I am sick to the back teeth of SFR and our internet service - please help!

I would definitely stick with ADSL, remember whoever the company is they all run on Orange infrastructure. Eventually FT will upgrade all, just a matter of time. The big problem is like UK, loads of new companies wanting you to have a TV pack overloading the system with you plodding on at the end. All down to money and greed. Satellite Vsat is an amazing system that works perfect. Problem here is the providers renting the infrastructure. Now it is established, the systems are over subscribed and the FUPs are set to choke the servers to a larger extent in order to accommodate more users. Did I mention money and greed. For a good while yet, unless you live in a city you will suffer from poor internet and the providers will keep squeezing.

every problem i have ever had with SFR has been promptly solved after sending an email to the CEO..the last time i was having a problem with the box cutting out and rebooting for no reason, getting nowhere with SFR on phone , I emailed the CEO and the next day a technician appeared with a new box that he installed and tested everything...they also have a SAV on Twitter which is useful if you dont want to spend your life on the phone .. @SFR_SAV CEO Jean-Yves.Charlier@sfr.com

The only issue is with trying to hold them to ransom is that when I said that once before they said, OK off you go and find another provider!!! They just don't really care and know it is a hassle for people to change and not always get a better service. I have spoken to a friend who has a satellite system and it is no better than what we have got, so I do not want to jump from the frying pan into the fire!!

Thank you, good advice....I will see what happens once the new neufbox arrives and bear your comments in mind.

Your problem is clearly that of the upload. This is why you have no phone or Skype. None will work correctly under around 1mb. ( 0.06/8 will have you waiting all day). D/L of 0.6 is about the norm for many ADSL users in the sticks.

Orange have erected wi-max masts in many areas now as an alternative to combat this problem. (short of new exchanges)

All these telecoms companies are a nightmare when you have a serious problem and they are never wrong. You shouldn't help them out to excuses by saying you have more than 1 pc.

I personally think you should monitor U/L every 30mins for 4 to 5 hours. Take screen shots of each.

Then contact SFR and tell them that your phone is non function as is internet due to insufficient upload speed, and that they are in breach of the contract. State that you have the evidence and advise them that they have one month to correct or you will stop payment and terminate the contract.

Too many people take too much sh*t from these companies. Good luck..

Orange has ALWAYS been owned by France Telecom since it purchased the company and name from Hutchinson Telecom in the UK about 10 years ago. Over here in France They first used the brand by changing Itineris mobile to Orange and more recently have re-branded their Fixed line and internet. It all helped with the rip off of making your fixed line (hard wire) disappear and giving you a sh*t voip phone. allowing you to believe you are getting a new super cheap deal. In the first couple of years they simply added a voip to your existing but this was costly. FT much like BT Talk the talk but little walk. They can do about a quarter of what they boast.

Thank you to everybody that has taken time to respond to my pleas of help. As my husband it quite a technical person we have tried almost everything. We do not have any viruses and close down all search engines and I am told off if I leave things open on my browser, I am not allowed to have a special screen saver etc.... Hubbie is quite specific about this, yawn.... However, after another call today (by a kind neighbour who can shout the odds as she is French), we seem (possibly)to have made a bit of progress. We have been told our issue has been esculated to level 2.... whatever that is, and why were we level 1 anyway when I have called over 5 times in the last week! It seems there maybe a problem with the FT line after all (why did they not listen to me in the first place!!) they have done something to the line this morning and the ping test results and speed tests are dramatically different (long may it last) yesterday we had a ping of 1675 download speed of 0.65 and and upload speed of 0.08. Today it has been ping 51 download of 2.05 mbps and upload of 0.24 which is acceptable based on where we live! However, the phone still works periodically... The outcome of this is that they have said our Neufbox is old and we need a new one which is being sent to arrive next week. Once it is all connected it remains to be seen if the phone line will be any better.... I fear a FT fixed line may be necessary, but lets stay positive and wait and see..... I will post an update next week to let all know if it is working. Thank you one and all once again. long live SFN!

One of the advantages of keeping an analogue line (optionally combining it with a VoIP service independent from your ISP's), is that not only is your telephone separate from the Internet (and still works in a power cut), but you can hear if you have a noisy line, which may sometimes be the cause of poor bandwidth.

If after you've re-established a analogue telephone line you can detect no noise on it, and the Internet service is still dire, then consider WiMAX or Satellite as alternatives.

I’m glad you love it. All my friends are gobsmacked when they see what the box can do!

Yes. free is a no brianer. All the world’s tv at your fingertips. Gratis !

I've been with FT, Wanadoo & Orange for telephone & internet etc since the '80s and i've never had a problem with them. I've found the service by phone or in their boutiques very efficient. I had an SFR mobile for five years and had problems with the after sales service. Even now, six moths after I closed the contract they are giving me hassle.

Lot of interesting information here, thank you. But I still recommend switching to Free from SFR. I think it depends on your area. SFR doesn’t work well everywhere in France, and I think Free isn’t available everywhere either.

I have just switched from SFR to Free as well, AND I was able to keep both my land and mobile numbers. It was the THIRD time that i didn’t have internet or a land telephone number for more than a month in as many years! They wanted me to drive to a SFR office, more than an hour from me, with a cheque de caution and ID to get a new box AND wait for another month for a France Telecom engineer to come repair the line which they said was faulty. I spent a fortune on my mobile phone trying to sort this out as you pay hefty fees to speak to live people. My Freebox arrived via UPS in a few days and worked immediately after it arrived and I plugged it in. It’s a huge hassle changing servers, but I am very pleased with Free so far and it’s cheaper and the help line is friendly and competent and also free. I also work from home with publishers in NY so not having access was really difficult. Luckily my local cafe let me use their internet- in fact they they use Free and it was at their urging that I switched. Ah well, at least I got to know some more people in my village after spending so much time there sipping ratafia and downing pressions.

yes i have SFR in my house and Free in my apartment..Free is far superior

I have had SFR for more than two years with only a couple of problems quickly corrected. However I have a slow connection 1MB but the same with Orange due to rural location.

