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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi,

Thanks to everyones help here I arrived in France, visas all sorted out etc. Full of optimism, happiness, excitement and love of France which last about 15 minutes ... literally.

1) Flew into Geneva with family and lots of luggage. I heard about luggage thieves at the Geneva train station so rented a car on the french side of the airport to drive to Lyon. Glad to see lots of police. Wrong! All my large luggage was stolen right in front me and as I ran after them screaming "thief thief" the police did nothing to stop them. The thieves ran past 2 sets of police. When asked why they didn't stop them, police said "ce n'est pas mon responsibility". So now I have no luggage, but fortunately have laptops, wallet, purse and documents.

2) Went to then pick up my car from French side of airport. Told no reservation and I must have made it on the Swiss side. I said I made it on the French side but was told firmly no reservation. Went to the Swiss side and told reservation is on the French side and they printed it out for me. Went back to French side and "ah yes, we can see it but you missed your pickup window, but we have another car for you at double the rate ..." Went to said police and explained the extortion situation who shrugged shoulders and then walked away. So now I'm hiring a car for $300 per day.

3) Arrived at hotel/apartment and checked in. Told that due to holiday scheduling issue there are not enough people to run the hotel and my room will only be available for 2 weeks not 3 months.

4) Received call from French health insurance company who after accepting my application and payment a week ago now tell me they WILL NOT be covering me (they are over exposed in Lyon) but they should return my payment in 4-6 weeks.


So I have no luggage, no health insurance and no apartment.

Can people help out with my recourse for 1), 2), 3) and 4).

4) is particularly killing me as I have to find insurance now quickly from a reputable company.

Not liking France one bit.
 

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1) For the luggage, you need to make a formal complaint to the Police (there would have had some kind of office presence at the airport), otherwise your insurance won't cover it. Be prepared for them to just provide you with a copy of the report and don't expect action. The Police you spoke to were most likely there for other reasons (border issues, terrorism) and would not have been able to leave those duties to assist you.
2) Suggest you make a written complaint to the insurer. If you used your credit card to book, the credit card provider might refund your payment. You don't say which car rental company, but the issue of the pick-up window might cause you problems (I had one really bad experience with a car rental company and lots of others were having the same problem with that company when trying to pick up booked vehicles - other than on that occasion I have always used Europcar as I have found them extremely reliable - IIRC I was late to pick up once and there was no problem).
3) All you can do is look for somewhere else. Your travel insurer might be able to assist - depends on your policy.
4) Unfortunately you will need to look for some other insurance. What does your travel insurance cover?
 

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Geeze, that sounds like a lot of frustrating things at once. :( Really sucks about the luggage too, and the fact the police didn't help you with that. And the car rental thing sounds like a total scam!! I wouldn't expect the police to help with that one, but, wow, total rip off.

I don't know what insurance you had but I use IMG which you can basically get overnight after filling out an application online. It's not very comprehensive at all...don't know what you were looking for. Maybe ask the people who cancelled if you if they have any advice.

And yeah, you'll be able to find another place to stay. At least you still have two weeks I guess. But that's a lot of obstacles for one day. Hang in there...take a break....hopefully things will smooth out in a month's time... (the first month was bumpy for me and I didn't have luggage stolen!)
 

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I hate to have to say this, but France can be like that sometimes - and for some reason it always hits the biggest "France fans" the hardest like it seems to have done to you. FWIW, my dentist has a story about having his luggage stolen on arrival in NYC that is somewhat similar and he was clearly targeted for being a "foreigner," too.

You've gotten some good advice so far. You probably should report the theft to the police - though since it happened on the Swiss side of the border, you may need to go to a police station in Switzerland to get the appropriate report of the incident. (Not sure about that - you could ask at a gendarmerie where you are first to see if they'll take the report. It might be possible for them to take your report and send it to the Swiss police.)
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Hmmm.....what a mess.

You need help. Is there not an American consulate embassy type thing in Lyon that can give you support ?

What does 'over exposed' mean with regards to insurance ? Does it mean there is to much liability for the insurers in Lyon. Would not surprise me.

Why are you Lyon ? If I had spotted your 'moving to Lyon' post on this forum (if you made one) I would have given you my 'do not move to Lyon speech'. The same speech that was given to me when I moved there......by French people.

Don't judge France by Lyon. Very hard place Lyon with people to match.

If you can escape to another city, that would be my advice.
 

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There is a Consulate "outpost" in Lyon https://fr.usembassy.gov/embassy-consulates/lyon/ but unless you're truly destitute or have been arrested, there isn't much they can or will do for you. Take a look at the "victims of crime" heading under the US Citizens Services heading. They can tell you how to file a police report on the stolen luggage at least.

But don't forget, there's no ambassador for France (yet?) only the acting ambassador. And embassy/consulate resources have been cut back.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Can't blame Lyon so far ... but they are catching up

Hmmm.....what a mess.

