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Free Mobile and Internet

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Free mobile logo

Call for free - almost! Free shook up the French telecommunications market with its low-cost, contract free (sans engagement) Internet offers, and has been one of the fastest-growing actors in the French mobile phone market since its entry in 2012.

Is Free worth the hype? Find out everything you need to know about Free in our guide

About Free

Free is the most recent major mobile & Internet services provider in France, established in 2009 by the telecommunications company Iliad, and led by the French entrepreneur Xavier Niel. Free shook up the French mobile phone industry when it entered the market in 2012 with its low-cost offers.

Free Offers

Free's business model is based on providing no-frills service at low prices (think Henry Ford and "you can have any colour as long as it's black"). Free has two offers, at €2/month and €19.99/month, offers two Internet options (at €29.99/month and €35.98/month). Mobile phone plans are discounted when you purchase an Internet plan with Free.

What Free lacks in quantity of options they make up in quality, with some very attractive offers:

Free Phone Offers
Plan Price per Month Calling Time Text Messages Data Other Notes
Le forfait 2€ 2€ /month 2h/month to fixed & mobile phone numbers within continental France and the French Overseas Departments and Territories, USA (including Alaska), Canada
Includes fixed line phone numbers in 100 international destinations
Unlimited for numbers within continental France and the French Overseas Departments and Territories 50 Mb included €0.05/min for additional calling time
€0.05/Mb for additional data
Includes access to FreeWifi hotspots
Cancellation via a recommended letter sent to Free
4G available
Price reduced to €0/month when customer subscribes to a Free Internet plan
Le forfait Free 19.99€ /month Unlimited calling to fixed & mobile phone numbers within continental France and the French Overseas Departments and Territories, USA (including Alaska), Canada
Includes fixed line phone numbers in 100 international destinations
Unlimited for numbers within continental France and the French Overseas Departments and Territories
Unlimited texts (SMS) to French numbers from within Europe
50 Gb included for 4G
3 Gb for 3G
€0.05/Mb for additional data
Includes access to FreeWifi hotspots
Includes 35-day "country passes": free calling/SMS within the country & to France & 3 Gb data. Available for EU countries, USA, Canada, & Israel
Cancellation via a recommended letter sent to Free
4G available
Price reduced to €15.99/month when customer subscribes to a Free Internet plan

Freebox: Internet by Free

As of March 2016, Free has two main offers for Internet, which come as a package Internet + fixed telephone line + television:

Freebox Mini 4K

Launched in 2015, the Freebox Mini 4K is available for ADSL/VDSL broadband and for fiber optic connections and comes with the following:

  • Free calls to fixed lines in 106 international destinations
  • Includes access to over 200 TV channels (including 40 HD)
  • Video on Demand
  • Compatible with Android TV
  • Possibility to use your mobile phone as a TV command (by downloading the Android TV Remote Control app)
  • Access to Free's Wifi hotspots

Freebox Revolution

The Freebox Mini 4K is available for ADSL/VDSL broadband and for fiber optic connections and includes the following features:

  • Free calls to fixed lines in 108 international destinations
  • Blu-ray DVD reader
  • Includes access to over 200 TV channels (including 40 HD), for an additional 1.99€/month
  • Can be used as a video game console
  • Access to Free's Wifi hotspots

Freebox Crystal

The Freebox Crystal is Free's Internet offer for for ADSL/VDSL broadband connections in zones non-dégroupées. The Crystal Freebox package comes with Internet and a fixed telephone line, and includes:

  • Free calls to fixed lines in 108 international destinations
  • Access to Free's Wifi hotspots

Free Terms and Conditions

You can find Free's terms and conditions for mobile phone plans here and for Internet plans here (both in French).

Free Reviews

Customer reviews for Free - as is the case for all providers - are mixed. Here is a quick summary of what customers say about Free:

  • Great value for money: Free offers generous calling time/data allowances for some of the lowest prices available in France
  • No commitment: all of Free's plans are sans engagement
  • Problems with network coverage: as the most recent operator in the French telecommunications market, Free's network coverage is less developed than other providers
  • Minimal customer service: as a low-cost operator, Free's customer service options are limited, and online-based. Some customers have found it difficult to access customer service

Is Free the cheapest option for mobile phone plans and Internet in France?
While few French operators have been able to beat Free's 2€ mobile phone plan, Free's internet prices are somewhat less competitive, and several other providers often offer limited-time promotions that are very competitive. Call Selectra's English speaking customer service at 09 77 55 72 27 to compare the latest prices. Selectra is an Internet and energy comparison service that helps you find competitive offers with our partner suppliers.. Find out more (in French) Announcement

English-Speaking Customer Service for Free

Free does not currently offer English-speaking customer service. While you can find one English-speaking customer assistance page here, note that most Free customer support information is in French.

Contact Free Customer Service

Find all the ways to get in touch with Free in our guide to contacting Free

Free customer service phone number: 3244

This number is free when dialed from your Free mobile phone number, but may be subject to charges when dialed from a number of a different mobile phone operator

International customer service number: +33 1 78 56 95 60

Just have a quick question? Try Free's online customer assistance, available here (in French)

Free Network Coverage

Free's 4G network coverage

Source: ARCEP

While it is improving its network coverage, Free's current coverage is weaker than other telecommunications providers in France. The operator signed an agreement with Orange for all of its 2G traffic to go through Orange's network (as Free has no 2G licence), which has allowed the company to provide widespread 2G coverage (99% of the population in 2015). However, Free's 3G coverage, which it is still developing, is notably behind that of other providers, according to the French telecommunications regulator ARCEP.

