Economy "100% containment surcharge": an electrician pinned for a very...

“100% containment surcharge”: an electrician pinned for a very salty bill

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He paid for it, but the bill, salted, stuck in his throat. A resident of Béziers (Hérault) was billed by an electrician for 672 euros for intervention at the home of his tenant. How do we arrive at this amount? Because, it is written in full on the invoice, of an “increase of 100% confinement” in period of coronavirus which makes pass the amount of 336 euros TTC to the double, that is to say 672 euros TTC.

“I have owned a small building for two and a half months,” says Patrick. One of the tenants, who lives alone with her two children, called me one evening. She had no electricity in her kitchen, her fridge was full, she was afraid of losing everything. “

It is past 9 p.m. on a Saturday. The owner tries to contact the one who sold him the building to recover the contact details of the usual craftsmen. In vain. “I then did research on the Internet and I found the contact of this professional who claimed to intervene 24 hours a day,” says Patrick. He did not announce a tariff to me. He just told me I go. I asked nothing because I know that this kind of intervention of less than an hour, at night, usually costs between 150 and 250 euros. “

The invoice sent by email after payment

Around 10:30 p.m., the electrician calls back. The problematic outlet will need to be changed later, but it has secured the electrical installation.

“I told him to send me the invoice,” explains Patrick. He told me that I will have it once the payment is made. On the phone, I understood 172 euros. But when I received the link on my laptop, the amount was 672 euros. I paid by bank card. It was then on the invoice received by email, that I saw the detail and this increase of 100% due to confinement. “

The retiree thought he would be billed between 150 and 250 euros./DR

“Interlocated”, the retiree shares the bill on his Facebook account. The buzz is immediate and… gigantic. Its publication records in a few days tens of thousands of views and hundreds of comments in support of the owner. And so many attacks against the electrician.

Get the price specified before any intervention

“I complained, indignant the craftsman, contacted by us. I received insults and threats for several days. Which forced me to suspend my activity. The home repairer defends himself from any scam or abuse. “I had warned of my rate before leaving,” he swears. I have driven three hours, I have three children and I am putting my life in danger by going to the homes of people I do not know. My price was justified. On the payment link, the price was indicated, nothing obliged him to pay if he did not agree. “

On the side of the Repression of frauds, seizure of the file, one indicates that if “the tariff was well communicated in advance, it is not illegal, but if it was multiplied by three at the end, it s ‘is a deceptive marketing practice’.

In general, as the prices for home repairs are free (cost of travel, labor, spare parts, etc.), “you must absolutely ask for the price of the trip before any intervention and a quote before that the artisan does not touch anything, recalls Loïc Tanguy, director of cabinet at the DGCCRF (Directorate General for Competition, Consumption and Fraud Prevention). Because the technique of fraudulent craftsmen often consists in delaying the announcement of the price as much as possible. “

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