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Everything posted by Grecian

  1. Thank you all very much for your input on this less than exciting subject. I guess it is very much pot-luck when it comes to purchasing white goods, one person may think a specific brand is brilliant, whereas somebody else may have had a bad experience with the same brand. For our part we have decided to buy the machine from the local Gitem which is only 5 minutes up the road. I fully take onboard what people have posted regarding after-sales service if things go wrong with the machine in the future. The temptation to purchase the machine from somebody like Darty is very tempting, but with our grasp of the French language at the moment I think it best to stick to face-to-face discussions rather than telephone calls in French, if the need arises. It now comes down to which machine to purchase, having said we will never buy another Hotpoint, which includes Indesit and Ariston, and after having had a bad experience with a Whirlpool we had back in the UK our options are somewhat limited. Looking at things I think we will try either the Fagor or Brandt, might as well save something like 100 euros on the purchase price and put that towards the first repair bill! Not sure whether to choose the 6kg or 7kg drum model, our Hotpoint was a 8kg drum, but the lady at Gitem reckons the larger the drum the more problems come with the machine, which I guess makes sense, with more strain put on the machine whizzing it around when drying.
  2. Having being told this morning that our UK purchased 3-year old Hotpoint washing machine which has recently gone wrong, will cost us a grand total of 375 euros plus labour to put right, we have decided to purchase a new machine, rather than have the old one repaired. Sorry Hotpoint if you thought I was going to leave it there, what an absolute load of **** your washing machine turned out to be. I do not expect the programmer and various other bits to clap out after only three years, and will certainly not be purchasing another one of your appallingly made machines ever again. There rant over, now to the point of my thread. Having looked around our local Gitem who currently hold our now defunct machine, two machines caught our eye, mainly due to the fact that there are a lot cheaper than some of the better known brands. The two machines in question are Brandt and Fagor, after doing some research on the Internet it would seem they are both owned by the same company. Does anybody out there own either one of these two brands? If so what do you think of them? When we make our minds up as to which machine to purchase, it will then come down to where we purchase it from. The very nice lady at Gitem this morning said that delivery would be free and the engineer would install the machine. Plus obviously if the machine were to go wrong within the guarantee period it would be a whole lot easier to sort the problem out face-to-face. On the other hand having done an internet search it would seem that a lot of machines are upto 100 euros cheaper even after paying 40 euros or so delivery from online suppliers. Another question has anybody purchased a washing machine from somewhere like Darty, if so what have you had any problems with your purchase? Many thanks to anybody who is kind enough to reply. Now back to that e-mail to Hotpoint!
  3. Many thanks again parsnips, your replies are much appreciated. Sorry for having seemed a bit dense with some of the questions I have asked, to be honest I never had enough gains in the UK to worry about declaring them, and it is only with the changes that have come into place in France this year I have needed to think about declaring anything. As regards to being able to go back 10 years, I only wish I still had some of my contract notes from that time frame, unfortunately I think I destroyed a lot of them when we moved to France, thinking I would not need them again.[:(] Once again many thanks for taking the trouble to assist me in my plight.
  4. Thank you very much for your reply parsnips. I suppose we should be grateful that the treatment of share dividends have not been too affected yet. For this year's tax form I will have a capital gain to show for 2010, but more than enough losses from 2009 to cancel out the 2010 gain. Should I sent in all the contract notes from 2010, and then enough contract notes from 2009 showing the losses, or send in all contract notes from 2008 and 2009? September 2008 was when I became a French resident. Last year I did not have a capital gain to declare, and did not send in any contract notes, and my accounts were accepted without requesting any evidence of gains/losses, but as you say if I have all the evidence to support my claim it would be best to send in all the documents, just not sure which ones to send. The pile will certainly keep somebody occupied for quite some time sifting through them all!
