I wonder if anyone can offer help with a problem we have regarding our water supply. The company in question, whom I am not naming as I suspect that would be against the T’s and C’s of this site, do not return phone calls, do not follow up on promised actions, and our letters just receive an acknowledgement saying that they are ‘investigating’. I suppose there must be some service level agreement implicit in the contract of supply but have no idea how to go about establishing this.<?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />
It has taken months of badgering to get them to admit that they are delivering water at an inadequate pressure. Initially when I asked them what the correct pressure should be and what we were getting, I was met with a barrage of evasiveness. The fault, they said, was with our taps and showerheads, which had all, simultaneously and coincidentally with them carrying out work on the mains, developed the same fault, resulting in an inadequate delivery of water, they wanted me to believe. The fact that our neighbours had the same problem was ‘coincidence’ too.
We also suffer from unannounced outages, and when we phone and ask what the problem is they treat us like imbeciles and tell us that everything is ‘normal’. Added to which they are generally obstructive - a kind word to describe their attitude.
Technology allows me to ''tune in'' to radio stations around the world via internet, but these people can''t deliver water to our neighbourhood. Sometimes not at all, and never at sufficient pressure. We live in a road which has houses along its entire length in a semi-rural area. So you''d imagine that it would be easy for them to supply a basic commodity like water.
After months of arguing with them, and many letters and phone calls complaining, I''ve had visits from technicians who drink my coffee, pat my dog, promise me the earth (which in fact is what comes out of our taps sometimes) and then disappear into the blue yonder never to be seen again. Last week they finally admitted what I''ve been telling them for a year, that the delivery pressure on the public network is inadequate. (For the technically minded, we get 1.7 kilopascals. It should be double that.) They''ve squirmed and wiggled and used every excuse imaginable, and some not imaginable, to blame the defective supply on anyone other than themselves.
The ''customer service'' staff in the office seem, like so many in customer facing positions in France, specially trained to be unfriendly, rude, and unpleasant. (These must be the most successful and popular training courses in the country.) I can live with all that, I don''t want to make friends with them, and anyway I''ve got used to it, but they are also unhelpful and inefficient, which is what annoys me.
Our landlady, a local lady, has also been in touch with them and they are apparently just as rude and unhelpful to her as they are to us.
The technicians are at least friendly. As I said, they drink my coffee and they pat my dog. They are honest, at least some of them are, as they admit that the pressure is inadequate. On reflection, that is probably why we never see the same one twice.
I can imagine the conversation when they get back to HQ.
"What did you tell the stupid foreigner?"
"I told him his water pressure is 1.7 kpa, which is less than it should be."
"You did what? ..... You told the truth ... You will be guillotined at dawn..."
However, last week''s events enabled me to understand the problem. The technician explained that the outlet from the water tower was partly blocked, and that they would drain the tower during the evening, remove the blockage, and then refill the tower during the night. If this didn''t work, he said, they''d install a pump to restore pressure. By 7 am, we were told, we''d have full pressure. I was looking forward to a real shower, with stinging needles of water biting into my skin. As he left, I asked him, casually, where the tower was located. He pointed down the hill to the village about a kilometre away and about 50 metres below us. The water reservoir is below the level of the houses. So then, I said, there surely must already be a pump. He thought not.
So I am left wondering how in France, waters flows uphill, not by gravity, but by a miracle. And my shower is still the usual pathetic dribble.
H E L P !!!!