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Credit Agricole Centre France


Alan Zoff

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I don't know if this is a one-off or is typical of French banking or perhaps just C-A banking.

On returning to the UK at the beginning of the month, I checked my bank statement and saw that a card payment for fuel at Carrefour had been put through twice. 70 euros or so.  So I contacted the regional office who asked me to email the director at my branch which I did immediately - in French, of course. (They suggested email as a hearing problem makes telephoning particularly difficult.) No response so I emailed again. This time the director replied saying he had asked someone to deal with it and would keep me informed by email.

Days pass. No further messages and my account has not been recredited. So I emailed again on Wednesday asking for an update and requesting that the overpayment be repaid immediately. No response as yet.

It is now a month since the error occurred. I am quite sure that had this happened with my UK bank, the money would have been refunded as soon as it was brought to their notice.

Any suggestions on how I can put pressure on them to rectify the error? Frankly, although I have been with C-A for nearly 10 years without encountering particular difficulty until now, I am inclined to look for another bank. But if they are all pretty much the same in this regard, there might not be much to gain from the hassle.

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I am sure the anti CA proponents will be queueing up to slate the company.

We have never had a problem with our CA account (Alsace Vosges). We have a conseiller who has been helpful when we have had questions - and to be fair when he thinks he can sell us a product (sometime helpful, sometime not).

If you have one (it should be on your statement), it could be helpful to contact them. Unfortunately the statements rarely their email addresses. We have ours via other communications.

Best I can do to help Alan.

Good luck

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Thanks Andy. I have sent several emails to both the Regional Office (secure) and the branch (ordinary email, as suggested by Regional Office). At first, the RO people kept insisting I telephoned them but when I pointed out that this was discrimination against deaf people, they immediately gave me an email address for the branch manager, who has now received 3 emails from me, one of which was acknowledged over a week ago with a "we will deal with it" response.

Since posting my original message, I have done some Google research and it seems in general the banking system works well but when you hit a problem, don't expect anyone to do much about it any time soon. Patience and perseverance required.

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Do you have internet banking and if so, have you tried using the 'contact' facility on your espace client rather than writing to random email addresses?

I rarely have issues with CA Normandie but once they issued and charged me for me a duplicate card in error (what happened was that I lost my card and got a replacement, then on the expiry date of the lost card they issued a replacement for that, so I had two cards).

Being a bit dopey it took me a while to pick up on what had happened, and when I did I contacted them via the website. People fell over themselves to sort it out. First an an automatic email acknowledging the query, then another email telling me which conseiller it had been passed to and the timescale when I would get a response, then well within that timescale an email from that conseiller apologising and telling me the full amount would be refunded into my account, to which I responded with a polite thank you; and then an email from someone at head office telling me that they could only refund pro rata - but since by then all the money was back in my account and they didn't take it away again, I ignored that email.

However that was an internal issue and their error. I guess if it's money that's been claimed by a third party, they need to investigate a bit more as to why the third party claimed it twice. Without knowing the details but a bank can't simply reverse transactions without checking. Otherwise people could go along to the garage in pairs, put exactly 50€ of fuel in both cars one after the other on the same card, and claim one back. Obviously you didn't, but some people would if they thought they could get away with it.

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Have you emailed via your personal on-line account? Reason I ask is that when send an email I get a reply to say they will be in contact and give me a reference number.

Last week I had to pay the dechetterie bill which I usually pay by cheque at our local Tresorerie however we can no longer do so and have to send payment to Rennes. Stupidly I signed and dated the TIP and instead of enclosing a RIB I enclosed the cheque. The following day realising my mistake I thought they are going to now take the payment twice. So I logged into my account and sent a grovelling apologetic email as to what I'd done and could they prevent double payment. The response arrived within a couple of hours and couldn't have been more helpful.

Also I prefer emailing to an appointment as I'm one of those who find it difficult to say NO when I've been helped out and have in the past come out with savings accounts and insurance!

Mrs KG

Edit: apologies Eurotrash just noticed you have already referred to the contact facility
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Your conseiller should have their name on your internet banking, if you

have it, as I have to pay for mine, and I would suppose that most people

do pay one way or another. I have had some good conseillers over the years and they are usually helpful.

We have had our share of problems over the

years, usually took endless contact and rale'ing to get it sorted, but so

far, apart from one thing which has never been resolved, everything

else was.

The only thing that did not was  when my conseiller, (one of the three bad ones we have had) who was at

the Credit Mutuel and lied to me, because, when you do not tell someone the

truth and the facts, then it is lying where I come from and that cost us

money, not a fortune, but money never the less.

Incidentally, if that Carrefour was local, I would have been in to see the manager and ask what on earth was happening. AND I would get onto  Visa or Mastercard or whoever and ask them what is happening too.

Keep at it.

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Thanks all. Yes, I started with the contact link from my internet page which produced the repeated requests from the Regional Office for me to telephone them, ignoring my comment that deafness prevented me using the phone. They then gave me the personal email address of the branch director who now seems to be ignoring me.

