OK first just let me say that despite of this and that, I really love living here. In a way it's all part of the French "charm". I am certainly not going to spend any energy trying to change anything :P
I think France must really be the world champion of ineffective administration and bureaucracy. Government workers are all unable to be fired, and the fact that they obviously don't care about doing their job or helping you is so obvious you don't know if you want to laugh or cry. They are also the world champions of going on strike. I don't really get to feel the stress of all this that much as my life is not that linked with it all anyway. But Sam is French, and every time there is something to do with tax, bills, health care or whatever, there are all these ridiculous unnecessary obstacles.
I've had some bank issues lately, and....ugh... I swear it is like they are stuck in the middle ages. I had never seen a check before until I came here. I thought they were something from 80's movies lol. I think I was 14 or 15 years old when I got my first bank account with a card I could use, and even when I first got it I remember that using the internet for your bank stuff was already normal. So that's 10 years ago. Here, there is still practically nothing like that. There was a brochure in my French bank now to let people know that there was a new thing were you could go online and handle things. Great, finally, right? Except not really :P What you can do is go online and then get something to print that you can then put in an envelope and send to your bank. Sam says it's because French people have distrust in internet security, and there are regulations to prevent activity with dirty money. It's so stupid though! In Norway (and Sweden, I used to live there too) they actually make you pay an extra fee if you turn up to the bank to handle your bank affairs. They want you to do it online; it is cheaper for them!
The phone companies are really shit too. The fiber optic stuff we were supposed to get this week, turned out to be just regular cable at first, as they didn't install the cable in the building yet. I don't really mind that much, as long as we can get a decent connection again (the one now is terrible), but it's shit that they are trying to deceive people like this. And costumer service...OMG. The companies make you pay a lot to use their costumer service lines, and it is so obvious that the employees get rewarded to keep you on the line for as long as possible. They lie to you to keep you around as a costumer for another week, and when you call again they pretend like the last conversation "must have been some mistake" or whatever else. It's a nightmare every time. This new company actually has a shop not far from our place though, so if there is any problems you can actually go and talk to a person face to face.