Sogotrel Fibre optics ADSL

We’ve been in our ‘new’ house now for two weeks with no real hassle apart from a few shaky moments. The house is better than expected with quality fittings. The neighbour is a single working man no kids or noisy pets. The local farmer helped me get my new expensive mower working. Disappointingly I didn’t understand a single word he said.
Yesterday we expected to be on the internet at last. The fibre optic cables had been laid but just needed to be connected which should have been done yesterday by Sogotrel. They said it would take about one and half hours. I had received the previous day two urgent messages which I tried to reply to but the link they gave had timed out and I had no way of contacting them. The work should have started between 1.30 and 3.30. Eventually I made contact with the installer who said he was running late and couldn’t start until 5. At 6 he contacted us again to say it was too late to start and the company would be in touch with me on Monday. I have since checked their customer rating on trust pilot and it’s appallingly low. So we are thinking that maybe we shouldn’t bother with the hassle of getting cable connected and instead make use of the existing ADSL connection?
We have no real need for a fast internet. We have an aerial and can watch French TV channels. We’re not into watching films. We have our books and music and that is enough. As long as we can phone our family at weekends and have sufficient connectivity for admin and banking then that should be sufficient for us. So can orange connect us to ADSL without making use of Sogotrel?

I think you’re over reacting. Wait and see if they connect you up on Monday, if they do then all’s well.

Perhaps but I’m surprised at their way of contacting me. Why can’t they send a normal text message which I can reply to. The last was sent at 8.30pm which I tried to reply to within 5 mins but the link had expired. Also I’m surprised that such a large company can have such a poor reputation

Here in France, things are done the French way - which may not be the same as the English.

For example, I once used a large company’s website contact form to send them a query. Nothing happened for two weeks - and I then received a letter through La Poste containing a reply. I have no idea why they couldn’t just have emailed.

But you’re right about Sogotrel - they do have a very poor reputation.

Hello @geoffrey_Croshaw

Welcome to France.

It might be a frustrating learning period for you, finding out the way things do and don’t get done in France, as you attempt to progress through your lists of must get done, like to get done, and I wish…

I’m never condescending, and never judgmental, so please don’t take my musings that way.

What I can offer is my own experience in France. And this reply might be longer than you want to read, try and take the time to read it, it may help you understand “the way, and the why”.

What we found the main difference was between our old lives and our new ones here in France was us learning to, and becoming more relaxed about things not going to plan. And I can tell you that frequently thing’s haven’t gone to plan.

Generally the French people that I live around live a more simple, less materialistic life than we’ve been used to. We used to be in areas where it was go, go , go trying to bring in the bacon and cram as much into each working day as possible, phones on after work, checking work emails at ungodly hours, prepping on the weekend for work on Monday and trying to fit our life around our work. For work and the income it gave us dictated how much of “the good life” we could have.

However, in the rural area of France we live in it’s not about material things, it’s ALL about quality of life and family.

A great many people in rural France are on a very similar monthly salary, usually the minimum or perhaps a little above and regular overtime is not usual. For example if you are a shop worker at a supermarket, your monthly wage would not be a great deal less than your supervisors salary, and both of you would work 35 hours per week. If you were a mechanic you might earn possibly a little more but not enough more to be driving a new Range Rover from it. You would be working 35 hours per week, having 1 hour 30 mins every day for lunch and you would probably be going home each lunchtime to eat lunch with your partner.

My experience in the UK was of people chasing money, chasing overtime, I remember hearing chats in the lunchrooms along the lines of people being unable to afford to live on the basic hours and they must have overtime. Different life, different way of life, different factors influencing people’s day to day living.

And what you ask does all this have to do with your internet connection which “just needed to be connected which should have been done yesterday by Sogotrel. They said it would take about one and half hours.”

Well to the workers it’s just another job on their list of jobs, they will be on the minimum wage, they don’t plan the job times, they cannot have predicted that Angelo’s prized bull was going to have a hissy fit and refuse to move from the loading ramp and would block the only road in or out for an hour. Nor could they predict the previous 3 jobs they did that day would be riddled with issues outside their control that slowed them down. But why didn’t they telephone you and explain how sorry they were and that they would be late getting to you, well to them it’s just not that important that they contact YOU, it’s more important to them that they finish the work they are on and then proceed to the next job on the list.

And if the installers are unable to get to every job on the list, they inform their controller who then has to get the system re-jigged to fit you into another schedule. But the installers don’t own the network, it’s not their company, they are simply minimum wage employees that do their jobs the best way they see fit. And at knock off time, they switch off and go home.

As for the company itself, I’m not sure they care one bit… You can wind yourself up if you like with checking for trust pilot reviews and say gee their reputation is shot, why don’t they do blah or they should try X… Maybe the company is making so much money they don’t care, who knows? What I can say is that even if you mounted a massive social media campaign against the poor system and service they have - it would do no good at all.

