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Need advice for retrieving a lost hat from France

Need advice for retrieving a lost hat from France

Oct 16th, 2007, 08:12 AM
  #1  
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Need advice for retrieving a lost hat from France

Got home, unpacked and discovered my beloved hat, purchased while barging in Burgundy, was missing. I have re-traced my steps and Skyped every place I went. Lo and behold, it is at the restaurant where we ate on Saturday.

It is a large place and very busy (L'Entrecote) and they are not willing to mail it out without a letter and some money. She said (as far as my limited French could tell) that they have many things left every day.

So, if I send them money and an address here in the US, do they have to fill out forms or go through any other hassles that would inhibit their sending the hat back to me? Should I ask them to send it to a friend in France who could later forward it to me?

Any advice?

The restaurant, btw, was wild and crazy and the food good enough. I will share more in a trip report in the near future.
Amy40 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:19 AM
  #2  
 
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Maybe a fodorite will be there and volunteer to pick it up.
I did that for someone who forgot her favorite travel sweater in Provence
cigalechanta is online now  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:24 AM
  #3  
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How lovely of you cigalechanta! I am also the kind of person who loves a challenge/rescue mission. So, anyone going to Toulouse?
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Oct 16th, 2007, 08:33 AM
  #4  
 
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I'll go if you pay my fare, and I won't charge for mailing the hat to you.

Alternatively, send them the money, and trust that they can fill out a simple customs declaration correctly: "one hat, used; no commercial value".
Padraig is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:42 AM
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Toulouse is a long way from Burgundy.

The sender will need to fill out a US Customs form, describe it as "hat," and put in the purchase price.

If you want someone to pick it up for you you should provide more info than the name of the restaurant. Burgundy is a big area.

hopscotch is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:45 AM
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Amy,

I too, left some articles of clothing in Barcelona a few weeks ago. A wonderful poster on this board had the hotel mail them to her in Valencia, then she brought them to my home town, where she was traveling to, and returned them to me! It was wonderful.

Maybe if you list the town and address of L'Entrecote someone on this board will be in the area soon, and might be able to retrieve the hat and bring it back to the U.S.

It's worth a try!
Images2 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #7  
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Hopscotch, the hat is in Toulouse. And yes, that is a long way from Burgundy!

(I bought it in Burgundy the week before. DH is always telling me to embellish less, for fear of confusion...)

It may be easier to hire Padraig then get the restaurant folks to fill out customs forms, no?
Amy40 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 09:00 AM
  #8  
 
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How about just contacting the place you bought the original hat and have them sell and send you a replacement?
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Oct 16th, 2007, 10:03 AM
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Priority mail should cost about $15 or less if it is a lightweight hat. The Customs form could be the three line green one or the longer one with more details. Figure on the latter because it will be a parcel. There shouldn't be any US duty to worry about. Your postman may ask for a signature.

I would ask them how much they want, in US dollars, and mail them a twenty or whatever they ask. They can change that at their bank. Or maybe you have some leftover euro bills.

If you really want THAT hat I would pounce on it before it walks out the door over there.

hopscotch is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 10:20 AM
  #10  
 
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I also had a sweater left behind, as I said in the sweater post. But I left it at a hotel which is probably more used to guests leaving things, of course. I can imagine a restaurant does have lots of stuff left there all the time, and it will take time of them to mail it.

It takes time to mail any package, of course. The hotel that sent my sweater did have a customs form that was filled out (or maybe the shipping company did it, but it was filled out). It had a declared value of 30 euro and said something like personal garment. I was charged 17 euro by my hotel, and maybe your hat weighs a lot less, but USD 20 might not do it. I offered to send euro notes but my hotel didn't really want them, they preferred a credit card. Some businesses actually do have issues with getting some cash as payments for things that are not standard.
Christina is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 10:28 AM
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How about contacting the Toulouse Tourist Office - they may take kindly to your predicament?
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:09 AM
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I'll pick it up for you, but it'll be the 27th December till I'm back out.

Why not ask on Total France?
sheila is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 11:18 AM
  #13  
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Sheila, you are very kind to offer. When do you go to Toulouse? Have you been before? It is a great city and I found very little info here on the board beforehand. If you want any information, let me know!

PalenQ, your suggestion inspired me to write to my hotel where the staff is renowned for their excellent customer service. Perhaps they will take pity on me and save my hat! I have offered to pay for time, trouble and postage. The two are only a few blocks apart.

I'll let you know what happens...
Amy40 is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:07 PM
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We have a share of a place about 1 1/2 hours south west of Toulouse and it is our airport of choice. So we're through there 3 or 4 times a year.

as i said we go back on the 27th December for a week. We just got home on Saturday.
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Oct 16th, 2007, 01:18 PM
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If you work in an office that has a courier account (FedEx, UPS) you might be able to mail to the restaurant a return envelope with the courier form filled out with your information on it.
vjpblovesitaly is offline  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:20 PM
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I'll go, I'll go, pick me.
Nikki is online now  
Oct 16th, 2007, 01:42 PM
  #17  
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Well, I wrote to the Hotel Riquet, where we stayed, and the owner Valerie said she'd go over there tomorrow and retrieve the hat. She'll send it and then charge my Amex. Fantastique!

I have to add that the Hotel Riquet was a wonderful place to stay. The first room we were assigned to was small and we were moved to a larger and quite luxurious room for a modest increase in price. The level of customer service during our entire stay was exceptional. Their willingness to rescue my hat is an indication of a deeply held sense of care for their guests.
Amy40 is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 08:26 AM
  #18  
MaureenB
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That's nice of the hotel owner to take care of it for you. I suggest you post a thread praising that hotel in particular, because it sounds like other fodorites might like to stay there, too. I'm glad you're getting your hat back.
>-
 
Oct 17th, 2007, 08:59 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
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Hôtel Riquet
www.hotelriquet.com

92, Rue Riquet
31000 Toulouse, France
+33 5 61 62 55 96


24 reviews and more


Hotel Riquet in Toulouse, Midi-Pyrenees - Hotel Reviews - TripAdvisorHotel Riquet, Toulouse: See 22 traveler reviews, candid photos, and great deals for Hotel Riquet, ranked #1 of 116 hotels in Toulouse and rated 4.0 of 5 at ...
http://www.tripadvisor.com/Hotel_Rev..._Pyrenees.html

ranked # 1 of 116 hotels in Toulouse speaks volumes about this place but none as much as Amy40's recommendation and proof of their client treatment
PalenQ is offline  
Oct 17th, 2007, 09:41 AM
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Amy - when you get it back will you post a photo of you wearing it? I'm dying to know what sort of hat is worth so much effort to retrieve it

Teriffic service from your hotel though!
hetismij is offline  

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