Tuesday, September 30, 2008

French Customer Service is la Merde

It's absolute crap.

Today's culprit: Wanadoo - my internet "service" provider . The word service does not exist in the French language.

I haven't been able to blog for the last four days because Wanadoo (by the way, this was their shot at trying to sound cool with an English sounding company name - "Wanna Do" your web surfing with us?) screwed up my internet connection. Is it their fault? Of course not. It's never their fault. It's all mine.

I called Wanadon't back at the end of August to let them know I was moving and to take care of setting up the internet connection at the new apartment. Did I set my expectations très très low that Wanadon't could actually deliver on the requested date? Oui!<br>

And yet I still found myself extremely pissed off when I went to blog and there was no connection!

The customer service rep assured me the transfer would be easy as pie - like sending a letter through the post office (Sidebar: she must have meant the very efficient German Post, because the French post is nothing to write home about with all the striking they do). Of course, customer service doesn't work 24/7 like in the US so I had to wait until Monday morning to get answers. Except I really wouldn't call what I received "answers". The conversation went something like this:

LaMom: "Blah Blah Blah no internet, it was supposed to be up on Friday."

Wanadon't: " Oui, it's not connected.

LaMom: I know that. Tell me something I don't know s'il vous plait." (OK, maybe I was a bit short here).

Wanadon't: You didn't give us the new address to open the new line.

LaMom: Of course I did. Do you think I don't know my own address?

Wanadon't: Well you didn't and I can't help you beacuse it's time for my break.

LaMom: Please get me someone who can help me.

Wanadon't: I can't ( line goes dead).

(Sidebar #2 - Phone lines goes dead a lot in France. It happens at least a few times a month to me. Whenever I have to call a helpline, curiously, the line always goes dead the minute I start asking questions the customer "service" rep can't answer. It certainly goes dead the minute I ask for a manager to speak to).

So long story short, I called back and spoke with a new rep who told me I never provided them the new address. What a bunch of merde, but OK, let's assume I don't know my new address. Did it ever occur to them that possibly, the idiot who took my information over the phone just didn't include my new address in the file? Do you think Wanadon't apologized profusely for the mixup? Never! The customer is always the one who is wrong here.

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