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  #41  
Old 13.02.2008, 10:11
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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There is normally an unspoken "grace" period for all invoices of 10 days. Thus, to pay on the 16th when the invoice is due the 15th is no issue really. Note though, this is for the original term of payment. In case you get a reminder, I would be more carefull and make sure the invoice is paid within the limit they states. In that case I would execute the payment with value date the 13th (Friday).

There are also certain invoices you really never should be late paying such as rent and health insurance e.g.

And of course, if you always choose to pay your invoices with a delay, you may have substantially less "good-will" to call on if you are _really_ late once. Thus, my recommendation is to always pay the invoice with value date being the same as the due date.

Regarding the customer side of the payment there is actually something like what you're asking for. It is called "skonto" and is normally 2% if you pay within 10 days of date of invoice. Some companies specifically states that they don't grant this and others states nothing. If there is nothing stated, you may try to deduct the 2% and see if you get away with it. You may be lucky - you may be not :-)

All the above are unspoken norms and are _not_ legally binding. Legally binding is only what was contractually agreed (in writing _or_ verbally).
Nice point about the unspoken grace period. While you are correct you are still able to be warned for late payment...

Late payment on health insurance is not a problem as they still have to insure you even if you late/don't pay!! But only basic and not anything that is additional you have chosen.

It is a good point regarding good will. Some companies are really excellent about this and give you an automatic once late per year right - Sunrise springs to mind. Pay always on time for a few years and then are late twice in 2 months and you are likely to get let off the warning fine. IT might though be wise to pay one day before the due date...
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  #42  
Old 13.02.2008, 10:16
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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so 2% customer, 5% companies. that seems fair... as for contracts. well i live in the italian part of switzerland and can say most contracts are oral, and many people refuse to put anything in writing (they think its a scam or say they will but never do...) how would anyone prove a verbal contract if there is no evidence of it? IE arent tape, phone, and video recording illegal? ive been told verbal contracts are taken seriously but really i dont think they are here.
Skonto is not quite the same. This is a credit for fast payment before the invoice is due. If you are late the company is entirely within its rights to charge interest from the date of invoice.

In exactly the same way you are entitled to charge a company for late payment or if they take more than they are entitled to ie through direct debit also to charge interest. This is then at the same rate as determined either in contract or when there is no contractual reference at the standard 5% rate.

Note that legally there are no differences between companies and people when it comes to paying bills. Both are referred to as persons, one a natural person and the other a legal person...
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  #43  
Old 13.02.2008, 13:50
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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also how come the victim of abusive companies (overcharging or inventing contracts) have courts rule that they must pay without hearing both sides of the case, and if the victim wants to fight it they must pay the court money. seems odd that the victim always pays, and often the system favors companies.
I would be most interested to see any example of a court decision that demanded payment from a plaintiff without an opportunity being given to hear arguments from both sides.
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  #44  
Old 06.03.2008, 00:07
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

But when an issue goes to court and you loose, don't you often have to pay the legal cost of the other party? I.e. you loose more money than only what you owe them.

Also, there is the issue of becoming registered with the Betreibungsamt. To me, that is the actually the biggest negative effect of the bullying by corporation and I am quite surprised that it works the way it does in Switzerland. There should be a policy that the Betreibungsnote has to be removed once a settlement is reached. As it is now, I believe it is at the discretion of the creditor.
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Old 06.03.2008, 01:45
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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Also, there is the issue of becoming registered with the Betreibungsamt. To me, that is the actually the biggest negative effect of the bullying by corporation and I am quite surprised that it works the way it does in Switzerland. There should be a policy that the Betreibungsnote has to be removed once a settlement is reached. As it is now, I believe it is at the discretion of the creditor.
I think I covered this somewhere else once... Yes you are mainly right.

The Betreibungsamt while local uses a Swiss wide unique numbering system. This allows no gaps and certain institutions, such as banks, credit institutes and the government have access to the complete list. This shows all Betreibungs that have been issued against a person. I think my current count is 4(3x3 and 1x4). These are then split into four types:

1. You pay the debt and this is marked as settled.
2. You dispute the debt and lose and then either pay or don't in which case it is marked as settled or open. Or partially win and pay or don't.
3. You dispute the debt and win in court in which case they are marked as null.
4. You dispute the debt and the plaintiff withdraws the suit in which case they are marked as incomplete.

If a "normal" person checks your record they only see the types 1 and 2 until such times as the plaintiff notifies the betreibungsamt that the debt is settled AND the entry can be removed. The last part, the removal of the entry, is discretionary! All types 3s and type 4s are invisible to everyone except banks and the government.

If you have an accumulation of betreibungs then credit becomes difficult to obtain even if these are settled or are type 4s. With a type 4, the plaintiff is not stating that you are right just that the effort of persuing the case is not worth the money. These are a bit of a problem and the only way to have these removed is to either ask the company to notify the betreibungsamt that the suit is settled (unlikely) or to go to court to have it removed (annulled).

