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anonymous
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Q: 650 RMB water bill - Did I just get conned?

I live in Shanghai. I moved in to a new apartment 3 and a half months ago. Last night a woman knocked at my door when I wasn't there, came in my place to look at the water meter and then billed my gf for 650 RMB (which she paid). There are two of us living in the apartment, though my parents came for two weeks last month.

The 'fa piao' is a little white slip of paper, with a total written down and other random titles here and there but no actual detail of the amounts of water used, or how many months they were charging for (though landlord assured me all bills had been paid for up to me moving in).
Did I just get ripped off here?

8 years 39 weeks ago in  Lifestyle - Shanghai

 
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Posts: 1

General

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IYou will receive the water bill only in your mail box. The one who checks your water meter can not collect money from you. You can pay the bills at the post office or some convenience store.The water bill is printed by computer and can not be handwritten. 

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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They only come nocking on your door for bills you or in your case the other tenant didn't paid. Anyhow on the slip should stand the invoice numbers of the bills which are not paid. They only come nocking on the door for water and electricity though. For phone/internet and gas you have to go to the office of the company if you pay too late and you need to pay a fine too. Often i'm out of town for my work so i have sometimes bills which are not paid in time. For the water and electricity I just wait till they knock for the other ones I have to go to their office to settle it.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Yes. 

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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You got scammed.  In Shanghai, water, gas, and electricity bills are delivered in the mail and can be paid at convenience stores (before the due date).  650rmb for a water bill is probably more than you would spend in a year. 

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
Posts: 1633

Shifu

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Yes, sadly you did.

That's the shit that really pisses me off about China! No matter how careful you are or how long you live here, ur gonna get cheated. It's like a game for them. Now they will brag to their friends how they f*cked the foreigner. F*CK!!

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
Posts: 135

Governor

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as everyone said. all bills come in the mail and are never handwritten

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
Posts: 91

Governor

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No!

It is commen in Shanghai. I am in Shanghai for 7 years, I always pay the bill for water and electric in cash to the women knock  on my door.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
Posts: 91

Governor

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After payment, you can get a receipt, hand write, keep it

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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It could be a scam, or it could be the previous tennat moved out without paying his usage of water, and you got stuck with it.I have lived in my apartment for almost two years now, my water bill comes monthly in the mail, and I can pay it at different places.  There are 3 persons living here, all using water for normal necessities, and the water bill fluctuates between 13 and 17 yuan every month.

I would advise having a chat with the landlord, he assured you all bills were paid.  Maybe before hand visit the water company with a translator and bring the receipt given, ask them if it is a bonafide receipt and if so, ask them to itemize consumption by month.  With than, go see landlord.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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Maybe the GF nicked you and the bill was just 65rmb.winkcheeky

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
Posts: 461

Governor

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Despite what some people said, for me, you get conned.
No matter what your previous bills were, even if the previous tenant didn't pay them, they won't come to collect them personally.
The only thing you can do now is to bring the issue to the police station (with some chances, they will request the video tape from your compound) and also call the Water Company responsible for your area and tell them that somebody claimed to be from their company and collected 650 yuan of water bills.
I find strange that some people here pay their bills cash without questionning this practice.....Each company (electricity, water, gas, telephone) sends their invoices through mail and each invoice has all the reference numbers for you to check...
I have lived in China for 7 years and nobody ever came to my apartment to ask me to pay the bills. If somebody comes, it's only to check the Gas meter in order to issue later the invoice.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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If you are overly late in payment, they WILL send an official representative to come check and see what's up before they shut your water/gas/electricity off.  This is the only time I have ever heard of someone coming and asking to pay right on the spot.  Maybe you live in an old style compound where the government bills the compound as a whole and the old lady just decided to let the rich laowai pay for everyone.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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question,,,,,, did your girl give her your money or her money? how long have you been with her?

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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For shizzle you dizzle.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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i think it might be a scam. my roommate and take baths almost everyday, washing clothes 2 times a week, cook and use water like a-holes sometimes (i'm not proud of it) and our bill has never been higher then 100kuai for 2 or 3 months

definitely look into that

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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Governor

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some cities  same as here.... you pay in advance. so just check it

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
Posts: 91

Governor

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The bill should be paid according to water meter tell, but it some times not workable because daytime is the worktime, most people are not at home. So, in Shanghai the guys work like this, when they knocked but no one answered, they just add to the last month record, then charge you on that gussed number, they will note this on the bill mailed to you.  Then there come to the problem that the GUESSed one is not the real one, we often be over-charged or less-charged.

In you case, you might be less-charged for a long time. If you have living there for a long time, just forget it.  If not, try to talk to your lanlord.

When next time you look for an apartment, record all the numbers on the meters on your contract, remember do the recoding together with your landlord.

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8 years 39 weeks ago
 
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