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OFSO
16th Apr 2014, 12:24
In February the electricity company ENDESA misread my meter and deducted just under €3500 from my bank account for two months power. €180 for two months would have been more like it.

Since then I have been trying to get the money back, had the meter re-read, phone calls, sent registered letters, e-mails, etc.

Nothing. Not even a reply.

Went to see Eva the Lawyer today. She told me in Spain the procedure is to claim an incorrect payment bill back from your BANK who will then claim it back from the people who made the mistake. She is faxing the power company and then she called Xavi (our mutual bank manager) who immediately replaced the money in my account, but he warned me - "they may well cut off your power as an unpaid bill !"

So I went to the local office of the power utility company again today, saw the same lady who seems to make the rules up as she goes along. I told her I'd "seized" the money back from them and she said "fine, we don't cut off your power for doing that" which is a lie as I know people to whom it has happened.

Then she asked me to let her have the current meter reading. The last time I suggested this she said something along the lines of "we don't accept the public doing their own readings". Buy hey, what have I go to lose, "here it is, senyorita !"

What about the guy you sent up to read the meter on March 14th ? I asked. Surprise surprise - they have no record of his visit.

Utter incompetence !

PTT
16th Apr 2014, 12:28
That sucks.

Surprise surprise - they have no record of his visit.So where did they get the erroneous meter reading?

OFSO
16th Apr 2014, 12:32
From the first visit, must have been February.

In February the electricity company ENDESA misread my meter

March 14th was done as a result of my request. I could have saved myself the trouble, since they have no record of the two people who came up to do it. Yes, it takes two people to read a meter in Spain.

Remember the scene at Mos Eisley in the first Star Wars film where Obi Wan makes a mysterious hand movement and says "these aren't the two droids you are looking for" (if my memory serves me well, that was the dialogue) and the two Troopers move off ? That's what living in Spain is like. Smoke and mirrors.

LGW Vulture
16th Apr 2014, 13:23
I think you like myself, have lived in this glorious country long enough to now that literally nothing makes sense here. There is very little rhyme or reason and when it comes to bureaucracy, they have their own little world. Enjoy!

dazdaz1
16th Apr 2014, 14:21
OFSO......." I could have saved myself the trouble, since they have no record of the two people who came up to do it."

Have you considered these two persons may have been checking out your abode? Did you ask for ID? Happens in UK, people purporting to be from the water company, gas company et al.

Take care.

Daz

gunbus
16th Apr 2014, 14:27
And there was me thinking Franco was dead, mind you I thought the same about Hitler,turns out he is alive and well and heading up Thames Water or should I say
"Wasser" :mad:

Capetonian
16th Apr 2014, 14:30
South Africa, 1980 or thereabouts. I had a small office in Cape Town with 2 lines. My normal monthly telephone bill was perhaps R100.

One month I got a bill where every digit that appeared on it was a 9. The total due was something like R99999999999999.99, probably about twice the national budget in those days.

I rang Telkom and explained.
"Ja man, just pay the amount due and we'll sort it out for you."
"But the amount is wrong, there is no way it can be anything even remotely close to that figure, it's a computer error."
"Ja man, just pay the amount due and we'll sort it out for you."
"How do you expect me to pay that sort of money."
"Ek wird nie man, it's your problem ............"
Took me a week to sort them out.

fitliker
16th Apr 2014, 14:33
Fear not things will get better .
Juan Carlos is visiting Dubai and Kuwait. He is seeking investment from them. After the investment and re-re-conquestor by the modern moores you will have no electricity to worry about :)

vulcanised
16th Apr 2014, 14:39
There's no point giving the Spanish electricity - they'll only keep it in the bath.

Think I may have misquoted something there.

OFSO
16th Apr 2014, 15:01
these two persons may have been checking out your abode?

Well.... they came up to the house at the time I was told they would come and carried an infernal computer link and used it to enter my meter reading. In any case every aspect of the house is alarming....and I frequently sit on the bench by the front door cleaning one of my firearms.

However, on to Part II.

This afternoon I went back to the office with my current meter reading. But Lo ! The unpleasant lady who told me to see her at 15:30 was notable by her absence. And where would she be ? "She has the afternoon off".

Par for the course I believe.

However two much younger - I'd say a few months out of school - slightly giggly and slightly chubby young ladies, teeth braces and all, had been left to staff the office. "We can help you" they said. Putting aside (although not entirely) thoughts of Johnson's Baby Oil, I went over to them, in short time they found my complaint (the one about my bill, not the one making a tent of my trousers) on their computer, told me the date it had been filed (indeed, someone had sat on it, my complaint I mean, for five weeks doing nothing but it had finally been registered at the start of April, the date of resolution ("probably April 24th") and I would almost certainly, "in principle" as it's said in Catalan, not be cut off for cancelling the error bill.

