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Posts posted by MonikaG

  1. Hi, I have a question regarding appliance repair.  We bought a new AEG washer four years ago.  It is not working properly but the warranty is finished.  There is no error code...the machine does not finish the wash cycle.  It washes for the cycle, then starts again, at the beginning of the wash cycle.

    I went to the appliance store to purchase a new one but the salesman insisted it should be repaired because it was an expensive machine and should not have broken.  I called an appliance repair person, recommended by the AEG shop.  He was in my house for 23 minutes and charged over 100 euro for resetting the washer.  It's not fixed.  I have to call again on Monday.  My question is, am I required to pay another 100 euro for him to come again?  I do not want to spend more than 250 euro to repair as I can purchase a new machine for 500 euro on sale.  I hate to be wasteful, but don't want to spend 400 euro on a machine that won't last for a few more years... Any advice?  My husband said we should just buy a new machine.


  2. PandaMunich,

    Thank you for all of the information.  I really appreciate the time that it took to put into your response.  In addition, I now have some excellent background information that I can use to ask further questions if need be.  

    We had over 30,000 euro in school fees that we paid and for the initial four months that my husband was here without us, he was taxed at the highest rate.  He worked 8'months in Germany for 2013.  I worked as a substitute teacher at my kids school for a few weeks and was paid as an independent contractor, even though I told the school that I would not work as an independent contractor.  The amount was less than 1500 euro, but ended up costing us about 1,000 euro.  (That is another sob story.).  

    Again, thank you so much for your thoughtful and informative response.  


  3. I discussed the situation with the relocation specialist back in July when we received the outrageous bill and could not understand how we ended up owing money for taxes.  She seemed shocked by the bill. We have relied on her to recommend professionals that speak English and won't rip us off.  I emailed her with regard to what is happening now and she told me other clients had been having difficulties with the tax accountant and she took them off her list of recommendations.  

    She is not a lawyer and I think is reluctant to give us bad advice.  I don't think she gets a kick back from them.  She even forwarded me an updated list of recommendations, this accountant was not listed anymore.

    I speak a level B1 German, hardly good enough to navigate the tax authorities.  

    As far as signing a contract... I have no idea.  We don't have a copy or I would bring it to a lawyer to see what they recommend.  


  4. Ok.  Yes, this makes sense.  Are you suggesting if the process is not complete, we can go elsewhere ?  What rights do consumers or clients have in this situation?  I am worried we will end up in a lawsuit.  My husband and I are not litigious, but this situation is extreme.  We really need to,get the legal insurance.  I know.

    Sorry for the long background story, I just wanted to convey the depths of our frustration.  We need the tax returns in December for our daughter's college application.  I have written to the tax accountant explaining this and pleading with him to return our emails or phone calls.  We have heard nothing back.  I thought that starting the taxes over a year ago would give us plenty of time.  

    Maybe we could talk to Finanzamt for advice? 


  5. I really need some advice regarding a situation with a tax accountant.  I arrived in Germany with my three kids in the summer of 2013.  My husband has a job with an engineering firm in Bremen.  Last year, October 2015, we went to a tax accountant that was recommended by our relocation expert.  We wanted to have our 2013 and 2014 taxes in Germany completed.  My husband worked for 8 months in 2013 and I worked for a month in 2014 and September to December as an international school teacher. We don't own a business or property or have any work deductions.  We have three teenagers and a large private school tuition payment.  

    We met with the tax accountant and turned in our paperwork in October 2015.  We did not discuss prices because we thought the accountant would look over our paperwork and come back with a price.  We heard nothing... I started calling and emailing in December of 2015 asking how things were going.  Did they need anything from us?  No response.  I emailed several more times and was told they were working on our taxes.  Over the next few months I was asked for receipts for them tuition and I promptly turned them in to the accountant.  Then, nothing.  I started emailing every few weeks. I rarely received a reply, and if I did it said they were busy, on vacation, out sick, etc.  the summer of 2016 comes.  I start emailing and calling more frequently. No return emails.  

    Finally in July 2016 we receive a letter in the mail with a 1500 euro bill with the tax returns completed.  The tax returns said we owed 1400 Euro in taxes.  We had no explanation.  I was able to go into the tax accountants office with an appointment and discovered there were mistakes, we didn't owe 1400 Euro to the Finanzamt.  

    The accountant claimed they would have to be reconfigured and would not be ready in a week.  That was in July.  I have tried to get the tax returns ever since with no luck.  I have gotten no response or the response has been they are sick, on vacation or busy.  

    I emailed the relocation expert to inform her about our experience.  She had another client that had difficulties with them and changed accountants.  She advised me that I may not be able to get out of paying the 1500 euro fee.

    My oldest daughter will be going to university next year and we need our tax returns current. Is there an agency that can help me with this situation? 'No, I don't have lawyers insurance and we don't want to throw good money after bad.  

    Do clients of professionals have any rights when the service they are paying for has been this sub par?



  6. Most international schools will take students on a partial scholarship.  Qualification for the scholarship will depend on the parents income.  This is not always advertised.  Make an appointment with the director to discuss this as a possibility.  The children of football players and tuition being paid by businesses are the amounts you see advertised.

    Also be aware that an expensive tuition does not always equal a quality program.  Take a look at class offerings as well as previous IB scores.  This information should be available.

    The IB diploma will require a pretty good command of English.  

    If there is any way to find parents from the school to talk to, this is also a good way to determine if it is worth the tuition.  

    hope this helps




  7. Damien,

    hi.  I am from California and I moved here with my family a couple of years ago.  I am starting German intensive course a1 soon at the volkschule downtown.  It is cheap and meets three days a week.   I would love to know someone I could meet up for the course.  Not sure if you are here in Bremen with your husband yet.

    you can message me here if you want... Monika


  8. My family moved to Bremen one year ago. We were fortunate to find Finkler Relocation Services. We had great difficulty finding a house for three kids and two dogs. Nicole Finkler was a godsend for us. We still use her services and I can highly recommend Finkler Relocation. Feel free to message me if you have questions.