  5. Hello parsnips you posted that: Dividends are subject to an allowance of 1525€ (single) or 3050€(couple) -most are also given a tax-free allowance of 40%. They are then added to your other (pension etc) income and taxed on the sliding scales. Are you sure the tax-free allowance is still in place? After surfing the net to try and understand Sarko's grab on our hard-earned dosh, with all the new capital gain taxes now in place, I found this website: http://www.french-property.com/news/tax_france/changes_2011/ which states that the tax relief on dividends have been removed, but the 40% abatement is still in place. Any thoughts on the subject you have will be gratefully received. With the new capital gains tax, any losses can be used for upto 10 years, (I have plenty of them!) which is a good thing. Would anybody know how to declare your profit/losses for the tax year? For a very simple example: if I made 500 pound profit on one share and a 500 pound loss on another share for the tax year, would I have to send in the relevant contract notes to prove there was no capital gain for the tax year, or simply not declare anything, as legally no profit would have been made?
  6. Thank you all very much for your replies. Mike, having read the tax demand that arrived this week again, I think your scenario is correct, that they are asking for the first of three installments for 2011 tax, for the tax year 2010, as the proposed payment is exactly a third of our total payment for 2010, 2009 tax year. All mighty confusing this tax stuff here in France. So I guess instead of contesting our facture, we will have to meekly go to the Tresor Public and pay it instead. Anyhow Pickles after your suggestion of looking at our account online, I managed this afternoon to fathom out all the numbers required, and was able to view our account online for the first time. After deciphering how to get to the mes paiements page I was able to see that indeed our 2010 payment was listed on our account as paid, so I guess the above scenario will mean we will have to stump up the first payment for 2011 before 15th February to avoid the guillotine!
  7. Not sure if this is just a computer generated problem, I hope this is the case. We have received a demand for another third installment of of our 2010 income tax, even though we payed the full amount of income tax for 2010 back in August. I have our bank statement showing the payment, so no problem there, just a lot of hassle I guess if the Tresor Public will not accept we have paid our dues in full. Has anybody else experienced this situation please, if so is this just a 'computer error' and can I safely ignore the demand knowing I have already paid in full. Or should I visit the Tresor Public just to be on the safe side?
  8. Many thanks for the links pachapapa. I updated my version of Java, and restarted my laptop, SFR then asked for my password, and after entering the password, hey presto back online with no dodgy invalid certificate messages. Still strange why Internet Explorer didn't seem to have a problem, but who cares. Once again many thanks.
  9. Here I am again, with another computer problem, why isn't life ever simple? On firing up my laptop this morning using Firefox as my browser, a messgage appeared on screen telling me my SFR certificate expired yesterday, the message advised me that somebody could be trying to attack my computer. After trying to boot using Google Chrome the same message appeared, but when I use Internet Explorer 8 I can connect as usual with no mention of expiring certificates. I have run my Avast software and it found no viruses on my computer. Any ideas please as to why Firefox and Google are giving me these messages, and Internet Explorer 8 is not? I do no wish to go onto any sensitive websites, i.e. online banking with my certificate possibly under attack. All views most welcomed.
  10. Thank you both for your replies. I think we will close our existing Livret A accounts and start afresh with Fortuneo, after reading Clair's link it may save a lot of fuss. Glad to hear Fortuneo are performing well allan, we are on some what of a roll at the moment, having successfully transfered from FT/Orange to SFR, we now feel brave enough to attempt moving our current account.
  11. We are proposing to transfer our current account away from Credit Agricole and open a current account with Fortuneo, as our mutual friend The Nationwide is now charging us to withdraw our own money, and the fact CA charge for electronic transfers into our account. Also Fortuneo only charge an annual fee of 18 euros as opposed to 8,84 euros a month with CA. The only thing that has stopped us switching before is the fact that I could see no way of paying in cash to Fortuneo, this will now not be a problem as I am in the process of setting up a monthly transfer of sterling into euros, which will be paid into our new Fortuneo account. Having looked at the Fortuneo site they say they will transfer all direct debits for us, as they would do in the UK, so hopefully not a problem there. Does anybody know how you transfer or cancel Livret A accounts please. Is it simply a case of closing the Livret A account with CA, then opening a new one with Fortuneo, or is it possible to transfer the Livret A the same time as the current account? Also if anybody banks with Fortuneo I would be interested in your opinions of what you think about them. Many thanks.
