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The French Get It So Right!

Posted by admin on September 9, 2018

Two Out Of The Box French Ideas

Two brilliantly clever ideas operating in France which I believe we could do with copying here. Sometimes I think that France is so traditional and the U.K. so liberal and then I get called up short and come across some interesting ideas that France has introduced. I believed that ‘thinking outside the box’ was not something France was good at. However, thinking about these two brilliant ideas makes me realise that France may be more creative than the U.K. at the moment.

A chat with the postman

The French postal service offers a service which would seem to be very useful for us to have in the U.K. too. A specially trained postman will call in for 5 to 10 minutes and check up on and chat with an elderly person living on their own to ensure that they are alright. The La Poste service called the ‘Veiller sur mes parents‘ (‘Watch over my parents’) is to reassure customers that their elderly parents or relatives are in good health. It can be used by people in the UK who have an elderly relative living in France. They ask a standard list of questions and the replies are sent to the relative. To cover any emergency it is necessary when you take out a package to provide contact details of someone nearby who would help.

There are contracts for between one and six visits a week, costing from €19.90 a month, which promises one visit per week, to €139.90 for six visits. If you are a French tax payer there are large tax rebates if you take out these packages. Included in the package is an alarm system to connect the person to a call centre in an emergency.

Not only does this service allow elderly people to stay in their own homes for longer it also keeps the post office in business as, with elsewhere in the world, the amount of mail sent continues to decline. It also means that if you are considering buying a French property to retire to you will have a good ‘safety net’ as you get older. How nice to know that the postman or postlady will call to check on you and that you can stay in your lovely French home. Why don’t we have something like this in the U.K?

Cutting Travel Costs In France

As I approached some of the motorways in France I kept seeing signs indicating ‘Parking Covoiturage’. This reminded me of the clever system that Vinci (the owners of many motorways and carparks in France) have put in place. There are a few web sites which allow members to advertise a one-off or regular journey they are taking and offer a seat in the car for a price that they name. All seems well organised regarding payment and certainty that your lift will be at the meeting point at the time and day you book. Vinci are encouraging even more people to use this service by allowing anyone taking advantage of the service on their motorways to park their vehicle free as they jump into their booked ride. This brilliant idea cuts costs for everyone and is environmentally very sound.

Although the largest co-sharing vehicle company operate in the U.K. too we seem a long way from getting it as well organised as the French have done. Most people I met this summer in France knew about the service and many had used it, whereas I don’t know anyone in the U.K. who has done more than share a car for commuting.

Mixing Traditional Lifestyle With Innovative Ideas

It seems that France is becoming more innovative than the U.K. at the moment so maybe we will be hearing potential buyers listing this innovation as one of the reasons they want to buy a property in France. It certainly gives a ‘feel good factor’ to live somewhere that not only respects its traditions but is also prepared to accept change. Yet one more reason to add to the long list of why buy a French property. Call us for an informal chat 01306 775 008. to talk about your reasons for buying a French property.

We are always happy to talk to anyone who is thinking about buying a French property. Our service is completely free as we are paid by our French partner agents only if you buy a property using their service. Our French agents are all carefully chosen, they are bi-lingual and know their areas and houses exceeding well. Healey Fox aim to provide an impeccable service tailored to your needs from first contact in the U.K. until you move into your new French home.

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