Old Aug 6, 05, 1:17 am
  #9  
hegira
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: Vientian, Laos and Paris, France
Posts: 111
Originally Posted by Aviatrix
Maybe it's a British thing... but it would never occur to me NOT to ask for the name of the person I've been dealing with (or some other unique reference - UK police officer will give you the number on their staff badge rather than their name).
Big cultural difference here. In France, people will generally refuse to provide their names - especially if the situation is hostile. This is especially true on the phone, where french-companies' call centre personnel tend to be in North Africa. In such cases, they make up imaginary names (Anne-France instead of Aisha). Asking for a supervisor works 50/50.

You could try the charm approach - with a thick english accent : "Madame/Monsieur, vous etes tellement gentil(le)". Works great with horribly rude CSRs. They are caught off-balance and feel pitie' for "ce con anglophone" ...

- free advice from a franco-americain

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