  12. Thanks again Danny, your posts have been most helpful. Yes I did misinterpret the bit regarding carte WiFi and took it to mean you would get a card and a dongle. Well, I uninstalled the software as suggested and reinstalled, then instead of clicking on the 4 green bar icon to bring up the dongle dialogue box, I right clicked the other icon that has little beam things coming out from a screen, and this brought up my available networks, I clicked on the NEUF_CEE4 icon and this brought up the window to key in the wifi code, I did this and at last I connected via WEP encryption, at a reasonable speed, not as quick as the laptop, but at this moment in time I will settle for what I have. Reading the reviews on Amazon for the dongle I am using some people do seem to think distance can be a problem from the box to the computer. As my computer is downstairs in the sous or is it the sol, and the neufbox is upstairs this could be giving me problems. I will consider buying a new dongle in the near future. I still have to click on the internet explorer icon to get connected, but who cares as least I do mange to get connected. Once again Danny many thanks for all your assistance.
  13. Once again thank you all for your replies. Regarding keying in my security code Danny, when I click the icon to bring up my network connections, and then double click on Neuf_CEE4 box to key in my WPA Sharekey, the box is greyed out, so I am unable to key in my code. I also tried connecting to the site but I was unable to connect to the site either yesterday or today. My laptop is working OK, alibeit using WEP so I am going to leave it alone for the moment. Specifications for my desktop are as follows: Dell Dimension 3100 Operating System: MS Windows XP Home32-bit SP3 Dongle: BN BlueNEXT BN-WD54G I am going to purchase a SFR dongle tomorrow, and after having looked at their website this throws up another question. They have two for sale on their website, one with a card and one without, do I need to buy the one with the card and dongle, or just the dongle? Totally confused. ANO I take on board your observations regarding security, and I guess if somebody really is determined to hack in then yes they will be able to hack in quite easily, you just have to watch CSI to know that! But I would rather be connecting to the internet encrypted rather than not. If installing a SFR dongle does not do the trick I think I will throw the computer against the wall, that really will not solve anything, but make me feel a whole lot better!
  14. Thank you all once again for your input, I must admit I am getting a bit bogged down at the moment with this wi-fi stuff. I managed to get my laptop connected to the neufbox which is wi-fi enabled, but the laptop would only accept WEP security, which at the moment I will settle for. The older desktop which is not wi-fi enabled is giving me a bit of a problem. Danny many thanks for you excellent post again, you mention that there could be a conflict with my wi-fi dongle, which I think there could well be. I have established a connection to my neufbox but I can only get connected via clicking on the internet explorer icon, and not the SFR icon, when I do get connected the connection is very slow, and sometimes disconnects me altogher, whereas the laptop is lightening fast. Do you think if I purchase the SFR dongle that this could sort my connection problems out?
  15. Many thanks for the replies, sorry if I didn't make myself clear in trying to explain the situation. I am using a USB WiFi adapter as pointed out by Quillan, as the computer is not Wi-Fi enabled like the new computers you buy now. When I hover my mouse over the icon showing I am connected to the internet, it reads that I am connected by Wi-Fi Public. When I click on the icon it brings up a box showing my Wi-Fi options, one reads NEUF_CEE4 which shows it is encrypted by WEP whatever that is. I seem unable to use this as an option to connect to the internet and have to use the Wi-Fi Public option. If this doesn't make any difference as long as the secure sites show https then I won't worry about it.
  16. Not sure if the above sounds rude or painful, but can anybody advise if connecting to the internet unencrpted can compromise your internet security, especially when accessing online banking etc. I ask the question because when I connect to the internet using my 5-year old desktop computer which is not 'wi-fied', I have to connect using an USB stick, I can only get connected unencrypted. I have Avast loaded on the computer, which I have paid for, not the free version, so can I presume that my Avast security will stop anybody attacking my computer even though I am connected uncrypted? I guess I could connect with a wired connection but that would mean blasting a hole through the floor to connect to my computer downstairs. Any computer whizz kids out there who can advise?
  17. Well after having reconnected our Neufbox this morning and checking that all scart leads were connected correctly, we now have French TV via AV1 and Sky via AV2. Another problem solved.
