Totally Frenched Out

From the blogger formerly known as Samdebretagne

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today I want to share a little tip for those in the Paris area - if you're ever looking for batteries, phone, camera or computer chargers, don't hesitate to head on down to Pile Expert on rue Delambre near Montparnasse. It's a tiny little shop, but the owner is so friendly & helpful that you won't regret the trip.

We stopped by there this weekend and we had a bit of a wait, but the owner helped pass the time by joking with everyone in the store - from telling one customer that he was open from 10h pile to 18h pile or to telling another client with a wink that he hoped he and his wife would think of him when they used the batteries they'd just bought for his wife's new vibrator (the client was an over-sharer). His prices are also good too - for example, he changes watch batteries for 6€. The woman ahead of me couldn't believe it since last time BHV had charged her 26€!

The first time I'd gone in was, ironically enough, because my bags had been lost (thanks again Delta - btw, still waiting for my 2nd bag to be delivered!!) and I was looking for a charger for my computer since mine was in my suitcase. I knew it was going to be expensive, but I wasn't expecting it to be 90€. So when I explained the situation and that I couldn't really spend that much for a back-up charger, he thought about it and then said "How about if I rent it to you for 10€ a week?". And before I even had a chance to reply, he'd taken a pair of scissors and started cutting the package open. Now how often does that happen in France? So I wasn't really surprised this visit when he said he mostly works by word-of-mouth - and true to form, it was a friend who first told me about him. While we were in there, there were even a few people who'd said that FNAC employees had sent them his way since they didn't have what they needed in stock.

So I'm just trying to do my part to spread the word - it's not that often that you come across a store owner willing to go the extra mile here, and this guy definitely deserves a bit of free publicity.

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Blogger Alison said...

Pretty amazing that he rented you the charger! I'll keep him in mind since I usually travel in and out of Paris via Montparnasse. Thanks!

January 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

He definitely does deserve the free publicity! Good for him!

January 10, 2011 at 2:48 PM  
Blogger Anne said...

Happy to repost on Posted in Paris if that's okay with you.

January 10, 2011 at 4:34 PM  
Blogger Crystal said...

whatever, this must be an urban legend you're spreading around.

(that, or the shop keeper is actually American or Canadian and just putting on a French accent to blend in)

January 10, 2011 at 4:45 PM  
Blogger la fille en rose said...

does he also carry rechargeable batteries? i'm in the market for some and would rather give him the business than darty or amazon.

January 10, 2011 at 5:19 PM  
Blogger Jennifer said...

I have a guy like that too in Vicenza!!! It's obviously a lot smaller than Paris, but last year I ran around town looking for a specific cable for my laptop and no one had it, but the last big store sent me to this guy's tiny shop that was somehow stocked with everything electronic you could possibly need. And the prices were great. And he was sweet as can be.

Another reason to use the small family-run shops!

January 11, 2011 at 8:44 AM  
Blogger ditdit said...

He's definitely worth putting the word out for.

January 11, 2011 at 8:59 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That guy *can't* be French.

We are also waiting for a bag from Delta. We've been waiting since December 20th. And I'm sure it's sitting out at CDG but Air France just can't seem to want to work enough to get the thousands of bags languishing out there back into their passenger's hands.

I'd love to say I'll never fly Delta/AF again, but it would only make AF too happy. Less work for them!

January 11, 2011 at 9:52 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

@Emmy - You're right, he's Moroccan!!

January 11, 2011 at 10:50 AM  
Blogger Ksam said...

PS. Can't believe you've been waiting for your bags that long, that's insane!!

January 11, 2011 at 10:51 AM  
Blogger Anne in Oxfordshire said...

Hi Would you mind if I posted a link to this post on my facebook page , for my friends who travel to Paris now and again. ? Thought I would ask , never assume. cheers Anne

January 26, 2011 at 8:00 PM  
Blogger Ksam said...

Hi Anne - sure, go ahead!

January 27, 2011 at 10:45 AM  

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