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Ways to save money on your French broadband and phone costs

PUBLISHED: 12:12 05 September 2017

Ways to save money on French broadband and phone costs © Nikola Bilic / Thinkstockphotos

Ways to save money on French broadband and phone costs © Nikola Bilic / Thinkstockphotos


Your phone and broadband can be a significant monthly expense but here are 9 ways you can save money on your phone and broadband costs in France

Bob Elliott is commercial director of UK Telecom

1. Suspend your phone and broadband when you aren’t there

If you have a second home in France then you may want to have a line and broadband connection that can be suspended when you are not there. Orange has a service called ligne résidence secondaire, which is only available for second home-owners.

2. Put your calls over your broadband

If your broadband speed is fast enough, have your calls put over your broadband service. All companies should offer this money-saving service known as dégroupage total, which is less expensive as you don’t have to pay for line rental. You will need a minimum broadband speed of 2MB, otherwise your words will be clipped and some calls will drop out. A 2MB speed is also needed to watch video without buffering. Make sure you have a mobile phone so that your broadband supplier can speak with you and run tests to get the service working quickly again should you experience any problems.


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3. Choose the right call package

Most people will find they make more calls in France than they did when they were in the UK, so make sure you choose the right call package. You will almost certainly make more international calls so think about this too, and check whether a pay-as-you-go option will be cheaper. Many companies will change or suspend call packages for you as well – check before you sign up!

4. Watch out for mobile and UK marketing calls

Remember that calling mobiles and UK marketing numbers will not usually be included. You can avoid a lot of expensive UK marketing numbers by finding the standard telephone number on the website

5. Remember that UK freephone numbers are not free from France

Calling UK freephone numbers from France is not free. You have to pay to get your call from France onto the UK network before that free portion of the call starts.


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6. Get your French number ‘translated’ into a UK number so it’s cheaper for your friends to call you

Friends and family can save money when calling you in France too. Recent BT increases in the cost of calling a French number using a standard BT line can be easily avoided, and there are no contracts involved. BT now charges a 12p connection charge and 40p per minute, but you can check if your preferred French telecom company will ‘translate’ your number into a low-cost UK number. This will not affect your service but you can give this new number to friends and family in the UK and they will only pay the 12p connection charge and 3p per minute reducing the cost of a 10-minute BT call from £4.12 to 42p.

7. Make free Skype calls from your mobile using your broadband

You could save more money by connecting your mobile to your broadband wifi. This will allow you to make free Facebook Messenger, FaceTime, WhatsApp and Skype call from your mobile when it is in range, saving your data allowance for times when you have no other choice but to use it.

8. Get a prepaid French SIM to make mobile calls

Most utility engineers who are coming to connect services to your French home will not call an international mobile, which means you will need a French mobile. A prepaid SIM could be the solution – all you will need is an unblocked phone and it will be much cheaper than signing up to a normal monthly contract that includes a new mobile phone with a minimum fixed term and handset, especially if you don’t anticipate using it very much.

9. Get an electrician to install extra sockets

A new line installation only includes one socket. If you need more, it’s cheaper for a local electrician to do the work than the telephone engineer.

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