Any type 3 is automatically "removed" by the court order. These can be ignored, although some companies look down on them as you might be a "difficult customer" or one that asserts his rights...

No credit reference system is perfect and at least with the Swiss version you get to be able to read why there is a record and what the outcome of the claim was. Ultimately it is not the list of defaults or claims for payment that is the problem, it is the way these are interpreted...
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  #46  
Old 06.03.2008, 13:14
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

Thank you Richard! I didn't know about all these distinctions. Thought there were only "open" or "settled". So a 3 won't show at all if I get a normal extract if I understand you correctly?

And after 3 years, all settled ones falls of, don't they? How about the "non-public" register - do the banks e.g. see these even if the 3 years are up?
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Old 07.03.2008, 01:25
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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And after 3 years, all settled ones falls of, don't they? How about the "non-public" register - do the banks e.g. see these even if the 3 years are up?
I too would be interested in whether settled ones fall off after a certain time.

While I am here, I'll mention that if you are moving home and putting all your stuff into short term storage, you should keep your paperwork accessible. I found this out the hard way and ended up paying a disputed bill just to get the court off my back.
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  #48  
Old 07.03.2008, 14:58
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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I too would be interested in whether settled ones fall off after a certain time.

While I am here, I'll mention that if you are moving home and putting all your stuff into short term storage, you should keep your paperwork accessible. I found this out the hard way and ended up paying a disputed bill just to get the court off my back.
Well it depends what you mean. As I said before they are NEVER deleted. They remain a permanent historic record, whether they are successful or not. There I mean whether they should have been processed in the first place.

However, after 5 years they are cleared from the register for normal persons. this means when you request information nothing appears against your name. Certain authorities always have access to the full register though.

Note: if you have a Betreibung against your name then the details of the event are written into the register. If you pay or even don't pay this is put in and is available for all to see.

If however:

a. A court judgement is made against the entry or the Betreibung is declared invalid.
b. After the event the debtor can show that the judgement was wrong.
c. The creditor retracts the Betreibung.

Then the number, your name and a blank entry is returned. This basically informs the "statement" requester that a Betreibung against you was falsely placed and should be ignored. Imagine though you had 10 of them. What do you think the requester would think....
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  #49  
Old 08.07.2008, 18:07
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

I think there is a big difference between what the rulebook says you cannot do and what you really can do.

I've had angry reminders over unpaid bills many times.

I'm not broke but I am extremely lazy and forgetful, which is why it happens to me regularly.

If the reminder turns out to be more expensive than the original, I will pay the original and pretend I never saw the reminder.

If they send me another reminder to remind me that I still owe them the difference, I will call their hotline and tell them that I am a good customer of theirs and that I am very happy with their services but would they please let me off the hook. Normally they do. If they don't i willa sk to talk to the person's manager and until now I've never failed to settle it on that level. Once I had to threaten to change providers and that worked the trick.
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Old 08.07.2008, 18:17
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

Surely paying the bills on time is quicker than having to call and "fix" the problem


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I think there is a big difference between what the rulebook says you cannot do and what you really can do.

I've had angry reminders over unpaid bills many times.

I'm not broke but I am extremely lazy and forgetful, which is why it happens to me regularly.

If the reminder turns out to be more expensive than the original, I will pay the original and pretend I never saw the reminder.

If they send me another reminder to remind me that I still owe them the difference, I will call their hotline and tell them that I am a good customer of theirs and that I am very happy with their services but would they please let me off the hook. Normally they do. If they don't i willa sk to talk to the person's manager and until now I've never failed to settle it on that level. Once I had to threaten to change providers and that worked the trick.
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  #51  
Old 08.07.2008, 18:21
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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Surely paying the bills on time is quicker than having to call and "fix" the problem

I always "try" to be organised.

Sometimes I "succeed".
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  #52  
Old 08.07.2008, 18:30
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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I think there is a big difference between what the rulebook says you cannot do and what you really can do.

I've had angry reminders over unpaid bills many times.

I'm not broke but I am extremely lazy and forgetful, which is why it happens to me regularly.

If the reminder turns out to be more expensive than the original, I will pay the original and pretend I never saw the reminder.

If they send me another reminder to remind me that I still owe them the difference, I will call their hotline and tell them that I am a good customer of theirs and that I am very happy with their services but would they please let me off the hook. Normally they do. If they don't i willa sk to talk to the person's manager and until now I've never failed to settle it on that level. Once I had to threaten to change providers and that worked the trick.
So in essence you're the kind of customer that holds companies' profit back and keeps prices higher to cover your extra costs - and the rest of us who pay on time have to pay for?

Thanks...
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  #53  
Old 08.07.2008, 18:51
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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So in essence you're the kind of customer that holds companies' profit back and keeps prices higher to cover your extra costs - and the rest of us who pay on time have to pay for?

Thanks...
Depends how you see it.

