Help with EDFbackdated bill?

Just before Christmas a man arrived at our house saying he wanted to look at our meter ,after checking he was from EDF a discussion went on about our meter which is on the outside wall so easy for them to access and was new about 7 years ago.He kept going on about our other meter which is in a downstairs room and only accessible if we are at home.This meter was changed at the same time as the normal meter and we couldn't understand why he wanted to look at it,after some time and being very evasive he admitted that this model of meter had been found to be faulty after making the excuse that they where prone to catching on fire! He said it was roughly only charging us for a third of the electricity we where using,no problem we would now see a rise in our bill and wouldn't be back charged or billed for the putting in of the new meter!

So ten days ago we get a bill for 1700 euros for two years of electricity calculated on a similar houses usage, how they calculate similar is a mystery to me, re what electrical appliances we have ,the number of people in the house etc,particularly since we live in an old farmhouse with a micro brewery attached! When questioning them about this on the phone they said they had the legal right to do this, it seems absolutely ludicrous to me since this is their mistake! Can anybody offer any advice?

yes edf CAN backdate - I believe sarko brought this in, luckily for me I've never had huge backdated bills but already recieved a bill a for consumation 18 months later on a previous rental house and only yesterday got another backdated bill for 2012 on that previous rental.

As others have suggested though speak to mediators for such a huge bill

Many thanks Elizabeth,having been here for 21 years I should know better but I live in hope that perhaps ONE day customer service will exist.

If you are looking for an apology from EDF, don't hold your breath as I am sure they do not ever do so. We had a transformer just outside our gates, suddenly burst and all the coolant oil inside was sprayed all over the house and garden including both cars. It was a mess. That was over two years ago and although we pursued them for a claim, we never received an acknowledgment from them or an explanation of the type of oil it was, whether it was toxic to humans, animals or vegetation, let alone an apology. I did pursue the claim through an expert acting for their insurance company and did finally get some compensation for a clean up and plant replacement.

We also had a dodgy meter as 22nd December last year my husband read the meter to send electronically to EDF and it was obvious to me that the reading was incorrect. I checked and found the meter reading to correct but it was far too low for the period of time it covered. I then telephoned them to report the faulty meter and was told that someone would call me in a couple of days to make an appointment to visit. Nothing happened so in January I telephoned the English line and explained the situation, the young lady checked the computer and told me that they said they would not come out and had ignored my request. She then promised to get someone to call and make a date for a replacement meter. A technician then called and made an appointment for mid February between 1pm and 4pm. He arrived at precisely 1.00pm just as we were sitting down to omlette and chips, not a meal to keep hot. He changed the meter and was gone in 10 minutes. The bill we had received for the period to December 26th was much higher than normal due to them estimating the usage and bore no relation the actual usage. We were worried that we would be charged more for the next bill but within a few days of the meter change, we had a good amount credited to our bank account and the next bill was normal and correct. I hope that is the end of it for us.

It does seem to me that customer service and satisfaction is sadly lacking with some of the companies in France.

I hope that you get it all sorted soon David and you can move on.


Hi hope this isn’t my second message.
Costs sound reasonable I pay between 50 - 80e for a two month period for one person. Occasionally it has been more hope you get it sorted

Hi Laraine, that sounds so familiar to our situation in so many ways, good luck, it seems to me that their own incompetence or those they employ to build equipment,service or read it is the problem and they should put their own house in order before trying to take money from customers that is not owed! Lastly don't you think that some form of recompense should be installed by the government for these companies to pay people like us for all the inconvenience worry and lost time and money that they have caused us through no fault of our own, we will be lucky if we get a sorry!

We have had an ongoing incident with the EDF billing. Our indoor counter malfunctioned about 18 months ago.

We tried to inform the EDF but could not get through by telephone!!! We continued to receive estimated bills which were paid by Direct Debit. For many months I assumed that the out side meter could be read, but apparently it could not!

Still irritated by the lack of knowledge as to how much electricity was in fact being consumed we wrote a letter. That letter was never answered by mail. The one day a chap turned up to say that he was told that our counter was faulty. He went away when we showed him the problem. A few weeks later another 'technician' came and fitted a new counter.

Then we received, after some time, a letter telling us that in consequence of the fault we had been undercharged. The calculated what THEY thought we we should have been charged and if we signed their paper and agreed then that would be charged to us. I did not sign the paper! In the meanwhile we would be credited with the amount which we had paid by Direct Debit over the 18 months. That credit was indeed given - but not in cash. It was registered as against future demands.

We discovered 1/. that EDF have a English speaking conseiller. But also 2/. The electricity Bills ARE calculated by a different organisation! ERDF! I had a warm conversation with the English speaking fellow. I did not agree with their calculation. I said i was not going to sign their form. It all was their fault and that should accept the estimates already made which seemed to me more or less normal. Their calculation of a credit LOOKED OK but I would have ended up with a bill for several hundred more euros.

