Shopping online in France

€59 for this?! It's a folding chair!

So Bénédicte was in my room again. When I was in the UK over Christmas, she discovered that I had broken my chair.

After a long lecture upon my return, we put the subject to rest until the weekend before last. She had found the chair on the Maison Facile website, but it was out of stock when she visited the store. So she asked me if I could find one.

At €59, I was hoping to find it cheaper, but eventually just decided to order that one online. Last Wednesday the €65 transaction, including postage, went through without a hitch. On Thursday I received an email, titled Urgent! Your order No. TFQY708 (this was a little odd, considering that my order number was WHXA188).

It turned out the website was out of the chairs as well (you would think that this would be mentioned somewhere on the website, or that a notice would have popped up when I tried to buy it), and the email invited me to look at their other chairs.

This would not do. I emailed back, saying I don’t want another chair; I would simply like a refund of the €65. Please inform me of when this is possible.

As I hadn’t heard back the next day, I tried giving them a call. But it turns out that Maison Facile’s call centre has a 90 minute lunch break, so I’d have to wait.

Today, Monday, I still hadn’t received a reply, so I tried calling again.

Maison Facile,” a woman answered the phone.

Bonjour,” I answered, “I ordered an armchair last week and received an email saying that it was out of stock, so I would like to organise a refund.”

“Okay, do you have your order number?”

I gave her the one in the email I received, “TFQY708.”

After three tries (I usually avoid the phone – my French still leaves much to be desired), she found the order. “Ahh, you are Madame Martin?”

“. . . no.” I repeated the order number.

She tried again, “you are not Claude Martin? Because that is the name with this order.”

C’est bizarre,” I said, “because that is the number that was emailed to me.”

She searched again under my name, and found the order (the number was WHXA188 – clearly they’d been copying the same email to everyone who ordered this product). “Okay, you just need to send us an email saying that you want to cancel, and you will have a refund in 15-30 days.”

Slightly irritating since I ordered the chair less than a week ago and the money hasn’t even been taken from my account yet, but I’ll take what I can.

After sending my email, I tried another website: Multi-Affaires.

The chair was only €39 here, but the reason I originally chose Maison Facile is because I can’t see any way to actually buy the chair on Multi-Affaires. Check out the link– there’s a title, a picture, a price and a description, and even an icon that I can click to see my shopping cart, but no button to actually buy it.

If anyone else can figure out how to do it online, please let me know, because the call centre wasn’t much more helpful.

Allo?” a woman answered.

Bonjour,” I replied, “est-ce que c’est Multi-Affaires?”

Oui, how can I help you?”

“I’d like to order an armchair.”

“Okay, did you see it on the website?”

“Yes, it’s the fauteuil moon noir,” I said. After spelling it, she seemed to recognise the product.

“Do you have an order number?” she asked.

“No, I would like to order it now – I tried on the website, but it was impossible. There was no . . .” I paused as I searched for vocabulary, “logo to click.” Really don’t like the phone – gestures make life so much easier.

“Are you sure?”

“Yes, I have the website in front of me. There’s a title, a picture and a description, but no link to buy it,” I ran my cursor over the different parts of the page as if this would help her understand me.

“Okay, I will look.” She went quiet as she looked at the website. After a couple of minutes she said she would look into it and call me back.

An hour later and she still hasn’t.

I’m not impressed with French online shopping to date.



The next day they called me back to say that their website was broken, and they would contact me when it had been repaired. One week later, I called them to discover that not only was the website still not working, but the chair was out of stock.

So I’ve agreed to give Bénédicte money for the chair. She’s just adding up how much I owe her for the bed . . .

One thought on “Shopping online in France

  1. Pingback: Bénédicte’s verdict « Jolie à Paris

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