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Andyphilpott

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Letter from my Branch in Collobrieres to say that they are dropping the counter service from next month and the branch will be open only for advice on mortgages, insurance and other ancillary services. How the village will react to this is yet to be seen!

At least we have a cash dispenser in the wall of the Post Office (funded by the PO, Credit Ag and the Department) but that will not help the locals who can no longer pay in their takings.

They will have to take them 20km to Pierrefeu!

People who want cash now will not be able to use a cheque to get it so the crafty folk at Credit Ag will charge them for a debit card. Knowing the Collobierois some enterprising shops will soon be cashing cheques though to recycle cash!

Sounds like the French are getting on the UK banking bandwagon, only providing services which make them money and certainly dealing with cash does not! Business sense certainly, albeit blinkered, but good for business - I think not.

 

Andy Philpott

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This is systematic. All our small local CA branches went to no counter service months ago. Every single branch will be no counter service before long and all account holders will be obliged to have a (pay) cash card and to use the pay-in envelopes for cash and cheques. And anyone who trusts those is an idiot.

What I don't understand is why anyone wastes their time with the CA? They are uniformly lousy and expensive. You can get full counter service 6 days a week from every single LaPoste in the country if you have a CCP, all at no charge. Why anyone bothers with the CA when every village has a LaPoste is quite beyond me.

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[quote]This is systematic. All our small local CA branches went to no counter service months ago. Every single branch will be no counter service before long and all account holders will be obliged to have a ...[/quote]

"...Why anyone bothers with the CA when every village has a LaPoste is quite beyond me...."

think you might be in danger of over-egging the pudding just slightly here, Mazan.

Our village lost its LaPoste late last year as did our neighbouring one 4 kms away (it was staffed by the same lady: 10h00 - 12h00 over there and 14h15 - 16h15 here, so not the most flexible service anyway). Now our nearest is the next village 12kms away in one direction (limited opening hours) or 14kms in the next bigish town.

And the plans to slim down the number of LaPoste is every bit as draconian as that for the banks.

paul

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Our village lost its LaPoste late last year as did our neighbouring one 4 kms away

Maybe so. But surely there can't be many villages that don't have a LaPoste but still have a CA? Around here every village with more than 1000 residents has a LaPoste with counter service.

And the plans to slim down the number of LaPoste is every bit as draconian as that for the banks.

I am convinced that local counter service will still be available from LaPoste long after all the CA's have moved to automated systems. LaPoste has offered cheap and efficient day-to-day banking services for many years and I'm sure that it will continue to do so.

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To our amazement our local CA in a village near you (Bédoin) was rehoused, extended ánd a cash machine was installed. All last year. Before the change we had to go to M. to get money out of the wall since the only other machine in B. was unreliable.

I am a happy customer of CA, even though they seem quite expensive.
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As far as I know the procedure is that first they install the machines then they remove the counter service. This is what they seem to be doing all over the area and I was told by two different branches that this is indeed the plan.

So yes, every village will get a cash machine but as always with the CA you will have to pay for the card to use it and also after a while you will have no choice but to use it for all withdrawals and deposits, unless you care to pay yet another fee for counter service. Having seen in another thread what can happen when paying in cash into these machines I would much prefer to stick with the woman behind the counter in LaPoste.

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[quote]As far as I know the procedure is that first they install the machines then they remove the counter service. This is what they seem to be doing all over the area and I was told by two different branch...[/quote]

You are probably right, but so far the service for us has been improved.

By the way: glad to see you back on the forum.
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Well apart from the lack of counter service now, which will not really bother me too much personally, I have found CA to be no problem at all. The only charges I have are for the debit cards. I am sure La Poste is fine but as far as I am concerned if it ain't broke don't fix it. It seems that many in the village have felt that way too in the past although maybe their views will change now.

We have another branch at Pierrefeu about 20k away where they say they will continue with a counter service. We shall see!

If I run into problems I will take Mazan's good advice.

Andy Philpott

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I hold both private and professional accounts at Crédit Agricole and find the service they provide second to none. Since we arrived in France some four years ago we have had excellent relationships with the staff, both face to face across the counter and by telephone, who have always done everything possible to ease our passage into French life. Our village has a cashpoint (and a place to meet your CA representative by appointment) and a rapidly dwindling Post Office (now open in the mornings only).  I also have a BNP Paribas private account which seems to charge more than CA for a modest service.

I do not find it a hardship to drive 11 km or so to the nearest CA full branch to conduct any business over the counter - it is usually combined with a trip to the supermarket!

Vive Crédit Agricole!!

SusieQ 

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