Normal Service will now resume
Thanks to very poor co-ordination between France Telecom and Tele2 we were without telephone or internet for 4 days.
Our main phone supply was France Telecom. France is slowly coming around to competition to its major services: phones, gas, electricity water etc. Internet supply was through Wanadoo, who were bought out by Orange and both are linked to France Telecom.
When the nice man from Tele2 made me an offer I couldn't refuse I agreed to sign with them for internet access and unlimited telephone calls.
I had presumed that the unlimited calls were through the box, in the same way that with my Orange Livebox I had a second phone line that was thru the net and thus unlimited and free. Except that that phone line hadn't worked for nearly a year, since the last time the Livebox was "en panne". But I was so relieved when Orange restored my internet connection I didn't dare disturb them for the second phone line.
So . . . weeks had gone by since the phone call from the Tele2 man. A letter had arrived confirming that we had agreed a contract, but still no hardware, when one afternoon the internet stopped, and half an hour later the phone was no longer working either. "le numero que vous avez demande n'est plus accesible" Great.
When I got home from the factory I tried the various France Telecom service numbers from the cafe but got messages saying they were busy please call back later.
Why were we cut off? I couldn't understand it. Everone joked that it was because we hadn't paid our bills, but the next bill was only due in a few weeks. And they hadn't sent a warning letter as they do when the bills are late.
When I finally got through to France Telecom the next day I was told that we were no longer clients because we had signed a contract with a new supplier.
"But I haven't received anything from the new supplier!"
"Ah, but that is not our problem"
"Will I lose my phone number and email address? I've used them for 4 years now, I can't inform all my friends and computer programs won't recognise me"
"I can't tell you that sir, perhaps you should call our customer service number tomorrow."
The next day, telling my tales of frustration in the cafe, Michel tells me there is a package for me. (The cafe doubles as a post office)
It's the box from tele2. But I don't have time to install it, the factory beckons.
When I finally got around to installing the box I decided to first remove all the Orange/Wanadoo stuff, then trawl the registry for stray entries.
I followed the Tele2 instructions for setting up there box, plugged the phone in and Hey Presto! the phone had a dialling tone. We could call out again. Calling in still gave the same "le numero que vous avez demande n'est plus accesible" message.
My computer couldn't connect WiFi (not capable) The ethernet connection said I didn't have an ethernet port and they hadn't supplied a USB cable. Bastard!
Playing around with the PC settings I find my Ethernet port is disabled. Enable the bugger and Whoosh! I have internet access again.
I filled in the new client online form and Whoosh! my phone is now working with the same phone number.
When I downloaded emails there were about 60 messages backlogged, among them a mail from Tele2 telling me that i was about to lose the functionality on my phone line, but this was normal and was the indication that I can now connect my Tele2 box.
So everything would have been OK:
IF the box had arraived at the same time, or before the email, and
IF France telecom hadn't cut me off before the email arrived.
Is it because it's France or are all telecomms services this flakey?