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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Mondial Relay seems to have become part of Packlink; the two depots within less than a km, and all those up to 15 km away have disappeared.- no longer at all convenient for us.
One of those nearby, a tabac, was becoming overwhelmed with parcels recently, and at the other, a supermarket, the service seemed to be taking up too much time for the Accueil personnel, so I'm not surprised they have both gone.
The remaining one 15 km away is a small florist, who I can't see being able to handle the traffic previously dealt with by those closed down, so will probably not last long.
This would leave us travelling to Carcassonne or another large town for collections, defeating the whole principle of the service.
Has anyone noticed a similar situation in their area?
 

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Small businesses across France who provide these sorts of services are mostly being overwhelmed, which is exacerbated by the fact that they are paid an absolute pittance for providing the service.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Small businesses across France who provide these sorts of services are mostly being overwhelmed, which is exacerbated by the fact that they are paid an absolute pittance for providing the service.
That's what I suspected. The depots have been changing hands more and more frequently in the last 2 years.

Companies like MR need to look closely at modifying their business plans.

It is going to make a big difference to the convenience of online sales. I for one use relay points for deliveries rather than companies which use an anonymous man in an anonymous van to mishandle and damage them if they even manage to find our well-marked house on the well-marked main road through the centre of a small town.
 

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Aren't the relay points chosen by the delivery service? So, by definition you have to check when buying something online to find out what relay points are available. I know for some vendors, we can pick up shipments at the little convenience store just down the street from us. From other vendors, our closest option is either the tabac or another shop in the next town over. And if your item is shipped by Chronopost, you normally have to pick it up from the local post office.

Then there are the vendors where they let you choose which of their delivery services you want - and whether to deliver to your door or to their closest pickup point. Maybe it's an extra step, but I know I always check on the available delivery points when I'm ordering something that I want to pick up from a delivery point rather than being delivered to the door.
 

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Aren't the relay points chosen by the delivery service? So, by definition you have to check when buying something online to find out what relay points are available. I know for some vendors, we can pick up shipments at the little convenience store just down the street from us. From other vendors, our closest option is either the tabac or another shop in the next town over. And if your item is shipped by Chronopost, you normally have to pick it up from the local post office.

Then there are the vendors where they let you choose which of their delivery services you want - and whether to deliver to your door or to their closest pickup point. Maybe it's an extra step, but I know I always check on the available delivery points when I'm ordering something that I want to pick up from a delivery point rather than being delivered to the door.
If they supply through (say) Mondial Relay then all the MR points are available to send to.

I have had buyers in larger towns asking to send it to their local "Place De ..." rather than "Centre Ville".
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The point of my OP was not whether or not one can choose the most convenient delivery point, but that all the Mondial Relay delivery points near us have ceased to offer that service.

If the last remaining one, 15 km away, shuts down, we shall have to go 30km or more to a city, so might as well shop there instead of buying on line.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I'm beginning to wonder if there is any point in continuing to use Mondial Relay.

My nearest relay point is now in a small town with minimal facilities, a 35 km round trip away. For many things I might as well wait until our next shopping trip to Carcassonne, not much further away.

Right now I'm waiting for a set of windscreen wiper blades, which I forgot to buy last time in Carcassonne, which I ordered on Oct 4. Today it's Oct 12, over a week later, and I have the following message on the tracking details, dated 19:44 on Oct 9 :

"Prise en charge de votre colis sur notre site logistique de CERGY.
En raison d’une surcharge d’activité sur notre site logistique de NARBONNE ; votre colis sera remis en livraison dans les 48h. Nous mettons tout en œuvre pour le livrer au plus tôt dans votre Point Relais. Vous serez averti par E-mail ou SMS de la mise à disposition de votre colis au Point Relais."
 

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I placed an internet order yesterday even and have just received advice from Colissimo that it will be delivered tomorrow. (Organic cotton long sleeved tee shirts made in France.)
 

