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CatherineS2

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Everything posted by CatherineS2

  1. [quote user="the build doctor"] More pics of the mixer / valve please?[/quote] I didn't take any, but I can when I go back tomorrow. I'm not sure what you mean about the plumbing being bad. It looks OK to me, but then I'm not a build doctor! I'll take loads more photos and post them here. Thanks again everyone!
  2. Thanks Clair. Yes, we did come to the conclusion that we had to give them a chance to put it right, because if we get someone else involved, and they cause another problem (eg damage to the shower screen), then Lapeyre will be able absolve themselves of responsibility. So I am going to write to them as you suggested (by the way, what is LR+AC?). I am also going to leave a letter at the house addressed to all our guests over the coming months, explaining the situation, and asking them to bear with us until the work is done. There is nothing wrong with the shower, it works fine, it just looks bad, and I don't want people to think that is how it is going to be left. I am popping back over tomorrow on a Eurotunnel overnight fare (thank goodness we bought somewhere that is easily accessible from the UK!), and on the way to the house will pop in to Lapeyre and hand over the letter in person. Do you think I should also send a copy to their head office? How can I keep proof of receipt of my letters? Do I need to get someone to sign for the letter tomorrow? Finally, if they can't complete the work in time for our first guests on Saturday, do you think I could reasonably charge them the profit that I would have made had I been able to let the house for the week that I will eventually have to block off when they do come and do the work, even though I will not yet have had a booking? I suppose I could show the week as being available, and then if I do get enquiries for the week, then I will have proof that I could have let the house out. Sorry, thinking aloud here... Thank you everybody who has replied to this post. I will keep you posted... PS. Is there an equivalent of Watchdog in France? I'm wondering whether I should contact them.
  3. LOL!!! I really did laugh out loud when I read your post cooperlola!!! The choice of those tiles has been a contentious issue with me and my OH. He chose them and I HATE them. So I suppose I should be grateful to the plumber for giving me an excuse to replace them... So, now, instead of getting stressy about the whole thing, I am going to look at this as an opportunity, not a problem. It's given me a great excuse to get my way in the end, I'm off to the tile shop tomorrow to get some decent ones.... 
  4. Dear fulcrum, Thanks for the advice! Usually I am very Zen about this sort of thing, but you really do have to see them and then you'll realise why it's not so easy! Yes, I am sure that our guests won't spend too much time looking at them, but the point is, I will know that they are there, and that we spent A LOT of money doing up our bathroom and bought high quality bathroom fittings, only to for it to look like some cheap rubbish DIY job. Take a look at the evidence: www.users.globalnet.co.uk/~pslack/photoclinic/Webtiles.htm And this is what the tiles should look like: http://www.lapeyre.fr/Lapeyre/o_decouverte/o_02/o_02_pop_tendance.htm?image=/Lapeyre/images/o_decouverte/o_02/o_0204/o_0204_b/04_visu1_b1_zoom.jpg I rest my case...
  5. Wow Bugbear, that was quick!!! Yes, LaPeyre did mention something about some product that they would need to put on before adding the tiles, so I guess that is what they are talking about. So now I am beginning to question just how good this second plumber must be if he doesn't know about this product!!! Now I'm in even more of a quandary!! Have you done it? (tiled over tiles that is!). And if so, how was it for you? :-) EDIT: (Thanks for your reply too, Dick. I guess it wasn't very good for you then! How easy was it to remove the existing tiles though? I am really worried about damaging my super-duper new glass shower enclosure).  
