An excellent start to a new week of our relationship with Orange.fr.
Our 9.00 am telephone call was greeted with the news that the fault was repaired!
Great news – apart from the fact that we still had no Internet.
A further lengthy telephone call advised us to be patient, the fault would be fixed very shortly – probably by the end of the week. Oh, and they would need a mobile telephone number to contact us. Apparently they have lost the one already given to them, and have forgotten that there is no problem with our landline.
Then, at 12.20, an engineer arrived. A living, breathing, walking, talking engineer, wearing a black crocheted headband. He shook my hand, pointed to an overhead wire, and said that was the cable for our house.
Then, at 12.23 (seven minutes before French lunchtime) he climbed back into his car. He said he would be returning within five minutes. Disconcertingly he did not look me in the eyes.
Predictably, he did not return within five minutes. In fact, he didn’t return at all.
But at 1.55 (almost one and a half hours after he left, and five minutes before French lunchtime time ends), he telephoned to say that he had been unable to find the fault, and that he now had another appointment to keep. He would try to return when he had finished that. I asked where it was. He didn’t know. I asked how long he expected it to take. He didn’t know. I asked him whether he thought he would return today. He hoped so.
Of course, he didn’t.
The Orange.fr no-help lines, both English speaking and French, are impossible to contact “due to a large number of calls.”
What appears to be happening is that every time we contact the no-help line, somebody tells somebody to do something, and that somebody tells somebody else that the problem has been fixed, so somebody closes the file.
I am wondering whether such ineptitude can possibly be natural, or whether they undergo some kind of intensive training.