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Old 02.09.2012, 22:02
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Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

Hi All,

I seem to have an interesting situation with my letting agent whereby there seems to be confusion over the changing of a light bulb which has ended up with them sending us a bill for 260CHF.

in our bathroom, we have an enclosed light which is attached to the bathroom cabinet which had gone. Given the general rules in CH, i was always told that if the fixture was part of the apartments fixtures, fittings & appliance (i.e. i could not take it with me when i move out) then the agent is responsible. I'm sure they would complain if when i moved out i took the entire bathroom cabinet with me!

I took a look at the unit but couldn't see how the light came apart without forcing (and probably breaking it) so i called the agent and asked whether i need to change it and if so, where should i get the bulbs from. The agent said they would send someone round to take a look

next think i know an electrician had been out and change the bulb and i get a bill for 260 CHF on the door matt

Have i been caught out here or is the agent trying it on? the agent never said that they would send someone and that i would need to pay - as if they did i would have done it myself.

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Old 02.09.2012, 22:19
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

WTF this is not right totally out of order 260frcs to change a light bulb
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:23
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

Yikes! I hope you've not been Switzerlanded!

I'm sure glad I called the Hauswart and not the Agent when my bathroom cabinet light fixture went.

He told me it was down to me to buy and replace it, where to get it and was good enough to show me how to take it out and reinsert again. It was a bit of a process as it involved some calibrating of the switch that controlled the extractor fan upon reinsertion but I did it - eventually. Not being at all handyman minded, I was so glad when it worked and has done since without a problem.
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:24
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

I would ask for itemized billing
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:34
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

I would have taken my loss and not admit in public that i wasn't capable to change a light bulb
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:36
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

Whoever ordered the electrician is responsible for paying the invoice. No order = no billing. Look at your contract, it's normal that you have to pay Fr.50.00 towards any repairs on fixtures.

It's unclear whether the electrician billed you or the agent.
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:37
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

well, I guess I know the punchline to another classic "how many [---] does it take to change a lightbulb" joke.

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Old 02.09.2012, 22:45
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

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Whoever ordered the electrician is responsible for paying the invoice. No order = no billing. Look at your contract, it's normal that you have to pay Fr.50.00 towards any repairs on fixtures.

It's unclear whether the electrician billed you or the agent.
we certainly didn't order the electrician, the agent did. they billed the agent directly and now Intus is billing us.

My wife is refusing to pay...
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:49
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

They didn't charge you CHF260 to simply change a simple light bulb.

They charged you CHF260 because he had been trained to know how to take it apart and change it without forcing it.

Unfortunately, you can't on one hand say "I couldn't do it myself" and then say "Thats really expensive I'd have done it for less!" I'm afraid
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:53
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

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They didn't charge you CHF260 to simply change a simple light bulb.

They charged you CHF260 because he had been trained to know how to take it apart and change it without forcing it.

Unfortunately, you can't on one hand say "I couldn't do it myself" and then say "Thats really expensive I'd have done it for less!" I'm afraid
errr, for 260 CHF i'd have found a way! one puts in slightly more effort to fix something when you know there's a call out charge.
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:53
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

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My wife is refusing to pay...

Good.

Major agency urine extraction, that one.
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:55
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

Youre lucky he did not bring his apprentice as that would have been another 100chfs on the bill - or maybe he did...
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Old 02.09.2012, 22:59
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

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errr, for 260 CHF i'd have found a way!
So did the electrician

Seriously though - it is a very high charge for what sounds like a simple job, but my guess is that they are applying the letter of the contract you signed.....if it is in the contract, but you are complaining about the excess (eg maybe you would have been happy to pay CHF100?), do you really want to get into a standoff with the agency, your name on the debtors register etc etc for CHF150 or so? Fighting principles is all very well, but I BET that they are in the legal right, even if in the moral wrong.

Maybe just pay and chalk it down to a lesson learned ie next time he offers to "send somebody round to take a look at it", ask for a quote before the work is done
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Old 02.09.2012, 23:05
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

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Maybe just pay and chalk it down to a lesson learned ie next time he offers to "send somebody round to take a look at it", ask for a quote before the work is done
Not forgetting, of course, to ask what the price of the quote will be.

Gratis Offerte are pretty much a thing of the past around here - most repairmen are now charging to give you a quote on a job, big or small - ca CHF 100-500. Makes shopping around painful.

We've been Switzerlanded.
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Old 02.09.2012, 23:39
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

Shame ! I would have done it for you for 250 CHF!!!

