Eupedia Forums
Site NavigationEupedia Top > Eupedia Forum & Japan Forum
Results 1 to 14 of 14

Thread: French post and banking service embarassingly inefficient

  1. #1
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    French post and banking service embarassingly inefficient

    I have had to send or receive mail to/from France quite a few times, and I have to say that I have been often disappointed by the long delays (the worst was 6 weeks for an urgent registered mail to arrive in Paris from Belgium, 350km away !), and even several cases of "lost mail". In comparison I have never had any problem with the Belgian post. The BBC confirms the problems of the French Post, compared to the German one.

    BBC News : France's La Poste prepares for battle

    Quote Originally Posted by BBC
    A recent report to the French Senate on the state of La Poste made depressing reading.

    In 1996, it said, the German and French post offices had been more or less on a par. Eight years later, the turnover of the German post office was double that of France's; its profits were eight times bigger, and internal investment was three times as high.

    On top of that, the quality of the German service was improving, with a next-day delivery rate of 90%, compared to 75% in France.

    The difference, of course, was that Germany had privatised and reformed its postal service, while France's venerable public institution, complete with 330,000 staff and 17,000 bureaux, had stayed stock still.
    The Belgian and Japanese Post are both public, and their service and efficiency are far better than the French Post. So I do not think that it is necessarily bad because it hasn't been privatised. France in fact has quite a few efficiently run public companies, such as the car maker Renault. Heads have to fall at the top (and maybe lower down the scale as well), that's all.

    In any case, if you have important or urgent mail to send or receive to/from France, you are better off using private delivery companies such as DHL (indeed a German company !), TNT, UPS or Fedex.


    I also want to complain about the French banking system. The French also lagging behind for at least two things :

    1) the French still use these odd pieces of paper called "cheques", and which were erstwhile used elsewhere in Europe to pay bills or purchase things in shops before the age of the faster and safer debit/credit cards, bank transfers, or Internet services like Paypal. This is especially inconvenient for international transactions. Even within the EU and euro-zone, even for neighbouring countries that have the same banks, it still take weeks to cash a cheque and cost a fairly high percentage off it. This being said, I know that the USA is among the few developed countries that still make common use of cheques.

    2) Some (all ?) French banks illegally charge a few euro of commission for bank transfers to other EU countries. This has been prohibited by EU regulations, but they continue to do it because they know that no individual is going to prosecute them for a few euros, especially since they have good lawyers and it takes years before a case is treated in court.
    My book selection---Follow me on Facebook and Twitter --- My profile on Academia.edu and on ResearchGate ----Check Wa-pedia's Japan Guide
    ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    "What is the use of living, if it be not to strive for noble causes and to make this muddled world a better place for those who will live in it after we are gone?", Winston Churchill.

  2. #2
    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
    Join Date
    26-02-06
    Location
    Luxembourg
    Age
    32
    Posts
    618

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    I am human
    MtDNA haplogroup
    I am human

    Ethnic group
    Asian
    Country: Luxembourg



    I have had to send or receive mail to/from France quite a few times, and I have to say that I have been often disappointed by the long delays (the worst was 6 weeks for an urgent registered mail to arrive in Paris from Belgium, 350km away !), and even several cases of "lost mail". In comparison I have never had any problem with the Belgian post. The BBC confirms the problems of the French Post, compared to the German one.
    BBC News : France's La Poste prepares for battle
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by BBC
    A recent report to the French Senate on the state of La Poste made depressing reading.
    In 1996, it said, the German and French post offices had been more or less on a par. Eight years later, the turnover of the German post office was double that of France's; its profits were eight times bigger, and internal investment was three times as high.
    On top of that, the quality of the German service was improving, with a next-day delivery rate of 90%, compared to 75% in France.
    The difference, of course, was that Germany had privatised and reformed its postal service, while France's venerable public institution, complete with 330,000 staff and 17,000 bureaux, had stayed stock still.
    I actually never experience any lost mails from "La Poste." But for airport services we prefer to use the Frankfurt airport, rather than the two in Paris. The German method of functioning airports is definately faster, more flexible and more efficient than the French. Moreover, we need to drive 5 hours to the Chau de Gaulle airport but to Frankfurt Airport it only takes 2 hours.

