France telecom - a salutary lesson

After 10 years waiting we eventually got broadband in January 2015.

All worked well, aside from various hiccups.

Then, a month ago I received a letter confirming I had cancelled my contract for my old phone line.

I had done no such thing.

When we called the Help Line we were told that this was our old "dial-up" line which we were not using but paying 20 Euros per month for the privilege so why not cancel it? We said we had been told that it was necessary to keep it (Which we now know is not correct - but see problems arising below.)

OK we said but we will keep our old number as so many people know it. Yes no problem and besides saving you 20 Euros per month we will give you a credit for the money you have paid.

What's to complain about?

As an asside, our LiveBox account was set up under the wrong spelling of my name as that is what appears in the Phone Directory. That account and associated email was still there or course.

Well, yesterday all our email accounts disappeared - they were invalid.

So we called Help Line and we were told yes, I can see what has happened but you have lost those, cannot reinstall them, why don't use gmail?

Now the problem.

a) We have some 200 web sites that we access, banking, credit cards, insurance, investments, plus the usual collection of shopping sites and etc

b) We have some 2,500 email contacts - a residue from the camapign work I have been doing.

c) Our mobile phone contracts are tied to our email ids so we cannot for example top them up from time to time.

Now in order to change our contact name say at a bank, you log on with your user name, in my case invariably my email address, and then change the contact, save for security reasons, the bank sends you back a confirmatory message usually seeking confirmation that it has been received. But now to an email that doesn't exist. So we were faced with phoning some 200 suppliers and going through this explanation.

As it happens just before the email was cancelled, I received a notification from the Impots about this year's tax payments, which of course a few hours later I would not have known about.

Anyway, Caroline did her shouting match but at first FT were very unresponsive, partly didn't care, told it couldn't be done, etc - all the usual stuff - but by chance we found a technical support person who was sympathetic and as I write seems to have put us back to where we were.

So if you use FT and plan on a switch to Livebox broadband, just make sure all of your contracts (mobile phones, etc) and email ids are also transferred and avoid this problem.