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."
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)
* UPDATE #2: A week later I had to go into the store to retrieve said purchase. It was stored in the back room and I got to see the back office.