If you want to please a resident of Tangier, say bad things about the company Amendis, a subsidiary of Veolia.
Amendis is a public service operator responsible, since 2002, for the distribution of water and electricity. She cleaned up the infrastructure, which everyone recognizes, at the same time as she increased the bills.
The number of citizens who complain about Amendis’ methods continues to increase. I remember a demonstration by dissatisfied consumers in Tetouan. According to what I was told, the people of Tetouan had boycotted this company and had led it to change its practices and especially its invoices. They had been revised downwards.
Before the Covid crisis, Amendis had decided to control the large villas in the residential district of California in Tangier. She reportedly noticed that some owners were committing fraud. Maybe. I didn’t go and check for myself. The fact is that anathema has fallen on all the homes in this neighborhood, forcing their owners to pay fines of several tens of thousands of dirhams under penalty of water and electricity being cut off.
I was one of those victims. From one day to the next, I was accused of having cheated, in other words of having intervened on the pipes so that my consumption appeared as low as possible. Accused of being a thief. Yes, these were the terms that an administrator had used. I explained to him: I live abroad, I pay my bills by bank transfer. You accuse me of having rigged the meters. And this knowingly to steal from Amendis. So, you start from the observation that I have no dignity, no honor, and that I have stooped to stealing a few hundred dirhams from your company. If I pay the fine, it will mean that I admit to having been a fraudster, a faker, a thief. I am sorry, Mr. Responsible, this in no way corresponds to my education or to my principles or to respect for the values that make up who I am.
But if I don’t pay, you will cut off the water and electricity, which will cause great inconvenience for me, since the house is rented to foreigners who will not be able to understand this micmac and will not be able to wash or sleep. enlighten.
The manager, apparently an impeccable gentleman, said to me: “But it is not you who defrauded; the fraud dates from before the purchase of the house. In principle it is the former owners who put you in this situation, but as you are currently the owner, you must pay the sum of 42,000 DH! Otherwise, the system forces us to make you pay the fine“.
Faced with this speech, I had no weapon. The blackmail is ruthless, brutal. I pay or I leave my tenants without water or electricity. I paid with two checks on the Banque Populaire.
As I left the manager’s office, he took out his phone and asked me to take a photo where smiling was recommended, quite proud to be photographing himself with a writer.
Not living in Tangier all the time and, above all, not having the time, I was not able to sue them and prove to them that I have never committed fraud in my life. As he said goodbye to me, he said: “Sorry, it’s the system that estimated the amount to be paid, I can’t do anything about it, the system“. Yes, “the system” has a good back!
This scandal had caused some noise. But with the brutality of blackmail, people end up giving in and paying.
I don’t know how this company works. All I know is that more and more people from Tangier are complaining. They are not happy, they feel robbed. It is not possible that all the complainants are wrong. There is definitely something wrong with the way things are done.
As soon as you talk about Amendis, you hear everyone talking about their inconveniences with this company. Unpopular, often rightly so. The citizen is helpless in the face of bills and especially blackmail to cut things off.
Tangier would need a serious investigation to be carried out with the Amendis machine and consumers ordered to pay or be deprived of water and electricity. They are told: “Pay first, claim later“. It turns out that citizens are not helped or protected against a society that does not recognize its mistakes. We would need a mediator, a team of technicians who impartially judge conflicts between Amendis and its customers.
Recently I received a warning on my phone: “You must pay the water and electricity bills for September and October as soon as possible, otherwise, power cut…» I was stunned. I had deposited a transfer authorization with the bank using a document issued by Amendis. And now I’m being threatened with a cut! I visit my local agency. A brave woman said to me: “Yes, I remember you, you gave us the document with the bank stamp, but I think my colleague misplaced it. So, Amendis was not receiving your payments. I give you a new document, etc.» This wasted a whole morning that I could have used to go for a walk on the beach or do something interesting. But Amendis’ SMS threats don’t really care about your time.
I had to be a victim to finally write this column, which, I hope, will attract the attention of the country’s political and administrative leaders.