Just then a chap came in to look at central heating boilers and I said to him "I had exactly that model installed in January and it's very good and the installation was perfect" and the two young ladies jumped up and down in glee and said "thank you for telling him that".

So we had an amicable parting and they said my problems would be sorted out.

If only they knew.....

The story will no doubt continue. Here.

OFSO
19th Apr 2014, 13:53
Part III - since writing the above what ? four days ago ? - I've received by e-mail another three fault dockets for the same reported problem, all with different numbers, and all asking for my details again (which I cut 'n paste so takes no time at all to fill out and send back). I've also received an e-mail saying "ignore the previous request for details as it's a duplicate" followed by another request for details. Followed, inevitably, by an e-mail asking me to ignore the previous e-mail.

R T Fishall (alias Patrick Moore) would be laughing himself silly. Incidently, he gave Electricity Boards a Twit Percentage rating of 77%. Well justified, I think.

mixture
19th Apr 2014, 15:09
OSFO,

hmm, let me see.....

You have a utility company.
You have a spanish utility company.

What could possibly go wrong ? :ok:

OFSO
19th Apr 2014, 18:32
Oh, in some ways they are quite consequent. For example, Spanish websites are a hopeless jumble of impossible-to navigate pages, but since no Spanish company ever answers anything posted under "contact us" on the website, you don't need to bother with it. Of course this approach is based on pre-internet days, when they never answered any letters, either.

Caboclo
19th Apr 2014, 18:39
Are you required to give them access to your bank account? I don't think I would do that for any company in any country.

racedo
19th Apr 2014, 18:45
OFSO

Next time camcorder or phone with video facilities and show their badges as well.

racedo
19th Apr 2014, 18:48
Are you required to give them access to your bank account? I don't think I would do that for any company in any country.

Direct Debit is pretty standard, means they send you a bill and claim it 2 or so weeks later. Means you always pay on time and impacts your credit record positively.

They make incorrect claim and you just claim it straight back, bank and company guarantee it because it really does save money for them.

Can cancel DD at any time.

Way to avoid large amounts is to limit amount in said bank account.

OFSO
19th Apr 2014, 19:29
Are you required to give them access to your bank account?

No, they just take it as direct debit.

and show their badges as well.

Badges ? They don' need no steenkin' badges...*

Way to avoid large amounts is to limit amount in said bank account.

If a direct debit bill is presented to your bank and not honoured in 24hrs they come and cut your power, gas, water off. It then costs you a small fortune to be reconnected. Luckily I had available** more than the 3500 they "accidently" took from my a/c or I would have been cut off.


* Anyone not knowing this reference, see me after school.

** As I was collecting money to pay the ludicruous income tax to keep Spain afloat, taxes being in lieu of establishing a decent economy with people in work.

Shack37
19th Apr 2014, 20:47
Having read all of these posts about utility company cock-ups in Spain which never ever occur anywhere else in the world, especially not in the UK, I'm beginning to wonder if I should pack up and leave before something happens to me. Nah, I'll just wait for my turn.

llondel
19th Apr 2014, 23:53
At least it's only the Spanish electric company, not the Inquisition.

Nobody expects the Spanish Inquisition.

Solid Rust Twotter
20th Apr 2014, 07:03
Hah! Looxury...!


You still have electricity. In this here neck of the woods the charges are increasing exponentially to pay for the ever more frequent blackouts we experience as a part of daily life. I think the last increase a few months ago was something in the order of 15% and there's another due soon.

OFSO
20th Apr 2014, 10:40
which never ever occur anywhere else in the world, especially not in the UK,

Quite obviously Shack ol' bean, Islington isn't part of the UK.

Shack37
20th Apr 2014, 11:05
which never ever occur anywhere else in the
world, especially not in the UK,

Quite obviously
Shack ol' bean, Islington isn't part of the UK.



OFSO ol' alubia, is this a double tongue in cheek?

OFSO
20th Apr 2014, 11:06
Best place to keep it, when in Islington !

Shack37
20th Apr 2014, 18:10
Best place to keep it, when in Islington !



I'll bear that in mind if I ever get a visa to visit.

OFSO
20th Apr 2014, 19:18
And now for something completely different......

Islington Council worker (United House) turns up to dig down to find a leaking drain or perhaps water main.

Levers up paving stone in path in front of door to house, sees poured concrete slab.
"I can't drill through that, my drill is not powerful enough".
Relative of mine: "What's that other large drill in the back of your van ?"
Council worker (outraged) "that's my own drill, I'm not using that."
- Looks at watch - "oh it's 3 p.m. and Friday, I'm going home now".
Drives off.

Puddle oozes up through poured concrete slab, gently swirls around levered up paving stone (standing on edge in front of door to house) and gently runs away across the footpath to the gutter, where - since the leaves have not been cleared out of the drain since that job was privatised many years ago, the drain is totally blocked. Slowly, large puddle accumulates.

