Wednesday, December 09, 2009

France Telecom - Orange

From time to time I rant on about about poor service and French bureaucracy, well let me tell you about my latest personal experience. This one concerns France Telecom or their subsidiary Orange to be more precise.

Earlier this year I had offered to help a friend install broadband at his house. On 23rd September he received a letter confirming his request together with the contracts which were duly signed and returned. Shortly after this he received his Livebox (modem router) with detailed instructions regarding installation. However I couldn't install it because I needed the installation user-name and password. Remember that this was at the end of September.

I then allowed a few weeks for their technicians to do their bits at the local exchange and then rang them up to find out what had happened to the final bits of information, allowing me to connect the Livebox to the Internet.

Despite their earlier written assurances that all this would be completed within four weeks I started a regular phone schedule to chase them up. Each time the person I spoke to was helpful and even slowed down so that I could comprehend the technical jargon a bit more easily.

Whilst Jan would probably disagree, I have a pretty long fuse. When dealing with large incompetent organisations my tactic has always been to be pleasant but persistent, record all conversations and generally give them the rope to hang themselves. Remember, they are toiling under the strain of a 35 hour work week!

The information that I needed was supposed to be contained in the written confirmation that the contract had been accepted and what I needed to do to get on-line. Presumably just standard procedure. Bear in mind that we are now into December, after several weeks promising that they would send me this information by post and that it couldn't come any other way. It was yesterday, two and a half months after the contract had been returned, that I finally managed to get hold of someone who gave me the information over the phone.

What a shambles. What gross incompetence. What a way to run a business.

Ah well, at least it's sunny outside!

Having said that, what happens when the sun stops shining?


Boris said...

Your French is probably excellent but I've always had quite good luck with the FT/Orange English language help line. The staff seem quite efficient there (much to my amazement). It handles both billing and technical internet related issues.
The number I used was 0800364775 but I understand that this may have now changed to 09 69 36 39 00

mpprh said...

We should work together :