Frustrated with Telecoms

This a copy of a Comment I put on a Baseline Scenario blog today where James Kwak describes his trials and tribulations with Verizon when trying to move his phone and DSL service from one house to another.

You should consider yourself lucky that you don’t have to deal with Orange and France Telecom (aka FT) here in France. We have had no possibility to receive VOIP calls for over 2 weeks. We can call out but no calls arrive. Sometimes a caller gets to voicemail, sometimes not. We have no conventional “fixed” line so callers have to know our mobile numbers or catch us on skype, gtalk etc. The cordless phones ring fine when tested from the router.

Neither Orange nor FT seem to be remotely concerned and say they’ll try to get someone along soon to look at it. I am expecting them to say we have the wrong plan and will subscribe us to yet another one that takes another 3 weeks to get set up as they did recently without telling us. That time we had no services at all for 3 weeks and had no idea why until calling about 5 times (long waits) by mobile phones at great cost (no offer to recompense). I’m not surprised that the suicide rate at FT is so high.

Despite my wife’s exceptional patience and calm it must be a really shitty places to work especially for someone who has to deal with us:-) However, I hear Telstra in Australia has an even worse reputation.

Incidentally while I’m crapping on famous brand names, I have been waiting patiently for about 8 months for my son’s almost new Sonyericsson W910i mobile phone to be returned by their UK repair shop. Now they really are a totally fucked up company when it comes to customer relations. The only way I get a response is by public tweeting with an @SonyEricssonUK included but as only the kind but powerless marketing people are watching I don’t get very far.

It suddenly struck me that Sol Trujillo used to run either FT or Orange France and then Telstra:-)  Where is he now? Verizon?

Any tips on dealing effectively with such “enterprises” will be most welcome.  Also a suitable new category on A Bright Fire is needed methinks.


UPDATE Monday 30th August : France Telecom specialist phoned my wife on her portable today to say their servers are F*%$ed up until Friday so why don’t we plug in a phone to the normal sockets.  Sure enough it now rings, and, of course, the internet is dead, a side effect he didn’t mention to my wife.

Meanwhile in a chat with John Hempton (see link above) I learned that he is an activist and now takes any corporation (aka call centre) that keeps him waiting too long on the phone to a small claims damages court (actually he files a claim threatening to do so) and gets paid off with 100% success rate.  Luckily for him the claims office is en route by bicycle from home to office.

Still no word from SonyEricssonUK on phone repair/replacement.