Seeing they seem to want me as a customer (or so they keep reassuring me), there must be something in it for them as well.

And honestly, somebody's got to keep the poor souls in the call-centre in work.
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  #54  
Old 08.07.2008, 19:14
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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Depends how you see it.

Seeing they seem to want me as a customer (or so they keep reassuring me), there must be something in it for them as well.

And honestly, somebody's got to keep the poor souls in the call-centre in work.
It's not a question of 'seeing it'. It's simple economics.

I had a business in the UK. We spent 30% of our accounting time chasing up 3% of our customers who were slow payer. After a couple of years of this we reached the position where we asked this 3% to go elsewhere - and I can assure you, in a small company at least, these slow payer were known to us and always went to the back of the queue...
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Old 08.07.2008, 19:34
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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It's not a question of 'seeing it'. It's simple economics.

I had a business in the UK. We spent 30% of our accounting time chasing up 3% of our customers who were slow payer. After a couple of years of this we reached the position where we asked this 3% to go elsewhere - and I can assure you, in a small company at least, these slow payer were known to us and always went to the back of the queue...
I'm in business myself and in my experinece in the business world nobody pays significantly ahead of their deadlines. It is naive to expect them to and probably even if they wanted to they couldn't because their customers are doing the same to them. There's only so much money around and nobody likes to part with it when they don't have to.

If you want people to pay early, you put it in the contract and you can expect the customer to expect a price reduction for the favour. That's economics.

In that respect, private customers are much easier. Private customers do sometimes pay their bills the day they get them and don't even realize the favour they are providing the utility by doing so. Private customers don't kick up the fuss and ask for a rebate. So as a private customer of a large utility, I don't feel I'm causing an unnecessary burden on their accouting.

And if they do finally kick me out, I'm not going to complain. I could get a better deal with the competitor's anyway and they know it. But I don't think they're in a hurry to push me to that.
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  #56  
Old 08.07.2008, 19:43
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Question

Does CH has the Auto bank account for payment? Like I give authorisation to my bank, and monthly the bill be paid automactically from my bank account? like rent, electricity, or e-invoice?
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Old 08.07.2008, 19:49
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Re: Question

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Does CH has the Auto bank account for payment? Like I give authorisation to my bank, and monthly the bill be paid automactically from my bank account? like rent, electricity, or e-invoice?
yes, you can do that.

The best way to do it is electronically. Go to you bank's website and it should all be there.

If you're confused, go to your bank and they can set it up for you or explain anything you don't understand.
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Old 08.07.2008, 20:48
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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I think there is a big difference between what the rulebook says you cannot do and what you really can do.
This is not contradictionary to what Richard has written: You chose to frequently get angry reminders which may or may not get you a Betreibung/Poursuite in the long run.


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Does CH has the Auto bank account for payment? Like I give authorisation to my bank, and monthly the bill be paid automactically from my bank account? like rent, electricity, or e-invoice?
I have a post account, this service is called Debit Direct there and can be used p.e. for phone bills. There's enough time to review the bill before the money gets transferred.
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  #59  
Old 08.07.2008, 21:01
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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This is not contradictionary to what Richard has written: You chose to frequently get angry reminders which may or may not get you a Betreibung/Poursuite in the long run.
This is a valid point and obviously something I should be wary of.

I'm not sure about the legal situation, but isn't it so that they cannot serve me a 'Betreibung' until after they have sent me the bill by regsitered post. As long as I always pay up when it comes to that they can't get me? Or am I being too simplistic here?

Of course I wouldn't want to play with fire and let it come to that. This question is more out of curiosity.
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Old 08.07.2008, 21:10
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Re: The complete guide to bills and what happens if you don't pay them.

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OK,
I have a problem. In August received a bill for charges saying that I had not paid my health insurance premium for June.

I thought that was odd, as I paid it by ebanking. I wrote them an annoyed letter and they said that the reference number was wrong and they were unable to process it. The money clearly went into their account according to my bank, and the premium was not returned to my bank account.

Since then they have brought forward the charges and added more to them because I refused to pay them as they clearly had the money when it was due. I suggested they review their internal procedures if the were unable to find it in their bank account.

I have now written to them twice explaining the situation and I am starting to get really angry as today I received yet another yet larger bill.

The insurance company seems to be ignoring my correspondence and are clearly try to bully me into submission. Any advice whom to approach ?

dave
If they are ignoring your posts, try writing by registered mail.

Last year I changed my health insurance. I cancelled the old one by writing a registered letter sufficiently well ahead of the cancellation date. The insurance acknowledged the recepit of the letter but disputed the validity of my right to cancel for some reason I didn't quite follow. They then continued to bill me beyond the cancellation date and threatened to put me into 'Betreibung' if I refused to pay so I did. I taled to my new health insurer about this and fortunately he was helpful and somehow managed to fixed it for me. The old insurance refunded the excess money they had made me pay within a couple of days.

This just goes to show that they will stop at nothing to take money off you.
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