EDF bills and complaining

No doubt been discussed several times before and sorry to be a nuisance, but have received a stupid bill from EDF and will be starting the complaints procedure just wondering if anybody has any useful tips or other bits of information, and would most like to hear from anybody that has been successful in an appeal against them. Many thanks in advance James

Bonjour James!

Sorry to hear that you are experiencing problem with EDF. But I would say that's a must do if you want to enjoy the French way of life :)

Please use the following link to make a complaint:


By Post or online with a form.

Good luck!

Best regards


Simon when I first moved into this house the set up the monthly payments but seriously underestimated how much I'd use and I ended up with a huge bill at the end of the year - I then switched to paying every 2 months - was getting 2 bills based on estimates and the third based on a reading. Only my before last they were estimating my bill at over 200€ - I contested and gave my own reading and infact with the over estimations of the previous bill I only actually owed 50€.

I know get an email about a week before my bill is due to remind me to take my reading and register it on the site and every third bill is based on the reading done by them

We got €54 back this year, so far we have had no problem. Bizarre in our case was a letter from EDF suggesting (kind of) that we are not using enough power by telling us all the things we can afford to use because our consumption is low but then I have a couple of PV panels and inverters bro-in-law gave us that, for instance, run the alternative power circuit for all four computers, the Livebox and one radio they are on a lot of the time to compensate for the umpteen power blips we have EVERY day. Another small PV panel runs the power for the solar pump for the water and potentially the CH when the stove is running. So really we are deliberately using less of their power, our estimate is lower now than two years ago and the most recent direct debits reduced.

Mind you, irony of ironies is the number of cold calls (sometimes daily) telling us our consumption has gone up therefore...

Correct Doreen.

Hardly bizarre, just a different system. You have chosen to pay in 10 equal payments based on the previous year’s consumption, many other people prefer a alternative method. If you opt to pay bi-monthly by direct debit you are given the option to record your actual reading online just before the bill is processed. If you do not do that EDF estimate the bill based on historical data. A meter reading is made at least once a year. The big advantage of this system is you only pay for the electricity that you use whereas you could be building up credit to cover larger bills later in the year. It’s another example of consumer choice.

How bizarre! I have NEVER had an estimated bill from EDF - maybe it's a regional thing?

You've been very lucky then Simon. In the 12 plus years that we have been here, ALL our EDF bills have been based on estimated consumption and the final sums have always had to be revised up or down. This year for the first time ever we got a refund of around 145e, but as Doreen correctly points out, they had had our cash in the interim. I guess it's swings and roundabouts!

I still don't understand Doreen - ....the 10 direct debit payments are based exactly on your last actual bill i.e. whatever is was, divided by 10. Nothing should be based on estimations (except possibly year 1) as all meters are physically read at least once a year. I much prefer spreading the cost over 10 months - maybe that's just me then.....

Don’t understand Helen? The way you pay shouldn’t affect the amount you owe. I suspect your issues were around meter readings. I pay all my utility bills and taxes via monthly direct debit - never had a problem.

I used to pay monthly virements - never again. I then switched to paying every 2 months - 2 estimated bills followed by a reading. Screwed us again with high estimations. I am now signed up that instead of estimated bills I send in my own reading vi the internet site and they do a reading to check every 3rd bill . Much easier

Thanks Simon, I appreciate your advice......I will get it sorted tomorrow!

Dolores you most definitely have NOT set up your payments by regular direct debit! You are describing TIP single debit payments using the tear-off slip on some bills. You need to get your online EDF account sorted out and do it properly - just like the UK. You’ll then get a payment schedule spread over 10 months. First call EDF and ask them to send you a bill to get the ball rolling…

When I signed up with edf , i too set up a direct debit!.....still no bill, or money taken out of account!......and as for direct debits here in France...I find them useless¡ bills arrive, needing a signature first to!enable the bill to be paid by direct debit!!!!!!.....what's the point of setting them up in the first place when you have to be here in France to sign for it to be paid!!!!!¡ I spend my time between UK and here, set up direct debits in both countries to give me peace of mind that my bills are paid in time! And when I've tried to use my bank card over the telephone to pay for something.....they say....sorry! We can't do that!

We set up our electricity bill to go out by direct debit every month they did an estimation of our consumption and we pay monthly no more big shocks we know whats going out and at the end of the year usually get a refund or used up in the following year

I had a problem with EDF for electricity supply to my ruin-to-be-renovated. The guy who did the initial reading when I set up the account supposedly inputted a different number back at the office which was higher than the actual reading, even though he had given me a piece of paper with the correct reading (thankfully). That was issue 1.

In addition, some months later EDF sucked a number out of the sky to bill me, around 350 euros as an estimate for forthcoming electricity (or whatever) - for a place standing empty and unused, though I had maintained the abonnement (12 euros pm) for pending renovations. That was issue 2.

These two problems came together when I got the bill.

Not knowing at first what the source of the problem was (and nor did they initially), I spoke to the English-speaking section of EDF (Tel: 05 62 16 49 08) three or four times, and eventually the two issues emerged. They were always helpful in their manner, but not much happened until I put it into writing. Then voila! A call about 10 days later to say they were refunding everything that needed to be refunded. And they did - the same day.

What I took from this is nothing new I guess but sometimes helpful to repeat:

1) Stay calm and polite on the phone, even when it's the third or fourth person you're explaining it to, and wade through the issues one at a time. Speaking slowly helped - although they're the English-speaking office, every person I spoke to had English as a second language

2) If you have paper work, send copies by registered mail that requires a signature.

3) Important: Make sure your covering letter very simply and clearly sets out the separate points to be addressed.

4) Persevere until you get an explanation and hopefully, resolution.

All the best.

Wow - that was helpful John - why so aggressive?

James, if you're living in the property full time, 645€ (+ taxes and extras etc) for around 6000 KWH sounds about right - are you saying that it's the consumption that's the problem? Also it's bonkers that the 2 month period from April to June was only 20€ (unless you had some refunds ?) - the standing charges (based on your KWH supply level) would have been more than that alone! Definitely an 'odd' bill and worth pursuing....

Without any more detail it is impossible to see your problem. My winter bill is high because I use a lot of electricity and my summer bill is low because I don’t. What makes your figures any different?

Received a bill for a 6 month period totally 1030.16 euros

From 26 Decenber last year to 28 april 2015 was 645 euros using just over 6000 units!!!

From 29th April 2015 to 26th June 2015 around 20 Euros

Add on TVA and "Contributions" Hench the bill

Had to get an electrician in as we had some faulty fuses or meter 500 Euros, if the equipment is faulty are we still liable to pay?

I must be lucky as I’ve experienced 20 years of receiving normal bills. How do you define a stupid one?