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I'm beginning to wonder if there is any point in continuing to use Mondial Relay.
Who are you ordering from that Mondial Relay is the only option? Or is it just that you are in a remote area where none of the other delivery services/ relay points are available? Normally when you order something, you have a choice of which relay point you use. If you can choose Chronopost or Colissimo, these are services of LaPoste and there is usually the option to pick up your shipment at the local post office (if the package is too large to leave in your mail box) - plus Chronopost does have their own network of pick up points (often, but not always, co-located with Mondial points).
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Who are you ordering from that Mondial Relay is the only option? Or is it just that you are in a remote area where none of the other delivery services/ relay points are available? Normally when you order something, you have a choice of which relay point you use. If you can choose Chronopost or Colissimo, these are services of LaPoste and there is usually the option to pick up your shipment at the local post office (if the package is too large to leave in your mail box) - plus Chronopost does have their own network of pick up points (often, but not always, co-located with Mondial points).
Mondial Relay was, when I last bought something there, about a month ago, the only option offered by Leboncoin, but I see that they now offer La Poste (but apparently not its subsidiaries). They have preferential rates, so maybe caused a large increase in business which has resulted the current problems.
We live in a small town of 2,000, adjoining another of 1,000, both of which have post offices, many shops, and used to have several courier pickup depots, now defunct.
The wiper blades I'm waiting for are from Oscaro, who I used because they show the correct dimensions for the car, whereas other suppliers offered various lengths for the same car. Oscaro offers other delivery services, but MR has always been fast, and their pickup points very close and open all day.
La Poste people have often said incorrectly that we were out, and left a note in our box. We we have sometimes, for some reason, m,aybe because they don't open all day, had to collect the parcel from a post office 10 km away rather than the nearest one, a day later, or on the following Monday if it is Friday. Since Covid they tend to leave the parcel in our box, even if signed for, but packages sent with them are often damaged, so if they don't ring the doorbell I don't have the option of refusing the delivery. In short, they are rubbish, at least here.
Our local Carrefour Market seems to have changed from Mondial Relay to Relais Colis, so I may use them next time if offered.
One supplier's only option was DPD, so I recently had a round trip of 45 km to their nearest depot.
We certainly don't live in a remote area, but online shopping is becoming more time consuming in choosing delivery options, and less convenient.
 

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Hm, you may have just identified a new factor for consideration in the case of retirees looking for where to settle in France. Besides the availability of medical facilities and shops, there is also the matter of pick up points for those things you are likely to buy online. We happen to be extremely fortunate in that our nearest pick up point is that convenience store about 800 meters away.

DH usually has stuff delivered there, but I figure if they can drop off stuff at the delivery point, it's only another 2 or 3 minutes to turn down our street and deliver directly to the door. And quite a few of the services are delivering to the doorstep or whatever spot you specify in the front of your house without needing to get a signature. I've noticed, too, that when they do that, you get an e-mail and/or SMS within a couple minutes of the driver heading off.

The delivery services are getting very creative about how to manage "contactless delivery" in these Covid times. Perhaps one of the unexpected "benefits" of the pandemic experience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Yesterday, 13 Oct. I was advised that my parcel shipped with Mondial Relay on 5 Oct. has at last arrived at the pickup point, 15 km away.
I looked on the MR site to check their opening hours and noticed that the tabac just down the road has reappeared on the list of pickup points, but with a different name, so it has evidently changed hands, for about the third time in as many years
Hopefully the new people will be able to cope with the volume of parcels.
My wife noticed in Mallorca that recently retired folk would take over small shops, but never having run a business before, would give up after a short time and the shop would change hands again.
This happened there with mercerias and bars; here it seems people dream of retiring with a little mercerie or a tabac.
I assume the MR contract was suspended while the business was being transferred.
 

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Could be worth a visit to the new owners down the road to introduce yourselves and see what the new set-up is.
 

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We are lucky down here in that there are lockers in almost every commercial center, city center for deliveries to be picked up or sent. These were installed and operating way before covid.

