Thursday, December 29, 2005

For a good laugh, try cancelling your French cable subscription

We decided recently to get rid of our French cable TV. We actually already can have cable through our high-speed internet plan (cable and internet for one monthly fee) which we signed up for after we naively signed up for a cable-only plan and paid for the accompanying cable box. There weren't any problems with this service -- we just want to watch less TV now (we were hardly watching TV anyways -- this is more for Maylin's benefit).

So, here's how to do it, if you ever find yourself in the same situation.

Step 1: Examine your cable contract and accompanying papers and guides. Find no information regarding cancelling your subscription.

Step 2: Locate web address and visit site. Find absolutely no information regarding cancelling your subscription.

Step 3: Make dreaded toll phone call to cable company. Discover a surprisingly friendly service agent. She tells you that you can't cancel over the phone. You must write a letter to an address, which she spells out slowly because you're still learning French. She says something about the cancellation not going into effect for two months after receipt of the letter and that there's a forty euro cancellation fee. Smile to yourself.

Step 4: Try to verify address on the internet because you're not sure of your French. Discover numerous websites of non-profit legal organizations formed expressly to protect consumers from bad service companies like your cable company. You find many complaints against your cable company and laugh your head off. You realize that simply sending a cancellation letter doesn't mean the cancellation will actually happen. You also find addresses differing from the one given to you.

Step 5: Type letter to cable company. Research online how to write a formal letter in French. Cut and paste your letter, print it, and mail it certified the same day (to the original address offered).

Step 6: E-mail copy of letter to personal bank officer to ensure that the cable company doesn't take automatic payments from your bank account anymore.

Step 7: Foresee an imminent legal battle not unlike those of many others before you.

No comments: