EDF, the electricity company, have a splendid showroom in Pessac, so rather than speak on the phone to someone in a call centre in South America I thought I would just go along there. They have these marvellous cubicles with sprawling, curved sofas and hi-tech screens and a super reception area.
I entered. An older man and a young woman were stood in the reception area shuffling papers.
"Hallo", we all said. I explained that were moving house to a new apartment and needed to keep the contract for our house till the sale goes through. It was no problem at all. I was equipped with my customer number as well as the Electric Meter number for the flat. They were impressed.
All in all it took about an hour of discussion, of form-filling on the hi-tech screen, of discussion of insurance, power ratings, the size of the water tank and so on.
The energy study of the flat estimated an electricity bill of 43€ a month. EDF estimates 98€. I think the real figure will lie somewhere in between.
"You have a wonderful showroom here. Do many people come here?" The young woman shook her head sadly. "And you've invited people by letter, too."