The Free.fr engineer came last Friday to solve the problem of my ADSL. I wanted to be sure I wouldn’t have to pay 60 Euros for them not being able to find me at home so I got a colleague to call the locksmiths and ask them to change my name on the electric entry-phone: it’s the sort where you have to scroll thruogh a list of names in a little screen and then press “Appelez”. I made a trip to their office with both the little wireless dongles on my keyrings that operate the door — as proof that I live there I guess, or else we’d all be changing each other’s names on each other’s buildings all the time — and a technician went into a back room and did something with them and told me that my name would henceforth appear on the door when I waived my dongle at it.
It didn’t work, of course.
I went back Thursday and Friday mornings, before work. They were suprised to see me on Friday: the technicial had stopped over at Avenue des FranÃ§ais Libres at 8am, on his way to work, and tested it. I’d tested it at 7am on my way back from running. He said it was working; I said it wasn’t. Turns out it was working, which it’s odd: it must have started by magic, some time between 07:00h and 08:00h on Friday!
All this is, however, a mere prelude to the story of what the Free.fr engineer said about my ADSL.
First he asked where my Freebox was; I pointed him to it. Then he asked me where my toilet was; I pointed that out to him too. My colleague here thinks he should have inserted the former into the latter and flushed. He a regular DSL modem with a USB connection into his laptop (not my toilet) and fiddled with it for a bit (I’ve no idea what he did in the loo, but he did flush). Then he called his office on a mobile ‘phone. He told me that France telecom are the culprits: they have cross-wired the cable to my phone with that of another subscriber a different part of Rennes. Free, he told me, had already made the request to France telecom to straighten things out.
“How long will it take to fix?”, I asked (in crappy French)
“Between one and four weeks”.
That makes five months I’ve been without the Telephone, Internet and TV services I might have had from them. Apparently I can apply for a refund once it’s working (the forms are on-line!).
P.S. the door was open when the Free engineer finally arrived, so he came straight up to my appartment without using the entry-phone.