INSTALLING a telephone line will be high on your ‘must do’ list when you first move into your French home.
If there is no telephone service in your house you will have to contact France Télécom either with a mobile phone or thanks to a friendly neighbour.
There is an English speaking help line available on 0800 364775 (toll free) that is open Monday to Friday from 09h00 to 17h30.
To have a new line installed you must prove that you are the owner and if you are taking over the line ensure the previous account is closed on the day you take possession.
French telephone numbers have ten digits with the first two showing the regional code.
For example, 01 is Paris, 02 the northwest, 03 covers the northeast, 04 the southeast and 05 is for the southwest.
Mobile phone numbers will begin with 06 and if you bring a portable from the UK you should be able to carry on using it.
However, calls will be more expensive so if you use your mobile a lot it might be worth looking at picking up a French one.
You pay you’re monthly line rental to France Télécom, which is called an abonnement, and your bill will show this along with an itemised list of calls plus value added tax (TVA) at 19.6%.
Peak times are Monday to Friday 08h00 to 19h00 with off peak at all other times.
France Télécom bills customers every two months and options for payment are on the reverse of the bill these include posting a cheque, direct debit or going to the post office.
It is possible to have an account with an alternative provider who may provide cheaper calls but you will still pay your line rental to France Télécom.
If you are likely to be making a large amount of international calls if may be worth looking at other providers, it is a competitive market.
Most major supermarkets and DIY shops will have telephones you can buy off the shelf as well as cables and any connectors you may need.
For an idea of the options available the France Télécom site will help you discover different services and prices.