Thursday, October 09, 2008

French customer service

Now I'll start by saying that I am somebody who loves living in France and I often make excuses or stick up for the French way of life against Brits out here who criticise some aspect of it. But there really is an occasion when the English way is far superior - when it comes to the question of customer service.

I'll spare you the tedious saga that has prompted this entry - it involves organic dog food that I've ordered over the internet. Actually I won't spare you but I'll give you an outline - I ordered the said dog food like I have done for the last year or so. It's organic venison shipped in from Australia (who says our bichons aren't spoilt) and it usually comes from a French importer about two days after I've placed the order. Well for the last week or so I've been chasing this order and been told that the delivery company were holding on to it for some reason. I've just rung the delivery company (which was something I was putting off because complaining phone calls are much harder in French) and it turns out that they have not delivered it because the box was broken.

Wouldn't you think that there would have been a bit of liaison between the importer and the delivery company? But no, it's left to the poor old customer to chase it and this has made me cross. One of the dogs has a stomach upset from having to go back on to home cooking instantly (dogs need a few days of slowly introducing different food into their system, well bichons do anyway or there are repercussions ) and the other - Poppy with all her allergies - is struggling on something the vet sold me which is not really doing her much good.

At the other end of the spectrum you get wonderful British companies like Lakeland who will do anything to keep the customer happy. Something I boughtt four years ago happened to break due to overuse. i sent them a mail and got an instant refund.

So there is not much entente cordiale in my house today.

Just in case it looks like I am making a fuss over this one instance - I could give you at least five other occasions when French customer service made me want to scream. I won't go on - I'm boring myself.

A few hours later..well, I've received a reply from the importer. Apparently I can get a refund if I can return the broken box (which is lying in a warehouse somewhere in France) back to them. You couldn't make it up, could you?

A day later...I have just written to Cornelius Patt who is CEO of Zooplus in Germany - the parent company. I'll keep you posted.

Well... just as well I've not been to the post box yet because Re-sult, I've been given a refund. My 23 emails of complaint obviously worked. Mind you - one of their mails to me was sent 11 times just to pay me back.


mimi pompom said...

Hello FF

Just discovered your blog via (mine is on there too). Great blog and great name for it. LIke you, I love living in France and don't like complaining, but I always say that the customer is always a crook/or in the wrong until they can prove otherwise. I won't bore you with the tale of the oil company that twice deducted €650 from my debit card but needless to say, the onus was on me to prove their mistake and even then it took weeks to get the money back!

日月神教-向左使 said...