I was living in an artist’s magasin in Montmartre during the summer. The street (Androuet) is famous because it has the Amelie grocery store at the corner. And this particular summer the entire street had been rented by some Dutch company who was staging an exhibition of Dutch excellence or something. I had to find another place to live in for a week.
Because it was high summer and the weather is awful in Paris due to the heat, I decamped to Poligny for the week. I looked around on Airbnb for about 30 minutes and found a woman who was renting a little flat above her garage. When I contacted her she let me know that it was 30 minutes by train from Gare de Lyon and within the hour I was set.
Except for my stuff. I couldn’t bring it with me so after a search for luggage storage I found a company called City Locker. I had been hoping to rent a locker at Gare de Lyon or Gare du Nord but there weren’t any. City Locker was located in the Marais, away from the stations but it was the only thing I could find so I rented.
I had initially planned to spend the weekend in Poligny but I was asked to work so I came back into the city one morning and left that afternoon. I spent the week walking in the woods (I got lost actually), laying in the sun, and just generally enjoying nature. I hadn’t seen grass in two years.
During this time I had to contact City Locker to extend my rental period. It’s by no means cheap to rent with them but as I said there weren’t any other options. At some point something went wrong and City Locker decided that they were going to charge me a 150€ fee in addition. I had already paid them like 250€ or more to use them, I wasn’t interested in being charged more for some shitty little metal box in the middle of the 3rd.
The company itself didn’t actually provide much of anything. The doors are automated. There’s no one on site. Most people complain because of that so I couldn’t understand why they needed an additional 150€.
I got back to Paris and they refused to give up my suitcase. Luckily this was a small carry on that only had limited things because the artist’s apartment was a short term rental so my larger suitcases were in storage. But it did have my passport.
I ended up having to contact the Paris Tourism office and after 6 months I finally got my bag back. The owner of the company, Jean François Foncin, was a total jackass, but thankfully the Tourism office was able to help. Don’t ask me how I came to getting in touch with them, luck I suppose, but Paris really does care about it’s reputation so I’m thankful they stepped up.
The number of people who take advantage of immigrants/tourists in this city is astounding. At every turn someone is looking to use you and abuse you. And if you’re American, it’s so much worse. “You’re American, you’re rich” is the mentality and it creeps into every facet with the French.