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Old 06.08.2015, 20:16
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Buying mail order from France- beware!

I am fuming - I ordered a console for the new bathroom early June- and by the time we came back from hols it still had not arrived- so I complained- and again 3 weeks later. Apparently the delivery man phoned the friend in France where it was supposed to be delivered- she was on hols abroad and didn't respond. So finally, yesterday, 2 months after order- the delivery man turns up un-announced at my friend's in France- and the teenage daughter is alone. She signs for the parcel and the man drives off. Today we pick it up and open the package- and it's a mess, splinters of wood and the stapples holding the top have come out. I phone the business and they say as someone signed for it and it was not thoroughly checked and delivery refused, the garantee is nul and void- tough- despite their site saying clearly 'not satisfied, full refund'. she says had we checked it throughly (how can you, it's all wrappped up in paper and double bubble wrap...) and refused delivery- he would have taken it away and they would have refunded!!! Never seen a piece of furniture (made in China) put together that badly and shabilly- never mind the delivery damage.

It took us 2 hours of clamping, gluing, replacing stapples with panel pins- and the top is marked! Never, ever again (Maison et Styles). Can they legally do that? Arrgh well - lesson learnt- it looks nice anyhow.
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Old 06.08.2015, 20:26
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

What's the French equivalent of Switzerlanded?

You've been francised!!!
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Old 06.08.2015, 21:29
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

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What's the French equivalent of Switzerlanded?

You've been francised!!!
Let's give it a French touch.

She has been rolled in flour!!!


Odile and Mélusine will understand what I meant!
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Old 06.08.2015, 21:29
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Ah, wonderful all these methods of saving money...............

I see your point Odile, and commiseration, but in same respect, there are always pitfalls to buying whilst saving considerable amounts of $$, and unfortunately you have just found out, buying in France or elsewhere is not always cheaper....
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Old 06.08.2015, 21:34
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Buying online carries a risk wherever you buy from so it's no a problem restricted to France. An item could equally well have been damaged had it come from any other country (including Switzerland) which is why you should always check a package carefully before signing for it.
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Old 06.08.2015, 22:47
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Oh dear, no s*** Sherlock - honestly!

The point is that, according to the website and the conditions, the driver must:

Au moment de la prise de rendez-vous, le livreur va vous proposer une plage horaire pour la livraison de votre article, exemple 10h-13h, vous avez la possibilité de lui demander qu'il vous prévienne 30 minutes avant son arrivée

after 2 months of waiting, he arrived totally un-announced, having made no appointment, despite having the numbers for both adults. The teenager who was at home signed, knowing that we had been waiting for so long. Doh had he made an appointment, we would have been there and checked the package carefully- although there were 6 different highly packaged items, as the furniture had to be assembled. The damage only became apparent when all the bubble wrap was removed and the parts put on a table to assemble!
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Old 06.08.2015, 22:53
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Was the teenager who signed under 18?
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Old 06.08.2015, 22:59
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

I'm sorry this happened to you - it's a shame they aren't more lenient because the daughter rather than the parents accepted the package - how is a teenager supposed to know the "check upon delivery or else" requirement, especially as the package wasn't even for her or her family?!

Perhaps you can make a case of this guy arriving out of the blue (so the parents had no way of preparing themselves to accept the package - and you couldn't be there either!)

If you ever order something from those guys again, refuse to accept delivery if they show up unscheduled, and when they do show up on schedule, take all the time you need to check the order thoroughly - and if it annoys them - "well, it's your rules and I don't want a faulty item."

Last edited by glowjupiter; 06.08.2015 at 23:05. Reason: words :)
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Old 06.08.2015, 23:28
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

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Oh dear, no s*** Sherlock - honestly!

