One of the problems with buying a phone on a British website and receiving it from a German address is knowing who to contact when it breaks. My Samsung phone broke under warranty, so I want to a phone shop in Annecy to ask what the best course of action would be. The Phone House didn’t sell me the phone in the first place, so I was honest, explaining my situation and asking the shop assistant, as someone in the phone industry, what my best course of action would be. I asked if he knew of anywhere I could take it in Annecy to be repaired under warranty. He shrugged and wasn’t all that helpful in his response, saying it would probably need to be sent back to Germany and that he wasn’t prepared to help me. He ended the conversation with my French friend, preferring to make eye contact with him whenever he replied to one of my questions. That sinking feeling of language rejection crept in. I hadn’t expected his help in fixing the phone, but the attitude was all too familiar: talk to the French person because the foreigner won’t understand.
Outside the shop, I remembered a phone repair/sales shop in Annecy that had unlocked a phone I had inherited from Australia. The service had been friendly and fast so I walked back to ask how much they would charge to fix the phone, regardless of warranty. The guy at Magic Phone walked me through the non-warranty, paid options with a smile, and he was patient with my accent, holding my eye contact throughout our conversation. He then added that there’s a Samsung service centre just a five-minute walk away. That’s a service centre for Samsung and other major models of phones that repairs phones under warranty. The man at The Phone House must have known about the place. If not, he really should have.
Five minutes later, I was handing over my phone for a freebie repair job. Five days later, it was back in my hands and working correctly, and it only took that long because they had to trace the warranty back to Germany. My trusty, tiny mobile is currently working hard for me in the desert villages of Morocco! If your phone breaks in France, don’t give up too quickly: the solutions are out there.