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Thursday, December 8, 2011

FREE is not free

I am not sure I can write this yet. It is an unfinished story. A story about the craziness of life, when it could be so simple.
It all started in early October. My landlady explained to me that there was an old land line still connected in my apartment that was redundant. If I didn't mind she would like to have it disconnected. I didn't mind. I never use the land line anyway.
One Sunday a week or so later my Internet stopped working. That was okay - it happens some times. Later that evening I called FREE, the provider,( to whom calls are paid for by the minute by the way), and asked them what the problem was. They told me my France Telecom line had been disconnected, and since everything else was connected to that line, I would no longer have phone, cable or Internet.
No way.
My landlady, assuming that my poor understanding of French was causing a big misunderstanding, called them herself. And called me back, incredulous. There had been a mistake - two mistakes actually. First of all FREE should not have connected the new phone, cable and Internet to the old France Telecom line. Second, they should not have disconnected my services along with the old phone line.
But they would correct the problem in 3 business days so who cares really?
Or 10 business days.
Or 3 weeks.
Fast forward to mid December. It has been 8 weeks. I have since managed to use the personal hot spot in my mobile phone connected to my laptop to achieve dial-up speed, and sometimes am able to borrow my neighbor's Internet (don't tell him). Sometimes nothing works. Internet-free.
FREE continues to  reassure me. They tell me to be patient, and that of course they will correct the problem as soon as possible.
In the meantime I decided to switch providers. But, and here is the rub, until FREE does what they need to (not really sure what that is since I am obviously quite disconnected already) no one else can connect me!
The icing on the cake? I was selected to participate in a FREE customer satisfaction survey. Can you guess what I said!
Recently someone I met on business travel told me he would give up a hot shower as long as he had wireless in his hotel room. Not me. Much as I miss my wireless, can you imagine if I had spent the past 2 months shower - free?


  1. 8 weeks is too long! Check with FREE again for they might have closed your case long time back noting "Everything is resolved" or "Customer did not respond". If you are surprised, let me tell you it happens!

    I never knew a provider named "FREE" until recently. I used to look for available networks to join while in the city and would often find "FreeWifi". I assumed this was free wifi provided by the city (just like what San Francisco has). You can imagine when I finally found out what "FREE" was.

    I recently had a water-heater-malfunction. So I can relate completely with the hot shower/wireless conundrum!

  2. Nona we have spent hours on the phone with FREE on a weekly basis. This mess is not due to a lack of diligence on my part!

  3. When I was in Rome, I had no hot water and no internet for the first few days. I totally lost my shit. And when I finally cried on the phone, they came to fix it. You might have to resort to tears.

  4. Another 10 days have passed and still no phone, cable or internet!


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