The last of the major French telecommunications operators to receive a licence for 4G, Free was relatively behind on its 4G network coverage but has been pursuing a rapid rollout of ultra-fast landline and mobile networks. In 2015 Free's 4G network coverage rate increased from around 40% of the French population at the beginning of the year to 63% by the end of the year. This is still far behind the 4G network coverage of other providers (e.g. Orange covers 80% of the French population as of March 2016).

Subscribing to an Internet or Mobile Phone Plan With Free

Free Mobile

You can sign up for a phone plan online, or via one of their SIM card distribution machines that are available in Maison de la Presse and Mag Presse store locations. You can also sign up for a mobile phone plan in one of the Free Center boutiques (find one here).

  • You will need to provide the following to sign up for a mobile phone plan with Free
  • Your contact information: name, valid email address
  • Your address: street address, apartment number, zip code
  • Your banking information (RIB): you need to have a French bank account already set up before you sign up for a postpaid mobile phone plan. Some suppliers may also ask for your bank card (carte bancaire) information, which is used for activation fees/deposit.

Internet

You can sign up for an Internet plan with Free (Freebox) online, or by calling 1044. To sign up for an Internet plan with Free, you will need to:

  • Test your phone line to determine your broadband/fiber optic eligibility
  • Provide full contact details: name, phone number, email address
  • Provide your full address: street address, apartment number, zip code - including directions to 
  • Provide a proof of property (justificatif de domicile), such as an electricity or gas bill, or water bill
  • Provide your banking information (RIB): you must have a French bank account in order to sign up for an Internet plan. Free may also ask for your bank card (carte bancaire) information, for any activation fees/deposit.

How to Cancel a Free France Subscription

Cancel Your Subscription to FreeSelectra's cancellation service makes cancelling your Internet or phone plan easy. Download a free template for a lettre de résiliation (cancellation letter)

All of Free's internet and mobile phone offers are contract-free (sans engagement), meaning that you can cancel at any time without penalty and with relatively little hassle. To cancel your Free subscription, you must send a recommended letter (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception) to the following address:

Free Résiliation
75371 PARIS Cedex 08

The lettre de résiliation (cancellation letter) that you send to Free must contain:

  • Your full name (first name, family name)
  • Your account number (identifiant abonné)
  • Your account ID (numéro de Ligne de l’abonné)

Free will cancel your plan within 10 days of having received the letter, or in some cases, on the last day of the month. You will know when Free receives your cancellation letter because you will have sent it through registered post (lettre recommandée avec avis de réception).

In most cases, you should be able to cancel your Free mobile phone plan without penalty (Free's mobile phone plans are sans engagement - nonbinding). However, note that conditions are different if a phone is included in your plan. Free "rents" phones based on a 24 month commitment, meaning that you may need to the phone and all of its parts within 30 days of cancelling your plan if it is before the 24 month mark. Alternatively, you may be charged 5€ x the months remaining on your 24 month commitment. 

How to Write a Cancellation Letter for Free Mobile

If you need to cancel your Free mobile phone plan because you are leaving the country, you will need to send a cancellation letter to Free Mobile's cancellation service (service résiliation). You can find out more about how to cancel a mobile phone plan in France in our guide, or you can use this letter template when writing your cancellation letter. Don't forget to send it by registered post!

Your Name
Your Address
City, Postal Code

Free Mobile Résiliation
75371 PARIS Cedex 08

Your City, The Date

Obj: Résiliation de mon abonnement Free

Madame, Monsieur,

 

Je vous informe, par la présente lettre recommandée, de ma volonté de résilier mon abonnement mobile Free désigné sous le numéro de contrat [Your account number].

 

En effet, devant prochainement déménager à l’étranger, je n’aurai plus la possibilité de bénéficier de vos services à l’adresse de ma nouvelle habitation. Vous retrouverez ci-joint les justificatifs de cette situation.

 

J’ai bien noté que l’abonnement sera résilié à l’issue d’un délai minimum de préavis de 10 jours à compter de la réception de ce courrier. Mon contrat devra prendre fin le [Date you wish to cancel your plan]. Je vous demande de m’envoyer une facture de clôture de compte ainsi qu’une confirmation écrite m’indiquant la date effective de résiliation.

 

Je vous demande de m’envoyer une facture de clôture de compte ainsi qu’une confirmation écrite m’indiquant la date effective de résiliation à l’adresse suivante [Your new address].

 

Je vous remercie par avance de faire le nécessaire pour accéder à ma demande de résiliation et vous adresse mes sincères salutations.

 

[Signature]

Your Name

Cancelling a Free Mobile Plan but Keeping Your Phone Number

If you have decided to switch from Free to another provider, chances are you will want to keep the same phone number. To keep your phone number when changing providers you need to find out your RIO (Relevé d'Identité Opérateur - a unique identifying number that is assigned to your phone number). This is a 12-digit number that you can find by dialing 3179 (to automatically receive your RIO in a text), or in your online personal space. You then will need to communicate this number to your new provider - they will take care of the rest (transferring your number, cancelling service with Free)!

How to Cancel an Internet Plan with Free

Free's Internet plans are also sans engagement (non-binding), meaning that you can cancel your plan at any time. However, Free charges a one-time cancellation fee of 49€ for Internet plan cancellations (to cover the costs of closing the line), and you must send back the Internet modem and all of its associated parts back to Free in good condition. You may be able to have the 49€ fee waived by your new operator if you have decided to switch.

Find out more about cancelling an Internet plan in France.

Free Headquarters

Free's headquarters (siège social) are located at 16 rue de la Ville l'Evêque 75008 Paris.