I wish the world would just stop being so greedy. We had perfectly fine service before at the French Consulate in LA and they had to choose this sh**ty subcontractor known as VFS Global to take over their visa procedures.
Let me explain: I'm a Moroccan citizen who lived in France for four years and who has been in the US for the past 7 years with a Green Card.
I have two Masters from some of the best universities in the world and even still own a bank account in France. I shouldn't have to struggle to go back there as a tourist. However, I still have to apply for a visa, almost yearly, because of my Moroccan passport to go visit my family that still lives in Paris. It costs money and takes time but I have no problem doing it when the people in front of you are respectful and understanding.
VFS Global is neither of that. They are the WORST company to be dealing with such an important responsibility and for the LOVE OF GOD, I do not understand why any government chose them to be in this position of service. Or actually, I do understand: maybe these governments don't want visitors anymore. Here is the thing. I couldn't care less about visiting France. Honestly, after living in Paris for 4 years, I've experienced it more than enough and am happy as I can be here in California. But my sister has chosen Paris as her residence for the past 12 years and I love my sister, so I need to see her. Thank God, she's soon moving to Spain so I'm hoping to not deal with this bunch of deadbeat underpaid workers at VFS anymore.
From the expensive appointment fee that never existed before to condescending and scornful comments at their office, the list goes on and on. I will point out that ALEX, a call center representative, should, simply put, be FIRED. He KNOWINGLY gave me incorrect information in order to make a change to my appointment on the phone. Even after I called several times to ask for details and confront his lack of competence, he would not change his stance, at one point even hanging up on me. Thank God for people like FERNANDA, who once picked up the phone and, in a matter of 10 minutes, CORRECTED everything that ALEX did. She literally disagreed with him on every single point. How can you have a company where the level of service you get is equivalent to playing the lottery: if you're lucky, the right representative will pick up the phone and guide you the right way. If not, you'll lose money and time, and get frustrated by not being able to plan your trip accordingly (I ended up paying 3 different appointment fees because of ALEX).
Once at the office, you're just simply looked down upon depending on the color of your passport. Being Moroccan, I guess I am not welcome in France anymore, despite having contributed greatly to their taxes for years. This VISA system is already absurd (why do we rank citizens based on where they were born?) but I was astounded to hear someone, and I am not making this up, say to my face: "I don't care if you can't make it to France on time, it's not my problem. I have a French passport. I can go anytime".
Let me make it clear to that person, wherever he is in the world right now. I coudln't give a flying **** about going to France. I get to travel the world and make a decent living with my career and at least don't spend my life squeezed in an office doing miserable work that I hate myself for. This just goes to show the poor work ethics and ridiculous standards by which they hire their representative. I just wish we could escalate this directly to the consulate who would do something about it.
Once again, corporate greed has made it so that we the people have no choice but to use this one company to get an important service done. Without competition, VFS Global has no incitive to provide good service for the price you pay. Some employees will still do as a symbol of professional ethics. Others will elect not to - because being a**holes can sometimes be, I guess, just so much more rewarding.