Saturday, 5 September 2009


I had to go back to the SFR shop the other day. SFR is the company that, if I am lucky enough and patient enough, is going to supply me with super high speed internet, free telephone calls to 90 countries and 150 TV channels for the bargainous price of 29.99 euros a month.

I ordered my Neufbox a couple of weeks ago and made an appointment for an engineer to come in and install it. About a week later, I got a message from them saying they needed some more details about my address (the part of the address the guy in the shop didn't write down when I told him). I phoned customer services, which would have been free if I had a landline, but I don't, because I'm waiting for SFR to install it, and so which cost me a small fortune from my mobile, gave them the details and confirmed that the appointment was on Wednesday morning. The Neufbox arrived in the post, but a few days later, I got another message “confirming” the appointment was at a different time, a time when I couldn't be at home.

If this sounds like it's going to turn into a sad rant about how inefficient the French are, fear not. The happy part of this story is that, instead of calling customer services from my mobile again, I popped into the shop to see if they could help me there. They couldn't check the appointment, and nor could they phone on my behalf, but they did lend me their telephone (and despite the fact that they are a busy shop selling phone and internet packages and hundreds of different mobiles, they only have one telephone that they can actually use) and let me phone the number myself. When they heard me saying that I couldn't here the lady at the other end very well, they directed me to the back of the shop where it was quieter.

SFR may not be efficient, but the people in that shop are so nice and friendly, they make surviving the inefficiency with your sanity intact so much easier!

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