Professional Hedge Cutters

My hedges are straggly with brambles again and the neat line of the tops is rarely visible now. Had a bad experience with an otherwise excellent French gardener for the last 2 years, he then cried off with a broken cutter one day, saying he would be back the following week. No sign of him, despite repeated calls by me, for 2 whole months :astonished: he then phoned to say he was coming at last…2 days after I had successfully found an English one who had done the job.

The English one is also excellent but equally bad at communications, I awoke to a text this morning saying he can come next week Thursday or Friday, but this is after a week of leaving messages and texts. Because they are like hens’ teeth I accepted either day immediately and will stay in all the time if necessary, but timidly pleaded for a little warning nearer the time.

Why are small businesmen so generally bad at giving a totally good impression. I ran a haulage business back in the 70s, a taxi business too, and for nearly a dozen years here in France ran my volunteer dog transport service as if it was a business, always arriving dead on time or beforehand and prepared to wait or phoned ahead with any unavoidable delay. It wasn’t hard to create a good impression, why is it so hard for so many others?


I could write a book on poor communications from trades folk and businesses, not only in France, of course, but the South does seem to suffer more badly than other places. . I used to laugh at the quaint “normalement” in appointments. Not anymore.

Rumour has it we might get our double glazing fitted a year after the date promised. We are not holding our breath. :roll_eyes:

I’ve said this before but I think that it is because there are simply too few artisans in France because of the tight controls/need for qualifications to do anything on a commercial basis.

1 Like

Just so, but when I was transporting dogs, I was the only one in the country who was doing what I did, as far as I knew, and that was based on the number of people from far and wide who contacted me, after searching fruitlessly elsewhere. Every single one who was new came by word of mouth. There were many people, a mate of mine in Dole a case in point, who would only travel aller retour in a single day, but none who would go to the furthest regions of the EU as I did. I always replied to emails immediately with a can or can’t and in the case of the latter, the first available date. It wasn’t hard to do.

Dare I mention plumbers? I have been through at least 5 in the past 30 years, some of them in sheer desperation more than once, and only the first one was any good at all and he died in his 50s. I’d have rushed down there and given him mouth to mouth resuscitation myself had I known. :roll_eyes: :rofl:


Interestingly travelling home from the Ardeche a week back we were passed on the motorway by two different pet transport vans. The one I remember as had UK plates was called Go Fetch, the other was I think from Luxembourg.

So maybe this has blossomed as a business?

I cosset our plumber like a favoured relative! He is great, but mid 50’s so may well retire soon’ish. His son is around 17 so really, really hoping he decides ro take on the business!

The vans you saw are professionals, not at all what I did, think buses and taxis, but without a profit margin in the case of the latter. I was required often to meet these people, with vans crowded with dogs who had come from Serbia, Romania, Greece, Spain you name it. In fact the last international journey I did was to meet a van from Sicily at Milan. I overnighted close to Milan and in the morning received a text re-directing me to Piacenza. I went down there and waited 3 hours past the arranged rdv time which meant I and the 2 dogs I collected had an extra night parked up on the road. That was a one-off exception for the Presidente of Phoenix but I had already refused to meet them.

Once in eastern France I arrived at a rdv address, the house of an elderly French couple who had no idea what I was on about. After many phone calls, in the dark now, the van turned up but refused to give me the dogs because ‘there are too many police about in urban areas’. I tried to protest but was forced to follow them out into a lonely country lane where they were transferred very quickly and I then didn’t see the Serbs for dust. My dogs were legal, but it makes you wonder what all the others were.

With one rescue organisation I caused them to arrange with a lady living in a village near Boulogne to meet the transporters in the middle of the night and take them back to her house, then I would collect them from there at 8am. It wasn’t the cleanest of places but at least they were out of there safely and quickly.

Sorry Jane, but you quite innocently touched a raw nerve. :roll_eyes: :rofl:


Ah, dog rescue then! Daughter has two dogs from Greece that she found abandoned as tiny puppies on a beach and being attacked by birds, and managed to get transported back to her in UK.

Good for her then, but that can be dodgy nowadays, the authorities are becoming more and more interested in illegal importation of puppies. I was once stopped in an ordinary gendarme check near Sarlat with 5 dogs on board, some from Spain. Non of them were young but I was surprised that the gendarmes spent quite a lot of time studying their documents before allowing me to continue.