Welcome to my blog where I document my adventures in Paris and beyond. Bon séjour!

Getting a Cell Phone in France

Getting a Cell Phone in France

Getting a Cell Phone in France: inside the Orange Mobile boutique

We had gone two and a half weeks without cell phones. We had no way to contact each other besides the internet. We needed a lot of things to be figured out before heading into a mobile store - we needed a bank account, I needed an unlocked iPhone and Steve needed to decide which phone he wanted.

Dealing with my phone turned out to be a nightmare. AT&T said they would unlock it as soon as the plan was cancelled. I would simply go to their unlock website to request it - easy peasy. Not so. It turns out that they double charged me for early termination fee and I needed to pay for my final bill before it would be able to be unlocked. I had to wait until September 11th (10 long days) before I would be able to pay my bill. After the wait, it still took a few more conversations with AT&T to get my phone unlocked. As of Tuesday evening, both Steve & I had brand new phone numbers that actually worked.

Lessons learned:

  1. Cancel your phone plan many hours before your flight leaves. I called to cancel mine with 30 minutes to spare. I had many unresolved issues that I wasn't really aware of. And it's been a pain to get in touch with AT&T over and over again to get the situation figured out, especially with the time difference.
  2. If you want to keep your phone number PORT it many hours before your flight leaves. I was following the instructions on this site, but didn't realize that I would need to be in the US to complete it. This part is still being resolved, so fingers crossed that I'll get to keep my beloved phone number (UPDATE: my number is ported!).
  3. If you have issues, the live chat option is your friend. You can't demand to speak to a supervisor as easily, but you'll have everything is in writing.

Now the good part...

We walked in Orange on Wednesday morning determined to get phone plans. Steve needed a brand new phone and service while I simply needed a SIM card. But signing up for a contract here is pretty serious business. I made sure to bring our dossier with us (more on that later) just in case. It turned out to be a good thing. We had to provide our passports, our bank account information and proof that we lived in France. All of our paperwork checked out and we were each given a brand new 10 digit number, country code +33.

Interestingly enough, they take your bank account information so they can directly debit your charges every month rather than relying on the customers to submit their payment.

Orange also provides internet, landline (as far as we know, it's required here) and cable. So when we're all set up in our new place, we'll just add these things onto our account.

We are now able to text and call each other, use maps to find our way around the city, instagram and translate new words while we're out and about. No more waiting until we get home. Finally.


Vocab for today:

  • portable - mobile phone
  • forfaits mobile - mobile packages
  • nouveau / neuf - new
  • ouvrir - to open
  • 4Go - 4GB (gigabytes)
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