The point is that, according to the website and the conditions, the driver must:

Au moment de la prise de rendez-vous, le livreur va vous proposer une plage horaire pour la livraison de votre article, exemple 10h-13h, vous avez la possibilité de lui demander qu'il vous prévienne 30 minutes avant son arrivée

after 2 months of waiting, he arrived totally un-announced, having made no appointment, despite having the numbers for both adults. The teenager who was at home signed, knowing that we had been waiting for so long. Doh had he made an appointment, we would have been there and checked the package carefully- although there were 6 different highly packaged items, as the furniture had to be assembled. The damage only became apparent when all the bubble wrap was removed and the parts put on a table to assemble!
I assume this comment was aimed at me?

My point was that your thread title is misleading. I clicked on the thread thinking that there was some kind of problem associated with ordering by mail order from France. In fact it's a problem with a specific company and not related to France in general at all.
Your gripe is with this one company, not ordering from France in general.

A better title would have been something like 'Problem with French mail order company -beware!!'

A blanket statement like that about a country is akin to saying that all Swiss people are cold and unfriendly and we all know that's not true don't we?

Last edited by Belgianmum; 07.08.2015 at 08:34.
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Old 07.08.2015, 08:56
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

And in other news, scientists confirm the grass isnt actually any greener on the other side.





(Why is this in "Complaints Corner" - which itself is in "Living in Switzerland"?? Surely this has more to do with "Living in France" - unless Odile was trying to make a sly dig about trying to avoid being Switzerlanded )
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Old 07.08.2015, 10:33
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

No shit Sherlock........, the driver got a signature on his delivery note, tough shit Sherlock, more like
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Old 07.08.2015, 10:44
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

hence the warning. The children knew the delivery man would make an appointment, and the parents or children would call me to be there- we had discussed the delay 2 days ago around a drink and what would happen next. They were supposed to phone me so I could be there. This is clear in the company policy- but the driver came unannounced, gave the thing to sign to a minor (15 who was there with her sister, 13) and left as quickly as possible. That's my point.

But the point goes further, and the warning is re so many EFers saying they order from abroad to deliver to poste restante or some 'reception' centre where they collect. That means that any problem after collection would not be covered by garantee either.

Today we collected the rest of the order. Two 6m x 1m40 carpets - there is absolutely no way we could have checked them without unrolling them on the drive- and then they would have been dusty and picked up grit. So we have brought them home, and will soon go upstairs and un-roll them in situ where it is clean. If there is any problems, we'd be stuffed too. Live and learn. Warning is valid, as it is not just one company in France that has that ruling re checking everything carefully before signing- and if you order to be delivered at someone's else, or Poste Restante or Reception Centre- the same will apply.

If a piece of furniture comes in pieces to be assembled- can you really check that every screw is present, and every hole perfectly aligned- on the door step, anyhow? We managed to repair it, and although the quality is rubbish when you look at it closely, it looks nice and I can't be bothered to fight this though.
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Old 07.08.2015, 10:56
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Why don't you get a credit card with buyer protection to avoid these?

And by the way, the unnecessary dig at France comes off racist. I've bought goods from France over the Internet with no problems.
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Old 07.08.2015, 11:18
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Racist, oh yeah, sure. I am talking about ordering from France to be delivered in France at someone else's address- a friend, Poste Restante or some sort of reception centre which has been mentioned on EF before. I do agree this was not clear from the title. If you are not there to check the parcel carefully yourself, and someone signs for you- then most French sites will just say no return or reimbusement possible.

As said, I am not bothered in this instance- and wont' pursue the matter which we have resolved. Although as the company did NO follow the protocol agreed, eg making an appointment and phoning 10 mins before arrival, and gave the docket to sign to a clear minor, I'm sure I'd have case. My annoyance last night was at someone saying I was supposed to check the contents... and well, yes, guess what, I knew! Difficult to check if the driver turn up unannounced and gets a kid to sign for it.

