it and actually worth less net. I reminded them of my right to it in cash and requested the amount due in cash.

Not that the amount is huge. It’s more the enormous timewasting and stress (were they going to try to argue the condition of the mattress? why did they not refund promptly as agreed?) they put me through.

At that point Customer Services hung up on me. As soon as I can afford a subscription to Que Choisir, which gives free advice on up to 4 consumer legal matters per year, I shall write to Lidl formally and will push it to the Répression des Fraudes if necessary.


Or local office doesn’t do the calendar but I did give our facteur a Christmas gift. I’d heard she was a keen cook so I made her a mortar and pestle. She seemed to like it…


That does, Indeed, take some beating…

I suppose you just ground her down


Oh my! That certainly wins the prize for delivery fcukups. I do hope you get the refund and I fully applaud your powers of perseverance.

If you paid by card online, you may find that your bank can recover the money for you. Even if it’s a debit card. They reclaimed money for us for a non delivered item from an online retailer.
It was one of the services they provided for the monthly payment we make for the account.

Why is the entire courier system in France so broken? I have had Amazon Prime in France for around 20 years as well as in the UK. My UK house is more off the beaten track than my French one, being over 1/2 a mile up a farm road but Amazon prime 99% of the time delivers the next day. In France next day is at best 2 days later and often a week later or worse. I recently bought a couple of extra board games for when the grandchildren visit, on Amazon Prime - scheduled delivery date July 19th, after they will have left. Now that I am increasingly disabled, I find shopping both painful and difficult, so I really depend on courier deliveries. DPD is far from the worst. DHL = Delivery Hopelessly Lost UPS = Your Package Stolen and Fedex = Filching Expected, Colissimo = Colminimo.


The refund was very late. So the product price was, in the end, refunded. But well, well over 30 days after the item was cancelled within terms, for non-delivery.

However I’m due, under French statute, an extra amount % of the cost of the product, to be paid to me as a penalty due to the extremely late refund.

It’s between 12 and 20 euros, could have been upvalued since as still not paid despite request.

An absolutely trivial amount. But it’s the only thing I can make them pay due to.their $h1tty procedures, their complete non-set up to obey the law and pay this statutory penalty when requested, and all the stress and timewasting they put me through. EDIT To clarify, just for simple very late refund I might not bother pursuing the penalty extra % of the refund I have a right to receive from them due to extra late refund. But after the stress they put me through and the fact that they simply were not organised to honour the law, their rubbish lack of procedures and this went on for over 8 weeks…and then getting hung up on when I refused a restricted voucher of lesser value… Yeah I’ll chase that amount.

I’ll just need the help of Que Choisir because it’s not clear to me whether the unpaid penalty then accrues its own penalty charge for not being paid on time.

I do still deal with Lidl France, but there are other ways in which their standards of operation towards consumers have been poor, so I always feel I am supping with the devil when I deal with them.

It’s a sad thing but I am delighted to hear these tales of woe about carriers because I thought it was just me! We live just off a departmental road with a parking area about 150 metres from the house but there is no vehicular access due to an intervening river with a footbridge. The house is clearly marked on paper maps, Google Maps, Apple Maps, Google Earth etc., but the number of times I have been told that they need more information about the address (Colis Privé is the worst for this) is unimaginable. I have had parcels thrown into my garden over the fence, a printer just lodged on the post box which is at the far side of the bridge, two boxes of dog food (croquettes) left at the gate in the pouring rain which we only found out about because of passing randonneurs and a €500 drone left on a table in the garden with no advice that it was there at all. The latest fiasco involved a patio table that took three (or was it four?) attempts to deliver due to DPD’s neglecting to send me a code that the driver needed to put into his machine to acknowledge delivery. One poor b**ger even carried the parcel half way to the house before asking me for the code I did not have and then had to carry it back to his van (35 kgs). Eventually they managed to get it to the Point Relais (La Poste) who didn’t require a code or even proof of ID. Ridiculous! DPD and Fedex are the worst but I will give some credit to GLS as they have us sussed now, ring us up just before they’re about to arrive, giving me time to get to the parking in time to accept the delivery. We have difficult access, I accept that and I don’t expect everything to the door (although it should be) but I have had ‘livreurs’ sit in the layby and toot their horn for me to go and collect a jiffy bag. Why are they so awful? Rant over, I feel better now!

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Colis Prive and more information :rofl::rofl::rofl:. I just ignore the messages from them now and eventually its either delivered by La Poste or dropped at a local point relais. I do always make a point of complaining to amazon fr though.

For me it’s DHL Germany, every. single. time.

They will collect the package from the vendor then sit on it for the next 4-6 working days, scanning it everyday to say the same “The international shipment has been handed over to DHL and is being prepared for further transport to the destination country/area.”, and it’s only when I ask the vendor to kick them up the backside does tracking information change.

I’ve been waxing lyrical about buying online to a local ‘paysan’ (as he insists on calling himself) who’s clearing my fields, so he decided to give it a go and we ordered a piece for his tractor - over 100€ cheaper in Germany than France. He was over the moon but my heart sank when I saw the transporter was DHL.
The parcel hasn’t moved 5 days on from when DHL picked it up. :rage:

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Some years ago we found a card in our mailbox saying that they were unable to deliver a parcel because it was incorrectly addressed (!!!) and it was available for collection at a depot a million miles away.
Things have much improved now even though we have three houses side by side with the number 10. We are known as 10 ter.
I have a worrying feeling this is all about to change. Our next door neighbour was refused a government grant for new heating on grounds that she did not live at the address she gave. She went to the mayor who said that a year or so ago the powers that be changed the numbering system for local houses. The Post Office has been informed as have various government bodies but she has not yet had time to inform the people who actually live there (and besides that they would be up in arms at the change because no one would get anything delivered)

My flying box, a service owned by le poste but brokers for the usual courier servives. Sending a parcel to Holland. Set up an account they eagerly took the payment, went to the drop off shop, code not accepted? Came back home logged into their site, further documentation required ( not mentioned at any point prior to paying) sent over the info required and now waiting until hopefully Monday for aproval, still at least they have my money, what if they dont aprove the account? Useless site doesnt tell you or email the extra requirement, could have wasted more days.

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