Seriously, the same happened to me last week... The fluo light in my bathroom got fused and it happend to be out of any standard size. I tried buying such non-standard fluo, and I spent ours before I learnt it was not available in DIY shops, and in case I would order it specially it would be overpriced, 50+ bucks (yes, 50+).
For which I decided to drill myself the corresponding hole in the cabinet, making cabinet's fluo to fit to standard lengths.

Time I spent on such 'sophisticated' job: 5+ h (probably 5 min for a trained guy, well equipped). This should explain your 260 CHF bill.
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Old 03.09.2012, 09:12
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

There are laws to protect you from this situation. The owner / agency is obliged to only charge you for repairs costing less than CHF 150 (In some Cantons the level is CHF 200)

Even if your contract states you must pay the first CHF 500 costs, this is legally not allowed!
Zudem ist festgelegt, dass alle vertraglichen Abmachungen, worin sich Mieter verpflichten, mehr als bloss den kleinen Unterhalt zu übernehmen, unzulässig sind.

http://www.beobachter.ch/wohnen/miet...die-reparatur/

If your agency disagree with you, you should contact the Mieterverband in your area,
http://yellow.local.ch/en/q/Mieterverband.html?rid=gVZB

"""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""""" """""""""""""""
From the asscociation of landlords HEV,
http://www.hev-bern.ch/recht-steuern...kel/?tx_ttnews[tt_news]=3058&cHash=28cf5c2bbaf4718b0959a64526b6ce61

Kleiner Unterhalt

Keine persönliche Leistungspflicht
Das Gesetz hält sodann ausdrücklich fest, dass der Mieter diese kleinen Mängel des gewöhnlichen Unterhalts «auf eigene Kosten» zu beheben hat. Das Gesetz stellt also klarerweise nicht darauf ab, ob der Mieter diese kleinen Unterhaltsarbeiten persönlich ausbessert bzw. ausbessern kann. Vielmehr hat der Mieter schlicht die Kosten für diese Mängelbehebungen zu tragen. Die zum Ortsgebrauch gehörenden kleinen Unterhaltsarbeiten obliegen dabei unabhängig von dem konkreten Rechnungsbetrag der Behebungspflicht des Mieters. Der Ortsgebrauch enthält meist keine abschliessende Aufzählung des kleinen Unterhalts. Wo der Ortsgebrauch nichts anderes festhält, gelten nach der allgemeinen Literatur und Praxis Mängelbehebungen bis zu einem Richtwert von rund 200 Franken im Einzelfall zur Unterhaltspflicht des Mieters.

(Unless otherwise stated in local laws, each repair costing under 200 Francs is to be paid by the tenant)

Von: Monika Sommer, lic. iur., eidg. dipl. Immobilientreuhänderin, stv. Direktorin HEV Schweiz

.

Last edited by Sbrinz; 03.09.2012 at 18:02. Reason: HEV small repairs,
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Old 03.09.2012, 09:22
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

The "thing" is: minor maintenance ("kleinen Unterhalt") are the duty of the tenant. For example changing filters or light bulbs. I am afraid the 50/100/150CHF limit does NOT apply for these.

When we last moved out, the lid of bathroom evac. fall off and we did not notice on moving out. They charged us 450CHF!!! for fixing it:
- 100 for the tech guy to come (+ 50 for his "travel costs") to first see what needs to be done;
- about 25CHF for the plastic lid
- again 100 for the tech guy to come (+ 50 for his "travel costs") to actually fit the plastic lid
- about 25CHF for the actual work.

I was extremely mad about it, but had nothing to do so paid up and learned my lesson: DO NOT LET THE REGIE FIX ANYTHING FOR YOU.
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Old 03.09.2012, 09:44
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

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I seem to have an interesting situation with my letting agent whereby there seems to be confusion over the changing of a light bulb which has ended up with them sending us a bill for 260CHF.


I'd investigate whether you can claim this back because it's over CHF150-. But otherwise, I would make absolutely clear to the landlord that next time he needs your agreement before incurring any expense on your behalf. Sometimes just the shaming is enough for them to chip in.

Depends, really, on your relationship with your landlord.
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Old 03.09.2012, 09:46
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

I've had to change numerous bulbs in my in-laws' house because they didn't know how. Next time I know the going rate.
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Old 03.09.2012, 09:48
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Re: Billed 260CHF to change a light bulb!

OMG, paid CHF260 for changing a bulb... in a bathroom... ? This much they would have charged me for Xenon light replacement in my Bimmer, if I didn't search for relevant writeup in DIY section, so should you
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