This is France?

Today I received a letter from France Telecome confirming the cancellation of my phone line!


Quick phone call to the English speaking Help Desk and it appears that when I took out my new contract for the Orange LiveBox Broadband service, I did not need to keep the old dial up phone line.

After 18 months, when I had not used it, FT decided that I didn't need it and rather than discuss it with me chose to pretend I had cancelled it.

In a curious way they were doing me a favour as I have been paying 20 Euros per month for a facility I didn't need. Even better, my good wife, being a typical frugal houswife said well we want a refund, which somewhat to my surprise they agreed. So maybe upto 360 Euros refund on its way - well let us hope so.

To me this is very French, don't want to admit they made a mistake but want to correct an error so lets pretend the client asked for the change.

I have come across this before with FT and EDF and well they always paid up but never, "Sorry, we got it wrong!"

Is this me or do we all have similar experiences?

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In 12 years of living in France I have never experienced anyone in a shop, restaurant, French admin office, utilities company, hotel, transport provider etc etc …say ‘sorry’ when it was unquestionably warranted. I’m resigned to the fact it’s simply not part of the psyche or culture. The customer is always wrong.

In fact it happened to me (small scale) in a cocktail bar last night…I was ordering drinks for a Birthday celebration - one of them being a Bacardi & Diet Coke. The waiter brought Havana Club and Diet Coke (tiny glass, no ice, no lemon…no comment!) and when I complained on behalf of the recipient he told me it was the same thing - they are both rum! I immediately ‘educated’ him and the barman but they couldn’t have given a stuff. Peasants!

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