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Moving to France - Utilities, internet, banking, etc

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DodoPeru
4/6/2016 10:36 EST

Hi,
my family and I will be moving from UK to France (outskirts of Paris) for 2 years in August. There were a few issues that we would appreciate any clarity on (and others will doubtless crop up!):

- Utilities: I hear that in France it is quite common for the gas to actually be turned off at the mains when one tenant leaves and before another arrives. Is there any way of ensuring that this doesn't happen so that we have gas and electricity on arrival?

- Banking: Can anyone recommend a good bank that we can set up our local account with on arrival? I shall still be paid in UK pounds into my UK account, but want to know the best way (and the best rate!) to be able to simply transfer some of this into Euro at minimal loss into a French account. For the record, I know that there will be a BNP Paribas, Credit Agricole and Societe Generale near us.

- Internet: What is the best way of setting up Internet for our new (rental) property? Is this something that we can expedite in advance as much as possible? Ideally we won't have to wait 3 weeks without it on arrival.

- Mobile phones: Ideally we would keep our UK iPhones and numbers (for use on return). What is the best way of finding out good PAYG or package deals in France? Can these be both with and without a new phone? Any recommendations?

- Cheap calls to UK: My wife is likely to be working from home and will need to make regular calls back to the UK. I recall years back, in the days when landlines were more plentiful, that in the UK one could simply plug in a code before entering the actual number, which could make calls to eg France or US only 1p a minute or similar. Does something similar still exist in France? Skyping is fine for family but will be a bit tricky with professional clients.

- Amazon Prime: We currently have Amazon Prime in the UK. Is there any way of 'transferring' this service to France?

Many thanks!

DLR1963
8/28/2017 09:11 EST

Some of these I simply have no info on, but two of your questions I may...

Re: Phone
You might examine one or both of a couple options. 1) Look into dual SIM phones with one some from each of the areas (UK and France in your case). Both sims can be active at the same time. It's essentially having 2 active phone numbers on the same device at the same time.
Or...
Consider using an App like WhatsApp on your smartphones. This will allow rich messaging and calls placed over WiFi (watch your data plan and usage).

Re: Amazon
My wife and I are US expats living in Mexico. We had an Amazon Prime account in the states. Upon moving to Mexico we found after a brief period that our Prime account services were substantially different because the IP Address identifies your global location and offerings are different per location. So, it may still work, but may not be what you have now.

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ellenycparis
9/18/2016 19:03 EST

AS A SHORTCUT, I'M POSTING COMMENTS INLINE. (NO OFFENSE IS MEANT BY CAPS...)

Hello. I am an American who just moved here in June. I have had no problem with my Credit Agricole account and regularly transfer money from my US bank (3 days and a $3 fee from my US bank), using an exchange service -- US Forex in my case.

Kathling9 -
I'M ASTONISHED THAT CA DOESN'T CHARGE YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR $ + CONVERT THEM TO EUROS. DOES FOREX DO IT AND NOT CHARGE YOU?? EVERY U.S. BANK I CAN THINK OF CHARGES MUCH MORE THAN $3 TO SEND $,... SO HURRAY FOR FOREX!
My US retirement pay funds go directly into my US account every month, as that is the best set-up for me.
BY CONTRAST, DIRECT DEPOSIT, IS BLISSFULLY FREE. :)

US Amazon prime works here fine, and the no fee prime shipping does as well, as long as the vendor ships to France.
"THE VENDOR SHIPS TO FRANCE," THAT'S A BIG IF -- AND POTENTIALLY THE BIGGEST BARGAIN KNOWN TO MAN. WHAT % OF YOUR VENDORS HAVE SHIPPED TO YOU IN FRANCE?
Merci!

ellenycparis
9/16/2016 07:27 EST

AS A SHORTCUT, I'M POSTING COMMENTS INLINE. (NO OFFENSE IS MEANT BY CAPS...)

Hello. I am an American who just moved here in June. I have had no problem with my Credit Agricole account and regularly transfer money from my US bank (3 days and a $3 fee from my US bank), using an exchange service -- US Forex in my case.

Kathling9 -
I'M ASTONISHED THAT CA DOESN'T CHARGE YOU TO RECEIVE YOUR $ + CONVERT THEM TO EUROS. DOES FOREX DO IT AND NOT CHARGE YOU?? EVERY U.S. BANK I CAN THINK OF CHARGES MUCH MORE THAN $3 TO SEND $,... SO HURRAY FOR FOREX!
My US retirement pay funds go directly into my US account every month, as that is the best set-up for me.
BY CONTRAST, DIRECT DEPOSIT, IS BLISSFULLY FREE. :)

US Amazon prime works here fine, and the no fee prime shipping does as well, as long as the vendor ships to France.
"THE VENDOR SHIPS TO FRANCE," THAT'S A BIG IF -- AND POTENTIALLY THE BIGGEST BARGAIN KNOWN TO MAN. WHAT % OF YOUR VENDORS HAVE SHIPPED TO YOU IN FRANCE?
Merci!

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