I HAD an email yesterday from a reader of the site asking if I could help with tracking down the telephone number for the English-language service offered by France Telecom.
After a search around the internet I was able to find a Contact Us page that provided details of the freephone number you can call in France, as well as the numbers you can use if you are outside the country.
The freephone number is 0800 364 775 and staff are able to help with advice on billing, getting a telephone line to your property and answer questions on signing up for an internet connection.
If you are in the UK, or another country, and need to call France Telecom then you can contact the English language service on + 33 1 55 78 60 56. So calling from the UK you would begin with 0033.
France Telecom's English-language helpline is open Monday to Friday, between 9am and 5pm.
Number change for France Telecom's English language helpline the number is 09 69 36 39 00.
You can also use an English language helpline for EDF that will enable you to speak to someone regarding your bill and energy use.
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I have used this service from the UK to setup a telephone and broadband service at my house in Brittany. I can recommend it. They were very friendly and helpful. The English was a bit faltering however infinitely better than my French!
Posted by: Martin Squires | 09 August 2006 at 13:31
I made numerous attempts to contact the English hot line with no result. I sent an e mail and no reply. When I eventually got thro' on the phone I was told that, as they were in Paris, they could not advise on a local situation. Try your local France Telecom office!
Posted by: John Leslie | 10 August 2006 at 08:27
Many thanks for your message.
It is a shame that the FT telephone service has not been able to help you out.
I have spoken to others and received an email just yesterday from a reader of the site saying their own problem had been sorted out, and their property was outside Paris.
If it is a technical problem that you have then that might be why they were not able to help and then it is best if you call into your local office.
A list can be found through this page:
Click on the link titled 'trouver facilement votre agence' at the foot of the page.
Hope this helps.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 10 August 2006 at 21:08
is there a free phone number from UK to help line, have phoned and phoned for hours to finally get through and then put on hold for 30 minutes by which time I gave up. and I was paying for that call! Help
Posted by: Gwineth Harrison | 23 July 2007 at 12:42
Hi Gwineth, I'm afraid I've never crossed a free phone number you can call from the UK for France Telecom.
You might have been a little unlucky, I know others have been able to get some joy from the number, but I wonder if there is a "summer holiday" effect!
Another option could be to contact the office local to your home, check the link in the next comment up.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 23 July 2007 at 17:46
I managed to get through to this number in March of this year, made all the arrangements for the installation of a telephone line and for broadband, sat in waiting for the engineer to connect us, he never turned up and I have never been able to get a response to this telephone number ever since, I now notice from our bank statement that they are charging us for the line, I still cannot get through on the english speaking number and cannot find any other number to contact them on.
Posted by: Alice Norris | 24 July 2007 at 12:34
Hi Alice (and others), I have put a request in to the France Telecom press office to see if they can help with some of the questions posed.
Will hopefully hear from them soon, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 25 July 2007 at 09:14
This free number worked well after it was first created but now it is always busy..whenever you ring..and after a short message you are cut off so no hanging on for half an hour..equally no service!
Posted by: David Roberts | 11 October 2007 at 09:10
I have just tried the Francetelecom -english-speaking service and no response. We are trying to have our telephone line cut off-there is no link on the website to do this-anyone got a suggestion?
Posted by: lynda south | 25 March 2008 at 16:18
I tried the "+ 33 1 55 78 60 56" number today and sat for over an hour listening to the following recorded message every 12 seconds (typed exactly as spoken):
"Wecome to your France Telecom Orange in please speaking customs service. Please hold on, your request is being handled. Please note that technical issues are to be handled by dialing three nine zero zero"
Somehow, I feel that my request wasn't being handled and guess I'm going to have to do it the regular way, in French =(
Posted by: Craig Pratt | 27 March 2008 at 11:07
After 1 hour and 7 minutes a woman speaking perfect English answered the phone! \o/
Posted by: Craig Pratt | 27 March 2008 at 11:20
Wow Craig, that sort of perseverance definitely deserves having your problem with France Telecom answered.
Hope it has been sorted out.
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 30 March 2008 at 14:23
My initial experience with the english speaking helpline was good - albeit after the obligatory 30 mins waiting to be connected. This was to get my line set up properly so I could start getting a service.
Now, when they messed up my account so I ended up paying for all my international calls, I asked them to change me back to the tarrif I was supposed to be on so my calls were free, suddenly they can't help me.
1 month later and still they haven;t changed me back....
