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Paying utility bills


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Hi, This is my first post so thanks in advance for any answers.

We have bought a house in France and intend to move there in a few weeks.

We are coming to the end of the long and protracted process of setting up a bank account with Britline, nearly there, but we are still waiting for a cheque book to arrive.

In the mean time we have some utility bills (gas & electricity) which we need to pay urgently.

Our contact at Britline says the easiest thing to do is to sign the paying-in slip on the bill, date it and return to the tresor public with a copy of our RIB (which we have) and the bill will be debited from your account direct, free of charge.

My question is, what exactly is the tresor public and are they 'localised'. If this helps, the house is in Laurens, 30km north of Béziers, Hérault, Languedoc-Roussillon.

Is this an accepted way of paying bills without an actual cheque?

Many thanks,

Mike

 

 

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Hi Mike

Yes, don't worry, signing the slip and sending it with a rib is a chequeless way of paying bills in France. That way next time the bill will arrive with your bank details already on it.

But I am at a loss to understand why you should be told by Britline to pay your gas/elec bills to the Tresor Public - surely you should be paying them to EDF/GDF? 

The Tresor Public is for your local taxes ie taxe d'habitation and taxe fonciere. And yes, they are localised - our small town has its own tresor Public.

Sue

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Thanks Sue,

This is my Britline contact's answer to asking them if they could pay the bills direct.

If we have a signed instruction we can do a transfer but it would be easier (and cheaper) for you to sign the paing in slip on the bill,date it and return to the tresor public with a copy of your RIB (relevé d'identité bancaire) and the water bill will be debited from your account direct,free of charge.In the future you would just need to sign the slip and return it to the Tresor public and the payment  will be made.
It is a similar operation to set up a direct debit just request a 'Prélevement Automatique à l'échéance' and a direct debit will pay your bill twice a year.
 
I thought that the Tresor Public was local.
 
Are you saying that I can just sign the payment slip, enclose a copy of my RIB and send directly to EDF/GDF (or Saur for water) ?
 
Mike
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***Are you saying that I can just sign the payment slip, enclose a copy of my RIB and send directly to EDF/GDF (or Saur for water) ?***
 
Well that was what I did before setting up the prelevement automatique to pay each bill. Although with the water bill (Saur) I had to make the first payment in cash at La Poste as the bill arrived on the very day payment was due. I now know that we would not have been 'fined' for making a late first payment but I did not know that then - way back in July.
 
As you can see we are new to this too but it is question of a steep learning curve with these things.
 
Sue
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Not all water in France is supplied by SAUR, there are others like Segala in the SW.  If you asked your bank about paying your water bills and they told you to pay the Tresor public that is quite correct for SEGALA anyway, you pay cash or cheques to the Tresor Public. For a TIP which is what you have done or for setting up a preleve, (Standing Order) you send it to the Company addres on the bill. 
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