Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stupid Foreigner: 1 Swiss Company: 0

It pays to fight city hall. Or, in this case, our property management company.

A couple of months ago, we had to have our dryer repaired. It was still working, but it was making a loud noise and the clothes weren't coming out completely dry. I called the management company and they arranged for a repairman to come out to our apartment. He did...dryer fixed...clothes dry. End of story?


Today, I received a bill for CHF 383.80. Wha'? The invoice referenced that we had to pay the bill in "accordance with article 2 of our rental contract." I pulled out our rental contract, trudged through the German legalese, and saw that article 2 referenced our service contract which covers all repairs on our appliances. So, I called the management company.

I called the "big Swiss cheese" at the management company and I asked him why I was receiving a bill since my rental contract clearly states that we have an appliance service contract. "Zere moost be zum meeztake...plees eegnore zees invoice and sro it avay," he said. I said, "...thanks for the early Christmas present," and heard him choking with laughter as I hung up the phone (...I didn't think it was that funny!).

OK...throw it away? I don't seenk zo. The "big Swiss cheese's" name, the date, the time, his exact words - written on the invoice. FILED FOR FUTURE REFERENCE WHEN I RECEIVE THE PAST DUE INVOICE.

...just you wait and see.


Ksam said...

That is definitely a good plan! Only an amateur would through that baby away. *S*

CanadianSwiss said...

And you thought that the Swiss had no humour!

Michael Lehet said...

What? You're responsible for the appliances in a rental unit.....oh god, that's the only reason I rent and don't own...when that hot water heater goes, I just want to make a phone call and have it all fixed.

Smart thinking Batman on keeping that invoice!

Michael Lehet said...

Oh yeah, and now that I've met you, I read your blog with your voice, accents and all...LOL!

Anonymous said...


The Big Finn said...

samantha - You've got that right!

CS - Oh...there's a sense of humor deep inside there somewhere - it's just really hard to find.

Michael - The service contract for the appliances is included in our rent and it's something like $50/month. So, yes, I guess we pay for it - but that's nothing...
We are responsible every year for any repairs on the apartment up to a total of 2% of our annual rent. We once had water leak into an outdoor outlet in The Fishbowl during a storm and it shorted out the power to the entire rooftop. It was an act of God, the outlet cover was closed, and we weren't even at home, but...we (not the landlord) had to pay something like $100 to have it fixed.

TMS - I have no idea what you're talking about.