Bienvenue chez Extand

For some reason, when you send a package from the US to Vichy, rather than being delivered by the postal service, it has to go through the package delivery service Extand, which is always a delight.

I think they have some kind of surveillance on me so that they can be sure to stop by when I'm not at home. They leave a note saying that they stopped by and giving me a phone number to call to reorganize a delivery. How considerate.

The first problem is that the number is not toll-free - in fact, it costs more than a regular call, 1,34€ for the call plus 0,34€ per minute. This would be slightly more acceptable if I didn't suspect I was paying every time it said "All of our circuits are busy. Please call again later" and hung up on me, and when I finally got through and was directly put on hold for the length of a song from Pirates of Penzance on my end and some crappy Muzak on theirs.

The second problem is that even if you get the message at noon on the day of attempted delivery, you have to wait until 9am the next day to call and set up a new delivery time, which must be in the morning and cannot be the same day you're calling. So that's two days right there. Then in my case, I was told that they do not redeliver on Saturdays or Sundays. Monday is a national holiday, and I work Tuesday mornings. So Wednesday will be my new delivery day, for the package I should have gotten yesterday (Thursday).

When Jennifer got her last package, she had to pay a 49€ import tax because of the value of the package. I have this vision of receiving a ripped-open package on Wednesday and being told "The value of this package was estimated at X amount. But we've tasted that Halloween candy in there, and it's pretty good, so we think it's worth more than that. Give us some money."

The, Extand, the.

srah - Friday, 8 November 2002 - 3:40 AM
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