Le Web Is A Bonne Place!

Just as the US and UK seem to be drawing apart in terms of TV viewing habits, France and the UK are also following vastly different paths.

As I've pointed out, TV and broadband services here are substantially cheaper than in the UK, but not mobile. A 1GB/month dongle costs around £20, double the UK cost. I suspect it's down to the lack of competition.

Nevertheless, being unconnected means that I am tethered to the apartment or a select network of free WiFi spots. So, I traipsed down to my local Orange store with my passport, my credit card, the account details for my bank (you need four different numbers) and my letter from Orange with my account details for our broadband and TV service on it. I have dealt with french bureaucracy before and I was forearmed.

But, oh no! They managed to find a piece of paper that I was missing: a bill. I asked them to look up my bill on their system, and they did, but despite everything I had to have that bill on paper (all our bills are electronic, so I wouldn't even have one if I tried). The woman smiled. I left, went home and bought the bloody dongle online in under five minutes.

And we wonder why retailers are closing down...