Paris Trip in Peril!

Nov 12th, 2011, 06:04 AM
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Paris Trip in Peril!

Had our annual inspection of heating unit. It's a goner! Needs to be replaced ASAP as the guy had to turn off the gas due to possible dangerous carbon monoxide leaking into the house. A sales rep is coming in a couple hours to work on replacing. The tech said average cost is around $6000!

We are so bummed. I thought about going without heat this winter! Paris or heat? A really difficult dilemma.

If we do have to cancel I wonder if VIP would let us move our deposit to 2013 instead of totally losing it?

I know intellectually that Paris will still be there when we can make the trip but we were so looking forward to making memories to replace the bad ones from the last trip.

Putting on my happy face and hoping we can make some type of vacation next summer.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 06:10 AM
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All I can say is thank God they discovered the problem before a carbon monoxide leak occurred. If it means skipping Paris this year that is a small price to pay for avoiding a deadly situation.

I suggest making some calls for bids and get references if you can. You don't have to take the bid of 6k, there's a chance you can do better and still take your trip. But if you can't it will be OK. Paris will wait for you.
P_M is online now  
Nov 12th, 2011, 07:02 AM
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Obviously, if you are the VIP sort of renter, you have a love of comfort and luxury. But what about if you turned your habits upside down and decided to take a bohemian trip to Paris, staying in a 2-star hotel in an outer area and eating in unknown local restaurants? You probably think that you know Paris well, but I'm sure that such a trip would allow you to make some amazing discoveries.
kerouac is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 07:26 AM
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P_M - Yes, I am glad we discovered the problem before anyone became ill or worse. I don't know how long contacting other companies would take. We are already dipping into the 20's at night so I don't want to be without heat for long.

Kerouac - With 3 kids renting an apartment is much cheaper than 2 hotel rooms where we would have to eat out every meal. Plus I don't know any hotel where we could get a rate of $240 per night. We also do take out baguette sandwiches or Chinese for dinner and supplement with items from the grocery store. Our dinners cost about €40 last year and even eating out for lunch we were averaging €60 so I think I am already a frugal traveler! Of course we are coming from the US so airfare for 5 is half the cost of our budget and just about the estimated cost of the new unit.

So it is au revoir to Paris for now.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 07:50 AM
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This just happened to us, too, trvlgirlmq. Our gas furnace had not yet failed, but it was close to 19 years old. The statistics say their life expectancy is from 15 to 20 years ---- so.

Anyway, we got four bids. Three were from big companies, and they all came in at over $6,000. Then we asked a local developer friend who he used, and he recommended a company who supply builders. Their bid came in under $4,000! They were quick and we got a quality furnace and excellent installation.

Don't know if that will work for you, but if it does --- there is your airfare.
nukesafe is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 08:35 AM
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Plus I don't know any hotel where we could get a rate of $240 per night.

Well, that certainly indicate that you don't know much about Paris. I could find a hotel for 2 adults and 3 children for less than $150 -- and that includes full bathrooms and cable TV. Happy travels, as Guenmai would say.
kerouac is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 09:04 AM
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IMO you need to wait to see how much the replacement heating is actually GOING to cost and if the trip is still possible, explore the possibilities one rather generous poster above is offering you. IOW, Paris or "cut off our noses to..."
Dukey1 is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 09:13 AM
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I can't imagine why VIP would do anything other than what their contract said. If you fulfill the requirements of the cancellation period, they will refund something, I suppose, if that's their rules. I think a lot of those apt agencies won't refund 100 pct no matter when you cancel, but I'm not sure. Just because you decided you don't want to spend the money to go is irrelevant and no reason they should do anything different for you. If you are that close to the edge financially that it's either heat or a trip, I don't think you should even be going, but given you put a deposit on an apt you should have bought travel insurance that allows you to cancel for any reason if you intended to cancel just because you got a repair bill.
Christina is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 09:51 AM
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I can certainly see how an unexpected $6000 bill would make someone have to rethink taking a vacation for that year - doesn't mean they are on the edge financially. And I think she was kidding about choosing between heat or Paris.

