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I've said it before and I'll keep saying it. I live amongst what is most probably the kindest, most cultured, civilised and generous communities on the planet. However (big however), the French it seems have no concept of customer service.
One learns to live with it. Even laugh about it during dinner party small talk. Even to laugh about it along with charming and gregarious new found 'native' friends. Here is a little tale though which takes some beating.
Memsahib and I moved here, into the spectacular Rance Valley about four years ago. We had originally moved to another village about fifty kilometres east and which was also very pleasant. Our new home we had originally planned just to be a holiday home near the sea. As is so often the case though we found ourselves spending more and more time in our 'second' home. So we eventually decided to sell our primary residence.
We approached half a dozen immoblier (Estate Agent) for advice and to put our property on the market. Three or four came back reasonably quickly with valuations and a recommended market price. All were close but one company stood out amongst the rest for professionalism.
We decided though not to give exclusive rights of sale to any single immoblier and instead accept the customary higher commission rates applicable to multiple agency sales.
One immoblier however had got out of the wrong side of bed. Either that or they were one of the notorious 'dump it and take whatever I can get' brigade. The individual that turned up (late) to survey our home, our pride and joy and labour of love for the past seven happy years or more, was rude, opinionated and amateurish. He grudgingly recommended a selling price almost half what the remaining five agents had suggested. We told him to go away.
Our house sold very quickly and realised our asking price. We had received four offers within a week of it going on the market. For reasons of courtesy following deposit being accepted, I sent a simple email thanking the unsuccessful agents for their help and advising them the property had now been sold. Again for courtesy I sent the email 'bcc'. That is so each recipient could not see the email addresses of each of the other recipients. I did though ask for 'Read Receipt'. So that I could be certain no agent was continuing to invest time and effort advertising and promoting a property for sale which was effectively no longer available.
Today, almost exactly 37 months later I received a 'Read Receipt' message from the idiot that would have realised around fifty percent of the price we actually sold for.
The reason I am posting this long, sad story is so that in the event you are similarly planning to put a property on the market here in Brittany I can discretely advise you which immoblier to avoid at all costs. Obviously 'courtesy', to say nothing of laws of libel, prohibits me from publishing this idiot's name on-line!
I've finished buying a new boat and a Jaguar XK8 with the difference now.
For the day anyway.