Posted by: Richard B | 01 April 2008 at 16:28
I tried the ....6056 number at 10.00 recorded message. Why do they advertise these matters if they are unable to staff them ? Hopeless service.MH.
Posted by: Marc Heritier | 02 April 2008 at 09:11
The only time I have ever managed to get through was when their computers were down, and no they wouldn't do anything...I was to call again later. This was after three days of trying to get through on behalf of an elderly neighbour who had been cut off. They were quite happy for her to stand in a phone box for hours trying to get through. I'm afraid I told them what I thought of them. I agree, if they don't staff the line properly, why bother.
Posted by: Caroline Mills | 02 April 2008 at 11:24
Just come off the phone from FT. Took just ten minutes to answer, but as has been said the lady at the other end could not HAVE BEEN MORE HELPFUL!!!
One way to get a cheap or free call in France is to employ the services of Primus Telecom which acts in the guise of Andy at www.AS24telecom.com I get FREE calls using FT lines!! And a CHEAP rate number for UK people to ring me on (3P a Minute!)
BUT yes! The service worked for me!!
Posted by: Chris Goddard | 02 April 2008 at 14:57
I've had a bad experience trying to connect with the English-speaking France Telecom number in my attempt to get a broadband service.
Teleconnect couldn't help - they found my number in France Profund out of reach.
My solution was Broadband in France an English company pledged to sort out problems with France Telecom. They set up the system by phone; the necessary router arriving as promised and a local difficulty sorted with the eventual attendance of a France Telecom engineer at the promisd time. Both Toby and Philippa impressed me with their concern maintaining comforting contact until it was up and running.
Posted by: Derek Drew | 02 April 2008 at 16:13
Phoned the No. from the UK at 8o/c UK time. Got the recorded message for about 10 mins and then got through to a guy who spoke good English. I wanted 2 lines disconnected, plus broadband termination. He sorted it all - no further action need from my end (well let's hope I don't receive any more bills anyway!!)Seems like an excellent service to me, thanks for the info.
Posted by: Gordon Allen | 03 April 2008 at 08:35
It is maybe too much to think that FT has taken a look at this list of complaints and decided to do something???
All the best
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 03 April 2008 at 18:47
The France Telecom English speaking phone line is a complete nightmare - You just CAN'T GET THROUGH. Constant recorded messages saying, "All our lines are busy". This has gone on for days now.... Is there a way of contacting them on line?
Posted by: David Lovell | 15 May 2008 at 12:21
NIGHTMARE. All I can say. They continue to take money from my account, yet I have no service, no live box> They won't let me cancel it. They won't answer the phone. NIGHTMARE. How do companies legally get away with this?
Posted by: kimberley | 15 May 2008 at 16:35
Same comments as the majority above- am desperate to get phone line installed and no joy- 58 attempts to get through and one succes but 33mins later nobody actually answered the call- this is absolutely ludicrous!!! am now really worried that if i ever get through and get connected will i get a service? and to think i used to moan about BT....happy days!
Posted by: Katie Bolam | 19 May 2008 at 11:25
Hi to everyone who is currently trying without success to contact the English speaking arm of France Telecom. Quel horreur!! I am sitting here now with the 'phone on speaker,having listened to a lady repeating her message every 12 secs.I have filed some papers, filed my nails and filed into the kitchen for a coffee,all during the 23 mins I have been waiting.Still no joy.Never mind.The office is tidy,my nails are immaculate and I've had my caffeine fix.Unfortunately,France Telecom are continuing to take money from my CA account for a service I replaced with Tele 2 in Feb.Tele 2 tell you they will do all the change over details,but they seem to have slipped up with us. They however,will only tell me to contact France Telecom service cientele,and absolve themselves of all responsibility for the c--k up.
Now, where's that Revlon Vixen Red nail polish,whilst I have this time on my hands---
Posted by: Pauline Morton | 20 May 2008 at 09:52
I too tried the English "help"???? line. I did get through after 20 minutes and the lady tried her best to help but I still have not solved my problem.
Every other month I have been billed for 0899 premium rate services. Not sure if these are telephone calls or internet dial ups or internet access. ALL I want is to have these calls barred. FT helpline suggested entering in a pin code which I assume will need to be entered for all external calls. However, the help given did not seem to work.
Does anyone know how to block these calls?
In the UK you call BT and they can instantly block all such calls.
