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Orange English speaking line.

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Today I had to phone the English speaking line to get help with an ongoing problem that's caused total dropout of internet and phone for upto 14 days at a time and for over best part of 9 months!

Not for me, but for a very good French neighbour!

I got through to the line within a minute of dialling and spoke to a very friendly, helpful man. I gave him my details and said that I was phoning on behalf of my neighbour and gave her details too. There were no problems with that, just concern that it had been going on for so long.

This problem has been going on for months and the local Orange/FT have been as much help as an ashtray on a motorbike. The guy on the English line ran a test on the line and told me that there was a fault. It took him less than 30 seconds to determine that! He then said that he would pass the problem over to an engineer locally and that here would be no charge unless the fault was found within the house wiring. She had previously had an 'engineer' (?) from the local bunch to look at it and been charged 30€ for nothing!

I phoned this morning and this afternoon the neighbour came round and told us that the problem had been found and was somewhere in the underground cable to the house. It should, at last, be sorted?

This is the second time that I have contacted this help line and the second time the problem was found very quickly and in a very friendly manner it was sorted. From this I have wondered if this line was set up because the English speaking community here will just not put up with the c r a p that is dealt out normally to the French people? I can do the Gallic shrug, but not when it is a service that I or my friends are paying for!

Anyone else with a similar experience?

P.S. I criticise when I am being treated badly, but it was my pleasure today to compliment that young man for his friendly helpful way!

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I've used both English and French services for FT, found them to be much the same.

I think you all underestimate how difficult it is to provide a service to someone whose grasp of the language you are speaking is lacking. Our customers who speak no French or English definitely get less information and assistance than the others just because it's such a project to explain things to them. And vice versa.

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I would assume that my French neighbours grasp of French is quite good? It is certainly better than mine! A she still got the run around from the French FT people. I have tried to contact the French line and after trying to work out the computerised conversation I gave up.

Another French friend, who also has a good grasp of his language, has told me that he also finds it extremely difficult to understand that computerised mumbo-jumbo and will go into the shop if he possibly can.

So after months fighting against the French side and also paying 30€ for a visit that shouldn't have been charged for, she had a result within a couple of hours from the English version. It will take a bit longer yet because the offending cable is underground and will have to be replaced, but the problem has been recognised and is being sorted.

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I have only used the English helpline twice in all the years I have been with Wanadoo/Orange. The first time they were pretty good but it took a while to get through. The second, more recent, time I got through without problem, they spent some time trying to sort out my problem and even organized for a Livebox to be biked from Carcassonne so in general I have nothing bad to say about them. Excellent service all round.
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On the other hand, when I could not explain the problem to the French Orange french speaking helpline helpline I resorted to the English speaking one - whose only solution was to book another engineer - who never came.  It was finally resolved when a French friend arrived to stay and she spent the first day of her holiday speaking to various (and many) parts of the FT  helpline service, finally resolving the matter.  It turned out that not only had orange managed to bill me incorrectly, also mixing me up with someone else) but the first engineer who came (for which we paid 99€) did not check and verify that  the livebox was correctly configured (it was not - it was still configured for our old house) so she also wrote a letter for me to send to ask for compensation.  It was a lot more complicated than this but I won't go into all the details!

A true friend indeed - and without both her French language but also management skills (refusing to stop - a veritable terrier she was!), I doubt if we would have ever got to the bottom of all the mistakes they made.

I do realise that help desks can only help if you can describe the situation - but booking an engineer who did not then turn up should not be beyond the wit of anyone on any help desk. 

So I wait to be convinced about their customer service - English or French speaking.

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