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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello everybody!
First of all, happy Easter!

This is my first post after discovering this forum :)

I will be moving to France next week, and I'd like to ask some advice:

1) bank: online banking is ok in France? I have ING Direct in Italy, would you recommend that in France? Or would you suggest something else?

2) mobile: I would like to sign a contract either with Free or B&You, because of the forfait with calls to Italy and Internet included. Is it a good idea?

3) internet: what would you suggest for
- a basic cheap ADSL
- a 3G USB key (I would like a "pay as you go" option, to use when I need, without "engagement", because I would like to switch to an ADSL as soon as I have found the right flat)

4) location: I will work in Gournay en Bray, where do you advise me to live? Nearby Gournay en Bray, Beauvais, Rouen or Sergy?

Thank you in advance!

Bye!
 

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Hi. Welcome to the forum - and a happy Easter to you, too.

1) bank: online banking is ok in France? I have ING Direct in Italy, would you recommend that in France? Or would you suggest something else?
You can try signing up with an online bank - but banks in France are funny. If you don't meet their requirements (one of which is 3 months worth of payslips), they may not accept your application for an account.

Your best option is probably to find a bank with a handy branch location, close to where you will be living, or close to where you will be working. There are an amazing number of things you have to do at your bank branch in person in France (and, if you get on with your bank advisor, lots of things the advisor can help you out with). Personal relationships within the bank still count for lots in France.

2) mobile: I would like to sign a contract either with Free or B&You, because of the forfait with calls to Italy and Internet included. Is it a good idea?
I just recently switched to Free and AFAIC, they had the best offer at 19,99€ a month. (I got it for the unlimited calls back to the US, which does seem to work rather nicely.) There have been, however, recent reports in the press that in some areas in and around the larger cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille) there is a problem with a high level of dropped calls particularly during the evening "prime time" hours (18h to 22h). It seems to be an issue with them signing on too many customers too quickly. They have promised to fix it. I haven't noticed any problem so far, but I don't make many calls anyhow.

Depending on what bank you decide to go with, you might want to ask them about mobile phone services. A surprising number of the banks are offering mobile phone along with standard bank services. No idea on the rates, but I've heard that some services are offering great deals if you tell them you're considering signing up with Free. (It's certainly worth raising the issue if you have to go in for your opening-a-new-account appointment at the bank!)

3) internet: what would you suggest for
- a basic cheap ADSL
- a 3G USB key (I would like a "pay as you go" option, to use when I need, without "engagement", because I would like to switch to an ADSL as soon as I have found the right flat)
There are lots of deals out there - once you're into "the right flat" you may want to look into a "box" service that gives you ADSL, television, telephone and mobile all in one, along with wi-fi. (Freebox will give you a break on your mobile phone subscription - 4 or 5€ a month cheaper - if you take their all-in-one home service.)

4) location: I will work in Gournay en Bray, where do you advise me to live? Nearby Gournay en Bray, Beauvais, Rouen or Sergy?
If you are thinking about using public transit to get to and from work, check the transit routes that serve your place of work. (Your employer usually pays half your transit pass if you go that route - which is a great perk!)
Cheers,
Bev
 
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Banking - open up an account with HSBC In your country and it should be easier to open one up in France. Otherwise check to see if your current bank has branches in France and keep it with that. It's not easy to open a bank account in France without proof of job, bills, address etc first.

Rouen - beautiful town....very young crowd....love the place... if you can move there then do it. It's also very cheap to rent apartments there apparently.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hi. Welcome to the forum - and a happy Easter to you, too.



You can try signing up with an online bank - but banks in France are funny. If you don't meet their requirements (one of which is 3 months worth of payslips), they may not accept your application for an account.

Your best option is probably to find a bank with a handy branch location, close to where you will be living, or close to where you will be working. There are an amazing number of things you have to do at your bank branch in person in France (and, if you get on with your bank advisor, lots of things the advisor can help you out with). Personal relationships within the bank still count for lots in France.



I just recently switched to Free and AFAIC, they had the best offer at 19,99€ a month. (I got it for the unlimited calls back to the US, which does seem to work rather nicely.) There have been, however, recent reports in the press that in some areas in and around the larger cities (Paris, Lyon, Marseille) there is a problem with a high level of dropped calls particularly during the evening "prime time" hours (18h to 22h). It seems to be an issue with them signing on too many customers too quickly. They have promised to fix it. I haven't noticed any problem so far, but I don't make many calls anyhow.

Depending on what bank you decide to go with, you might want to ask them about mobile phone services. A surprising number of the banks are offering mobile phone along with standard bank services. No idea on the rates, but I've heard that some services are offering great deals if you tell them you're considering signing up with Free. (It's certainly worth raising the issue if you have to go in for your opening-a-new-account appointment at the bank!)



There are lots of deals out there - once you're into "the right flat" you may want to look into a "box" service that gives you ADSL, television, telephone and mobile all in one, along with wi-fi. (Freebox will give you a break on your mobile phone subscription - 4 or 5€ a month cheaper - if you take their all-in-one home service.)



If you are thinking about using public transit to get to and from work, check the transit routes that serve your place of work. (Your employer usually pays half your transit pass if you go that route - which is a great perk!)
Cheers,
Bev

Thanks for your advice.

I read about the issues with Free, that's why I wanted to know more.
About internet, I saw the offers all-in-one, but I believe that for the first month or so, I will not be able to have an ADSL, so I was wondering about a 3G USB key. It looks like offers in France are more expensive than in Italy (just for comparison, I am paying 5 EUR per month for a 100 Mb per day on my pay as you go SIM; ok, it's the best offer you can get here in Italy and not on the best network, but I saw nothing really cheap in France). I would like to have internet from day 1, so I thought that pay as you go would be easier to have, but looks like quite expensive. Is there any bergain on the market?
Location... it seems there is not a great network of public transport there, but this is my first impression, I will check better when I am there, otherwise... I will buy a bicycle :)
(ok, I am coming by car, so let's see)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Banking - open up an account with HSBC In your country and it should be easier to open one up in France. Otherwise check to see if your current bank has branches in France and keep it with that. It's not easy to open a bank account in France without proof of job, bills, address etc first.

Rouen - beautiful town....very young crowd....love the place... if you can move there then do it. It's also very cheap to rent apartments there apparently.
yes, I know Rouen, 4 years ago I studied French there... but it's about 70 km from work... so let's see....

I tried to check with ING Italy if I could ease the process of opening the same bank account in France, and the answer was that they are independent and I had to re-submit everything again to ING France, and they will let me know if I am eligible. I do not know if HSBC makes things easier, but I would not like opening a new account in Italy to have one in France.

Thanks anyway.
 

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HSBC is fine for those who qualify for their "premium" accounts, but other than in the Paris area, there aren't many HSBC branches out in the rest of France.

The USB clé seems to have fallen out of favor for many of the mobile phone providers here in France. (No idea why.) My husband has had one for quite some time and just recently discovered that the SIM no longer works.

I know I'm supposed to be able to link up my phone with my netbook if I so desire - and make use of my mobile line to download to the computer. There are also the plans that allow you to make use of the branded wifi hotspots if you have one handy.
Cheers,
Bev
 
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