    The Belgian and Japanese Post are both public, and their service and efficiency are far better than the French Post. So I do not think that it is necessarily bad because it hasn't been privatised. France in fact has quite a few efficiently run public companies, such as the car maker Renault. Heads have to fall at the top (and maybe lower down the scale as well), that's all.
    In any case, if you have important or urgent mail to send or receive to/from France, you are better off using private delivery companies such as DHL (indeed a German company !), TNT, UPS or Fedex.
    Well when we need to send something important we use DHL or Fedex. I think in France people know for important things they need to use special services to have insurance.

    I also want to complain about the French banking system. The French also lagging behind for at least two things :
    1) the French still use these odd pieces of paper called "cheques", and which were erstwhile used elsewhere in Europe to pay bills or purchase things in shops before the age of the faster and safer debit/credit cards, bank transfers, or Internet services like Paypal. This is especially inconvenient for international transactions. Even within the EU and euro-zone, even for neighbouring countries that have the same banks, it still take weeks to cash a cheque and cost a fairly high percentage off it. This being said, I know that the USA is among the few developed countries that still make common use of cheques.
    I am not sure what you are talking about here, can you scan it to show me, you can block out the private information on the cheque using Photoshop. And if you think it is difficult to cash cheques to or from French banks wait till you see how it is operate in Australian banks!

    2) Some (all ?) French banks illegally charge a few euro of commission for bank transfers to other EU countries. This has been prohibited by EU regulations, but they continue to do it because they know that no individual is going to prosecute them for a few euros, especially since they have good lawyers and it takes years before a case is treated in court.
    Well if you donft want them to charge you the commission, you need to do it yourself on the internet, they charge all who use their services, these fees go to the payments of the people who work in the banks to service clients. They charge everybody in France; you were not treated any different.

  3. #3
    Ground Oddity cursore's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-11-05
    Location
    Scotland
    Age
    43
    Posts
    44


    Ethnic group
    Roman
    Country: UK - Scotland



    In my experience for banking I consider UK light yearss better than my home country (Italy) I'm not charged for any transaction and or internet service.

  4. #4
    Horizon Rider Kinsao's Avatar
    Join Date
    08-05-05
    Location
    England
    Age
    42
    Posts
    591


    Country: United Kingdom



    Hmmm - the mail service isn't that good in the UK.
    I mean, it is alright, but... if I send a parcel, like a gift or something, I worry in case it doesn't get there ok, and if it's valuable I use a courier company like Parcelforce or TNT.
    There have been scandals of many letters getting very late delivered, and the other day I saw on a headline about a postal employee who stole tens of thousands of letters and burned them!

    About cheques... I use them sometimes to pay for things that don't have any other way of payment. For example, my subs for one organisation I belong to, they don't have a facility for taking debit card payments, and the treasurer doesn't want to walk around with large amounts of cash (from various people) on him, so a cheque is convenient, because there is no hurry for the payment, it doesn't matter if it takes a few days.

    My bank charges me for making an electronic transfer to another bank in Europe. I thought that was normal.

    One thing that to me really sucks about UK banking, though, is that they don't do International Postal Money Order (IPMO). Because a lot of the sites I want to buy from accept only credit card (of certain types ¬_¬), cash or IPMO - which means I have to send cash by mail. I've tried other types of money order, but only IPMO is acceptable. If they accept Paypal, that's fine, but... not all places do.

  5. #5
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by cursore View Post
    In my experience for banking I consider UK light yearss better than my home country (Italy) I'm not charged for any transaction and or internet service.
    Belgian banks also do not charge for transaction and or Internet service. Another good thing is that ATM withdrawal is free from any ATM in Belgium, even from other banks, which isn't the case in the UK (only from your bank).