What does 'over exposed' mean with regards to insurance ? Does it mean there is to much liability for the insurers in Lyon. Would not surprise me.

Why are you Lyon ? If I had spotted your 'moving to Lyon' post on this forum (if you made one) I would have given you my 'do not move to Lyon speech'. The same speech that was given to me when I moved there......by French people.

Don't judge France by Lyon. Very hard place Lyon with people to match.

If you can escape to another city, that would be my advice.
Please post your advise on why not to move to Lyon to the thread I posted last week, I need all the advise/help I can get http://www.expatforum.com/expats/fr...s-living-france/1302826-tips-living-lyon.html

But to be fair to Lyon only the accommodation issue happened here but don't worry the people of Lyon are catching up!

a) I tried all the banks (Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole etc.) that were mentioned on this forum as being friendly to foreigners opening accounts. The reception was down right rude. The Credit Agricole people wouldn't even talk to me to hear why I was in the bank, just showed me the door.

b) I've politely asked directions a few times (in French) and the people just pretend not to hear me. Weird. Even restaurants are reluctant to seat our family insisting they are full (they are empty and were empty 30 minutes later).

c) I'm living in arr. 7 near the universities and for some god awful reason young men shout "combien" at me when-ever I walk past and then make vulgar gestures.

I can tolerate all of this but I would like help on a) regarding bank's in Lyon that *recently* let US citizens open accounts.

Also good medical health insurance (not travel insurance) suggestions would be welcome. I'm looking into IMG as suggested.
 

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My, you're definitely NOT off to a very good start, are you?

Not to criticize you or your family, but a few things come to mind that might explain some of this. (Though it's hard to tell based on what you've told us so far. Realize that this is all speculation on my part.)

As far as the banks are concerned, almost no bank will open an account for you off the street. You need to take an appointment to see a bank "conseiller" to open an account. The appointment will be a day or two out - and this being high vacation period, possibly a bit longer if they are short staffed. The other thing that leaps to mind is, are you addressing the bank reception people in French or in English? Either one could result in some sort of misunderstanding, due to vocabulary, accent or not knowing the local "protocol."

No idea about the asking directions problems. With the restaurants, there is a chance you were trying at the wrong time. No restaurant opens for dinner before about 7:30 pm. (other than fast food places). If they were empty when you approached them, could be they were just doing their set-up for the next meal. Lunch hours are usually about noon to 2 or 2:30 max. (Again, no offense intended - these are just things I've seen come up for plenty of newly arrived foreigners.)

As far as the young men are concerned - I take it you have daughters. And it sounds like perhaps you're stuck in a not-very-nice part of town. Maybe the shortened duration of your hotel stay may be a plus. You may want to look into an "Apart Hotel" (google "Apart hotel Lyon" - there are tons of them). This is France's version of the long-stay suites hotels you find in the US and may be more suitable to your current needs.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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Please post your advise on why not to move to Lyon to the thread I posted last week, I need all the advise/help I can get http://www.expatforum.com/expats/fr...s-living-france/1302826-tips-living-lyon.html

But to be fair to Lyon only the accommodation issue happened here but don't worry the people of Lyon are catching up!

a) I tried all the banks (Banque Populaire, Crédit Agricole etc.) that were mentioned on this forum as being friendly to foreigners opening accounts. The reception was down right rude. The Credit Agricole people wouldn't even talk to me to hear why I was in the bank, just showed me the door.

b) I've politely asked directions a few times (in French) and the people just pretend not to hear me. Weird. Even restaurants are reluctant to seat our family insisting they are full (they are empty and were empty 30 minutes later).

c) I'm living in arr. 7 near the universities and for some god awful reason young men shout "combien" at me when-ever I walk past and then make vulgar gestures.

I can tolerate all of this but I would like help on a) regarding bank's in Lyon that *recently* let US citizens open accounts.

Also good medical health insurance (not travel insurance) suggestions would be welcome. I'm looking into IMG as suggested.

Ok, I read your last post. I can answer your questions. But first....

So :) why are you in Lyon ? How old are you ? You have kids with you ?????? :eek:

You sound like a tough cookie Raria.

I have thought about this long and hard.

If you were in another city like Strasbourg, Montpellier, Bordeaux, Paris, Nantes etc I will tell you to stick out and everything will come together.

You being in Lyon, well......(this is just my opinion...my opinion !!!!) I would say go home and put it down to experience. OR, find another city. I want to say something more positive but I can't because this is Lyon.

Lyon is a very 'difficult' place. I can't see it getting any better. Especially accommodation wise.

BUT, that is just my opinion. Others I am sure will have a different view.

You know it could work out :) but if you were my daughter, I would drag you home.

Sorry for being honest.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Ok, I read your last post. I can answer your questions. But first....

So :) why are you in Lyon ? How old are you ? You have kids with you ?????? :eek:

Lyon is a very 'difficult' place. I can't see it getting any better. Especially accommodation wise.


