Thursday, December 18, 2014

Osons La France!

I spied this subway advertisement a week ago and it caught my eye. It's an advertisement for an event at the Grand Palais and is apparently for a "new French revolution."

I'm noticing more and more various efforts France (or various organizations that represent France) are making to get behind tech, new tech, startups, internet, web, digital and social media.

Their ad says: "We like We participate." I guess the metro (RATP) participates in that they get people to the event...other than that, perhaps it is also their way of saying they support all the new innovations out there that they can use.

Either way, it's good to see these signs. Signs of acceptance, moving forward, moving. Motion!

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

SNCF - an eco solution

While I will not have any use for this service, I thought what one of the major French commuter railway lines is doing during travaux is an excellent example business-savvy, smart and ecological customer service.

The SNCF is doing construction on part of its rail line. And as a solution it is offering a payment system for people who utilize a carpool service.

The ad says you simply fill out your projected travel date and time, then offer your car up as a carpool option. When other people sign up to be in your carpool, you supply a code that's given and SNCF will pay you the price of that extra passenger.

Nifty. And practical for this holiday season!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Online shopping angst: part 1

Online shopping in France can be simple like anywhere else, or it can be fear-inducing!

Today's example is with La Grand Recre. I have an account with my local store, but don't have an actual "carte fidelitie." I was trying out a new feature they began offering a few weeks ago where you can order online and then pick up in the store. Simple enough and very common in the USA.

However since I never got a fidelity card, I didn't know what my actual client number was to enter in my purchase order (for the eventual points one gets with purchase). (problem #1: no card given to clients for knowing their own client number)

So I called the main hotline number. They don't have this sort of information. It's stored locally at the store. (problem #2: no central database of client numbers)

I called my local store. The man who answered interrogated me when I asked if I could get my client number. "Mais Pourquoi?!" (But Why?!) He asked me at least three times in an increasingly hostile tone, as in "why would you, the client, ever want your Client Number? And if you do, it certainly must be for some evil, illicit reason?!" (problem #3: accusatory, aggressive salesperson)

Heart racing, I stammered the truth, praying that my answer will be satisfactory and that he won't scream at me or tell me "no you can't have it, madame, that's private information," "I'd like to purchase something online, on  your store on the internet, and I don't have my client number."

"Hold on."

Sounds of shuffling, someone walking..."bonjour"..., more walking, door opening, "clunk!"

A few seconds later he picks up the phone and we go though the process of finding my account number based on my last name. We run into confusion because I can never remember where I use my maiden name, married name or a jumble of combinations. :/  He finds my record finally and reads me my number

Enfin! Voila! Now I can go about my purchase!

* UPDATE: After I purchased the item I wanted to record my client number somewhere offline (like an excel file) for future use. Guess what? The client account number is NO WHERE on their site!!(problem #4: no full client information, ex. account number)