February 1, 2012

Tales of a France Telecom Survivor

Port-en-Bessin Market

Trying to organize this move has had its moments.

Before we got the keys to our rental house we contacted the usual suspects to alert them of our new abode. EDF and la Poste were easy.
France Telecom, (who has definitively changed their name to Orange...I think I was the last to know), not so much.
They wouldn't let us have a phone number until we had a justificatif de domicile from the rental company. Ok, no problem. A few phone calls and signatures (many, many signatures) at the agent's office took care of that.

Once we attained said document we went straight to the local Orange store in Bayeux and applied for our new phone number and Internet access.
Again, no problem. We had the required documents, they created our dossier and we left with a phone number and were told that after a 10-14 day waiting period, our line would be up and running.

See, that's always when we run into trouble..when we trust that the powers that be (and the people punching the info into their computer) know what their doing.

Lulled into complacency, yet again.

Sitting at the café

While we were waiting my sweet husband suggested I head to Paris, which is now only 2 hours away by train, and hit les Soldes. Which I did. Successfully.

The Cheesy

I also made a point of getting to Blend for a burger.
It was a much anticipated juicy, American-style burger wrapped in a fluffy, yeasty bun with a side of salty sweet potato fries. Normally I don't go for these trendy new restos that everyone is talking about, but I had to go see Camille's new place.
And I'm so glad I did!

But I digress.

Sweet Potato Fries

Meanwhile, back at home, back to reality...a week went by and still no Internet or phone.

Then last Wednesday afternoon my cell phone rang. It was a representative from Orange telling me that instead of turning on our line they had mistakenly cut off our neighbors line. Oops! Now a technician was required to come out to the house to repair things.
"When?," I asked?
"Sometime next week," she replied.

Now I was annoyed.

Back to the Orange store I went. I would have brought a plate of my bribery brownies (they work every time!) with me to try to hurry things along, but the oven that came with our rental house isn't working. Which is another story.

The rendez-vous with the technician was fixed for Tuesday morning. Then I was informed that we would have to wait another 10-14 days after the line was installed until it would be up and running.  
However they did have a 3G dongle I could purchase, with a limited plan, for about 80 €.
I declined.

Winter Sunrise

When I got home I had a mini rant. Well, maybe not so mini.
I cursed the day we decided to move. I cursed Orange for incompetence and for not being able to call my family and friends or check my bank balance online. Or blog. Or Tweet.

Tuesday morning the technician arrived an hour early and in 10 minutes it was done. Line fixed, Internet and phone both up and working.

Just like that.

Do you think I can bill Orange for any sessions I might need with a psychiatrist after all this ?

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Oh boy. We are mid March from Villeneuve to Jarnac.

THANK YOU for the heads up.


Forgot "moving"

Sharon T said...

Ooof, I do not envy you with this hassle. And we think the 4 hour window the companies here give you are bad! At least you were able to get away to Paris for a bit. I hope your oven gets fixed soon so you can make yourself some brownies...you deserve them!

Veronica said...

ooh, you got off quite lightly :) Just be glad it wasn't SFR.

I find that although Orange "customer service" is ... well, what you would expect from a large almost-monopoly in France, the technicians are usually great. Over Christmas my OH decided to prune the wisteria and ... ahem ... mistook the phone wire for a wisteria stem. "Oh nooo," I thought. "We're going to be weeks with no phone and no internet!" I called Orange and confessed to what he'd done. Two very merry engineers turned up the next afternoon (I think they had lunched well), had a good laugh at what he'd done, fixed it, and said there'd be no charge.

Lost In Cheeseland said...

I fear the day we ever move. You have every right to be livid. do you have an iphone? Could you use the 3G at least ?

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

We are on Orange and I have to say I am not over enjoyed with them. We spent 2 weeks over Christmas and New year with no internet as our first modem gave up, and the one they replaced it with did not work at all! Thankfully modem 3 to date is still working. Diane

Ken Broadhurst said...

Orange is really pushing those 3G dongles. That kind of internet access over the cell phone network is pretty expensive, I believe. Ceci explique cela.

Maureen said...

I had to use a dongle net connection when we first moved. We were told there were no ADSL lines available in our city. It took talking to the phone techo who said, "a mate of mine owe me a favour, give me 20 minutes." In about 15 minutes we were connected and on fast ADSL. We were told not to tell our neighbours how we got the line.

I understand your pain and frustration!

spacedlaw said...

Forget about the internet dram. That non working overn IS the major catastrophe in your life. Thank goodness there is cheese.

katiez said...

I left a comment - don't know what happened.... need more coffee before I can type the whole thing again... Bonne Chance!

bluebaguette said...

This is why the French move house a lot less frequently than the British. I had my own private nightmare with them last week. Now don't get me started on the tax office....

Gretchen said...

Dealing with phone companies is never fun! When I was moving into my apartment for my senior year of college in the US the phone company wouldn't start our service until the bill (from the previous tenant) was payed--it was $900! Turns out that the two stars of our basketball team were the previous tenants, and they had racked up quite a bill calling everyone they knew when they won the NCAA champtionship.

Gratte Paille said...

We had a very similar Orange experience....nearly a month of the problem being at the central office, in the apartment building, in the apartment, between the building and the street, defective Livebox,...for a couple weeks the box hung from its cable inside our fuse closet and we got online via a 10m cable!... But we are coming up on a year now of reasonably reliable internet service...if only we could get the channel with the television listings!

Jim (Seattle) said...

Well, after spending hours on the phone with FT getting Bernard's router back online back in 2008 in Cesseras, you said "I need a lobotomy". So I think this is a piece of cake, c'est vrai?

Sara Louise said...

When I moved a year and a half ago, I was told that it would be 10-14 days before the phone and internet was setup. And then miraculously, it was done on day four!!! I considered myself to be the luckiest person in France that day.

Loulou in France said...


Thanks, and we had the new oven delivered today!

I'm so glad you shared that story. You're right about the technicians, they were brilliant and thankfully seemed to know what's going on.

Loulou in France said...

Moving is such a pain! Especially here it seems.
I didn't buy the 3G dongle, thank heavens!

I expect a long life from this modem! It better not give us any trouble after all the trouble we've already had. :)

They are expensive! I'm so glad I didn't break down and buy one. If we hadn't found such a great café with wi-fi, I probably would have.

Loulou in France said...

What a great story!

A beautiful new oven arrived this afternoon. I can bake again!

Merci and I hope you come back and leave your comment...I'm sure you've got a good story for us. :)

Loulou in France said...

Every office seems to be a potential headache, doesn't it? But it always gives us good stories to tell later! :)

What a pain! I hope it didn't take too long for them to pay up.

Gratte Paille
Glad you finally got it resolved...at least the Internet side of things.

Loulou in France said...

Ah, yes, I remember that day well! :)
(no, it never gets easier!)

Sara Louise
You were. Most definitely.