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English Language Customer Service Helplines in France
Sometimes, particularly in urgent matters, you just need to speak English to communicate effectively. While France is not well-known for widespread English, you can increasingly find English-speaking help with larger companies and organisations. Here is our list of major services that offer English-speaking customer helplines.
European Emergency Number
112 is the European Emergency Number. You can dial this number throughout Europe, free of charge, from a fixed telephone line or mobile phone, and reach emergency services (fire and rescue, ambulance, police). Operators in France will be able to answer calls in English as well as in French (and in most cases should be able to respond in English in other countries as well). This number operates alongside the other French emergency numbers, which are:
French Emergency Numbers:
- 112: European Emergency Number
- 15: SAMU (for ambulance and medical emergencies)
- 17: Police (in French: policiers)
- 18: Fire (in French: pompiers)
- Find a full list of French emergency numbers in our guide.
Carte Vitale/Health Insurance
Health care in France is largely covered by the state via mandatory enrolment into the state social insurance. CPAM, or the Caisse primaire d'assurance maladie, is the administrative body that manages healthcare in France at the regional level, but in most cases your first point of contact will be the Assurance Maladie, or Ameli. Students can either enroll with the Mutuelle des étudiants (LMDE) or with a regional mutuelle (find more information about your mutuelle options here), but working-age adults can contact Ameli directly.
Ameli has English-speaking help available at 36 46. Note that this is a paying number, and calls cost 0.06 €/min + any applicable operator call charges. To call from abroad, dial +33 811 70 36 46 (calls cost 0.06 €/min + long distance charges).
SOS Help is an English-language line for internationals in France that need emotional support. It is run by the association SOS Help, and offers volunteer listeners that are trained in empathetic and non-judgemental listening seven days a week, from 3 - 11 pm at 01 46 21 46 46.
Start electricity service in minutes with SelectraCall our dedicated English speaking helpline to open an electricity account in your name with an alternate supplier, and enjoy guaranteed savings compared to EDF regulated rates!
09 87 67 37 93
You need to open an account with an electricity provider to start electricity service in France. EDF (Electricité de France) is the historic and largest electricity supplier in France, and is currently the only one to offer a dedicated English language customer service line, available at 09 69 36 63 83. You may, however, be able to reach English-speaking customer service agents with other suppliers, who also offer lower rates. Find out more about starting electricity service in France.
As is the case for electricity, you need to open an account with a natural gas supplier in order to have gas service in France. Engie (formerly GDF Suez) is the largest natural gas supplier in France, and while it does have some English language customer support on its website, the company does not have a dedicated English-speaking customer service line.
Are you looking to start natural gas service? Call Selectra's English speaking customer service helpline at 09 87 67 37 93 (Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 8 pm, Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm) to open an account in your name with an alternate energy supplier at guaranteed savings compared to regulated rates
You have a choice of operator throughout most of France, though homes in rural areas are still tied to the historical provider Orange (formerly France Telecom). Orange has a dedicated English-language customer service line at 09 69 36 39 00.
You can also call Selectra at 09 77 55 72 27 (Monday to Friday from 9:30 am - 7:30 pm) to reach an English-speaking counsellor that will find a supplier and plan that meets your needs
SNCF (Societé Nationale des chemins de fer français) is the national train operator for France. Their English speaking customer service number is 36 35. Dial 1 as soon as the call connects to access English-speaking customer help. Calls cost 0.40 €/min including tax, plus any fees charged by your telephone provider.
To book trains over the phone from abroad, call 00 338 92 35 35 35. You will be charged the cost of an international call, plus any applicable operator charges.
For booking a flight, Air France's English-speaking customer help is available at 3654. Calls cost 0.35 € /min + any operator charges, and support is available seven days a week from 6:30 am to 10 pm (French local time). When calling from abroad, dial 0033 892 702 654.
Haven't found what you're looking for?Find more information about calling in France in our guide