I changed from Orange on performance and poor service issues, plus cheaper price.

On rare occasions bandwidth drops and the remedy for this, I have found, is to switch off the SFR Box, disconnect both the phone plug and power lead, leave a few minutes then reconnect. Sometimes I have to do this two or three times. Dropping the connexion means a new IP address is issued on reconnection and new connection to the SFR server.

I got a new SFR Box because the original one had wifi issues… it did not like my microwave oven.

My house has thick walls and I have an Apple TimeCapsule router wired to he SFR Box and an Apple Airport as a range extender which works fine. (You could try the Apple Airport as a range extender (99€ from the Apple store and you will need to download the Airport app for tablet or a small item of software for PC to set it up.)

In response to what you say here are a few things you might consider.

Try a different phone: it is possible the one you have is faulty.

If you are using your house electrical circuit to provide LAN there could be problems with interference from this wiring or appliances connected to it. Have you run speed test only with your PC connected directly with an ethernet connexion to the modem/router? Household wiring can be problematic if you are served by more than one phase, particularly if the plug near your modem/router is on a different phase to the one to which you connect your extender plug.

If your SFR Box is an older one you may be better off getting a more recent one.

Have you tried pressing the reset on the SFR Box when you get problems?

If you have a 2MB connexion, and I assume you are in a rural location, the bandwidth you actually get at any time will depend on how many other users in your area are sharing your local loop. This is a common problem, ISPs advertise a certain speed… usually ‘up to’… but depending on the local cables users may be sharing this bandwidth with others and so bandwidth will fluctuate depending on how many are using the Internet and what they are doing.

You say this all happened around Christmas, it is thus possible that another or others connected to your local SFR service. If any of these are big users, downloading big files like video, then bandwidth available for other users will vary.

VPN servers can cause bandwidth loss depending on their location as you are bypassing your nearest SFR server and going to a server at a greater physical distance. If the VPN is in the UK, it could be anywhere, then rather than your Internet going through a server maybe 100km away, it will be going to one maybe 700km away or more. That allows significant transmission loss.

If you are dissatisfied with SFR the best remedy would be to change to Orange. These days you can migrate your phone number … migrate your mobile number too… and competition is such that changing is easy, quick, can be done on-line. I changed from Orange to SFR and it went very smoothly. They told me I might lose service for up to two weeks, but in fact it took a day. Internet was reconnected after an hour, and the phone service a couple of hours later. If you do change do not forget to send a letter of cancellation of the contract and direct debit. SFR had template letters to do this on their website; maybe Orange do too.

You might also find Orange has degroupage in your area. You can got to their site, put in your number and do a line test which will show what service/prices they can offer.

Also with 2MB having more than one PC connected will significantly alter download speeds on each connected machine.

Given the propensity for automatic updates, even if you are not browsing on a particular machine it may still be updating something on it. Open browsers too are notorious for working in the background even if not actively being used.

Also given the suddenness and variability of your problems you should consider virus attack. There are viruses which take over PCs and use them to send out SPAM. You won’t actually notice this except by slowdown in computer speed or loss of Internet speed.

Sorry I have no solutions but I hope I have given you a few options to consider.


Change your provider to Free.fr. one box does internet. tv, radio, recording, blu ray, music, photos, web browser, and you get a free mobile. All for under 40 euros.

We were having the same problem with SFR. Have now gone to Satellite Broadband with europasat. Installed it last week and (touch wood) seems to be working quite well. Not quite the 22mbs download speed they suggest is possible - varies between about 2mbs to 18-20mbs depending on time of day. Quite pleased with it at the moment but it’s not cheap - we’re paying €49.95 per month for 25Gb. However, better than what we had with SFR (so far)!

Contact the CEO Jean-Yves.Charlier@sfr.com

We were without SFR internet and telephone for over a week in March. Unfortunately the only way to contact the company is by French mobile telephone sat beside the router each time. We do not have a French mobile phone - but luckily our wonderful French neighbour does and she was prepared to come backwards and forwards each time to communicate for us and even left a spare phone with us when they went away for the weekend. These phone calls were numerous and almost identical each time, but not quite as a little extra tweak would be added each time. The problem, I informed them at the beginning, was not with the router but with the incoming line. This involved France Telecom, but you cannot contact FT direct, you have to go through SFR. This involvement was actually established on the second or third phone call - they will connect in four days - this was Thursday night. I contacted them again Monday to try and establish exactly when FT would connect only to be told FT had not been notified. An engineer then came out and replaced the router (nice new one now) and check the line. He informed us that FT would sort the line out in a day or two. After further phone calls (a complete waste of time probably), our internet and telephone started working again Thursday 8pm - just over a week after the first interruption. ps no other neighbours along the road had theirs disrupted.

I was also told that since Orange has "taken over" France Telecom, Orange will now get priority access. But, according to an assistant in an SFR shop (don't bother with them!) Orange would have to go through the same channels if FT was required - but then they would say that wouldn't they.

Dark ages. I still have our Minitel if that is of use ;)