  6. I've also posted this in the house renovations forum, as one of my questions is to do with the practicalities of tiling. But I'm also posting here, as I am hoping that someone with can help with the legal aspect of refusing to pay for bad workmanship... We have a holiday home in Normandy which we let out. Last December, we ordered a new bathroom from Lapeyre and arranged for them to do the installation as well. The date was set for last week, it was only due to take one week but I blocked off two weeks, leaving me one week spare for contingencies. The plumber and all the fittings arrived on time as arranged, he was punctual, pleasant and appears to have done a very good job on the plumbing and the shower installation, but not on the tiles - they look appalling, REALLY dreadful, I'm sure my 9 year old daughter could have done better. I was so disappointed and angry. I called Lapeyre and the manager came out to inspect, and although at first he tried to fob me off, he did admit that it was not an acceptable job. I have been offered two alternatives - either redo the grouting, or tile over the mess. The only problem is that they can't do it next week, and we are now solidly booked up from next Saturday until 21st April. And even if I do block off a week after then, I shall be out of pocket as that would be a week that I would expect to fill at a cost of £350. Also, it would be the same guy coming out, and I'm not convinced that he is going to do a very good job, even with new tiles. I have held back half of the balance payment I was supposed to pay them yesterday, so I do have money in hand. I am tempted to just refuse to pay an amount equivalent to the cost of the tiles and the installation of the tiles, plus my expenses for going back out again on Monday. I have contacted a good friend in the area who runs a property services company and he does have a good tiler he can recommend and he has cajoled him into coming out next week to see if we can salvage the mess. The only thing is, he has recommended that we don't tile over tiles, he says it is OK on floor tiles, but not on shower tiles as they are likely to fall off. But I am worried that it is not possible to remove existing tiles without ruining the shower (and it was not a cheap one). So, can anyone offer me any advice? What would be the legal implications of not accepting their offer of redress and refusing to pay for what they've done instead, given that I am running a business and time is of the essence? I have good detailed photos of the problem. THANKS FOR ANY HELP - I am tearing my hair out!!!!
  7. We have a holiday home in Normandy which we let out. Last December, we ordered a new bathroom from Lapeyre and arranged for them to do the installation as well. The date was set for last week, it was only due to take one week but I blocked off two weeks, leaving me one week spare for contingencies. The plumber and all the fittings arrived on time as arranged, he was punctual, pleasant and appears to have done a very good job on the plumbing and the shower installation, but not on the tiles - they look appalling, REALLY dreadful, I'm sure my 9 year old daughter could have done better. I was so disappointed and angry. I called Lapeyre and the manager came out to inspect, and although at first he tried to fob me off, he did admit that it was not an acceptable job. I have been offered two alternatives - either redo the grouting, or tile over the mess. The only problem is that they can't do it next week, and we are now solidly booked up from next Saturday until 21st April. And even if I do block off a week after then, I shall be out of pocket as that would be a week that I would expect to fill at a cost of £350. Also, it would be the same guy coming out, and I'm not convinced that he is going to do a very good job, even with new tiles. I have held back half of the balance payment I was supposed to pay them yesterday, so I do have money in hand. I am tempted to just refuse to pay an amount equivalent to the cost of the tiles and the installation of the tiles, plus my expenses for going back out again on Monday. I have contacted a good friend in the area who runs a property services company and he does have a good tiler he can recommend and he has cajoled him into coming out next week to see if we can salvage the mess. The only thing is, he has recommended that we don't tile over tiles, he says it is OK on floor tiles, but not on shower tiles as they are likely to fall off. But I am worried that it is not possible to remove existing tiles without ruining the shower (and it was not a cheap one). So, can anyone offer me any advice? 1. What would be the legal implications of not accepting their offer of redress and refusing to pay for what they've done instead, given that I am running a business and time is of the essence? I have good detailed photos of the problem. 2. Is it true that it is not advisable to tile over tiles in a shower? THANKS FOR ANY HELP - I am tearing my hair out!!!!
  8. Here's a link to Henry's song which was in the film... http://www.henrypadovani.com/uk/album/icinajac.htm (That's his 12yr old daughter Fedora in the background). I've seen the video for this song and it features lots of characters from the film, but I don't think it's available on line. It does look idyllic!  By the way, listen out for his new single, Welcome Home, which is shortly to be released and features Henry (the original guitarist of the Police befiore Andy Summers), along with Sting on bass and Stewart Copeland on drums. The original Police line-up.... :-)
  9. Hi LanguedocGal! Did you go to the screening? If so, how was it? Thanks!
  10. Actually Blanche, your idea is of great value to me, because I have just been wrestling with exactly that problem. I had been considering buying a large plastic trunk, one of those you see in pound shops, but was reluctant because a) you can't lock them, and b) they're ugly. Do you by chance have a link to the item on their website? Or do you have a photo? I've just done a search, unsuccessfully. OK, in return, here's my hint.... Log on to www.laymyhat.com, the website for rental home owners. There you will find an absolute cornucopia of hints and tips, as well as a very lively discussion forum where rental owners are NOT reluctant to help out and share their secrets! (Well some of them anyway!). 
  11. Has anyone seen this film, which has been nominated for a Cesar for best documentary? Does anyone on this forum live in/near Najac and know any of the people featured? http://www.ocean-films.com/icinajac/ (I'm interested because a friend of mine wrote the music).
