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Posts posted by Luvarmagnac

  1. Not sure about moral superiority, but it does have a sort of reputation for sweeping generalisations based on the flimsiest of facts, normally published in the largest headlines possible."Aliens invade our eggs". "End of world if Labour get in - Floods and famine".

    The Grauniad, on the other hand, allegedly cant spell!

    I read the Eye. Only news thats fit to print.

  2. I reckon though the mind is failing, it was winter 2002/3, but could have been 2001/2.

    House was empty, single glazing. Tile floors were freezing (yes we were camping out indoors), despite chiminee fueled all day and night.

    I now have gas central heating, though used with chiminee, and the place is snug as bug in a rug.And logs upon logs upon logs!!

  3. I remember the winter after we bought it dropped to minus 17, and the autoroute to Spain was closed for snow and ice. Drove down in February and turned on mains in both house and grenier to be greeted with showers from nearly every pipe joint.

    No central heating we froze in front of the log fire.

    Walking to the bar you could almost cut chunks from the air which was bone chilling.

    Ah the good old days.

    Soon be heatwave/pool season.

  4. I am planning a painting/renovation trip in my van later this month (January 2011) Going to the South West near Bordeaux, and would be pleased to offer some space, either a lift to somebody, carry some articles etc in return for a share of fuel/tolls.Can drop off or pickup anywhere reasonably within the Rennes, Niort, Bordeaux corridor, and since I am also taking some bits to a friend who lives near Figeac could do something round there too. Hope this might be of help to someone in these cash bereft times.

  5. Oh dear. Drawing a picture time?

    The suggestion that we should should initiate proceedings against him when we had not paid him fully and incur legal costs whilst "in pocket" is I would say daft.

    However now that it has come to legal action initiated by him, I/we are quite prepared to accept the legal route ie building inspector, Tribunal etc, since, as I said, I have just discovered the documents I thought I had, including original devis, stating all pipework to be, wait for it "HIDDEN" or underfloor, and a letter fax 5months from original "agreed" start date, saying his son was doing the pipework over new year. Oops - no Siret!

    Bi - polar and extremely psychotic!

    When did Picardie move to Sussex?
  6. Whoah so many replies to answer!

    Firstly an expert de batiment is en route in September. My next move will depend on his report; as mentioned above opinions are 2 a penny, however since France is subject to European law, as are we, then for someone who has lots of bathroom projects signed off yearly, and under inspection, has one I would listen to.

    The earlier suggestion that I may be a serial non payer is a bit off. The sparky was paid day of finishing, as was the plasterer, the guy who did the trenching for electrics and dug the hole for our pool got his the day he packed up his digger. My bricky was paid weekly, as was the guy who was to render and finish the pool and pool building (he has returned the money following a visit from a building inspector).Everybody we deal with in France gets paid. This exception is because the job was not done the way we wanted it. One should not have to renovate a renovation in my humble opinion.

    The delay has not been of our making since we replied to him immediately any communication was received - he waits 2 years to reply, hence 3 letters and one meeting take 6 years. The suggestion that we should move legally against him, when we were satisfied that not paying the balance of the facture settled our account; is frankly ridiculous!

    The collectors are, frankly, reputable. A nice little lady or 2 with whom have communicated and had in fits of laughter at my descriptions of the Dali-esque plomberie, so no heavies. Even if there were I have no fear in that direction I assure you.

    The legal route suits us fine. After the inspector I think I will issue proceedings against him for re-doing the work to our satisfaction unless he can do it in line with the inspectors wishes.

    Thanks all, got my fight back, especially since I just found loads of original paperwork all of which will make interesting reading for a tribunal.
  7. I think wrong end of sick is applying here.We told him before work where pipe should be placed! Witnessed. We told him while work was ongoing it should be in ceiling - no result! We told him at completion it was unsatisfactory!Witnessed. No result. He sends us a reprise of the facture. We tell him again why we are unwilling to pay it. He does not reply for 2 years. We tell him again. Another 2 years. No offer has been made to rectify our dissatisfaction, on contrary we have made an offer of the 2 major pieces outstanding, 1 malplaced thermostat next to fire, and towel rad still hanging on 3 brackets! It is he who has dragged this out for so long, as with the initial job.

    As for the boiler's safety, yes it functions, but legally should not have been signed off without an exterior drain or so I was told last December by a UK bathroom fitter who sees hundreds of these things? I'd stand to be corrected on this.
  8. Hi JR.Correct on the devis. We recieved a devis thinking it was an estimate, not the Lords word on the subject. (As in the UK we presumed it would be an outside guess, not writ in stone, and depending on materials used/time taken maybe less than devis-ed) No mention in it of placement, though my wife and I both expressly remember a long conversation in which he ridiculed the idea of placing the pipe anywhere else but out of sight above the ceiling (its a large bungalow type hence the ease).

    Yes the pipe runs were done as a rushed job around Xmas 2002 - Jan 2003 in my absence. We'd been ringing him weekly since August to make a start, and when I told him I was en route for Feb to start the ripping out of plaster, he chucked his son at it for a few days!

    Made up work, means work on the devis, put on the facture which was done by myself, such as digging up the bathroom and toilet floors, laying the grillage in trenching from the gas tank, fitting the loo pan back in place, and vanity unit, fixing a stop cock etc.

    I understand there is a system whereby materials and work placing are lumped together, but I'm also being billed for labour! He can't have it both ways surely.

    Not all work was completed before I complained. Even the other partner ( who did the great job for my neighbours) when he came over for an hour to do something on the boiler, effectively took a look around at the piping and remarked on how poor it was!