Leave you to it- it's a gorgeous sunny hot day up here, and I intend to enjoy it off to unroll and check those sisal rugs- can't wait. Next half of the corridor next (the other 15 m).
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Old 07.08.2015, 14:44
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

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I phone the business and they say as someone signed for it and it was not thoroughly checked and delivery refused, the garantee is nul and void- tough- despite their site saying clearly 'not satisfied, full refund'.
For Switzerland such a claim would be nonsense, same for Germany. Don't know about France, but I do have an idea (hint: both DE and FR are part of EU).

The courier won't let you open the package before you sign, and even if he did he definitely wouldn't be wasting time waiting for you to be done checking. The signature is merely proof of delivery, it doesn't say its contents are what they should be and in good condition. Complaints can be made afterwards, but must be done so within reasonable time (I seem to remember vaguely, within three days, but that may be subject to the item delivered).

Chances are, that this part of consumer rights is regulated by EU, as opposed to the individual country. In which case the statement by the seller is be what I think it is - an excuse, a strawman, and utterly invalid.

Odile, the first thing you want to do it to get solid proof you placed your complaint. Written is of course preferred, perhaps send them a mail (hurry, it's friday!) or have them acknowledge your call by eMail. Otherwise make at least sure you can prove you called them. This won't be easy I'm afraid.

(I agree, the thread title is inappropriate)
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Old 07.08.2015, 15:28
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Of course, got all the e-mails I sent. The employee even replied she would fee exactly the same, and that she was going to take it up with management- on my behalf. As said- 'I ain't bothered' now about the piece of furniture, just want them to confirm the process was all wrong.

As I got confirmation that the order was ready for delivery for the carpets (which are fine- looks great!) ... I had exactly the same notification 'unless you check thoroughly and if you sign the delivery docket, you will NOT BE ABLE TO COMPLAIN OR GET A REFUND AT A LATER STAGE, EVER.

So it seems quite a regular thing for French companies (2 separate companies here) hence the warning. When you click on 'satisfied or re-imbursed' it does say that this only works if you are not satisfied at the time of delivery, and you should not sign and refuse the parcel and send back via transporter. After that, it is no longer valid, they say. And again, how do you thoroughly check that everything is perfect- that nos screw is missing, nothing mis-aligned, etc, or a small flaw in a nearly 6 m long carpet x 1m40 - at the doorstep? Impossible. Yes, it would be interesting to challenge a/ this case due to delivery arriving without appointment and being signed by a minor- and b/ the concept in general. As you say, in Switzerland or UK, they wouldn't have a leg to stand on.

Happy for a mod to change the title to 'Buying mail-order from France for delivery to 3rd party- beware'.
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Old 07.08.2015, 18:48
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Received a package today - item I ordered arrived in perfect order, but in the wrong color and with a nice extra which wasn't included in the item I actually ordered.

To send the wrong color item and extra back (those together being the same price as the item that I wanted) from what I understand, I would've had to pay postage(), and it would've taken a week at least for things to resolve, not to mention the hassle.

Fine, so I keep the wrong color item and extra and everyone's happy and hassle-free
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Old 07.08.2015, 19:03
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Was that from abroad or Switzerland? If I order anything from La Redoute France, or another catalogue, to be delivered at my friend's in France (2 mins from here)- if anything does not fit, or I don't like it- I just return from the French PO - and it's not expensive. From a Swiss catalogue, you can normally take back to a collection point, and only pay (from memory) 3 CHF for the return. I can take parcels back to the collection point at the local railway station kiosk - so no worht keeping something I don't like.
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Old 07.08.2015, 19:14
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

Some local carpenter could have benefitted from the custom. What will you do when all your carpenters have gone out of business because people prefer to buy cheap stuff made in China?
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Old 07.08.2015, 22:03
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Re: Buying mail order from France- beware!

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Some local carpenter could have benefitted from the custom. What will you do when all your carpenters have gone out of business because people prefer to buy cheap stuff made in China?
They'll work in call centres or on zero hour contracts for Sports Direct
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