    I have heard that Belgian banks have the most advanced and secure Internet banking systems. I have tried such services from Japanese, American, French and Belgian banks, and indeed the Belgian ones are by far the most secured in appearance, thanks to a "digipass", a kind of calculator (which the banks give you) that generates a new password everytime you login or make a transaction. The system varies across banks, but in some you must even insert your debit card into the digipass to obtain the password. In comparison, all the other countries' banks I have tried (all top banks) only had a simple password system, not one re-generated at every use. Belgian banks also have more options; one can subscribe to an insurance, open an additional account, buy stocks, or print one's bank statements from the Internet banking.

  6. #6
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by Kinsao View Post
    One thing that to me really sucks about UK banking, though, is that they don't do International Postal Money Order (IPMO). Because a lot of the sites I want to buy from accept only credit card (of certain types _), cash or IPMO - which means I have to send cash by mail.
    Wouldn't be easier to get a Visa or Mastercard for Internet purchases ? These are accepted by all shopping websites that I know. If you like travelling abroad, you could get a combined credit and mileage card from your favourite airline, and for each pound spent you will get miles until you get a free flight (try a Star Alliance associate, as you can use the mile on all the network).

  7. #7
    Ground Oddity cursore's Avatar
    Join Date
    02-11-05
    Location
    Scotland
    Age
    43
    Posts
    44


    Ethnic group
    Roman
    Country: UK - Scotland



    Another good thing is that ATM withdrawal is free from any ATM in Belgium, even from other banks, which isn't the case in the UK (only from your bank).
    Not completely true, only small banks and non “Links” circuit banks charge a fee, so 80%-85% of banks won’t charge you a fee, for money withdrawn.

  8. #8
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by cursore View Post
    Not completely true, only small banks and non gLinksh circuit banks charge a fee, so 80%-85% of banks wonft charge you a fee, for money withdrawn.
    Maybe it has changed since the time I lived in England...

  9. #9
    Seasonal Member Minty's Avatar
    Join Date
    26-02-06
    Location
    Luxembourg
    Age
    32
    Posts
    618

    Y-DNA haplogroup
    I am human
    MtDNA haplogroup
    I am human

    Ethnic group
    Asian
    Country: Luxembourg



    Yes things change. In the past Aussie banks don't charge commission when you withdrawal money from other banks but they have been for couple of years now...

  10. #10
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    05-04-08
    Location
    mom's basement
    Posts
    24


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I also want to complain about the French banking system. The French also lagging behind for at least two things :

    1) the French still use these odd pieces of paper called "cheques", and which were erstwhile used elsewhere in Europe to pay bills or purchase things in shops before the age of the faster and safer debit/credit cards, bank transfers, or Internet services like Paypal. This is especially inconvenient for international transactions. Even within the EU and euro-zone, even for neighbouring countries that have the same banks, it still take weeks to cash a cheque and cost a fairly high percentage off it. This being said, I know that the USA is among the few developed countries that still make common use of cheques.
    I've found European wires to be such a scam - damaging to the consumer. You would think wires are the way forward because they're electronic, but I've seen wires take longer to complete than the time it takes a parcel to travel half way around the world.

    Then there's the all too common wire siphoning scam. (I would post a link detailing how the scam works if my account had the privilege). I've been hit by it a couple times. A recipient claims the wire is free, and so does your bank, so you send money. Not only is it not free, but when you lose the wire fee lottery they simply snatch the money right out of the wire, and the customer has no means to approve what's taken. Worse, there is no possible way to ever get the money back! European wires are like *cashiers* checks. If a bank grabs more money than contractually agreed to, it's gone. And if the recipient doesn't deliver the goods or service, the money just vaporizes. Any part of the deal breaks down, the money is still gone. Consumer protection in all of Europe is lousy (in fact, a recent study showed that over 50% of electronics sold to Europeans violate a consumer protection).

