back to article Thought YOU'd had rude service in France? Ce n'était RIEN, M'sieu Pantalons Malodorants

France’s data protection authority, CNIL, has put nationwide tech appliance store, Boulanger, on notice following the discovery of some less than flattering records on customers. After receiving a complaint CNIL carried out raids on the company, which employs around 8000 people, earlier this year. According to CNIL these …

  1. msknight Silver badge

    Is it only me...

    ...that finds it strange for French staff to be describing foreigners as alcoholics?

    1. C Yates

      Re: Is it only me...

      I thought the same!

      I wonder if they have anyone down for promiscuity...

    2. TitterYeNot

      Re: Is it only me...

      Zut alors! Le customer c'est ne pas toujours right! Just l'autre day je parlait avec une dirty salope sur le telephone, elle attemptais to buy un washing machine, et elle ne wearing pas any makeup ou hairdo! Putain! Then elle put son husband sur le telephone, et il etais le plus grand piss-head shmuck. Honnêtement, Je ask vous...

      Et vous! Vous pongy Anglais avec votre beer, roast-beef et pas de garlic! Vous can casse-toi aussi...

      1. C Yates

        Re: Is it only me...

        Today I learned a load of French swear words and to never piss off a French washing machine salesman.

        Important life tip - merci! :D

  2. Roq D. Kasba

    Free comment fields

    They're going to be abused, so replace them with a list of checkboxes for alcoholic, bitch, foreigner, pute, etc.

  3. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    Mangue des baguettes.

    potentially racist information such as “Jewish”

    TOP LOL! The ethnicity that must not be named?

    More seriously, what if there is a big button underneath the desk that "DROP TABLE notices FROM customer_db" in case of a "raid"?

    1. AndyS

      Re: Mangue des baguettes.

      Not sure why Jewish would ever be relevant, so I can see why that would be listed as potentially worrying. However I've worked in a call centre, and someone having a strong accent most certainly is relevant.

      As is someone being a bitch, an alcoholic, etc - but it was normal to find more generic and acceptable wording. For example, "customer has problems accepting known resolutions to their issues, and does not indicate their doubts in a polite manner."

      1. Captain TickTock

        Re: Mangue des baguettes.

        Mango of baguettes? ;-)

      2. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

        Re: Mangue des baguettes.

        "Jewish" might indicate that deliveries or communications might be unwelcome on Saturdays, for example.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Mangue des baguettes.

          As opposed to writing, you know, «not available on Saturdays»? Yeah, that totally makes sense. Saves a bunch of bytes, keeps the database smaller.

  4. hatti

    Beaucoup de cases libel.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: de cases libel.

      Bleeding enfer! Vous avez raison, methinks.

  5. Mark 85 Silver badge

    I can see some things would be a help..

    We do a similar thing in our area. "XXX needs physical assistance" or "usually hostile, be serious and not funny" or "not computer literate" or just little notes.. "hard of hearing". Things like that. They do tend to use generic labeling just so the person helping them has some idea of what they'll be walking into. But, I can see where comments can get out of hand for descriptions.

    BTW, in many places, "Jewish" is still synonymous with "drives a hard bargain" or "likes to dicker over price". Not about religion.

    1. Just Enough

      Re: I can see some things would be a help..

      Well that's the point of the comments field. For adding relevant info to assist future relations. That it got abused as a place for staff to vent annoyances and prejudices suggests a lack of training.

      In the UK, staff should be instructed that customers (and auditors) have a right to see these records, so don't put down anything you wouldn't want them to read. Don't know about French law, but I suspect it's not much different.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I'm surprised they still have customers. Any time I was looking for white or brown goods in French shops they all (FNAC, Darty, etc.) seemed have exactly the same price for the same item (price fixing, anyone?) except Boulanger, who were always more expensive. I stopped even considering them years ago.

    1. Uncle Slacky Silver badge

      Re: Boulanger?

      Boulanger also run a discount network of shops called Electro Depot, which carries not-quite-cutting-edge stuff (read: last season's Boulanger stuff) at reasonable prices.

  7. ntevanza


    Let's have a discussion about what happens when you employ kids at random in customer service roles. Ever been to a phone shop? This is a wider problem. Sorry, opportunity.

  8. This post has been deleted by its author

    1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Help / Support Desks ?

      I wonder if we should start making requests to El Reg to see what notes they've got on us in their forum moderation software.

      I used to be Eadon, and would every much like to see his my file.

      1. Roger Varley

        Re: Help / Support Desks ?

        Tenez vos chevaux là juste une seconde mon petite choux. Je suis Eadon!

        1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge

          Re: Help / Support Desks ?

          Je suis Eadon, et ma femme est aussi

          1. Stevie Silver badge

            Re: Je suis Eadon, et ma femme est aussi

            I don't see what your wife being Australian has to do with anything.

  9. Stevie Silver badge


    Well, the French are well-known to be stereotyping racists.

    1. Vic

      Re: Bah!

      the French are well-known to be stereotyping racists

      "There's only two things I hate in this world: People who are intolerant of other people's cultures and the Dutch."


POST COMMENT House rules

Not a member of The Register? Create a new account here.

  • Enter your comment

  • Add an icon

Anonymous cowards cannot choose their icon

Biting the hand that feeds IT © 1998–2019