  18. Thanks for that Bob. After I posted yesterday I went back and used the zapper that came with the TV to try different AV channels, which I had tried earlier and nothing appeared on screen. When I selected AV2 my Sky picutre appeared, so I thought all was well, then after about 5 minutes the sound disappeared but we still had a picture. After checking our old friend the scart lead it was indeed hanging out of the TV slightly, after pushing it back in, we have both picutre and sound from Sky. I don't know if this was the problem all along as I have left well alone for the weekend, I will connect our Neufbox back into the TV tomorrow and see if we can access both French TV and Sky.
  19. Why isn't life ever simple! With the advent of French digital TV in our area from 19th October, we switched over to SFR for our telephone, internet and French digital TV. After a few problems setting up the internet connection we were back online, onward to the TV connection. Following the instructions which were quite simple we managed to receive French digital TV via our neufbox, fantastic. Feeling rather chuffed with myself now having got all our new services to work, I switched the TV back to receive Sky TV, rien! Does this mean we are unable to receive both French and UK digital TV signals, and it is a case of one or the other? The television has obviously been tuned in to receive French digital TV via the neufbox, and seems to have disabled our Sky signal. I have unplugged all the leads from our neufbox, but when trying to access Sky the screen is blank. I must admit that I am not very good at all things technical when it comes to setting up TVs etc, so is there anybody out there more technically minded that can shed some light on my situation.
  20. Thank you both for your replies. It seems to be the done thing in France to get somebody in so to speak Coops, both my neighbours have somebody to rotovate their gardens with a professional looking piece of kit, I have been struggling this week rotovating my garden with a normal sized rotovator, hard work but gets the job done. I will take onboard your suggestion, but I am going to try a scarifier blade for my mower first. I have found one on UK ebay for 15 pounds, although they won't deliver to France I can get over that problem. I must admit I was tempted this week with an ex-display petrol scarfier in E.Leclerc, reduced from 395 euros down to 315 euros, but I am goint to try the cheap option first.
  21. Having blown the dust off this thread and brought it back up to the top, I too would like to know if scarifier blades really work on your lawn. I have come to the conclusion that our lawn is more of 'a moss' now than a lawn, so something has to be done. I will say in my defence that we have only been in the property 2 years and the previous owner had let things go a little, in the scarifying department. Having looked on the internet it would seem that you can pick up an electric scarifier for around 100 pounds, and the petrol ones start from about 400 pounds. I don't think the electric scarifier would be man enough for the amount of lawn we have, but I don't really want to shell out over 400 pounds for a petrol one at the moment. So back to the original question do scarifier blades really work? Any feedback gratefully received.
  22. Yes Judith it is that simple. I keyed in the sequence of numbers and symbols for 8 rings, the nice pre-recorded French lady advised me the change had been accepted. I then used my mobile to phone myself, and yes it range EIGHT times, yippee!
  23. Thanks for your help again Danny, not a bad guess on my part. I think I have it all clear in my mind now as to what to put where, so to speak. Although I think I will demand from SFR that the pink sofas come as part of the package! We have a SFR shop near us so I think we may pay them a visit to sign up, rather than use the internet. pachapapa I visited the link you so kindly supplied, and next to our village we definately have a maroon splodge, and when I hover over it, it reads: Dégroupé par SFR, so I guess it's Thunderbirds Are Go! SFR here we come.
  24. OK bear with me here, as I am going to go all technical. I keyed my telephone number in on the SFR site, and highlighted the 29,90 a month option. The site informs me that I will receive for my subscription: neufbox de SFR, Téléphone illimité, Télévision HD and modem neufbox. Exactly what I want. Now here is my interpretation as to how all this will work, plese feel free to correct me. I connect the neufbox de SFR to my TV, plug my modem neufbox into my landline and plug my phone into the modem neufbox. Then as if by magic the modem neufbox zaps a signal to my neufbox de SFR and bingo we have French telly! Thus taking care of the problem when Poitou-Charentes goes digital on 19th October. I stand back awaiting to be corrected.
  25. Thanks for the very concise answer Danny, most helpful. I have been onto the SFR site and keyed in my telephone number, and we are able to take any of the packages on offer. I didn't realise there are two different packages on offer, but at the moment I think the 29,90 a month package would suffice for what we want. If we take the 29,90 a month package will this package come with a box for the TV, or does it mean we can only watch TV via the internet? Sorry to be a bit dense here but I could not work out from their website as to whether the 29,90 package comes with a TV box.
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