Charged as fault inside my property?
I reported a fault on my line and was told if the fault was inside my property, then I would be charged €69. I never saw a technician outside my property, let alone inside my house, so queried it when I was charged all the same. I was told that the charge was regardless of whether or not the fault was inside my property. They agreed to credit me the €69, but how can we be responsible for faulty Orange infrastructure? They told me the law changed recently. T.R.
You pay a monthly line rental and rightly expect that Orange will comply with its contractual responsibility to maintain a working service to your property.
The point at which your responsibilities start is from the Dispositif de Terminaison Intérieur box on the inside of your property, just where the line enters; not the first phone socket, as is commonly believed. All internal wiring is, as you say, your responsibility.
This situation even applies to older installations where the telephone line is carried from the nearest telephone pole overhead to the home.
Should the line be damaged by trees, you would be expected to have the branches cut back, but the repair of the line remains Orange’s responsibility.
New line installations require the property owner to bury the line underground from the boundary to the point of entry to the house and drill a hole in the external wall to enable the cable to pass.
Anything different would leave subscribers exposed to high potential costs. Should you have to pay to replace a telephone pole that had rotted, or to replace components in the local exchange?
In the 15 years we have provided these services to customers in France, we have never passed on such a charge and have from time to time challenged charges. We are not aware of any recent change of law.
If it happens again, you could request that the regulator Arcep investigate and adjudicate (arcep.fr).
Question answered by Bob Elliott from the telephone and broadband provider, UK Telecom. See uktelecom.net for more information on their services in France.
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