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Courier deliveries to a small village (le Bourg)


Pirou
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Hi there. First post from me and I have tried to search the forum to see if others have my problem but I can't find anything.

We've had a holiday cottage in our small village for a few years now and our address is just our name and "le Bourg". We get ordinary mail but we've been living here since June and unlike other years, we're having various orders sent from the UK and by courier delivery. 6 out of 8 deliveries haven't been made because couriers can't deliver to what they say is an incomplete address. I can sympathise with this as there are about 30 houses and they don't have names or numbers. I"m sure courier companies don't have time to knock on every door looking for us.

Our neighbours are mostly elderly and don't get courier deliveries as far as I can tell because my French is quite good and we've asked them if they have problems and they just talk about getting their post okay. We've been to the Mairie but they just say the delivery companies are lazy and we've been to the post office and they say that all their postmen and women have lists of names against houses so there is no problem to be solved.

Has anyone else found a way around getting deliveries from couriers if your address is just le Bourg? I've tried sending gps coordinates to the companies with my order confirmation but I suppose these aren't passed on to the drivers. I don't know what else to try.

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Most delivery companies will deliver your stuff to a "relais". That involves a local business (in your nearest town). You can then collect it from there at your convenience. We have a house name and a village name but no road name. We actually live about 5kms from the village. Inevitably we have a phone call on the day of delivery asking for directions. Sometimes we then arrange to drive to the village to collect the stuff. Other delivery companies use GPS and find us OK. Your mairie will know if there's a relais point close to you.
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Thank you Millie. That's a help. [:)] I know people who are like you and live in named groups of houses (lieudits?) and they get deliveries okay because there is a map in the centre of the village which details all the small group names with the roads they are on. My problem seems to be because I live in the centre of the village and le bourg covers a couple of roads and a crossroads. I think it's not the lack of road name that is a problem its that there are too many houses to guess which one is ours.

I will enquire about "relais" - these are deliveries from the UK (and also occasionally Canada)  - so does your original order address have to include the relais address? Otherwise how do drivers know?

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 Using a relais is using a shop/company which has agreed to take packages for people and is a commercial venture. Therefore, the company you are using will have to give you the option of using a local relais. Otherwise, why would a business accept the responsibility of taking your packages for you, I cannot see why they would do it.

IF the companies, you use, do not have the 'relais' options,  then you have a real problem. Although, I have yet to make an order which does not ask if there are specific instructions for delivery. Is there no way that you can make sure that your house is easy to find via that. ie saying where it is from the cross road, or putting a big sign up in a bright colour on your gate or front door, that they can see easily? I also make sure that I give the company I am using (in my case) the mobile phone number of the person they are delivering to, and make a note asking the delivery company to call  if there is a problem.

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Hi.

It's not just you. We own a Chateau, well known in the village 1km away, but certain delivery companies seem incapable of finding us. GLS are the main culprit, even though some of their drivers have actually been here in the past.

Despite the fact that we are on Sat Nav databases and having e-mailed maps to the companies, we still have problems. So now I simply await a phone call and arrange to meet the driver at the village Church.
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I think the reason I've never seen "relais" as an option is that we're not using French companies. And for the sake of a few more months, I don't want to change to a French supplier even if it is something to think about for next year. I don't know who the local delivery companies are likely to be but maybe i should find out and go and see them.

I don't think bright red shutters ([:D] one of my ideas in a sea of white and pale blue shutters) or a bunch a balloons on the door handle will help because I don't believe with the failed deliveries that delivery drivers are even coming to the village. On the two occasions they phoned us on our landline, they were right outside so they had found us but on the other 6 occasions we didn't get a phone call though I know one of us was there on the likely days in question. Even when there is space for instructions on an address and I can put "green door opposite stone cross (in french) it doesn't seem to help. It is so frustrating to get a call or an email from customer services in the UK to say that the order has been returned as undeliverable.

Surely as more French people order stuff online this will become a bigger problem? Or maybe they only ever order from French companies who deliver to relais.

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Pirou

 

Welcome to the forum - we never knowingly ignore a post unless we genuinely cannot help.

 

I too live in a small village where our address is

Name

Le Village

Postcode, village name

 

I also regularly purchase from a variety of sources.

 

Although you are purchasing from the UK and Canada, I would be very surprised if the final delivery is not sub-contracted to a French delivery company.  Some are very good and go the extra mile.  Some are less diligent.  What they do have in common is that they put their drivers under extreme pressure to complete their delivery round punctually.  Drivers under pressure will sometimes then not have the time to make even the simplest of enquiries.

 

At the start we also had a few delivery problems and I now leave delivery instructions that when the driver reaches our church, he should ring and I will be there in 30 seconds - in the language of the order and also in French.  Most of these messages are printed out on the delivery papers (or even just saved on the electronic gizmo): so a non-English speaking driver will still understand the instructions.

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