Posted by: Martin Brown | 24 June 2008 at 22:21
France Telecom..? In English..? They can barely speak French, and in any case only if you can ever get through to them! At least (since 1 June 08) the calls you make to them are less expensive - IF you call from a FIXED F-Telecom landline, or if you use their "Livebox"(which you must have to be an Internet customer of F-Telecom). If you use a handy (mobile) then the costs are horrendous!
My tip is: When you arrive in France, decide what you want first (just phone, or phone and Internet etc..) then COMPARE the prices. Fr-Telecom is the MOST EXPENSIVE for all things, particularly for unlimited International calls via the Internet,which I presume would interest most "ex-pats". The EXTRA subscription for that is from 7euros/month (this gives you 30 minutes to French handies as well)
Tele2, SFR, Free, Neuf, and a multitude more offer much, much cheaper services, with the International call service INCLUDED! Do a "google" on them!
There are quite a few other "extras" with F-Telecom (also called Orange.fr or wanadoo.fr)
so make your choice WISELY!
ALL the services in France are not extremely reliable, with cuts and other problems a regular feature, and "help" lines are a nightmare! Even writing to them very often produces NO reaction at all!Even by REGISTERED POST (expensive) you ain't got any guarantee of a reply, particularly if you're asking for your money back!
F-Telecom is supposed to be the most reliable, hence the cost factor, but I haven't found that to be the case. Neuf (where I was a client) was miserable, and required an Ombudsman complaint to get away from, F-Telecom is going the same way, probably "bye-bye" end of this year!
The only one I had very few problems with was Tele2 (still exists, but has been bought by SFR- I had few problems with them either for my handy, in the past) and I will probably return to Tele 2 later! I've already got my handy with Tele2 and - no problems, to date!
It's all a lottery - pay your money and take your chance/choice!
Certainly I wouldn't want to have to try and do it all in English - that would be sheer HELL!
Made your choice? Try and get someone in France to order (Handy/Landlines/with or without Internet connexion are all available to order and subscribe to ONLINE!)on your behalf. You can always change the address and any other things necessary later on - BUT..you WILL need either your own Bank/Postal Account in France, or a damned good friend!
The last time I subscribed, I was told in no uncertain French that I should ALWAYS do it by Internet - it's cheaper, easier, quicker and more certain!
All of which does not augure well for when you have to contact them by mail (posted with a stamp!)- The risk of them "losing" or "never receiving" your letter is GREAT.....!
As I said - pay your brass.........
Posted by: iwmpop | 25 June 2008 at 10:32
My experience with FT English-speaking service was horrendous. Swapped to Phonexpat for both landline and internet - good prices and excellent support (en anglais!).
Posted by: Tina Hamilton | 28 June 2008 at 13:09
FT are totally useless.If they wish to sell you something they will phone and persuade you in perfect english to take whatever offer they are pushing at the time.However when it goes wrong,(and it will) they suddenley don't have any English speaking staff.One woman on a help line repeatedley told me in perfect english that I must phone them and speak only in French.
Last year we lost our adsl line,it took a French speaking friend 45 minuntes to convince the 'technician' that it was a line fault and not some configuration error on my pc,they agreed to send an engineer,who never arrived but the line was re-established 10 days later.
On Sat the 21st June a storm brought down our neighbours cherry tree,and our phone line with it.They are French,and have phoned FT at least four times to my knowledge with no results.On Friday last, armed with ladders gaffa tape and a length of wire 'pinched'from another felled line I reconnected the line .I wonder how long ,if at all,it will be before they repair the line?
In conclusion,useless, useless, useless!
Posted by: clive dawson | 01 July 2008 at 15:48
I have found it most effective to use France Telecom, although, it is true that I usually step in to help clients when they cannot make progress with the English speaking department. I have always found them courteous, they ring back when they say they will ring back.
If you are seriously struggling and do not speak the language, you can send me an e-mail I'll happily see what I can do to help.I always feel it is better to find a solution and to help each other out, rather than focus on the challenges and create hostile feelings.
Posted by: Helen Coles | 02 July 2008 at 09:46
Help! I have been on the phone for half an hour both to the English and French line for equal times! After getting through on the English line eventually, they were actually fairly unhelpful and clearly unphased - what I really need is a fax number, a working email as this one disclosed doesn't work and an address! We need to courier some documents and also forward using all three communication methods! Gratfeful for you help... K
Posted by: Kate | 08 August 2008 at 12:20
Hi Kate, I'm afraid I have no other information than that supplied, and as you are finding out service can be a bit dodgy.
All the best, Craig
Posted by: Craig McGinty | 08 August 2008 at 16:19