I could write a whole book on the battles I have fought and the victories I have won against poor customer service in France. In one supermarket, the price at the till was nearly always different to the price on the shelf. I wrote to the head office and received a money- off voucher. At my next visit to the shop, I gave the cashier my token. She looked at it and asked me where I had got it from. ‘From your head office,’ I replied. ‘I have worked here for 10 years and have never seen one of these before,’ was her response! It seems I am the only one who takes the time to complain! It takes determination, as contact forms are sometimes not even on websites. My trick is to scroll down to the bottom of the page where ‘Mentions légales’ begin. In there, companies are legally obliged to publish their address even if they make it fiendishly difficult to contact them by the usual means. My  French students could not believe their ears when I recounted that I had taken a half-eaten box of chocolates back to Thornton’s in Bedford and it had been replaced it with another of the same size. However, the replacement I chose had been reduced in price, so the staff insisted that I took some more products to make up the value. Customer Service like that is rarely found in France.

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