3rd June 2012

I see that France is planning to axe cheques completely. As usual, it's the brainwave of some stupid government committee - probably a new suit aiming to make a mark (or euro!) for himself. Of course, the real reason is that banks at present make no money at all from cheques. Clearly this cannot continue!  But, for the ordinary consumer, what free alternative is there?  Using plastic and holding a current account costs us a monthly fee here, and is the reason for lengthy queues at the supermarket checkout - the canny French write cheques everywhere to save a bit of money. And, how would we pay the workmen who do renovation work at the house?  I've never yet met a plumber who carries a little card machine in his overalls.
Back in 2005 when we first arrived in France, we did have difficulties. How to work out the amount in French, then spell it out on the first line; how to write the amount in the box:  where to put the comma or the dot, etc. And, we noticed that for a couple, don't even think to call yourself M. et Mme on your cheques (better to be M. ou Mme) because then, on the demise of one of you, the remaining account holder would not be able to access the funds from the frozen account.
It's all been too much for Him indoors, who says he knows why we took out a joint account - because of his sprained wrist.

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