Med & Mountain's Help in France Service – A case study
Ethna Gallacher recently moved to Perpignan from Sydney, Australia. She used Med & Mountain’s Help in France service to relocate and get settled into her new life in France. Read Ethna’s story here.
What has Med & Mountain's Help in France Service done for you?
My first requirement was to find an apartment to rent in Perpignan, which was almost impossible to do using online resources. Louise Sayers conducted a search for me and lined up viewings of suitable properties once I arrived in France.
She offered invaluable advice on the locations of the various apartments, which enabled me to steer clear of the noisier and less appealing parts of town. Louise liaised with the estate agents, assisted with all the paperwork involved in setting up the rental once I had chosen an apartment, translated exactly what I was signing, and accompanied me to the bank to set up an account and obtain the documents required by the landlord to ensure against non-payment of rent. Most landlords ask for this in France and it was a problem for me as I didn’t have proof of earnings in France. I would have found it very difficult to sort this issue out without Louise’s help.
Med & Mountain have also helped in myriad ways during the moving in process, for example, getting the electricity account set up in my name, helping me get a phone line and internet connection, and even organising a parking permit for my removal lorry.
I continue to call on Louise and Mark’s services whenever I need assistance with any language matters.
Why did you feel you needed this service?
Moving country is a big step for anyone, even bigger if you are moving to a country where you don’t speak the language and are not familiar with the culture. I speak some French but it’s not perfect, and I felt it would be prudent to have help dealing with some of the infamous French bureaucracy. Certain things are done in a completely different way here, and others are very similar but with subtle differences. It’s these that you have to watch out for, because you can make assumptions which later turn out to be wrong.
The service has given me the peace of mind of knowing that I can pick up the phone at any time and have someone sort out my issues – big or small. I have found that has made my rather daunting move much easier.
So why Med & Mountain?
I read Louise and Mark’s story on a website about the region, which led me to the Med & Mountain website. It was obvious to me that the company was well established in the area and professionally run. Louise and Mark have lived in the Pyrénées-Orientales for 8 years, and both have degrees in French. Having relocated themselves and having helped countless others to do so, they understood the problems I would face.
My initial emails were dealt with very quickly in a professional but friendly way and I knew immediately that I wouldn’t just be a number. This has proved to be the case – whenever I have a problem I can call and know I will have a response immediately.
How does it work?
I bought a block of six hours of time for 200 euros and could use this as and when I wanted. When I needed something sorting out I would call or email and always received a response the same day. Med & Mountain completed a detailed time sheet showing exactly what they had done and when. I found the six hours good value for money, however, I do know that it is also possible to pay Med & Mountain by the hour, or ask for a quote for a specific job – they really are very flexible.
Couldn’t you have just muddled through?
As I said, I do speak some French so yes, I could have muddled through but life’s too short! Tasks that would have taken me a long time were performed much more quickly by Med & Mountain because they are fluent and know exactly how the system works. If Med & Mountain have done something a hundred times before, what’s the point in me reinventing the wheel?
The stress of moving country was quite enough for me, without the additional worry of wondering if I had understood something correctly, or was being correctly understood. Med & Mountain’s service took this stress and worry away.
Is the service restricted to the Pyrénees-Orientales?
Not at all. I happened to be moving to Perpignan, but I know that Med & Mountain are currently helping people all over France.