How do I know that? Have a look at Chronopost, they are famous for texting you saying your parcel delivery will be dropped off tomorrow at the pick up point YOU GAVE them in your telephone call with the driver just now - and the truth is they never even phone you, never spoke to you, never even drove by your house. There is a huge online wave of protest about their poor service - they just don’t care. Be gone little people, go and eat cake is their view.

Right then, to your current issue. You didn’t get a new installation date because it was out of hours when the installer logged the non arrival at your job - the system should do its thing on Monday and you’ll get a new installation date, who knows when that date might be? Doesn’t help you, but wait till Monday and find out before you do anything else.

Fiber versus ADSL, take fiber everyday of the week over ADSL.

When interacting with the local farmer or installers and even delivery drivers of large items like a fridge, I always start with saying hello, asking them how they are and would they like a coffee and a home made cookie before they get started - always I do this, and I smile, I’m not a smiler by nature, but I laugh and smile when people are trying to help me, even if they are being paid to help - they are still helping ME.

So while it may be very, very frustrating to not have people turn up at the time they gave you, and it may be stupid the way a company’s system doesn’t work. Try not to forget you are living in France, take stroll outside and just take in the air, casually cast your eye around and see the good bits.

Try working on Manila time, it’s easy, just take the hands off your clocks.

I wish you well



I laughed at this one @_Brian

But why?

As mum used to say, because Y’s got a tail


Bonjour comment allez vous is the necessary minimum, I am regularly horrified by the hordes of anglophones (nobody here obv) I hear in shops chez moi who don’t say bonjour. And then are overfamiliar.

Coffee, or the offer of it, is usually appreciated.

The homemade cookie, though a nice idea, may be surplus to requirements, it will probably be eaten out of politeness but we aren’t usually grazers like anglosaxons :slightly_smiling_face:

Full marks for effort though

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Great post!

The other thing to bear in mind is that eventually adsl will be switched off. It will not be profitable for companies to maintain two systems, so adsl will be left to wither and die.


Nice, thank you, I’m trying, and as my wife would say, oh you’re trying alright…

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The first thing I can honestly remember during my very earliest visits to France as a child is that the french are not a nation of smilers. Clearly that’s a bold statement and generalising to a ridiculous degree, and I’m not saying they’re not happy people, just that as a general rule, the national facial expression is what we would call ‘resting bitch face’. Which is absolutely fine, I’m not saying this is a negative however much it sounds like I am, but knowing this, when I moved here I went to a ridiculous degree to give everyone at the very least a big beaming smile, and the locals in the village a cheery wave. I’m sure they all think I’m deranged and shout to their significant others to remove the sharp implements because the crazy lady is approaching, but over time I saw some thawing and at this point neighbours, the former maire, the postie, and anyone else, tend to give me a smile and a wave back, even if the rest of the time they appear like they’re sucking on the sourest of sour lemons while suffering from the hangover from hell, which I think both suggests they finally know who I am, and appreciate that I at least make the effort to acknowledge them and so return the gesture, even if we’re not able to actually speak if they/ we are in cars or such. As you say, a laugh and a smile really does go a very long way.

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I remember reading your comment about FR people NEVER eating in the street - or between meals. I took it to heart, myself, along with the ‘bonjour’ to everybody with whom I make eye contact. This latter is now on auto.

Then I saw a young woman sauntering down the street mun-ching-a-bean-stalk. I was suitably shocked.

But then I am also suitably shocked at the amount of ready-meals stuff on sale in the s/mkts. Almost UK level.

Oh lawks! Another wrinkle to the ‘bonjour’ thing. I’ve got the ‘bonjour’, now I have to remember to think about completing my FR tax return. That should produce the recommended :frowning_face:


Yes absolutely true. If you wander around with a grin on your face you are clearly the Ravi de la crèche (aka the village idiot).
Edited to add or ‘anglais’ :grin:


When I first arrived I used to go into shops and say “bonjour” with a smile on my face. BIG mistake. Much better to go in and mutter “monsieur/dame” looking as miserable as sin. Gets a much warmer response. :grin:

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I’m glad to note your “edit”… :wink: :+1:

If I don’t have a beaming smile, neighbours think I must be ailing… :rofl: :rofl: :rofl:

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Never let it be said I don’t know my place in the world @vero:laughing:


Or the mad Aussie in my case!! I’m a smiler so they all have to put it with it which everyone does ! :rofl:

When I had my meeting with the lady from the rectorate who did a class visit plus 2 hour conseil she was lovely. We were masked. 2nd meeting was visio so not masked and she said to me how lovely to have such a smiley enthusiastic new colleague :heart_eyes:


I’m laughing because I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been introduced by a local I know to another local I don’t know AND I hear “oh don’t mind them, the’re Australians, you’ll get used to them and then everyone laughs and usually I get a friendly pat on the back”.

We have brought prosperity to our little area, before the population was so small they never even had a village idiot and since we’ve moved in, they’ve got two :wink:


Ahh so you are too! I didn’t want to pry when I still wasn’t sure from your answer yesterday :see_no_evil: ! I’m a NSW girl (central west originally, south coast more recently), how about you? :grinning: