The stair saga still continues. At the beginning of November we got a letter left in our letter box which seemed to be from the bailiffs. It seems that we have been summoned to appear before a tribunal on 3rd December. After a series of letters/telephone calls/faxes between us the Axa man and the stair man and his solicitors and les Huissiers de Justice Associes in which we have paid his bill in full (and he has cashed the cheque) , asked for him to repair his mistakes and received a letter saying that he awaits a rendezvous so that he can repair the stairs but he cannot guarantee that in so doing he will not make a worse mess!! the tribunal is still on.
Today we have been told that there is a document awaiting us in Sarlat that we must both go and fetch - because he is summoning both of us - before the tribunal. So off to Sarlat.
I realise that we made a basic mistake against 'the french way' by sending him a letter originally saying your work is crap here's half the money - on the basis that this would make him come and talk to us when he didn't turn up to our arranged meeting with the builder - but I don't understand why we still have to go to the tribunal when we have paid in full and have no case to answer. What a waste of court time. The Axa man says that he is going to try and claim his costs.
Oh thank the Lord that we ticked a box that said we would like free insurance while we had the building work done so that we have the Axa man on our side. They are also sending a solicitor to the tribunal and the Axa man is coming.
Today it has all got to me again and I am finding it hard to get back to the happy corner.
Went and collected what turned out to be a full copy of the original summons with detail of what we are being summonsed for. Lots of quick direct translation seemed to include lots of 'condemned' and 'abuse' and 'insincerity'. After sitting over a very good lunch with a bottle of wine and a dictionary (and feeling much better for it) we have decided that he is accusing us of not paying the bill in spite of agreeing that there is nothing wrong with his work and then while we're there we should pay 1,000 euros damages and 800 euros for something else that we don't understand at all. Since we have copies of letters with proof of delivery that both he and we sent saying that he accepts the errors, and all that was sorted before we got the original summons, we hope all is ok. But then this is France so who knows. We shall see on the 3rd. Meanwhile a good lunch and a peaceful afternoon with a book dozing in front of the fire have brought me back to the happy corner :-)