I know that most people moan about their telephone providers but honestly, I do think Orange in France must win the prize for managing to make it virtually impossible to talk to a human.
I have become involved in trying to help someone who took up an offer for phone, internet and mobile services. Five months on and the phone and internet are still not working and worse, his contract has been cancelled for alleged non-payment, so his mobile is also not working.
An engineer spent a day trying to fix the line, said he would be back and hasnt been seen since. The phone bills are not clearly itemised, but I have seen bank evidence that they were all paid.
This person is in ill health (physical and mental) and in no fit state to take on Orange. He tried ringing from my house but the automated phone system demanded his phone number. Since his contract has been cancelled there was no valid number to get him into the system. He wrote a letter (no copy unfortunately) but received no reply, and now is not fit enough to go to the nearest Orange shop in Montpellier, over 50 miles away.
I said I would go to Montpellier for him and was supposed to do this tomorrow – until we realised that 11 November is a public holiday in France. I wanted to ring the shop to check if it would be open, but the only number on the website was 1014. Back to square one: no current phone number to enter. In desperation I entered my number and when asked by the recorded voice said my query was about the opening hours tomorrow. So – the recorded voice told me to go and look on the website – the same page I had already looked at. Also, great if you don’t have access to the internet, particularly if your phone is cut off or not working!
I find it extraordinary that a company whose business is communications should so wilfully do its best to shield itself from talking to its customers.