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Postcodes for Online Suppliers


nomoss
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Some years ago, when I first started providing my address in France for online suppliers in the UK, I found many of their systems would not accept a French postcode in the appropriate field of the form, as the format didn't match the UK postcode expected.

I therefore got into the habit of putting both the postcode and the name of the town, in the French fashion, into the "Town" field of the form, e.g. "31000 Toulouse", which seemed to solve the problem.

One of these suppliers is Amazon UK, and items purchased there have always arrived here promptly.

Having an Amazon account in the UK automatically enables one to buy from Amazon in other countries, but I made my first purchse in France only earlier this year.

A week after the purchase I was advised by email that the item had been returned as undeliverable, and the payment was refunded. I reordered the item, but the same thing happened again, so I decided their delivery company was useless and reordered again, but this time for delivery to a nearby Point Relais instead of to our house, and the item arrived safely.

Last week I decided our Michelin maps of Spain were getting a bit old and inaccurate, so ordered some new ones from Amazon France, forgetting the problem mentioned above, and sure enough, yesterday I was advised they were undeliverable.

This time, as I want the maps urgently, I contacted Amazon France using their online Chat (via Aide>Aide supplementaire>Nous contacter - which has the "Chat" option)

It took a little research, but the Chatline person was very efficient and intelligent, and eventually found the problem.

There is an automated labelling and sorting system which operates together with La Poste, who are given the address information as it is stored in my account. Since the postcode field was blank, the address was not understood by the system, so computer said no, and the package never left the depot.

He/she modified my address details, and I reordered the maps, which will hopefully arrive today via La Poste's one-day delivery.

Hopefully future packages sent from the UK, with the postcode now following the town name, will still get here.

Edit: 11.35. The packet arrived 5 minutes ago, but by Chronopost, not La Poste.

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As a matter of purely academic interest could you provide me in pm your name address post code, bank details SEPA ans IBAN  and credit card number with the 3 figure code on the back and the expiry date?

I will ensure that your Amazon purchases arrive somewhere safely [:D]

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For Amazon:

Adresse ligne 1 - number and street name

Adresse ligne 2 - blank unless required

Ville - Town name only

Etat/region/canton - blank

Code postal - XXXXX

etc.

I remember now that I had a problem with mail delivery here when a supplier's system demanded a county/region etc.

I put Languedoc-Roussillon, but the address when printed out in UK read:

X rue des Crottins

Nullepart

Languedoc-Roussillon

XXXXX

France

Presumably, as the postcode was not written next  to the town name the sorting person/machine couldn't see it, and a few packages travelled around the country until finally someone noticed the postcode and they were eventually delivered, with the postcode scrawled across them in blue crayon.

We had similar problems when friends/relatives missed out the postcode or left out a digit from it. Even though our village was the only one in France with that name, it could not be identified without the code.

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I have had a different problem with suppliers, in that they accept the 5 digit numeric post code, but their system is unable to cope with the first digit being a zero. It then automatically drops the zero, so I end up with packages eventually delivered to the Ardeche but redirected from Sarthe!!

I now put my postcode as F-072xx
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Not just the postcode that can cause problems in both the UK and France, I have had plenty of problems with them over the years, although in fairness, my snaking round the systems seems to have worked as we have never had anything undelivered.  For us the problem we have most is with telephone numbers which are often are not recognised.

I have tried all sorts of methods, including using the + sign. Some systems seem to cope and others do not, at all. At least I don't have problems with the addresses any more, sounds like I am lucky.[:)]

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