Sunday, December 28, 2008

I give up.

I've been holding stuff for a month now, waiting for France Télécom to fix my Internet connection. I can't keep it all set aside forever, so I'm just going to throw it away.

I just tried to call technical support for France Télécom a/k/a Orange. This is the “pro” support line, believe it or not, and I'm charged for each minute of the call once they answer (which takes a while). When I dial, a friendly recorded voice asks me if I'm calling for trouble on the same line from which I'm making the call, and gives the number. I confirm that this is indeed the case by pressing a button. The recorded voice warns me that the waiting time is six minutes.

I wait several minutes, listening to inane France Télécom music, and finally someone answers. I tell the woman who answers that about 50% of packets in the downstream direction are being lost on my connection. She asks for my telephone number so she can look up my file. (One wonders why she needs my telephone number if I just confirmed it to the recorded voice—not a good sign.) I give my number, again. She asks me to wait while she looks up the file.

For the next several minutes, I hear agitated female voices speaking in what sounds like Arabic in the background (I kid you not). After several minutes of this faint chatter, the line goes silent. I wait a few more minutes to see if somebody is going to answer, but nothing is forthcoming. So I hang up, with no solution to my problem and several euro poorer.

Every call to Orange/FT technical support over the past year or so has resulted in no help at all. The only time I got any help was from a kindly FT employee who contacted me by e-mail after I posted my problem on the Net. I don't know when or if FT will fix my connection, so I don't know when I will next be able to post any pictures or anything useful to this blog (I'm lucky to get even a text post in from time to time). My holidays are ruined because I have a barely-alive Internet connection, and all my leisure activity (almost) requires the Internet.

Do you see why I've given up? Remember that before you consider Orange or France Télécom for any of your telecommunication needs. When their equipment works, it works well, but if you ever need technical support for a problem, you might as well jump off a cliff. Other people have told me the same thing, and apparently their attitude is the same even towards large enterprise accounts.

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