What is the point of email in France?

Last Friday I tried to call a local optician for my daughter's frames to be tweaked and a dog 'hairdresser' for one of our two filthy mutts. I got answering machines, left messages but no responses. I tried again on Monday but imagined both might have been closed.

Anyway, both have websites and respectively recommend sending emails. I did so. No response. I was a couple of hundred metres from the optician for my physio this morning so called in. We were on the list for returned calls and he said it might have been today or tomorrow. In response to the email, the optician said that they do not look at them very often. Perhaps once every couple of weeks. I did a very emphatic "Doh!" inside my head. Anyway, the old system works. Go to the shop, but rely on modernity... Even the phone did not do the trick. Internet - long way to go.

So, dog's toiletry. Aha, called this morning. The 'assistant' answered and took a message. I said I had left an email. She said her boss 'never' looks at them and that she is always saying she should. Anyway, modernity fails me again since I have to phone there when the boss is in after lunch!

Why, I ask, perhaps naively, do they have a) a website and b) an email address and an instruction about using it to contact them? Am I missing something or is it just a provincial quirk whereby we have to let the twenty-first century arrive in its own good time?


I know...thats my point...sensible people with good business sense...do something so daft as thinking emails are useless...without checking to see what they have got in their inbox first! I know I have always enjoyed computers and have used them for over 30 years...but I have also taught 85 year old blind people to use them from scratch without these daft problems....really dont understand the mentality of going to the trouble of getting a website and an email address, then ignoring them!

The irony is, Carol, she is actually very nice. We even recognised each other from local shopping. I was there a couple of hours, she worked hard and very conscientiously and during that time there were obviously phone calls for bookings and enquiries. She didn't waste time doing small talk and having me pay for that time at all. It is just the email bit I cannot understand. She even asked me for advice on her website because mappy.fr shows the location of her business near Beaumont whereas she is near Pezuls...

What a kind approach!!!

I am flabbergasted by the total lack of common sense Brian! they are the kind of answers I would expect from an idiot...in the true sense...not a business woman.....words fail me.....

This seems to be the way my lawyer thinks as well, - he is happily sending his invoices, has even an e-Mail form on his website but when it is coming to substantial information: no reaction. Not even by phone which either has this answering system or it is ringing 20 times with no response.

My diagnosis is "Franco-sclerosis" to a degree beyond astonishment: French business owners have actually quite useful options to make themselves unpopular with their customers but professional service is really not their profession. This is also shown with this soporific "Anti-Sarkozy" and his constant maneuvers.

I have been and had my dog done today. I asked about the email and so on. Reason for no response was given in two parts by the proprietor: 1. Her computer is in the house rather than there in the business (dohhhh!!) and 2. She doesn't find emails very useful so only looks every few days. She thinks there are several hundred in her inbox but has never bothered to look properly.

Well, modern French business methods really are astounding!

Poor you...thats shocking lack of service. I have got world weary with such rubbish as well....on the odd occasions when I am actually moved to pick up a phone...when all else fails, I have managed to get things sorted. Usually by insisting they send me an email immediately stating what we have discussed. I always ask for a name and if they will only give 'Tracey' or 'Kev' then I ask for an extension number and email address, as well as their managers name and email. Once said email arrives, I reply to it copying in their manager. Such a pain in the backside...but it helps sometimes to be able to produce such proof.

I am amazed you havent sent in a filthy complaint to the DVLA...I would have.

And Kingfisher are as naff as they come.

PS. Spelling Theo - my name is not 'Gehirn'....

Thanks Roger for come up, for a change, with good news!

Guess this is also the nature: nobody is complaining about good customer service. Yes, Leroy Merlin is a 100% French company while Castorama is Kingfisher, a UK Holding.

Whats the point in email in some cases there isnt one, neither is there any point in snail mail, for some people they are both a complete mystery some of you may know i have a dispute with the DVLA they are trying to fine me for none tax or no sorn on a vehicle in 2012 that was exported to France in 2010 well it appears my appeal has been upheld after contacting both the debt recovery dept and the DVLA they are writting to let me know that the fine has been canceled, now bearing in mind both of these departments have my address here in France sent to them in a registered letter and both have received email from myself containing my French address also the customer complaints dept of the DVLA has my French address to which address do you think the letters are being sent , WRONG,they are going to my old uk address i left in 2010 so once again i in theory would not have known the outcome so would have been in even more trouble if my appeal had not been upheld, lucky i telephoned, perhaps smoke signals would be more effective

Brain, the upbringing of "sfr-orange-free-etal" is actually a task France Telecom promised to handle at ease. It all depends on the weather. It is supposed to get sunnier, so don't worry. If this does not lift your mood you may consider reading the posts James did regarding Tooway Sat. And, - ITS UK IP!!!


I found it hard to believe that Leroy Merlin was a French company at all. They state their values as:

Team work, a desire to perform well and professionalism are shared ambitions that serve as foundations for our culture. Customer satisfaction entails honesty, competence, high standards, initiative and commitment.

And apparently when they open in different countries, they adopt the customs of that country.Obviously not adopting the customs of France....they put too much emphasis on customer satisfaction!

Poop Facebook Emoticon

have one on me!

Fantastic Doreen! the fact you set it all up yourself...I couldnt manage that...but the poo smiley? tremendous...and I agree...had nothing but grief from Orange.

Agree, but OH signed on the dotted...

When a Livebox is replaced it takes hours or even days to reconfigure the phone and, OH was just told, being a holiday weekend it might be Tuesday.

Progress is being made but with lots of stumbling before walking like a small child. Growing up seems slow though.

Just had storms last night and our Orange Livebox was killed :-(

Calling them for technical assistance is crazy. If the call is not picked up by one of the people after about 12 minutes it automatically cuts off and one starts again. Third call, OH got a line. Basically she went through all we had done to see if we could reboot for half an hour following obvious instructions.

Eventually she got a code for a replacement box. Off to Bergerac, waited a couple of hours in the queue (they all refused to leave the store at 1200 though!). Home, set up quickly but our internet phone does not work. Now she is on the line again, technical assistance are floundering and not knowing what is wrong...