    After experiencing European wires, I have come to love cheques! I want my euro chequing account. When you send a check, there is no possible way for any postal worker who carries the check to grab bits of the money along the way (like banks that move along a wire grab bits of the payload without the senders knowledge or consent). I know that the full amount of a cheque will be available for the recipient to withdraw (possibly minus the cheque deposit fee, but clients know and accept the fee their own bank charges). And if something goes wrong, a cheque sender can stop payment. Cheques are more secure than wires for these reasons.

    If a check is lost, the actual money doesn't go missing. Lost wires will sit in some unclaimed account for weeks. The money is inaccessible, until you pay the bank 20+ euros to get off their butt and investigate. And when the investigation is complete, it still doesn't recover the money. You then have to send the message trace to the bank that's ignoring their unclaimed money pot, and motivate them to make the correction.

    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    2) Some (all ?) French banks illegally charge a few euro of commission for bank transfers to other EU countries. This has been prohibited by EU regulations, but they continue to do it because they know that no individual is going to prosecute them for a few euros, especially since they have good lawyers and it takes years before a case is treated in court.
    Any EU bank can charge whatever they want for wires. The only rule is that they must charge the same for domestic wires as they do for wires to/from the rest of the EU (actually SEPA). Competition is still needed to get the cost down to something reasonable.

    But even when there is competition, it leaves pockets of under-handed arrangements between bankers and brokers, where banks agree to not charge brokers anything, so that they can profit by skimming an undisclosed money grab off all wires to and from individuals who the bank doesn't even have a contract with. It's mind blowing that this is legal and unchallenged in a region as developed as Europe. Feels like banking in Nigeria.

  11. #11
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Quote Originally Posted by jgombos View Post
    I've found European wires to be such a scam - damaging to the consumer. You would think wires are the way forward because they're electronic, but I've seen wires take longer to complete than the time it takes a parcel to travel half way around the world.

    Then there's the all too common wire siphoning scam. (I would post a link detailing how the scam works if my account had the privilege). I've been hit by it a couple times. A recipient claims the wire is free, and so does your bank, so you send money. Not only is it not free, but when you lose the wire fee lottery they simply snatch the money right out of the wire, and the customer has no means to approve what's taken. Worse, there is no possible way to ever get the money back! European wires are like *cashiers* checks. If a bank grabs more money than contractually agreed to, it's gone. And if the recipient doesn't deliver the goods or service, the money just vaporizes. Any part of the deal breaks down, the money is still gone. Consumer protection in all of Europe is lousy (in fact, a recent study showed that over 50% of electronics sold to Europeans violate a consumer protection).

    ...

    Any EU bank can charge whatever they want for wires. The only rule is that they must charge the same for domestic wires as they do for wires to/from the rest of the EU (actually SEPA). Competition is still needed to get the cost down to something reasonable.

    But even when there is competition, it leaves pockets of under-handed arrangements between bankers and brokers, where banks agree to not charge brokers anything, so that they can profit by skimming an undisclosed money grab off all wires to and from individuals who the bank doesn't even have a contract with. It's mind blowing that this is legal and unchallenged in a region as developed as Europe. Feels like banking in Nigeria.
    I suppose you are talking about the French (or possibly British) banking system. I have dealt with wire transfers to and from many European countries, and never had any problem, except with French banks, which typically charge a transfer fee, and sometimes return a SEPA transfer for strange reasons. British banks also typically charge a transfer fee, but they also charge you when you withdraw cash at a cash point from another bank in the UK. In contrast Belgian banks never charge for any bank transfer inside the EU, and usually don't charge for withdrawals in any other bank in the country. Ironically (or consequently ?), France and Britain are the only Western European countries where people still use cheques on a regular basis.

    So you can't just say that it is European banks that are at fault, but some banks in some countries. I have found the banking system to be much worse and antiquated in Japan. Although Japanese bank accounts are free (no annual maintenance/service charge, unlike about anywhere else I know), Japanese cash cards cannot be used abroad (they are not Maestro or Cirrus compatible like in Europe) and cannot even be used in another Japanese bank ! Most ATM's close around 8 pm and are closed on Sundays and national holidays, unlike Europe's 24h ATM's.

