Monday, October 19, 2009

I love the Gemeinde. Swiss de-registration woes.

Repeat that 100 times. Then try to believe it. (Ps. if this whole 'we are leaving' thing is new to you, read this post...)

Jace and I went on down to the Gemeinde on Friday, as the good little cititzens that we are. We were going, because every time I call a utlity company or the health insurance, for example, to tell them we are leaving and moving overseas, they insist that I send them some 'Cancellation confirmation' that is approved from the Gemeinde. So basically, they want the proof from our local council (Gemeinde) that we are leaving permanently and not just trying to get out of some contract for the hell of it...

So down we marched on Friday to get this piece of paper... but first back flash to last Wednesday in which I called the Gemeinde and told them I needed this paper and asked them if I could come down and get it now or if I had to wait until shortly before we were leaving when we wanted to deregister. They said come on down, that we can already do the 'Abmeldung' or deregistration now as we are leaving in 6 weeks and that is not too far in advance... So great, I thought - go in... deregister... get confirmation... go to work. No worries, right?


To make a long story short. We filled out the deregistration and then they wanted to cut up our permits or take them away. I said we wanted to keep them until shortly before we left and we just wanted to get the confirmation now so that I could cancel all the services. Well, this lady layed into me then about how I had the wrong form (which they had just given me), how if I filled out said wrong form they would have to take my permits on the spot, how there are 5123 different types of deregistration confirmation forms and the one which I was talking about costs CHF 30/person so I better know which one I needed before I paid for the wrong one, and that I basically am just an idiot for coming in to see them without knowing exactly what it is that I needed.

Um... hello. I thought you guys were the experts and you could tell me. Sorry.

So now I have to call up all the service companies AGAIN and ask them in black and white which form it is they want to see so that I can cancel and I have to figure out how we can get around and perhaps travel without our Swiss permits in our wallets if we deregister early.

I think in the end, we will probably end up getting the CHF 30/person deregistration confirmation papers, BEFORE WE ACTUALLY DEREGISTER (make sense? um no...), and then have to come in shortly before we leave to actually deregister and give up our permits. Believe me though - with the hassles we get at the airport lately, we will have copies of the given up permits and the said deregistration confirmation so that immigration does not give us hell for leaving, thinking we overstayed our visit.

All very complicated. All should not be - especially since they probably want us to leave... make it easy already, eh?... Err... I used to be so proud that I had never had issues with the Gemeinde. The Urdorf Gemeinde is so nice usually... and yes, this lady was just trying to save me CHF 60 if she can... but COME ON! Just give me a break with the 'tude already.

Anyone else love their Gemeinde?
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Chantal said...

Ha, ha. I find dealing with Swiss bureaucracy right up there with having my wisdom teeth out. The hundreds of pieces of paper, the official stamps, it's all very archaic to me. Get a computer and somehow streamline it all, people. It is the 21st century. But alas, Swiss bureaucrats are born with a stamp as an extension of their body.

But fyi, I believe that if you leave the country permanently, there's nothing, for example that the phone company can do. So while I think it's great you're being good citizens and trying to end your contracts, maybe you're being a little too good for your own good...this has come back to haunt me on many things in Switzerland.

Adrian said...

Ah, sweet memories.

They actually gave me the letter with a very important line missing, that I'm single and not married. Thankfully the life insurance company promptly called me (wisely still having my Swisscom's plan active) but just one day before I left. They told me they cannot cancel my policy because what if there is a spouse. Who thought about that?

During all the hassle on the final day I had to go to the Gemeinde once more and request a letter with the proper line.

I hope all the Swiss bureaucracy goes well for y'all and looking forward to your stories from down under.

Towe said...

Wow, I can't beleive you are moving back to Perth. New adventure! I look forward to follow your life about life in Aussieland. Good luck with the move and trip back home! towe.

Virginia said...

Yikes, what a pain! But Chantal has a good point. As expats we have a hard time knowing when to follow the letter of the law, and when it's better to avoid it.

That being said, crazy paperwork protocol exists everywhere. Right now I'm in California changing my name after getting married, and all I can say is "sheesh!"

The Antiques Diva™ said...

Would you believe that it's been 7 months since we moved from Holland and we only just FINALLY got KPN (the phone, internet, and cable company) to stop billing us a phantom 20E a month!!! And when we finally got them to agree to stop billing us, they said "Why were we billing you 20E a month anyway? What service was that for??!" ARGH..... On the bright side, they too were so confused by it that they refunded us the money!


Daniver's Travels...... said...

Oh no, why are you moving ? Too expensive to live there ? Will you keep the blog open still ?

Tina said...

I cans see canceling utilities and stop the bills from coming..... but WHY do the rest of the paperwork?


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