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SFR France’s ‘most complained about’ internet provider

French internet and mobile service provider SFR has received the most negative consumer reports in the past 12 months, attracting more complaints than Free, Bouygues Telecom, and Orange, new figures show.

One year after French telecoms regulator Arcep launched its new complaints service, “J’alerte l’Arcep”, the results show exactly which operators received the most complaints and reports through the system.

Of the 34,000 reports received in total, 62.46% of cases complained of a lack of good quality phone network coverage. SFR received the most negative reports, with 30-35 per 100,000 clients.

Free came next, with 25-30 reports; Bouygues Telecom received 20-25; and Orange received 15-20.

In a poll by media audience monitor Médiamétrie, SFR received a score of just 6.6 out of 10 for its internet services and 6.8 for mobile. Free and Orange were tied with 7.6 for fixed internet access and 7.5 for mobile; while Bouygues Telecom won out, with a score of 7.4 for fixed access and 7.2 for mobile.

In the poll, Arcep also found that 50% of consumers had had problems with their internet service provider (ISP), and 40% had had issues with their mobile phone network provider.

The poll also found that the French public’s demand for very high-speed internet was growing, while many were impatient to receive 4G mobile internet coverage in their area.

Arcep said that many consumers were still frustrated at the number of unwanted marketing calls that they receive, suggesting that Bloctel - the agency set up to stop this practice - is not working as well as it could.

Arcep has the power to sanction companies if they persistently fail to address consumer complaints or to take steps to improve its service.

Recently, it has issued fines to Orange, and also opened an investigation into SFR’s operation after receiving numerous other reports on the quality of its fixed internet lines.

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