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And the ‘worst’ mobile phone and internet operator in France is?

If you are looking for a mobile phone and internet operator in France, this report might help make up your mind.

And the 'worst' mobile phone and internet operator in France is?
AFP

A new study in France suggests that SFR could be the mobile and internet operator to avoid, at least if we are basing performance on the number of customer complaints received.

When it comes to disgruntled customers lodging complaints SFR has the misfortune of finding itself at the top of the rankings for the third year in a row.

The annual survey by the French Association of Telecommunications Users (Afutt) looked at over 5,200 complaints it had received from the public in 2017.

“SFR subscribers have seen a real deterioration in the quality of the service over the last three years,” said the report.

Of the 2,400 complaints received by Afutt regarding home internet service some 60 percent were clients of SFR, far ahead of Orange customers, whose moans added up to 13 percent of all complaints.

In third place for internet complaints was Bouygues (12.4 percent) and then Free (9.5 percent).

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“Since 2014 when Numericable bought SFR the number of complaints from users has continued to rise despite recent efforts made to improve the quality of their network,” reported Afutt.

Common complaints centred around the loss of internet connection or a deterioration in the quality of download speeds.

“This situation penalises the clients all the more due to the fact that internet has become so vital,” said the report.

And when it came to mobile phones SFR once again topped the rankings with some 54 percent of all complaints received being about the provider.

According to the report Bouygues has seen a huge rise in the number of complaints compared to 2016 (20 percent) while Orange (11.2 percent) and Free (9.6 percent) saw no big change compared to the previous year.

Most of the complaints around mobile phone providers remain the bills or billing system.

“The complexity of offers and pricing, ambiguous commercial promotions and imposed changes to contracts are the main causes of complaints,” when it comes to mobile providers, the report said.

And things might not get better anytime soon given that SFR appears to be in some difficulty with between 4,000 and 5,000 posts set to go before 2019.

SFR made a splash last year by buying up the rights to broadcast the Champions League football matches from the 2018/19 season live on its sports channels. It has also previously bought the rights to show live matches from England's Premier League. 

However financial difficulties mean it is likely it will have to sell on at least part of these rights to other channels, news reports claim.

TECHNOLOGY

French watchdog fines Google and Amazon subsidiary €135m for unauthorised cookies

France's CNIL data privacy watchdog said on Thursday it had fined two Google units a total of €100 million and an Amazon subsidiary €35 million over advertising cookies.

French watchdog fines Google and Amazon subsidiary €135m for unauthorised cookies
Photo: AFP

The regulator said the fines were “for having placed advertising cookies on the computers of users … without obtaining prior consent and without providing adequate information.”

A cookie is a small piece of data stored on a user's computer browser that allows websites to identify users and remember their previous activity.

The CNIL said when a user visited the website google.fr, several cookies used for advertising purposes were automatically placed on his or her computer, without any action required on the user's part.

It said a similar thing happened when visiting one page on the amazon.fr website.

CNIL said this type of cookie “can only be placed after the user has expressed his or her consent” and thus violated regulations on receiving prior consent.

It faulted Google for providing insufficient privacy information for users as it did not let them know about the cookies which had been placed and that the procedure to block them still left one operational.

CNIL also said Amazon had not provided clear or complete information about the cookies it placed on computers of users until a redesign in September 2020.

Google also stopped placing cookies on the computers of users without consent in September, CNIL said, but added it still does not provide a sufficient explanation for their use.

The regulator said “no matter what path the users used to visit the website, they were either insufficiently informed or never informed of the fact that cookies were placed on their computer.”

The €35 million fine is on the Amazon Europe Core subsidiary.

CNIL imposed fines of €60 million on Google LLC and €40 million on Google Ireland Limited.

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