However I'll second Kerouac's suggestion to try someplace cheaper. Hotel Marignan (the one on rue Sommerard, near the Cluny - there is another hotel with the same/similar name in Paris) has a room for five people, ensuite, including breakfast for 135€ during high season, even lower in off season. I stayed at this hotel two years ago and it's a basic one start but so superbly located and such a great price that I would stay there again. They have a small kitchen they allow guests to use, and laundry facilities too.
isabel is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 10:50 AM
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I know it is a huge unexpected expense, but give some serious consideration to kerouac's suggestion. I have seen many posters discuss less expensive hotels in the less central arrondisements. Additionally, the cost of take away sandwiches, Chinese food, etc...will be less expensive than around the central areas.

Don't give up yet. Do see if you can get the work done in a less expensive way (but safely, of course). There are lots of threads on less expensive hotels in good areas. You might be able to still do this trip!
denisea is online now  
Nov 12th, 2011, 11:26 AM
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I so would get a second opinion on your furnace and your trip

You can do both usually way cheaper

than what you are looking at... perhaps work both in...
qwovadis is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 11:29 AM
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Often, a worker will say a carbon monoxide leak requires ... with the BBB at A ... most important step is to regularly replace the furnace ..., Illinois Complaints, Reviews - Furnance has Carbon Monoxide ...... about Sears in Illinois. Furnance has Carbon Monoxide Leak. ... dark orbit scam ... So when it came time to replace our old furnace we went to Sears ...! HEAT SCAM!!! - The Anacostia Gazette
... victim of a heating furnace scam ... first one, that I needed to replace my furnace ... and was ready to fire up the furnace, when I mentioned the alleged Carbon Monoxide leak ...

Caveat Emptor!
qwovadis is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 12:41 PM
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I'm going to go with the folks that recommend another opinion. Normally, the only way that you get a carbon monoxide buildup is if the flue or collector is gone. Now a gas leak is a different story. Many utility companies have their own inspectors that will come in and check out your unit for either free or a small fee. Why not call them and see if that is an option. Down in Florida the scam is "Your AC is shot", when actually all it is might be a stuck relay or low refrigerant level on an older unit.

daveesl is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 12:42 PM
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Oh, assuming you are on natural gas and not propane, also check and see if your utility company or state offers a rebate for a furnace upgrade. Than can substantially reduce the financial pain if applicable.

daveesl is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 01:15 PM
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Thank you to those who offered alternatives. I called around to 2 more local hvac places and unless it's an emergency for repairs they don't have a sales person until business hours on Monday. We are going with our regular company even though it is more than we expected.

We will decide what to do about the trip in the next few weeks. The hotel suggested looks nice but the room with a shower is a bit more and with the exchange rate almost as much as the apartment (€160/night = $219). I have no problem staying in a Motel 6 but I won't compromise on private facilities.

I am not the only one making decisions so deciding where to stay and how far out is not mine to make alone. We'll talk about it and see what happens.
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 01:23 PM
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daveesl - The rods that the gas goes through had holes from rust. I actually saw this so I know that the inspector was not making it up. I've been using this company for several years and trust that they know what they are talking about. There was also a problem with the area where the flames come out and push the gas through the rods. We have had fixit repairs done before but this fixit was going to be quite expensive and the unit is 13 years old.

It's not easy being a single woman who doesn't know about such things!
trvlgirlmq is offline  
Nov 12th, 2011, 02:25 PM
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Yep, it is shot. Check and see if either your utility company or State offers an energy upgrade rebate plan. That might put a fair amount back in the coffers, if it is available.

daveesl is offline  
Nov 13th, 2011, 04:43 AM
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A quick Google turned this up:

It's only 150 bucks but every little bit helps...
ParisAmsterdam is offline  
Nov 13th, 2011, 07:57 AM
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The Hôtel de Torcy near my place has huge rooms and the biggest and best one (with full bath and TV) goes for 54€. Not available over the internet!
kerouac is offline  
Nov 13th, 2011, 01:39 PM
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ParisAmesterdam - have bookmarked that site. I checked my electric company and gas company and they only had rebates if they did the work. The unit we bought gets the federal tax credit of $300 so that will be something too. Much appreciated.

Kerouac - Thank you for the suggestion. We crunched numbers and although we could still afford to go we decided on fiscal responsibility for this year. We will put off Paris until 2013 so we can make the trip what we really want. Meaning my mother gets to stay across the street from Miss Manon and her pan au chocolate and will see Wicked in London.

We're going to give cruising a try since it is a lot less expensive and we can drive to Florida.
trvlgirlmq is offline  

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