The French Recovery Experience

Discussion in 'France' started by snowdrops, Jul 5, 2016.

  1. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    Well, our worse nightmare happened last week. We'd been in Provence nearly 3 weeks and it was time to head to Montelimar to fill Jumbo full of wine, cheese, oil and even more garlic than we'd already bought from St Remy market. Sorted it all out, turned key, battery light, no steering !!!! Devastated. Had a rollicking from french lady cos we dived into illegal parking as hubby realised no steering. Told her in best french what had happened, she softened and we had life story plus a 15 min conversation about her duvet ! Spent 3 hours in a boiling car park trying to sort recovery out with Shield, phone number abroad didn't work, hours on phone from person to person. Eventually french recovery turned up, fuming, it was lunchtime :( He wouldn't speak to us, refused to speak with insurance rep on phone. Just hoisted us onto truck and drove us off. At one point I was concerned he was just gonna kill us and dump bodies, seriously angry !! :oops: All my french was futile, he hated us. Dropped us off in middle of nowhere, not a word, drove off !!!!! Thankfully came back few mins later, apparently re-positioning his van !!

    Turned out he was also the mechanic !!!!! :eek: Thankfully I chatted and played with his little girl in the baking heat, perspiring like a rampant horse ! Surreal teaching little girl her french colours !! Paid off, he softened. Placed our part on the counter and shrugged, 'kaput' ! He then got to work trying to research where and when he could have the part, result ?..... mid morning next day ! :cry:

    Another several calls later the ins company eventually agreed to arrange booking at lovely hotel in centre of Montelimar plus taxi there and taxi back next day when it was fixed. Before this the guy had even offered to hook us up to his leccy and let us sleep outside his yard. Really kind. Much anxiety the next day as we weren't sure whether to check out or not, ins company even suggested we check out, wait a few h ours and check into another hotel if necessary !!!!! :eek: I snatched phone away from hubby and let them know that wasn't happening and we were booking another night at their expense. Soon had message garage had fixed Jumbo and taxi would arrive at............ wait for it .......... 1200 !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :Eeek: Arrived at garage, quelle surprise ............ ferme !!!!! As a kindness driver called her sister, who knew the garage owner's wife, who then offered to come out and take payment, open padlocks for us to get Jumbo out, I felt like an anxious parent bailing out offspring !

    Overall, back on the road in 24 hours and a lovely stay in hotel to boot. Put us back a day so we tweaked chunnel by 24 hrs to be on the safe side. Hubby was away with work on the Monday so had to get back. Very nerve-wracking and I do not wish to experience again, however, it could have been worse. I bought the little lady a pretty wooden owl and the mum cried when I gave it to her, the little girl hugged and kissed me and waved me off with a little teary smile as we pulled off. So touching. Has taught me that patience and politeness paid off with lunch-less recovery/mechanic and that the littlest things can make a difference.

    Planning Septembers eurotunnel now so fingers crossed that's the last experience we'll have of recovery !!!!
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2016
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  2. mitzimad

    mitzimad Funster

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  3. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Sounds like you rescued the situation, hope your other travels go a bit more to plan but its good to know you can cope whatever.

    Martin
     
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  4. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    Not sure about coping, we nearly killed each other in stress lol !!!! Then again, that wld mean more phone calls so prob best that we never :D
     
  5. funflair

    funflair Funster Life Member

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    Ah well if there is a "next time" you will cope even better but hey let's hope there isn't.

    Martin
     
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  6. fred flintstone

    fred flintstone Funster

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    Which company were you with snowdrops?
    I used Driver guardian. £99.00 for good cover including 60 days EU cover.
    Called them twice, once in Sweden and once in Germany. They called me straight back on my mobile and less than an hour later I was attended to by English speaking breakdown guys.
    Cannot recommend them enough.
    They even called me today to make sure I got back to the UK alright.
     
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  7. yodeli

    yodeli Funster Life Member

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    Dear me! Why on earth haven't you asked for help on here! ??? Or phone a funster to ask for help for you if you had no internet!

    I would have sorted you out , and believe me I can shout much louder than any angry man! But mainly , it would not have gone to that point cause I SPEAK French!

    I do hope that nothing of the kind will happen again but if it does, ask on here, or even better get my mobile phone number before you leave. Most of the time as soon as you have it.... nothing bad happens !! Magic!!

    I really wonder how your insurances work for you Funsters, but when anything happens to either Max or my car, I'm sorted within half an hour , and no charge (except parts or special liquids if required)
     
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  8. snowdrops

    snowdrops Funster Life Member

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    Only just saw this !!! Thanks for that :)
     
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