I became 'One of those English' in France Telecom

I'll start at the beginning;
On the 18 June I decided that as my iphone (which I have had for quite a while was starting to die on me, ie;, had to put it on loudspeaker to send and receive calls;(embarrassing when I was out and about!) letters' were missing from texts and I could not access the internet unless 'it' wanted to! I decided to telephone the English Speaking Help Line as we were moving into our newly converted barn and letting the house out so I/we needed a good all round service.................. A very nice man advised me that we should go for the package, Open 24/7, didn't need two lines and should buy a wifi extender so that the main phone could be accessed in the barn and I would also get a new iphone 4S for just 89.90 euros a month after having paid just 149 euros for an updated mobile. All good so far! I said I would talk it over with my husband and get back to him.......... First mistake!

OH ok'ed this so the next day I phoned Help Line again; different person - not so helpful. I needed to know that SFR who we were with and my contract with my old iphone would be cancelled - he was not sure they could do this. So that evening I wrote letters to SFR and decided to go to the Orange FT in St Lo to cancel my mobile contract.

Next day I phoned EHL spoke to a very nice lady who took my credit card details said she would cancel my mobile and SFR line, no problem, and I should receive everything around 4 July.

Several days later received a mobile phone contract but no address of where to send it. Phoned EHL again and was told not to worry it had already been activated and everything set in motion.

On 5 July received notification of where to collect everything. OH and I set off to Bis Informatique - no they did not have it.

Next day I phone EHL. Bis Informatique had had it but returned it to the Depot as it wasn't collected within 8 days. Phoned EHL again. Apparently I was sent an email to say it was ready to be collected (sent to my new mobile phone no!) I explained that as we had no phone line (because it had been cancelled) and I had not received my new mobile/livebox the email had not be received. No problem, everything would be dispatched to home address and we would receive it on the Saturday. No show. On the Monday afternoon, OH and I decided to go into FT in St Lo to make sure my old mobile contract had been cancelled.We explained what had happened so far and were told to wait and that they would be able to help us! We waited 4, yes 4 hours to be seen thinking that because we had waited so long they would give us the equipment............ but no,because I had bought over the phone I would have to wait till it was delivered; even the old mobile contract had not been cancelled. I had to ring them from the shop! By this time my husband and I were quite openly arguing with each other - he suffers from confined spaces and was beginning to raise his voice.......... He hates mobiles and only uses one for emergencies (if he remembers to take it).

Next day I phone the EHL again! Everything should be with us within 48 hours............. The following dayI'm upstairs preparing the house for the next holiday makers when I see the postman arrive with a big box. Practically falling down the stairs I take the box off of the Postman and attack it. Live box, YES TV decoder - what! carte for decoder, uh, but no mobile and no wifi extender. I immediately phone EHL who informed me that as I had not collected my order within 8 days it had been returned but would be resent. No I say, I have the livebox etc;, but am still waiting for wifi extender and new mobile!!!!!!!!!!!!!Man goes away; Long pause, music playing. Man comes back to say the mobile would be sent out and I will receive it Monday this week. OH, what about the wifi extender? Oh I say, I forgot to ask. OH, mumble, mumble..............

This morning I receive phone bills for both old mobile and new mobile and landline.

Luckily for us our son in law has managed to put the line over to the barn but am not sure how legal this is! hmm.......

I'm really at my wits end. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated.

A very frustrated Rosemary

I now routinely quote my standard admin charge for me having to pursue a complaint - after the first free letter of complaint I charge €25 for each letter, email, telephone call, or visit that needs to be made, or is received but does not fully satisfy my required outcome. Each letter and email I send, I give them a running total of how much they will owe me if they choose not to give satisfaction at this stage. Usually, it just focusses the mind but sometimes it can result in actual settlement of the charges by both French and UK companies - I can think of at least one example in each country. I am also very clear about how much time they have to get it right.

I refer you on to Johnny Summerton's recent blog on Orange. You are in France, if like us you love the country and enjoy living here, you must be prepared for EHL, FT, Orange, EDF, ERDF, SODIGEL and whoever else you have supplying services to say 'next week' and actually mean 'sometime in the next couple of months, if you get over all the hurdles'. We are seasoned complainers, we document every detail, ask telephone agent's names and blah-di-blah. We go into the post office and they almost expect us to be sending (yet another) LRAR with a frown on our brow. Keep up the mumbling, avoid losing temper on the phone but be stern and mention the fact that you know the CEO's name and where to write and will do so if you do not have everything forthwith. Expect a partial delivery and then call again and remind about the CEO and get the rest. Should take a couple of days, expect a couple of months. Sorry, I'm no great help but there's an awful lot of people here on SFN who might give you similar advice because we have been there, have the t-shirt, etc.