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Ooh La La Foods in Paris--Perhaps the Rudest People I've Never Met

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Oct 30th, 2012, 08:24 AM
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Ooh La La Foods in Paris--Perhaps the Rudest People I've Never Met

So, last night, I was looking through threads regarding cooking classes in Paris. Someone mentioned Ooh La La Foods and gave their website: http://www.paris-cooking-class.com/. Great, I thought, as my stalwarts are undergoing renovations while I'm there. I wasn't able to view a schedule of classes online, so I sent a simple inquiry email asking if there were classes on while I'll be in Paris. I happened to mention that I write a food blog and have traveled all around Europe taking classes. It was for reference, and certainly wasn't meant to be interpreted as a query for a free class. Mind you, the request was written in English.

As such, you can imagine my surprise when I woke up to the email below this morning:

Résolution 2013:

- faire un blog sur tout sujet, poster 3 articles par an et demander de ne pas payer à chaque fois que je dine, dors ou fais quoi que ce soit

- si ça ne marche pas, envoyer un vilain commentaire et me faire rembourser....
______________________________
Translated:

- Make a blog on any topic, post 3 articles per year and ask not to pay every time I dine, sleep or do anything

- If it does not work, send a nasty comment and get a refund ....
______________________________

I don't know if the person was trying to be funny, but this is a total disregard for professionalism in my opinion. I do speak French, so I was able to decipher that snide commentary in about two seconds.

The point is, I'd steer clear of this company. If they can't respond in a polite and friendly manner to a request as simple as their schedule of courses, I shutter to think of what spending a day with them would have been like.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 08:30 AM
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They are perhaps the ones who have had bad experiences with blogging freeloaders in the past. Since there are so many bad bloggers in the cybersphere, it is probably best now not to mention writing a blog when making such enquiries.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 08:43 AM
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I guess not, but you have to agree that was a completely unacceptable way to respond to a friendly inquiry about giving them my money. At no part did I even mention the word "gratis," so it was extremely presumptive in my opinion.

I wasn't a business major in college, but bad experiences or not, taking it out on potential patrons going forward is a great way to nail your business door shut.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 08:56 AM
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Wow. Just wow. Is there any chance they couldn't read/understand your letter? Seems like a remote possibility if they run cooking classes, but still...otherwise, I agree, their response is utterly unacceptable.

Write it up in your blog!
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Oct 30th, 2012, 09:10 AM
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Wow...that is acually quite shocking.

I would respond and tell them you are disappointed as you were not asking to receive anything for free but were looking for dates to attend their classes as a paying customer, but will now happily make reference to this unprofessional and rude email on fodors and in your blog.

Utterly unacceptable from a legitimate business.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 09:15 AM
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I couldn't believe my eyes...I just couldn't! I don't know how they could have misinterpreted my email (it was very simple), but I suppose anything is possible.

Even if they did, responding like that is completely unacceptable to me. It was like a response you would send to your friend, and perhaps that what they meant to do...forward it to a colleague instead of respond to me. I have already replied, pointing out that their deliberate reply in French was also presumptive, and maybe to be more careful next time in just assuming that no American on the planet can speak/read/write French

StCirq: that's a wonderful idea! In an odd twist of fate, I'm getting my blog post gratis after all!
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Oct 30th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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Yes, that's correct. And I agree. While that was never my intention, I agree they should have offered the class for free should they ever want to see me in their "great open space." Which brings up another point: if people have access to their computers and what not, I hope they have a safe place for cooking students to store their belongings. I just hate whipping egg whites with my handbag on my shoulder
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Oct 30th, 2012, 10:15 AM
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I think I would just move on to another cookking class. You may never understand what happened here.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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Try Cookin' with Class, they are great and really fun classes.

I went on the website of discoverwalks.com and it looks a bit dicey!!

Also there is another one called Cuisine Paris, or something like this. La Cuisine Paris, I think. They sound very good too.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 10:34 AM
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What the heck is a "great open space," and how does it excuse the unacceptable reply? Not much of an explanation, I'd say, and yes, it does make you wonder what sort of controls they have in place. Time to move on...
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:01 AM
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TPaxe: I've taken a class there before, and I love it! That was going to be my plan, but they're closed for renovations while I'm there (they're one of the ones I was referring to). I'll check into the other one though. Thank you!
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:02 AM
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Right, StCirq?! Also, no mention of the schedule of classes, which was my original inquiry. These people need to get it together!
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:07 AM
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"Open space" is the French code word for cubicle offices with no walls.

However, if their place is that big, they probably do not need your trade. Nevertheless, I found the second message perfectly charming. It certainly won me over, but I'm not the person who wants to take a cooking class.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:08 AM
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Kylie - have you looked at TA? they have listings of lots of activities including cooking classes.

there are also some mentioned in the March 2012 Paris GTG thread - we didn't go but some of our fellow GTGers did. if I have time later, I'll have a hunt round for it. There was a baking one that they raved about.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:34 AM
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That would be lovely, Annhig! I will try to look later too.

Between doing laundry, working, and trying to figure out how I'm going to get to work at JFK on Saturday, I may not have much time. I should be polishing the oars after seeing all of the photos of the airports

But TA is a good thought and I'll have a look there too. I'm bummed my go-to's won't be able to accommodate me this time around, but it's an opportunity to find a new favorite, I suppose!
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:38 AM
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I'd probably be inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

That said, I've done Cookin With Class and it was very nice. Eric, the owner, is lovely.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 11:49 AM
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Kylie, that's crazy. It sounds like they were trying to forward your request to a co-worker with a sarcastic remark along the lines of "look, another freeloading request from some blogger" and replied to you instead. Maybe this will be a lesson to them to double check before hitting the "send" button.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 12:47 PM
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http://lacuisineparis.com/content/contact-us>>

here's one i found but I don't think that it is the one that Patty and the others did - I'll keep looking.
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Oct 30th, 2012, 12:52 PM
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et voila!

Website for the boulangerie http://www.barapain.com/accueil.htm

Benjamin's email [email protected]

AGM and Patty speak very highly of it. it's €75 each I think - not bad.

Here's the link to Patty's thread where she talks about it:

http://www.fodors.com/community/euro...ims-report.cfm
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Oct 30th, 2012, 01:55 PM
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You're awesome, Annhig! Thank you
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