Melt down

This is not a reference to the warm temperatures we’re enjoying here on the Cote d’Azur, but rather my own mental state. Last Thursday, just as I was poised to watch the afternoon’s transmission of the Tour de France stage, because I was on review duty for VeloVoices, the internet went down, rendering me impotent. A quick re-boot and I was back up and running, although only for a short period. Another reboot and it worked, but at a snail’s pace. I assumed it was just a temporary glitch. Not so, as on Friday, after the return of my beloved, the service was once again sporadic and back into the Dark Ages. It continued into Saturday and perked up a bit on Sunday but didn’t resume its former dizzy heights.

I keep hoping and praying that the Domaine will get fibre. Orange have offered to fit it for free but I suspect the issue may be that only two years ago we renewed the tarmac on the roads leading around the Domaine and no one’s keen for them to be dug up. So we have unlimited broadband but it has suddenly become limited, very limited. A quick check on the website revealed that the whole system was updated at the end of June and we should now be enjoying improved levels of service. We’re well into July and we’re not.

Orange do have a 24/7 service whereby you go through various options before you’re finally, and only if you’re very lucky, through to a technician. Because of the huge numbers of non-French, they do offer an English speaking service. Obviously, it’s 9 to 5, week-days only and, as I’ve discovered, three-weeks of learning English on Babbel may render you capable of saying a few key phrases in English but not responding to technical questions. I now take my chance with the French language service.

I call only to discover the service has changed. I now have to explain my problem to IA,  voice recognition software – fortunately I speak French with a reasonable accent. She tests my line, tells me it’s fine and sends me a link to go on line (again) for further assistance. I then go through all the steps on line and finally get connected to a chat line. After more remote testing and answering the same questions, Abraham  – probably not IA – thinks we need a new Livebox and so we’re off to hell on earth, the Orange shop in Cap 3000, clutching our code for a new box. Wish me luck, I’m going to need it. My beloved is delighted as he’s out at a meeting this afternoon, then off to Toulouse for two days, leaving me to deal with any fall out. He is, of course, expecting me to have solved the issue by the time he returns!

If I’m honest, I really want a technician to come round and suggest ways we might boost the signal beyond the office. It used to work in the bedroom, dining room and even on the patio but since last Thursday, its reach has also much reduced. However, it doesn’t go through or even round our reinforced concrete walls. We have an extender but that was a total waste of money! Abraham thinks the new Livebox will also solve this problem – let’s see.

But that’s not all. The freezer bit of the fridge freezer threw a wobbly, blew a gasket and the entire fuse board overnight. Fortunately, service has been restored to the rest of the kitchen after switching off the electricity supply to the fridge-freezer. Fortunately, the freezer is very low on supplies. In fact, apart from two bars of chocolate (my beloved’s) and some coffee beans, it’s empty. The fridge however is pretty much stuffed to the gills, largely because of the number of bottles and jars in there. Not alcohol, just in case you were wondering, sauces, flavoured oils, chutneys, jams, mustards and so on. These can fortunately be decanted into the empty drinks fridge and half-full wine fridge. Providing my beloved doesn’t keep on opening it to check on its temperature, the few vegetables and today’s meals should be fine.

Bright and early this morning, I rang the only official service provider in the area for my fridge-freezer. Luckily, as I’m an existing customer, they can send an engineer tomorrow. I said I was sure it was a similar issue to last time, a faulty circuit board, but sadly it’s no longer under guarantee. The company’s call-out charge, plus first hour or part thereof, is Euros 150,00. Time-wasters need not apply! Still that’s cheaper than a replacement fridge-freezer. However, I was due to deposit my beloved at the station tomorrow morning so I’ll have to call on our uber-reliable (nothing to do with Uber) car service for that chore.

Of course, if the new Livebox doesn’t live up to its billing, this might be the last you hear from me for quite a while!

Postscript: Down at Cap 3000, I discovered I was number 19 in the line! I returned home and will struggle on for the next couple of days. Thursday, I’m dragging my beloved down there 30 minutes before the shop opens so we can upgrade to a Pro Internet service which will give us instant attention. I can’t do this on my own because my beloved is the sole owner of our company. I’m pleased he’s not getting off scott-free!