Help on invoice dispute

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jeanclawed
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Help on invoice dispute

Post by jeanclawed »

This is my first posting but I have looked at the site several times and found it very useful. :D

We have recently bought a house in the area. Unfortunately we have a dispute over an invoice charged for work. How does the french system work, is there anything we can do. :?
Is there a french citizens advice type set up?

Any comments would be appreciated.
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Kate
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Post by Kate »

Hi JC and welcome
Here's a copy paste of a recent article in P-O Life. Hope it's useful

Steps to take before considering legal action …..
1 Send your complaint to the trader by registered letter (lettre recommandée) with proof of receipt. Make sure that you keep personal copies of all correspondence

2. If the dispute is with a large national company (Eg France Telecom) ask if they have a mediator (médiateur) whose job it is to deal with disputes.

3. Write to (or visit) your local consumer association who can inform you about your rights, and assist you in settling your dispute with a trader or service provider.
(‘Maison d'Accès au Droit’ in Perpignan (1 place Joseph Deloncle, 66000 Perpignan) open from Monday – Friday 8h00 - 12h00 and 14h00 - 17h00 Tel : 04 68 66 34 56 accueil_mad@yahoo.fr) They will help and advise you, and where necessary pass your case on to the relevant parties who will try to find a solution. The service is free and confidential.

4 Download a European consumer complaint form (formulaire européen de réclamation pour le consommateur) from http://ec.europa.eu/consumers This form, in 11 languages, has been designed to guide consumers in formulating their claims via a multiple-choice lists of responses. Use it instead of a letter of complaint, always bearing in mind that it could be used in evidence if the case comes to court.

5 Your final step before taking actual legal action is the legal conciliator (conciliateur de justice), a volunteer appointed by the court of appeal judge try to settle disputes between consumer and trader out of court. (Contact details available in town halls or the magistrates’ court (tribunal d’instance) in your area).


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Useful vocab
Je voudrais voir le gérant/responsable – I would like to see the manager
Je voudrais faire une réclamation – I would like make a complaint
Je voudrais porter plainte - I would like make a formal complaint (ie police station)
Je pense qu’il y a eu un malentendu – I think there has been a misunderstanding
J’ai l’intention de - I intend to….
vous poursuivre en justice - take you to court (sue)
vous poursuivre en dommage et intérêts - sue you for damages
Une lettre envoyée en recommandé - a registered letter
Un avis de réception - acknowledgement of receipt
J’aimerais mieux régler notre problème à l’amiable mais…
I would prefer to settle out of court but …..

I know a few people who have been to the Maison d'Accès au Droit’ in Perpignan - not sure how useful they were but I suppose it's a start.
Bonne chance
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Roger O
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Post by Roger O »

Just a couple of questions to be clear:
Presumably the work was done by a registered professional, not "on the black".

Assuming the above, did you receive a detailed estimate (devis) before commencement of the work including costs of itemed material, cost of hours worked (main d'oeuvre) and cost, if applicable of journey time/fuel (deplacement) and did you sign acceptance and return a copy? Important because if charged more in the final invoice, what justification is given for the difference in total cost and in which of the above areas? e.g. deplacement higher due to higher fuel cost, etc.
jeanclawed
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Post by jeanclawed »

Thanks for your quick replies. I am trying to resolve the problem amicably but is nice to know there are places to go if matters go further.
Yes Roger it is all official, but not based on devis, paid by the hour and the dispute is over what we have been charged for. Thanks :D
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Roger O
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Post by Roger O »

It's not always possible "amicably" if nothing is written!
I know from past experience, to my regret!
Since then I work only with devis. No devis? no job!
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