I'd imagine that mondial relay points are not really worth it for small businesses. It is probably the same that a tabac gets for selling a pack of cigarettes - pennies; or a lottery ticket - pennies ( unless the punter wins a big prize then the shop gets a percentage). The ideal/promise of people coming in to pick up their packages was that they would spend money in the shop on other affairs but they more than likely do not and just make it a longer wait for the shops clients.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
We are lucky down here in that there are lockers in almost every commercial center, city center for deliveries to be picked up or sent. These were installed and operating way before covid.

I'd imagine that mondial relay points are not really worth it for small businesses. It is probably the same that a tabac gets for selling a pack of cigarettes - pennies; or a lottery ticket - pennies ( unless the punter wins a big prize then the shop gets a percentage). The ideal/promise of people coming in to pick up their packages was that they would spend money in the shop on other affairs but they more than likely do not and just make it a longer wait for the shops clients.
Do you mean personal lockers? If so, surely there could not be enough to cater for everyone in the area to have one for their deliveries.
I guess the idea of increasing footfall in shops was a good one initially, but does not seem to have paid off.
Shops are increasingly becoming redundant; we had a large one with three display windows for our marine engineering business in Mallorca, but it was more than anything in order to show a more substantial presence than those, often working on the black, scuttling around in white vans, sometimes foreign registered.
 

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Do you mean personal lockers? If so, surely there could not be enough to cater for everyone in the area to have one for their deliveries.
Image a bus station with individual lockers but with a code to enter instead of the old fashion key. That is what we have in a few supermarkets and commercial centers like a carrefour there or in a shopping mall like in the US ( we have these in Spain). Even in our little Consum (supermarket) there must be 30-40 lockers of all different sizes.

Yes, if everyone in the neighborhood decided to order at the same time and all have their deliveries to these lockers it would be a problem but I do not see that happening.
 

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I've seen those lockers here - though they are usually Amazon lockers. However, any delivery service certainly could establish a similar pickup system. The key thing, I think, is the availability of a reasonable sized super/hyper market or shopping center where such a locker system can be set up. The idea isn't really to drive additional customer traffic so much as to provide a pickup point (that doesn't draw too much on staff time or attention) in a location where people from the area often need to go anyhow.

It also seems to be the "norm" for small shops that serve as pick up points to be hooked up with multiple delivery services, as well as services that require "exchange" of parts or equipment (like the Internet providers).
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 · (Edited)
I think if I had to rent a box in a super/hypermarket it would be cheaper to pay for home delivery rather than a pickup for anything I buy on line.
We used to have an Apartado de Correos (PO Box) in Spain, but most government departments would not accept this as our postal address. Deliveries to the apartment complex where we lived (Roses) were unreliable, to say the least, even though it is a large town, and some important mail simply never arrived. We used to get mail in the box for our apartment with no block or apartment number, for people nobody knew, but rarely anything for us.
So I am not a great fan of "boxes", although we have successfully used them in countries such as Sarawak, Iran, and Algeria, where people didn't get much mail, and addresses were somewhat random - a bit like some parts of France :)
Thank goodness for email!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Incidentally, I decided to make the 30km round trip to the MR pickup point, a florist, as I wanted to have the new wiper blades when we go to Spain tomorrow.
There was quite a delay while the, it seems, recently new, proprietors, bade goodbye to some visiting relatives, and then searched through a large pile of parcels for mine, while other customers waited - probably just to pick up parcels. There can't be any money in that.
I've never figured out how florists in small towns make a living.
 

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I think if I had to rent a box in a super/hypermarket it would be cheaper to pay for home delivery rather than a pickup for anything I buy on line.
We used to have an Apartado de Correos (PO Box) in Spain, but most government departments would not accept this as our postal address. Deliveries to the apartment complex where we lived (Roses) were unreliable, to say the least, even though it is a large town, and some important mail simply never arrived. We used to get mail in the box for our apartment with no block or apartment number, for people nobody knew, but rarely anything for us.
So I am not a great fan of "boxes", although we have successfully used them in countries such as Sarawak, Iran, and Algeria, where people didn't get much mail, and addresses were somewhat random - a bit like some parts of France :)
Thank goodness for email!!
Dude, if your not then sorry (dudet) but these boxes are an option for your delivery - at home or in the locker... No renting or payment from you to pick up your package.
 
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