Wednesday, February 14, 2007

A Noos Around My Neck

Last night I got a knock on the door, and answered to find a salesman from Noos, the rival ISP to my own, who told me that seeing as Free (my current provider) is due to be taken over (at the cost of €5 billion) by Noos, I am being offered an advance promotion opportunity to avail of Noos' new 3G broadband package. He assured me that I was best to do it, as Free, due to its over-reliance on a near saturated France Telecom network, will have ceased offering its current service by the end of the year. The new package is considerably less attractive than the one I currently enjoy, offering no unlimited calls to landlines in 25 countries (only in France, chez Noos), and the asking price is going to be €40 per month instead of the present €30. They are softening the blow by offering the first three months at €20 with a clutch of movie channels thrown in for free on trial. But I can't help that I am being ripped off without having any real choice in the matter. I did a bit of online research and the imminent takeover appears to be genuine, though it has caught French bloggers by surprise too, especially as Free, which has been the big French business success story of the last few years, would rather be expected to effect any takeover among Internet Service Providers. To add insult to injury, signing up with Noos is going to cost €75 up front for installation. I still have time to shop around elsewhere but if this is the promotion that Noos are offering, what will the bog standard packages be like?