vendredi 29 octobre 2010
D is for Deliveries
Tout est bien qui finit bien — All’s well that ends well
However much you embrace your new lifestyle, there are things you miss from the UK. Thanks to the Internet, you can order pretty much anything. The downside? Delivery charges.
Hats off to Marks and Spencer and Boden, who charge only slightly more to deliver to France. I will now name and shame Links of London. I love their stuff, and shortly before we moved, bought a lovely watch from them. A few weeks ago, the strap broke, so I looked on their website, and yes, they deliver to France. The strap was expensive enough at £45, but then they wanted £25 for delivery. That’s £70 for a new strap. No thanks, I’ll get something over here.
Then there’s Amazon. Here’s the dilemma, buy from Amazon France, and post and packing is free, but the books are considerably more expensive. Buy from Amazon UK, and despite the fact the books are dispatched from within mainland Europe, the post and packing is pretty steep (although the books are cheaper). Amazon UK also regularly limits the number of copies of each book you can buy, not particularly helpful when you are ordering for members of your book club.
French deliveries are not without their dramas. We ordered a cabinet from a mail order company. Over the next few weeks, then months, we got regular communications advising us of delays to delivery. Luckily, our need was not urgent. We then realized we hadn’t heard from the company for a while, so phoned them up to find out where the elusive cabinet was. The voice at the other end was pretty surprised, and told us it had been delivered a couple of weeks ago and it had been duly signed for.
On the date in question, we were in the UK, so asked to see a copy of the signature. They emailed it to us — it was signed ‘Mrs Doreen’. Not a name I generally use. They promised to send another cabinet. When it arrived, the driver queried our need for it — he had delivered the first one himself. Yes, but where was it? He led us to the garage, where he had hidden it among stuff awaiting a suitable vide grenier, old removal boxes and several months’ worth of empty wine bottles. The signature? He had done it himself to be helpful. It would have been even more helpful to leave us a note indicating the whereabouts of the package.