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Thursday, May 16, 2013

Numericable: The French Company

Well, we're finally getting a taste of a really bad French bureaucracy at work.  Numericable is a poor excuse for a mobile phone and internet provider in France. We're in our new apartment, but don't have cable TV or internet because of two appointment fiascos caused by Numericable's incompetent and apathetic staff.  The first time, despite specifically asking them to change the address on our account to our new apartment, and repeatedly telling the person making the appointment that we're moving, I get a call from the technician saying "OK, I'm at the front door." I go outside and there's no one there.  He's at the front door of the old apartment!  I wanted to strangle someone.  First I asked him if he could just come to the correct address and he said yes.  Then, I get a text message an hour later saying he talked with his supervisor, and because the address was "fasle", I have to call and make a new appointment.  Arg! 

A week later, I'm waiting in the apartment until the end of the appointment time window, and no one shows up.  I go right to the office immediately and have them open my account online.  It has a note from the techncian about the appointment: "I went to the apartment and called the client at 6612345677 and got no answer.  Since client was not there, canceled appointment." But the phone number he called had nothing to do with us.  We can't imagine where he got it from.  Our phones come from Numericable, they give us our phone number!  How can he not know the right phone number!??  So, now it's time to make another appointment and wait again.  Praying for a miracle from a company from Hell.

I can imagine a few people out there saying to themselves, ''You idiot, just use a different company!"  Man, why didn't I think of that!?  Like many places in the US, there are a lot of providers, but there is only one high speed provider for a given building in Paris.  Sort of like one cable provider for a given neighborhood in the US. 

- Update July 2025 - Giving credit for decent service since... Since that day over two years ago, we've had pretty good service from Numericable. We did have one five-day period of outage, which they never apologized for, or offered a refund for, or even acknowledged in any way. So, that was really bad, as I need the internet for work. But, the phone network was still up and I could use my phone as a hot spot. I believe the five day outage was caused by botched efforts to merge the Numericable and SFR networks, after the merger of the two companies. There have been two other one-day outages. But, over a period of over two years, I would say those are no worse than an American cable company.

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