I will be back in France next month - hopefully it will have been resolved before then but if not I will pay the branch a visit as I have sufficient hearing to manage if the person is standing in front of me.
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I had rather hoped that there would have been a VISA or Mastercard logo on your card, so that you could have contacted them too. And sod's law says that when the proverbial hits the fan, that nothing is easy........or close[Www]

Good luck

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I found this thread interesting. A couple of months ago we went to our local Carrefour, bought stuff in the store and fuel from the garage, using our credit card. A couple of days later, checking the card statement, we discovered that we had been charged twice for both transactions. A phone call to the bank and a visit to the store brought about a speedy refund. But this was obviously not a one-off with Carrefour and we will be checking our statements very carefully from now on.
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Thanks again for the responses. Still no joy with the branch but, after further emails, the regional office has promised to chase them up for me. Obviously, it would be easier for all concerned if my hearing problem did not make using the telephone so difficult. But I had hoped when direct email contact with the branch was established a fortnight ago, some progress would be made.

I too will be checking my statements and receipts carefully in future. Unfortunately, the receipt for this payment is in the French house so I only have my bank statement until I return to France in a few weeks time. This is why I am relying on C-A to put it right.

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You need to have some understanding of what makes them click, letters even those non LRAR are nearly always acknowledged or actioned because its la politesse and they have been conditioned by their education, you could even write a threatening letter using the most vulgar language and they would reply in the standard politesse format, that is why when people go in and get completely screwed over/ignored/treated with the utmost disrespect they will always say thankyou on leaving.

Now E-mail communication I believe many either dont get or dont think that it needs the same consideration, I have found that writing a letter in the correct formulaire will get results, when I wanted to challenge an unauthorised withdrawal (Myferrylink fining me for abusing their 24 hour returns) the woman would not action it on my word, it had to be in writing in the correct format, no sir, you cannot send it by e-mail, I ramped up the charm and she wrote it for me and all I had to do was sign it thus saving a stamp, they refunded the money the next day without even consulting Myferrylink who would have said no citing their T&C's.

I have kept it as an example of a standard letter to be used in the future, if you want I can look it out.

As an aside I have found the above to be true with most organisations, even my Maire who hates my guts is torn when I approach him in the recognised manner.

 

C.A. have started to steal a €50 note from me whenever I make a €2-3k cash deposit, I have had a face to face with the person responsable and managed to keep my composure during all his histrionics that I was accusing him of dishonesty (I was most certainly not I chose my words carefully) if it ceases then I will remain, one more time and I change banks and launch a claim against them for abus de confiance in them giving me a Mastercard with an annual fee whereas my signed contract was for a free LSA card, sure I use it as well they knew, it was the puppy dog sales technique, they refunded the fee in the first year, I will hit them for all the subsequent years if they steal from me again.

FWIW never use the deposit machine for cash (they insist you must) and dont belive their lies that it is secure, the pochettes are opened by 2 people one a senior member of staff in a secure area Under video surveillance, it was all total lies except perhaps if you consider his office a secure area.

Dishonesty aside I cannot believe that in this day and age that they put all the honest staff in a position where they could be accused of theft and have no means of proving their innocense.

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Although we have a C.A cheque account we only use it to pay required direct debits. We don't have any of their cards, can't see the point if they charge so much for the things. ALL our spending is via our UK cards Nationwide credit for purchases and Metro Bank debit card for any cash withdrawals from the bank cash machine, these two companies don't charge extra for use in europe and the exchange rate is near business rate.

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I ended up making a formal complaint to the Regional Office which seemed to do the trick as the payment has finally been recredited. No explanation or confirmation, and I have still heard nothing from the branch manager who promised to keep in touch - perhaps he has crossed me off his contact list after I went over his head. C'est la vie.

I will still be paying him a visit next month as I want to renegotiate my bank charges. This will no doubt be greeted with the usual shock/horror as if I were the first person to make such an unreasonable request. Well that's how it went last time.

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Yeah, and I was the only person in the history of the bank that had called into question their honesty and integrity, which I didnt, I simply said I paid in X and can prove it yet you creditted me with Y, can you explain it?

Then it was "not one single other person has ever claimed that their cash deposit was short", when I asked him if he would like to write that down to save the local paper having to contact him for comment there was a lot of backtracking and handwringing, truth be known if my friend the journaliste were to run the story everyone would jump on the bandwagon even those without CA accounts.

One day I will go in to challenge the €24 frais de tenue de compte actif that they slipped in just before Christmas, no notification of changes to terms and conditions, many thought that they would be paying it each and every month.

I will probably stick with them, €37 + €24 is no longer the significant sum of money that it once was, none of the internet banks will do because I have a lot of cash to pay in regularly, if I change to one of the remaining town centre banks they are just as likely to steal from me, I am fairly certain it wont happen again, in fact the guy would probably rather put in his own money than tell me that I was short [:P]

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