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 Post subject: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:40 pm 
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Location: Gers 32
I wrote earlier about our friends who have a huge water bill to pay.
After various stages of getting advice etc they have now come to the conclusion that they will have to pay the full amount.
Earlier he was saying that he would never pay, and I wondered , in France, what would the consequences be if he did refuse?
In England I've heard of people going to prison rather than paying a bill. Would that happen here?


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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:51 pm 
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I think the principle is to pay up then work on getting a refund - at least, that's how it works with speeding or parking fines.

MAD might correct me if I'm wrong, If he pays up, he can still pursue a case for refund. If he doesn't pay, he could end up with a bailiff on his doorstep with a summons.

However, it does sound as if he's flogging a dead horse because the leaks were on his side of the meter. It's his responsibility to check the readings to see if his water consumption seems higher than it should be, and not the responsibility of the water company.


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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 7:57 pm 
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I don't think his water can be cut off, but the water company will hound him. Best to come to a payment agreement with them on a monthly basis.


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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:00 pm 
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Tell him to pay up and look big, or eat humble pie and come to some arrangement to pay monthly

The alternative could be, letters demanding the money first, then come the bailiffs, if the bill is still not paid, attend court, and may be added to the list rouge at the Banque de France as a non payer, this could mean that the banks would not issue him with a cheque book or a debit card

The choice is his to make, but if it were me, I would opt for one of the first two options

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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Sun Aug 28, 2016 9:19 pm 
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Location: Gers 32
Thanks - as I said he's just accepted that he will be better off paying up. He was going to go to the appeal court but would need an advocat which, he was told, would cost 2000€ before they do anything.
They got an interview with free legal advice from an english -speaking notaire in Trie.
Another thing I'd heard was the Water board could get authority to take the money from their bank account.


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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 6:57 am 
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As was said above, if the leaks were his side of the meter, he hasn't really got a case for appeal.

Our previous neighbours didn't realize they had a small leak in their cave, their side of the meter. By the time they found and fixed it, it had put an extra 600euro on their bill. I've known another couple of cases too, and it's never worked in the client's favour.

One case was a works place where the loo flush as faulty and kept filling. That got expensive when they realized they should have got it fixed straight away!

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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 7:29 am 
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Yes, I think the huissiers would come knock knock knockin on their door. We once received a huge water bill (600 instead of less than 100 Euros). After checking that the meter wasn't whizzing around, I went to the mairie and they dealt with it.
Unless you know there's been a mistake, you're stuffed. Good idea to ask to pay by instalments.

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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 9:13 am 
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I thought the law changed last year whereby the water authorities couldn't charge you more than double your normal usage, providing you met certain requirements:

http://www.conso.net/content/suite-une- ... re-facture

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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 11:24 am 
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That's very useful info, browneyes :-bd

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 Post subject: Re: refusal to pay (water bill)
PostPosted: Mon Aug 29, 2016 3:24 pm 
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indeed!

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