    Then Japanese banks always charge a transfer fee, even for domestic transfer to the same bank ! Besides, they limit the amount per transfer to a few thousands euro, so that if you need to make a big payment (like buying a house) you have to do countless small transfers and pay the fixed fee each time. In addition you can't withdraw cash with a foreign credit/debit card in Japanese banks, except a few major Mitsui-Sumitomo branches or at the Japan Post.

    I don't know about Nigeria, but last time I went to India there were no ATM's outside big cities (and even there you had to look hard) and you could only get a cash advance on a credit card manually at the counter. But at least it was possible, unlike at Japanese banks.

  12. #12
    Regular Member
    Join Date
    05-04-08
    Location
    mom's basement
    Posts
    24


    Country: United States



    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    I suppose you are talking about the French (or possibly British) banking system. I have dealt with wire transfers to and from many European countries, and never had any problem, except with French banks, which typically charge a transfer fee, and sometimes return a SEPA transfer for strange reasons. British banks also typically charge a transfer fee, but they also charge you when you withdraw cash at a cash point from another bank in the UK. In contrast Belgian banks never charge for any bank transfer inside the EU, and usually don't charge for withdrawals in any other bank in the country. Ironically (or consequently ?), France and Britain are the only Western European countries where people still use cheques on a regular basis.
    Belgian banks cannot protect you. If you wire money from a Belgian bank to CMC Markets in the UK, Natwest bank will grab an undisclosed amount of money, and there's nothing the Belgian bank can do about it. You can show the Belgian bank the (bogus) claim from CMC Markets stating that they don't take a fee on their end, and the Belgian bank will simply tell you your problem is with the other bank and to ask the other bank for a refund (which the sender doesn't have a contract or relationship with).

    Moreover, when CMC Markets wires money to a Belgian account, Natwest again grabs another undisclosed sum of money (quadruple what they took from the deposit), and then the Belgian bank will charge a commission as well (11€) !

    For two transfers that were supposed to be free (which I have in writing), the actual net cost of moving a couple thousand was 35€.

    I was told that sending banks (in this case the Belgian bank) has a responsibility to take actions when laws are violated. Fortis was useless.

    In the US, it would have been free. Checks are always free in the US (often foreign checks as well), and US accounts themselves are free as well. The only consumers that pay anything are generally those that screw up and overdraw, or opt for some high end premium account.
    Quote Originally Posted by Maciamo View Post
    So you can't just say that it is European banks that are at fault, but some banks in some countries.
    It's a systematic problem. European wires are (by design) irreversible unprotected cashiers cheques (effectively) that any bank can skim from if they handle any part of the wire.

    No European bank can protect consumers from wire siphoning carried out by CMC Markets and Natwest, because of how wires are processed. It would only be feasible to blacklist CMC Markets/Natwest, and block transfers -- but no European country is that diligent. It's simply a chaotic free for all.

  13. #13
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    Well, I have never experienced the kind of problem you describe. But I have never had to deal with CMC Markets.

  14. #14
    Satyavrata Maciamo's Avatar
    Join Date
    17-07-02
    Location
    Lothier
    Posts
    9,498


    Ethnic group
    Italo-celto-germanic
    Country: Belgium - Brussels



    The EU Commission has attacked French, Spanish, Italian and Austrian banks for charging excessive fees to their customers and not being transparent enough about what they are paying for. On the other hand, the Commission praised Dutch, Belgian and Portuguese banks as the most customer-friendly.

    => Related news from Euronews

Similar Threads

  1. getting quick service at a Belgian commune
    By mikehayes in forum Benelux
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-10-11, 19:29
  2. Internet Service Providers in Belgium
    By Maciamo in forum Benelux
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 15-05-11, 21:04
  3. Last post
    By Riccardo in forum Site Feedback/Admin Contact
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 24-03-11, 01:17
  4. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 15-12-06, 15:50
  5. Mobile Phone Service Offers Help to Lonely Hearts
    By Hachiko in forum World News
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 17-03-04, 22:45

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •