Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The fight for internet!

I moved to a new (new to me, built and decorated a few centuries ago) apartment last week, and chose numericable as my internet/phone/cable tv provider. Most people in Lyon have ADSL for their internet, as cable is actually kinda new, and I am lucky enough to live in a part of Lyon that has cable. Cable is much faster than ADSL, and about the same price, so it seemed to be a good choice. And my apartment doesn't have a phone line, and they are quite expensive to install, so Cable I chose.

I had a friend at work help me call to setup my installation appointment and desired services, just to make sure my bad French didn't get me signed up for a bunch of crap I did not want. Everything seemed to go smooth and we had an appointment for Friday. Yay, I will have internet before the holidays. And a phone, so I can call the loved ones.

Friday came and went, and nobody showed up. I called customer service and they asked me for my customer number, which of course I do not have since I am not yet a customer, and so he couldn't help me. He was getting frustrated at my bad French, and I was just frustrated in general, so I gave up on the phone call and decided to visit their office the next day, which was just a few blocks away, and surprisingly open on a Saturday.

Office visit was super smooth. Guy even spoke a bit of English and was cracking jokes. I signed up for internet, phone, cable with the sports channel that shows american football, tivo, all good. Well almost. They were out of tivos, so I had to settle for a normal hd box, and then when they get some new tivos in I can exchange it. okay. We set an appointment for Tuesday.

Tuesday comes, and the guy is actually early. Awesome. Cable guy ran the cable into my house and gives me my cable box and modem. Turns out they were out of HD cable boxes too, so I have the old SD one. That sucks, but oh well. At least I have something.


I have a cable box and a modem now, but... still no internet or cable tv. Some customer services in France are ridiculously bad and unnecessarily complicated--cable is one of them. The technician shows up at your house, drops off the cable box and modem, and then asks if you would like to pay 50 bucks for him to hook it up. hooking up cable boxes and modems is dead simple, you just plug them in and they pretty much work, so I didn't want to pay him 50 bucks for this.

I almost did though, because in the back of my mind I knew that something would not work properly, and it would be best to have him here when it didn't work. but, I am cheap, so I said I would do it myself, and he left as quick as he could.

5 minutes later I had the modem hooked up, and... it didn't work. I hooked the cable box up too just to double check, and it reported the same 0% signal strength. after an hour on the phone (which I am sure they charged me for), we had no resolution, and they need to send the technician back. after the holidays.

Technical service sucks in the USA too, especially trying to resolve anything over the phone, but when a technician is sent to your house, they generally verify the thing they setup actually works. I am still surprised that the tech didn't at least hook the cable box up to make sure it worked--you just plug it in!

I guess its not all bad though. Having no internet forced me to go to the library to use their internet and I picked up a couple books while I was there, so I'll have some good reading over the holidays. Plus all this complaining over the phone has greatly improved my French! Once I get this month's bill, I'm sure I will improve my swear word vocabulary too.

Hope everyone has a great Christmas.

Joyeux Noël, Numericable!


Gui said...

Here in Argentina services go the same way.

michael said...

Hola Gui. Gracias por leer mi blog. Una de mis bandas favoritas es de la Argentina, Los Fabulosos Cadillacs. Me encantaría visitar algún día.

Not all services in France are bad. My cellphone was easy to setup, and... pretty much everything else was hard :-) Everyday life in France is great though, once you get past these infrequent hurdles.


Scott McArthur said...

I am sure that it will all get easier man. I know it sucks for you, but it makes for good reading for the rest of us. :)

Sriram said...

it's interesting... merry christmas!!!