  12. As someone said above, you can use most toilet cleaning products that you find in the supermarket, check that they say "Sans danger pour fosses septiques". Then once a week (or once a month if you buy the monthly ones), empty a sachet of Eparcyl down the pan and flush it. Et voila! Job done (scuse the pun)
  13. Thanks for the info Dick and BJS. Unfortunately I only have Sky and I've just trawled through all the channels to see if I could find Canal+ but it doesn't seem to be there. Typical! You pay a fortune for a load of rubbish channels which you never watch, and when something does come along which you would really like to see, it turns out that it's not included....[:@]
  14. A friend of ours wrote the music for a film that has just been nominated for a Cesar. I would like to watch the awards live on TV, but I live in the UK. I don't for a second expect that they will be broadcast on British TV, but was wondering which channel they are likely to be on, and if I would be able to catch it. We do have a full Sky package but I don't think we get many french channels.
  15. Thanks everyone for your detailed replies, and I stand corrected! When I think back to Going for Gold, I just remember Henry Kelly and a line of about 10 contestants all answering buzzer-type questions, whereas the clip of the show that I watched on the FR3 website showed two people competing against the clock. But now it is all coming back to me (saddo that I am!), yes of course, that part is the final round, when the two highest-scoring competitors go head-to-head. Thanks for that, I will carry on with this book translation, I've got a long way to go so I may well pop up on here looking for some more advice from time to time!
  16. Thanks for those replies. I do remember "Going for Gold" (I too have been on maternity leave and my god what a boring show that one was!!!), but I don't think that's the one. I had a look at the Questions pour un champion website, and I do recognise the format of the show. It's the one where there are two contestants, and they have to answer a question in 40 seconds. If they get it in the first 10 seconds they get 4 points, in the next 10 3 points, then 2 points and 1 point.  You can watch a video of the show to see what I mean: http://questions-pour-un-champion.france3.fr/emission/questions-pour-un-champion-video.php I know that I have quite recently seen the same show, yes on daytime TV, and no I have never actually sat down and watched it (honestly!).
  17. Can anyone help me? I am translating a book from French to English for someone, and I need to translate the name of the gameshow "Questions pour un champion". I know I've seen the same show on TV in England, but don't know what it's called. Help!!! Thanks!!!
  18. I was impressed by their TV advert that they display on their website, and I signed up (was offered a cheap deal, about 20 Euros I think?). Anyway, haven't had a single enquiry - can't remember when I signed up but it was ages ago!!! (A year?). Maybe it is more successful for apartments in spain, but not for gites in rural france. I don't know, but I won't be renewing....
  19. Agree about location being an important consideration. We are in rural Normandy, but only 2 hours from Calais, and therefore we are able to cater for off-peak breaks as well as the school holidays. We have just one gite, but our occupancy so far has been: year 1: 27 weeks year 2: 29 weeks year 3 (this year): 39 weeks So it is possible to do well, but you really do have to work at it. Whereabouts in Normandy are you going to be? Good Luck, I sincerely hope you are successful.   PS: We too were seriously considering to move out to France 3 years ago (children 9 and 6 at the time), but decided against it, mainly because of the children's schooling. Son is mildly dyslexic and I didn't want to make life even more difficult for him than it already was! We've since moved out of London to rural East Sussex and I feel we have the best of both worlds now...
  20. Happens to me all the time. It's called having a "CRAFT" moment... ("Can't Remember A Thing")
  21. [quote user="Eslier"] seriously consider choosing a place where the owners live on site or very nearby. [/quote] I don't live on site or nearby, but if you had been renting from me, and you had complained to me at the time, then I would have done my utmost to rectify any problems you would have had. I have a good local support team who can react to any problems as well as any resident owner could have. So please, don't assume that all absentee landlords are uncaring... However, although I do consider myself to be an "owner who cares", in fact I would go so far as to say that I am an "owner who cares very very much", if someone left my property, then over a week later wrote to me requesting a refund, then I very much doubt that I would just roll over and say "ok then", unless there were very strong reasons why I should do so. If I am not given the opportunity to rectify any problems at the time, why should I subsequently be penalised financially when a simple phone call could have sorted out any problems. (although I agree that some of your particular problems probably couldn't have been sorted out very simply).
