When you send a « lettre recommandée »(registered letter), the postman asks you if you want to send it with
(avec) or without (sans) « accusé de réception ». If it's an important letter, choose
« avec » so you have proof.
Then you must fill out the form. Basically what you need is the « destinataire » TO and « expéditeur » FROM.
When do you need a « lettre recommandée » ? :
Everytime you want to cancel a contract or give a notice. It's the easiest legal proof. Don't forget to send it in on time. Look at the section of your contract that specifies « résiliation du contrat » (cancellation). Be careful with insurance contracts because you often need to send your notice three months before the time you want to cancel your contract. This waiting period is called a « préavis ». Be careful, in France it can be very long. And if you send your notice too late, the insurance company can refuse it and force you to pay for one more year.
When you send a « lettre recomandée » keep the paper the postman gives you. It's the legal proof of your action. Then as the sender, a few days later you'll receive another paper in your letterbox (same size as the form you filled out) : « recommandé, accusé de réception ». At the back of this paper there's a big « AR ». KEEP this paper. It's the legal proof that the letter was handed to the person it was addressed to. You must keep this paper until your contract is officially over.
You can also send a parcel « recommandé », they'll ask you if you want insurance (may be useful if your parcel is lost). If you buy insurance they'll ask you to declare the parcel's value « valeur ».
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