Meanwhile we had a postal strike (Gourdon -Lot) beginning in January which continued for a month. Some time in February we had a phone call from a young woman who asked "Did you receive our letter?". -'What letter? - We have a strike.' Then, I suppose detecting my wife's ageing voice, she asked 'What are your ages?' My wife replied - I am 79 and my husband 82. The woman replied "I understand - I won't bother you. Have a nice afternoon'.

We have heard nothing since. An amount of 751.56 was taken from our bank account on the 11th March but meanwhile it seems the credit remains on the ERDF account. That worried me - But then an electricity bill arrived in February which was 'deducted' from the credit held by the ERDF, and so no extra amount was taken from the bank. That last bill tells me that I have 597.33 euros now standing EN VOTRE FAVEUR - I suppose all future Bills will be deducted from that sum until again I genuinely owe the EDF or ERDF something for electricity actually used!

I trust you have followed all that!

Hi Clare, since it is our day off and its pouring with rain again I will quickly update you.My wife got a message on her mobile a week ago saying we hadn't paid the bill etc! We rang them back and they said they had left a message on our answer phone explaining that they had read all our points and dismissed them all and we have to pay! Firstly we hadn't got the message not their fault,however, we said we wanted the reasons in writing since I have to notify them by recorded delivery but they have to do nothing more than leave me a telephone message. They started to go through our points, re heating and hot water which is provided by wood they said they would like to see the factures/ invoices for all the wood, firstly a lot of people are never given a facture, i.e. sold on the black which we all know but this is all irrelevant since we have 11 hectares of woodland, I could show them where dead trees have been taken out and infact have a video of a large dead oak which I felled because it was causing a threat to our winery. We asked for it to be put in writing which we see as only right and proper, that was on the 22nd , last Wednesday, so will keep you posted!

Don't talk to me about the EDF. I received a bill for 3,311euro at Christmas, we are on the red, white and blue system and over the last 2 years no person from the EDF have come to read the meter, despite it being outside, so in fact the agency who the EDF employ to read meters had not done their job. Unfortunately in the past year and half, my husband has been serious ill, and my son was also in hospital after being knocked off his scooter, so really my mind has not been on checking bills from the EDF as I pay a monthly . However when I received this bill, I was absolutely gob smacked. in between going to the hospital etc., I managed to ask my electrician to come to check all the electrics in my house, there is only 3 of us living in my farmhouse, and our DPE is D, so there is no reason for such a high bill. I then called out an EDF technician who was here with my Electrician and on the Blue meter which is supposed to be really cheap there was a big mistake, so he is now in the midst of sending them a report. The EDF has be arguing with me since I received this bill, saying that I had used this electricity, we have a wood burner, and 2 petrol heaters and gas cooker, so apart from the usual electric appliances, NO electric heating, and last week they send a letter to say that they will be cutting me off next month. Can you believe this.

My husband has heart problems, my son is handicap, and this whole situation is based on that the EDF has not done their job properly. I am now waiting to hear from the EDF about the situation.

Hi David, has there been any resolution to this yet? I now find myself in a similar position, so welcome any advice before I phone EDF for the first time.

You and me both Clare,won't bore you with all the details but everybody says the same thing but nobody seems to have an answer,situation ongoing.

I would be really interested to learn how this situation resolves itself. Please let us know the outcome.

Many thanks for all your help,they, EDF have rang us three times today and basically have been on the phone to them all afternoon, despite most of their arguments being floored in our eyes, along with a letter that they should of sent to us explaining things ,such as right to protest, didn't ever arrive and the English speaking department confirmed that it didn't show up on her screen as it should of done if sent!!! They still say they basically have the right to claim back payments which they can only justify by saying we use less than others on a similar abonnement. So off to talk to our legal protection people and the ombudsman. Should be working in the vines, particularly on such a nice day,perhaps I can sue them for loss of earnings?

David, click on Useful Links/Get Help and scroll down to the Utilities section where you'll find French and English contact numbers and web sites for EDF help lines. You can also try the French consumer associations (Useful Links/Consumer Affairs) and on the Official Sites page of UL you'll find a link to the ombudsman service dealing with EDF etc.

EDF should have a Service Consommateurs and they are meant to act in an independent fashion, or you could try Mediateurs de France

Are you sure it really was someone for EDF? Did you check the phone number? Did they provide you with a document stating exactly what was wrong with the meter? If you have all of the above, you need to get in touch with the "conciliateur".

Hi David, I strongly suggest you call legal protection at your insurance if you have one or consider calling us at as this does not sound right at all!