  22. This is a classic scam tactic. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES REFUND THEM ANY MONEY until you are 100% sure (and have confirmed this with your bank manager) that the money really has reached your account and cannot subsequently be recalled. What many people don't realise is that these people can transfer money to your account, usually for more than the normal rental amount, then ask you to send them back the overpayment. Then, a couple of weeks down the line, waddaya know, the original amount gets recalled back our of your account, AFTER you have sent them the balance. Read more about all sorts of scams here: http://www.laymyhat.com/forum/viewforum.php?f=31  
  23. [quote user="Ian Horn"] Sawday seems to have got the best publicity out of it all: others will doubtless have a view on that.[/quote]Actually, I disagree, I think he too was made to look a "d**khead". When we watched the program as it was editted, we were astounded when the property was accepted, given all the negatives that we saw. For example, that titchy bed that was being sold as a double!!! No way should that have been passed as acceptable. I think that is actually negative publicity, as it rather negates the whole point of an inspection - particularly as the guide was being portrayed as a guide to "luxury hotels". If I had never heard of the guides I would not have been impressed. But the point is, it is not a guide to "luxury" hotels. It is a guide to places that are "special" in some way, and that specialness is not quanitifiable. Some of them will be luxury, others will be much simpler, but they will be deemed to be special within their price range. But what was editted out that we didn't see? Were there loads of positives that outweighed the negatives? At the end of the inspection, did AS sit with them and go through all the negatives and say for example "you are nearly up to scratch, but you will have to upgrade some of the furnishings, eg get a larger bed for that double room, if you are to be accepted"? I am sure he did, because that is what happened to us - our house was let down by the kitchen which was a bit shabby, and we had to get a new kitchen before we could be accepted! [quote user="Will "]enthused over the dual flush button on the loo (shows how many French places, special or not, he has actually visited) [/quote] Again, what was editted out? On our inspection they REALLY majored on all the "green" issues such as recycling, energy saving, etc etc, so I don't think he enthused because he had never seen one, more because he was pointing out this instance of a brownie point. Look, I know I am coming across as very much in defence of AS. Well OK, so be it. I don't understand why so many poeple on this forum seem to be so negative about the whole AS concept. These books have always worked for me, both as a consumer and as an advertiser. What I am angry about is the way these TV programs selectively edit all the footage to make things look a certain way. In this case, I think that all the participants have been made to look stupid. We just have to see through that, but unfortunately not everyone can, and there are people out there who will believe it all.      
  24. [quote user="St Amour"]we were a little disappointed to discover that it had become more of a commercial venture, in that, money bought your way into the book.  [/quote] Well of course it is a commercial venture! He is not doing it out of the goodness of his heart! But, I disagree that you can "buy" your way in. Yes, you do have to pay, but only once you have been accepted. Having had many conversations with Emma and Kate, the editors, and having spent time with the inspector, I have no doubt that they would not put any old property into the book just because someone is prepared to pay. They would soon lose their credibility if they did.   They don't hide the fact that owners have to pay - this is what they say on their website: Subscriptions Owners pay to appear in these guides – their modest fee goes towards the high production costs of all-colour books. Although you may not care tuppence if owners have paid to be in, it is a thorny subject among guides. Many books are black and white, without photographs; there is no comparison in production costs. They have trumpeted the fact that owners do not pay. We challenge them to find a finer selection of houses or nicer owners than ours. We have turned down houses that have appeared in many other guides and frequently returned cheques to owners keen to be in ours. More owners than ever want to be in and we have more readers than ever. We stand by our integrity - firmly! Disclaimer We make no claims to pure objectivity in judging our Special Places to Stay. They are here because we like them. Our opinions and tastes are ours alone and these books are a statement of them; we cross our fingers and hope that you will share them. I paid £344 just one year ago - I am not aware that it now costs considerably more. And I don't think it is an excessive price to pay, given the quality of the production of the book, and the fact that it covers you for two years on their website as well. St Amour - if you are going to reapply, then I strongly recommend that you call Emma (well, actually no, not Emma, as she is going on maternity leave shortly, but call the office and speak to her replacement). The whole point of the book is that it is not just about properties, it is about people, so I think that it is important to build up a rapport. Yes, I know that I am coming across as a bit of a "fan", but that's because I am, and have been for a long time - many years before I even thought that I would ever be able to afford to buy my own holiday property. I like their attitude, and I particularly like their ethics and environmental policies. I am proud to have been included in their guides and make no apologies for singing their praises.  For those of you who have never seen their books, just go in to any (English) bookshop and take a look, and make your own judgement. EDIT: Why won't any of my smiley icons display???!!!
  25. I've just noticed that there is going to be a new episode of this program about a couple who bought a B&B in France on Channel 4 this Thursday at 8pm if anyone's interested.
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