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Free.fr pay as you go internet access probs

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Is anyone else having terrible problems connecting to the free.fr dial up payg internet service? It was fine when we were over in Feb, since we got here at the start of May it has been near impossible to get through (line engaged).

I wonder whether the problems are an attempt to push people like me towards Broadband.

If so, have they read all the horror stories on this site, the ones that stop people like me even considering Broadband?

I wondered about the Tele 2 payg internet service. Does anyone have any comments about its efficiency?

Thanks in advance......


PS If anyone replies and I fail to thank them straight away, it’s probably because I can’t get through.  It took 35 goes this evening.

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I use free.fr dialup service when I am in my residence secondaire in France, and I also find it very difficult to get a connection.  It's a lot better later in the evening, I have found - but one can't always wait till then!   Sometimes I get so desperate to send an email that I dial up my UK service provider - which works fine but doesn't exactly encourage much surfing.

I have heard people say that it is an attempt to drive everybody to broadband; though I have also heard a more probable explanation that Free are no longer maintaining the dialup lines, so when they go wrong that's it.

Until very recently broadband was not available in my hamlet anyway.  We do now apparently have the possibility of using wanadoo ADSL, but the monthly cost makes it too expensive for me just for a holiday home so I guess I am going to have to go on gnashing my teeth...


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Thanks for the feedback - got through first time this evening but I think it was a one off.

Like others I can't justify a year's contract for ADSL when we're only here for a few months each year.

Must learn to cultivate patience as a virtue....

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You could try another ISP.  We have been with Freesbee.fr (now part of Tiscali.fr, which in turn is part of Alice) for several years.  Rarely do I not get an instant connection.  It can be slow but we are in a rural area and the telephone line is noisy. They also offer broadband at an incredibly cheap rate but not in deepest Normandy!

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  • 3 weeks later...

Exactly the same problem with free.fr as you describe. Sometimes (but rarely now) immediate connection, but most times it's a case of constant re-dialling. Record to date is 36 times before getting connected.

Isn't there a web site somewhere which lists all the ISPs, charges, etc in France? Anyone remember its web address?

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Curiously enough (and having started this thread) my access to free.fr is exemplarary at the moment;  one complaint to them (never replied to) and a post on Living France seems to have cured my problem a few days after my first post.

Are you at all in the same area as me?  (NE 24).

Laters:  have found a message from free.fr in response to my complaint.   They suggested using a numero de secours which is:

Let us know if it works for you

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I am in Dept 17.

The problem with free.fr is identical to that with sister company freetelecom.fr.

However, if I dial the "numero de secours", I get through first time, every time. Only trouble is, I can't remember my password for the latter connection.[:(]

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I think if you look on the forums of any of the ISP providers you'll find similar tales of woe.  The reliability of Internet access, be it dial-up or broadband, seems to be woeful in comparison with the UK. 

Cue load of posts about the wonderful service someone is receiving.

I'm with Free (broadband admittedly) and have had no problems since changing from my previously hopeless provider Club Internet.  This runs totally against the recent reports from the French Consumer Association equivalent.

I think the main weakness of most ISPs lies in their cruddy aftersales support and technical staff training.

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