    I am over again in September and will put in place a visit to a Hussier, Tribunal etc, plus a revisit from the building inspector who checked out our pool to verify wether its substandard work or I'm being picky. Hopefully he will confirm what a guest of ours, also an inspector of works thought, that it was a "bit of a cowboy job". Ah the mastery of understatement.
  9. Yes Zeb French indeed, though that does not preclude good workmanship.My neighbours had this guys partner do their bath/shower, in entirety, and it is a joy to behold, partly the reason we went to this company. ( they too have since also had double billing from the other/our bloke which they too have refused to pay - and they are French)!

    JR.Thanks for the input. Guess I am the OP?Firstly I didn't use the above words exactly but have precied un peux for brevity. In letters to him and the collections people I offered to pay for 2 large parts of the 2nd facture ie a towel rad and a thermostat, amounting to some1200 Euros, but not for made up work which differed from his original devis, which I do indeed have. Running the pipe through/above the ceiling, which is so easy to do, was expressly agreed in our 1st meeting, and was a reason for proceeding! I am sure that somewhere in EU law there must be some consumer rights against rank profiteering - 22mm pipe ( an example only which applies to all materials) costs 2-3Euros per metre in bulk not ten times that at 20plusEuros.

    Bear in mind he has had 5600 Euros up front , so its not as if we paid him nowt, but it will cost us a tidy sum to put it right even if I use my friendly plumber, hence we want recognition of this, which he has consistently ignored.

    What I would like to know is ;Is there a French equivilent of , Citizens Advice,Office of Fair Trading, or/and Small Claims Court??

    I work too hard for my dosh to throw it away.
  10. Thanks Aly I'd kind of thought of that as they gave me advice when the pool was bodged, which is why we got a building inspector, and money returned.

    Yes the plumbing has all been fixed to all surfaces of the interior walls rather than hiding the bulk of it, as we stated in the 1st planning meeting, in runs above the ceiling, with short drops to the rads ( about 90% could have been hidden this way). I'll try and get pictures on - it really belongs in the Pompidou Centre, not my living spaces!Oh and yes he is a French plumber.
  11. The work has yet to be done, as it would mean closing down the gite, which pays the mortgage, finding a trustworthy plumber, to drain down the system, replace pipework inside ceiling cavities, and chased out walls, then re plaster and box in where not possible to use existing cavities, redecorate the whole gaff. A few months work at best. I've sent him the pricings way back on the 1st response - not a murmur. Thing is its easy to chuck out a demand if you know the form and language, as with small claims here, and I suppose we should have acted immediately, but we just thought he'd seen it our way!
  12. Thanks all so far.

    Everything has been in writing, except our 1st meeting when he doorstepped me with our plasterer, who witnessed me telling him he was not getting anymore than the 5,700 we'd paid so far because.... and a tour of works took place - he just shrugged his shoulders and left and I thought it was an end to it. Like dog says I thought he had accepted my view until we recieved a demand 2 years after. We then, in writing detailed our dissatisfaction in a letter to which he did not respond until 2007. It was not until May this year that a response was recieved in the form of the collection letter. All along we kept thinking he was dropping the matter, as in our original letter we told him we would counterclaim for delay, lost revenue, and re-doing the work, not to mention his gross overcharging of materials, which exceeded the money he wanted from us.

    Is there a form of small claims for instance in France? My plan is to pay a buildings inspector - about 350 last time for the pool, then take the obvious evidence to a Houssier, but if theres a cheaper option .....?

  13. I can see where you are coming from on this but he was informed at the time why we were unhappy, and he made no move to rectify the problem, his only communication was the demand for a cheque every 2 or 3 years. Since he had had 5,700 Euros of ours mid job, and we had a hot water system of sorts we were loathe to get embroiled in the French legal system of which we still know very little.I don't need a qualified opinion to tell me that hidden where possible does not mean slap all pipework to the walls, in plain view!

    We also had the side issue of an interesting pool constructor, who was subject to a building inspection and found wanting.
  14. Could be a long one here so please bear with us. In 2002 -3 we had our small house replumbed, in preparation to rent it out for a gite. Yes a mere 12months, and despite our requests to hide the pipework where possible, our "Artisan Plombier" left us with something resembling spaghetti chucked at the wall through much of the house. He charged twice for labour (we think), and priced copper pipe and all fittings at incredible cost (21Euros a metre in some cases), charged for work I did, work he didn't do, and on top still hasn't fitted a drain to the combi boiler to the exterior, allowing it to drain into our hall when over pressure!

    I met him a few months after he commisioned the system, when he came for the 2nd part of his facture, 3,700Euros ( we paid 5,600Euros some 3 months into his work - 6 months after he was supposed to start), and pointed out the deficiencies, why it wasn't getting paid etc.

    He has since sent us demands every 2 or 3 years, to which we have replied directly, with the same information - poor job done equals no payment. He is now using a collection agency to try and extract the balance, with agency fees doubling it up to 6,500Euros.

    I need to know about consumer rights in this field, and also if there are any plumbers out there who can back up my view and that of several others including a sparky (French), a plasterer, a bathroom fitter, a builder (all English) a Welsh building inspector (guest), that this is a job not deserving of further dosh. If I can work it out I have "spaghetti" pics to post!
  15. We have been in dispute with our plumber for over 6 years, refusing to pay the 2nd part of his bill due to the protracted, overpriced, lash up he made of our home in France. He has infrequently sent us demands, despite an onsite explanation of why etc, to which we have repeated our reasons in writing.

    He has now been to a collections agency, who are asking for his 3000Euros plus a load of their "expenses" and interest, totalling over 6,500Euros! We have waited to counterclaim for re-doing the work,repositioning pipework,making the boiler "safe", closure of the gite etc ad nauseum, and were wondering if anyone here can point us in the appropriate direction re lawyers or consumer organisations who assist on the side of the customer. We even wonder if he still has a case after 6 years have elapsed?
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