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France rules, but are the French getting it right?

 Poster: A snowHead
Poster: A snowHead
Thankfully my only bad experience of poor customer relations in France, happened in a ski hire shop in Flaine. It was our first ski trip and had all hired skis, but during his first lesson, my 8 year old son was told by the instructor he needed shorter skis. Fair enough, instructors know what they're on about, don't they? The guy in the shop was not impressed when we asked to change the skis - as PG said, it was as if we had personally questioned his ability and knowledge. He muttered and scowled and threw a shorter pair of skis onto the counter, questioning the instructor's knowledge. So who knew best? The instructor or the ski shop employee?

As a contrast, changing skis, boots poles in Austria has seemingly always been an easy process, always greeted with a smile - not a scientific study I agree, just an observation.

PS Who does know best about the most suitable ski lengths - ski instructors or ski shop guy. Three times I've been told to change my skis. Mind you that probably says more about MY skiing incompetence than anyone else's Wink

Last edited by Poster: A snowHead on Tue 12-10-04 19:47; edited 1 time in total
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 Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Obviously A snowHead isn't a real person
Hywel, maybe you're being inaccurate with your description of your abilities to the ski shop bloke? Wink
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 Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
Well, the person's real but it's just a made up name, see?
I do think that many of the posters in this thread (and reading it was my "treat" for the day), seem to be basing their opinions of the French on their experiences of very large, long standing "posh" resorts, like Val D, Courcheval, and so on. Small resorts are great because you do get the warmth of feeling, but try coming to Bath in the summer and see how rude the English are to tourists! We are no better - shouting at them when we don't understand their accents - ripping them off on prices (Bath's a rip-off anyway) and so on.
Obviously I'm biased, but I think that in spite of being a "mega" resort we have nice friendly people on the whole, who do try hard to help you have a good holiday. Maybe it's because we're not "posh". Every time I go to Val D (which is as rarely as possible) I get the distinct impression that they'd rather I sent the money and stayed at home!
Try LDA, but be prepared not to find everyone able to speak English. Alternatively try the small resorts, and if you're good enough technically, having only a few lifts or pistes won't spoil your holiday. I like Steinach in Austria - only 5 lifts last time I went but loads of great off piste in the woods, and fantastic apres ski (it was Fasching week admittedly).
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