Dealing with Telcos, incumbents more like newcomers, is usually worse than getting a tooth ripped out without anaesthesia. I expect nothing but pain, harassment and misery in general.
What a pleasant surpise today.
In preparation for an upcomining vacation I went to Hagenau (FR) to try to buy a prepaid SIM card with a good data plan, internet only, no voice, lot's of Giga Octets. . Some research showed already that it might not be easy or even impossible at all. The first shop (B.... T....) outright declined my request, without residence in France no possibility to purchase something like a SIM card. K, thx, bye.
Next shop - Orange.
A guy approached me and asked very friendly what I am looking for. 10 seconds after I entered the already quite full shop. Wow, nice surprise #1. I explained with my limited french ( 'allemang'.. 'vacances'... 'internet'... 'pre-payé'... 'bohcup giga oktetts'...) and he immediately understood what I want (positive surprise #2). He showed me a good package deal of a Mifi router with pre paid internet, for a reasonable amount of money. I agreed, he referred the further handling to a currently busy desk clerk and asked me to take a seat for about 15 minutes. Then he went on to greet other newcomers.
10 minutes later the desk clerk took my personal data (carte d'identité requis en tout cas, pas d'anonymité en France... ah bon), asked if I want to top up the 2GO deal which I already planned to do anyway and was done within less than 10 minutes. Pay, K, Thx, bye. Wow. Excellent surprise #3.
All in all it took about 20 minutes, everybody was friendly, the deal is easy to comprehend and the handling seemed as simple as buying a pack of chewing gum. I would never expect something like this from the the local incumbent here in Germany, not from my experiences with 'T-Punkt' shops...
I hooked up the Mifi router (Huawei E5220, not the most up to date stuff, but ok) immediately to the car charger, went back to the pedestrian area in Hagenau for a coffee and some shopping of french delicacies, and then tried out everything. All worked as described and without problems. Nice. Very nice :) That's just how it is supposed to work. Maybe some telecoms have learned customer service after all.
What I liked most is the handling of customers in the Orange shop. One or two persons handle incoming customers, you feel welcome and perceived within seconds. The ensuing waiting period feels much less painful because you know that you are already in the queue, it's just that everybody is busy. If I remember correctly there were 8 sales persons in the not too large shop. Quite a lot, I think. In a T-Punkt shop you'd have to watch all sales persons all the time in the hope that someone might actually see you as someone who want's to spend money. That's what makes waiting very unpleasant.
Well done, Orange.