Orange France Connection

Has anyone had any experience with a recent connection to the "reseau telephonique" by Orange France?

We have been told that our property would have to be connected to the system via an underground connection. Our nearest neighbours have an overhead telephone line and I assumed connection to our property would be via this method.

As the property is quite remote and we have just had the road dug up at considerable cost for connection to "l'eau de ville" I think this will be too expensive to justify.

Are Orange now installing all new connections underground?

Thanks in advance.

My latest brush with the SAUR branch in my brother's area was a couple of months back. They sent him a letter requesting someone to be at his house on a certain date with a view to reading the meter. My brother was in England and only comes over for a few days each year so the water consumption is always negligable. I offered to go over, take the reading and send it via their online service just as one of the options proposed. They were happy with this so I went over, read the meter and sent the details on arriving back home.

A couple of days later I received a terse letter saying they needed acess to read the meter and told me to contact them to fix a date. They obviously didn't agree with my true reading probably thinking I was trying to pull a fast one. I immediately phoned the office and a woman, obviously having a bad hair day told me the date the technician would pass and said it would be between 1330 and 1700 hrs. I asked if the time could be more precise as I was working and needed to take time off etc etc. She rudely replied that he would be there between those hours. I turned up at 1330 waited, in very hot sunshine (mid-june and about 34°) until 1700 and of course he didn't turn up. Not even a call to excuse himself. Calls to the office were a waste of time.

Last week, my brother received a very sheepish letter from the SAUR apologising for the 'mistake' over the reading and offered a refund either by cheque or from future bills...

Our experience isn't even that bad Peter. It was mainly having to chase up SAUR via the online form on their website to get an acknowledgement of receipt for the deposit. We received an acknowledgment after 3 weeks. But we had no notice (despite asking) when they turned up to commence the work. We only knew they were there when we walked to the farm shop for milk and saw the guys digging the road up. Orange have been slightly more frustrating and I did have a discussion with one woman in the technical department who was rude. But I agree, I think it's pot luck who you get.

Seems to depend on which water authority you are dealing with Norm. My local SAUR is pretty good when it comes to Service and Customer Relations but where my brother is about 50kms away with a different company is a whole new ball game. The Service dept are quite lax, not turning up for appointments etc and the Customer Service can be very rude at times depending on which lady answers the phone...

I can empathise with you Zoe. Dealing with French utility companies is a new experience for me, and while one of the attractions to rural France (for me) is the casual approach to life, it has been mildly frustrating dealing with SAUR and Orange Fr. The guys from SAUR that came to connect the water were great. Working in 34 degrees with good humour and very polite, they're a credit to the company, but I found the lack of communication on the admin side to be a little disappointing.

Good luck with your project.

We have a similar issue. Even have a line coming through our property, but because it was a farm building and never a habitation, they either do not believe, or do not understand that people could live make matters worse, there is no numero de voie, because it is a hangar in a field in a tiny hameau. They have cancelled an appointment already, saying that they cannot send someone, because we are not on their map. They sent the cancellation by e mail…a week after confirming by telephone. We have no phoneline, therefore, we never got the e-mail.

The nearest neighbour with a phone connection (overhead line) is about 400m down the lane. The connection to mains water was about half that and was quite an expense...but a necessary one. As the property is only intended to be a holiday cottage it looks like we won't be able to justify the outlay of digging the lane up twice.

Thankyou all for your replies.

We have just had our telephone connected to an overhead line but if you are talking about from the house to the road we had already prepared a trench with the green gaine in ready to pull the cable through. At the road we have overhead telephone lines and the box was "temporarily" put on the post which is broken in half and tied up with string!

The EDF and France Telecom buried cables in this area after the 1999 storms mostly in the more 'remote' areas of the eastern Charente and western Hte Vienne. Seems a practical solution.

In 2011 we had the same problem. Our property is closer to the telephone pole than our neighbours but because it was a new line we had to pay an extortionate price to have an underground line connected. Your Mairie will probably be able to confirm this if you ask them.

Thanks Katie.

Had I known when SAUR would turn up to connect the water I could have perhaps pre-planned something similar. We didn't hear anything for 6 weeks and two guys turned up out of the blue with a digger and began work with no prior notice.

If your phone line was laid in the same trench as the power supply to your property I suspect I have been fobbed off with an excuse from the technician about interference from the overhead power cables.

I had heard that some power companies were beginning to put supply cables underground.

I did initially explain to Orange that there was no line and that the nearest neighbour was about 400m away and I thought that the "Devis" appeared to be too good to be true.

The technician that arrived to make the connection mentioned that the overhead power line to the house may cause interference but our nearest neighbours have the same type of supply and an overhead telephone line.

He then disappeared and we received another letter explaining that the connection would have to be made underground.

Thanks for replying David. I will drop them a line to find out why.

we recently did our connection to orange. Basically we had an underground cable to run from the nearest overhead pylon to our entry point. We did this as part of our groundwork preparations in the same trench we ran for EDF

I can't say definitively if this is the case but in some départements badly affected by the hurricanes a few years ago efforts are being made to increase the robustness of the electricity system by putting power lines underground. France Télécom may well be doing the same. As in the UK the business is split into two Orange being the retail arm and a separate company like BT Outreach to take care of the network. It would probably be worth arguing this one out if your neighbours have a pole and washing line solution.