Sorry for being honest.
I am a visiting international law Professor in my 30's. Two young kids under 12.

What do you mean Lyon is a difficult place. Please elaborate either via a personal message or on this thread. I really need to know this. Don't ever apologize for being honest, the world needs more it it (honesty).
 

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Sorry, not a lot of help to the orignal poster in such a mess....I'm sure we all feel for you.

.......funny you should say that about Lyon, Smeggie! I've been to Lyon twice in the last few years. Each time I experienced "hard people". Not statistically helpful, but there we are.

DejW


Hmmm.....what a mess.

You need help. Is there not an American consulate embassy type thing in Lyon that can give you support ?

What does 'over exposed' mean with regards to insurance ? Does it mean there is to much liability for the insurers in Lyon. Would not surprise me.

Why are you Lyon ? If I had spotted your 'moving to Lyon' post on this forum (if you made one) I would have given you my 'do not move to Lyon speech'. The same speech that was given to me when I moved there......by French people.

Don't judge France by Lyon. Very hard place Lyon with people to match.

If you can escape to another city, that would be my advice.
 

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Raria

I really feel you....and I'm sorry that I can't add to the information in the replies here.


Just one comment....you need to de stress, I think.....new job, new country, language, kids,luggage gone, accomodation gone wrong. Try a REIKI practitioner near you? I'm not a great believer in "spirit healing". However there was a lady who lived near us who was a reiki practitioner. I tried it several times and I did not want to believe the very real improvement in my stress levels. Try google "reiki lyon france"....I got some interesting hits.

DejW

I am a visiting international law Professor in my 30's. Two young kids under 12.

What do you mean Lyon is a difficult place. Please elaborate either via a personal message or on this thread. I really need to know this. Don't ever apologize for being honest, the world needs more it it (honesty).
 

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I am a visiting international law Professor in my 30's. Two young kids under 12.

What do you mean Lyon is a difficult place. Please elaborate either via a personal message or on this thread. I really need to know this. Don't ever apologize for being honest, the world needs more it it (honesty).
You have two kids. I think your problems are just starting. I guess you want to enroll them in school ?

You need to check out the posts of Emma B from this forum (I think it was Emma B) who moved to Lyon with kids. Can you do a search for her posts on this forum ? Maybe send her an email for advice.

In terms of Lyon. I have lived + 20 years in France and lived in Lyon for two of them. Whilst the place is nice and exciting it really is a very difficult place to live. The people are rude, they don't help, they drive like idiots and there is lots of delinquency and crime. Yes you can say that about all cities, but Lyon is very different. I don't know why. I have never experienced that elsewhere in France.

I think you will constantly hit brick walls living there being foreign.

Again, this is just my personal opinion. Well, and others who have frequented this forum who have lived there. But, it could work for you. It is only one year. Not sure I would have done it with kids mind you.

Good luck :)
 

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For expat health insurance you could try Pacific Prime - they are brokers who work with a whole range of insurers. Whilst I assume their website still gives you rates by insurer, bear in mind that these are a guideline only and actual rates will depend on the plan you choose, age, health, etc. Have a look at the site, then contact them via the 'Contact us' button and tell them what you are looking for and they should come back to you quickly with a range of options. If you choose a plan that doesn't include US health cover, it will cost less. https://www.pacificprime.com/

I have no connection with Pacific Prime, other than that I used them when I relocated to France.
 

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Can't your college help out? They surely have an information/help centre for new students/staff?
 
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Hi,





3) Arrived at hotel/apartment and checked in. Told that due to holiday scheduling issue there are not enough people to run the hotel and my room will only be available for 2 weeks not 3 months.


.
You were told earlier on in this thread that this hotel is not in a good place. As the responder said "more like to meet streetwalkers than a priest"

As they can now only accommodate you for two weeks this gives you the opportunity to move.
 

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You were told earlier on in this thread that this hotel is not in a good place. As the responder said "more like to meet streetwalkers than a priest"

As they can now only accommodate you for two weeks this gives you the opportunity to move.
Oddly enough, this reminds me of an incident from my past. The first time I was in Europe (way back when), we were doing the old Eurailpass thing and getting a room each time we stopped through the tourist office. At one place we checked into, we told the desk that we wanted the room for 5 nights, and the clerk at the desk kept saying back to us "one night." We were tired and figured we'd sort it out in the morning.

Well, it turned out the clerk was right. What looked like a simple little inn turned out to be rooms over a bar that turned into a disco or something at night. The sign was flashing on and off just outside the window and all night you could hear people coming up and down the stairs, doors slamming and all sorts of other "interesting" noises. The breakfast service the next morning was actually quite nice - but no one was surprised when we told them we were checking out.

I second Crawford's advice.
Cheers,
Bev
 

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I think finding suitable accommodation in Lyon for a student and two kids is going to be very difficult. I would say impossible but I guess there is always hope.

I have to admit, I am a tad worried about her situation.
 
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