Gentleman from Somalia posing as Parking Warden appears and gets out pen and pad of PCN's (Cont. page 94)

OFSO
23rd Apr 2014, 06:40
Just to keep this thread up to date: yesterday April 22nd I received yet another e-mail from the electricity company saying my complaint is "under examination". So far I haven't received an e-mail saying please disregard the previous e-mail, but who knows ?

Shack37
23rd Apr 2014, 09:37
OMG, it's contagious.


End to Mediterranean dream for 90,000 Britons who left Spain last year - Telegraph (http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/spain/10781350/End-to-Mediterranean-dream-for-90000-Britons-who-left-Spain-last-year.html)

OFSO
23rd Apr 2014, 15:25
Who are they ? We don't know any British in our area who returned to the UK last year. Or the year before, or come to that, in the past ten years.

Having said that: Spain = depressing, depressing, depressing.

The only idea the government has is to raise taxes and "contributions" which means many people who are friends of ours: Catalan J. (who owns the foundry), German R. and N. (Empuriabrava boat business), British S. and P. (Civic Centre Restaurant and Bar) ) cannot employ any staff because the cost (€500 a month per person in "contributions") is too high. Hence their businesses stagnate and the people who they WOULD like to have in employment sit at home on Social Security. If taxes and contributions were less there would be more people working and more taxes raised. But the idiots in Madrid do not understand that.

OFSO
24th Apr 2014, 20:21
Power utility company retook the money from my account yesterday, despite acknowledging that the payment is "under investigation". Bank has told me they can withhold payments which are exceptionally high and out of line with all previous payments, so back to see manager tomorrow (he is a Good Guy and very helpful).

UK Banks - huh ! Nothing on Spanish utility companies.

llondel
26th Apr 2014, 04:03
Power utility company retook the money from my account yesterday, despite acknowledging that the payment is "under investigation".

Anyone who tries that on me finds that I've cancelled the direct debit after the first offence until it's been resolved to my satisfaction.

OFSO
26th Apr 2014, 06:33
I've cancelled the direct debit after the first offence

Which would result in Spain in you having your electricity disconnected in 24 hours. The reconnection fee here is very high and it takes time. So you can count on losing the contents of your freezer.


But to resume the story: my lawyer sent an e-mail yesterday to say she's filed a complaint, and she called my bank manager, and the money is back in my account again ! I know, I went and saw him. The plus side to living in Spain is get local people on your side (lawyers, bank managers, doctors etc.,) they all know each other, all on Christian-name-terms.

The negative side is the big companies are all run by mindless employees working to strict rules. Oh and they all have websites but never answer any e-mails. And the call centres are all in S. America.

OFSO
7th May 2014, 13:03
The story continues....four bills in four envelopes arrived on Monday.

a) a repeat of the original erroneous bill for €3459;

b) a bill for the same period marked "meter read by householder" for around €211 (seems about right)

c) a bill for the following period marked "meter read by householder" for around €166 (also seems about right)

d) a bill for that period saying " we made a mistake and are refunding you €57"

Saw my lawyer today. She pointed out that bill (b) states on the rear that it replaces bill (a). So why haven't I had the money back ? and that the refund on bill (d) was never paid.

Sigh.

I said it would be nice if the company (which is called endesa sl, used to be called Fecsa Endesa sl, but I guess that name sounded too near the truth) sent a letter of apology and refunded my money. She said that would be to much to ask for, as in Pigs Wings Fly. She added "check your bank a/c every day and make sure they have not taken the €3459 out again. Let me know if they do".

Life in Spain is nice with excellent food and good wine at very low prices, but there are some things the Spanish haven't come to grips with, like reliable electricity supplies, ditto gas, ditto water, installing telephone cables and not knitting, paperwork, taxes, banking, direct debit, road repairs and the internet. Oh and utility bills.

Edited as I left out sewage pipes that don't crack.

OFSO
8th May 2014, 14:03
Another two bills arrived in the post today, duplicates of ones already sent. At least the lady from the PO who comes up the mountain on her scooter to deliver them is pretty and has a nice smile....

Matari
8th May 2014, 14:59
We need to somehow get OFSO's utility company entwined with one of Capetonian's scammers. The result could be cataclysmic and a fun read!

OFSO
8th May 2014, 16:24
The result could be cataclysmic and a fun read!

I'll suggest it to my lawyer - she's handling it.... (her reaction today was "UNBELIEVABLE !" and she was off to the utility co. office)

One thing that did occur to me - every time you write back you have to quote the query number which is about 15 alpha and numeric characters AND the bill number which is as long...and the electricity meter number, likewise.

One small error results in a new query docket being raised by the utility company.....followed by another one saying "this one appears to concern the matter already raised..." and it is most unfortunate if you make an error in the number what you write back about THAT one, which would result in......

I suppose these days what with everything being read by an infernal commuter and not a human bean, small deviations not to mention errors in the householder's name address would have the same effect.

Not that I am doing this, you understand - I just want the matter settled.