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Navigating and living on the waterways of Continental Europe and news of canal developments.
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TOPIC: VNF - LIBERTE Refund

VNF - LIBERTE Refund 17 Sep 2020 15:07 #118547

Hi David,
I have just sent in my refund request and VNF have replied straight back to say it has been received and that the collection phase for requests runs until 31 October and that reimbursements will be made at the end of the year.

John Smith
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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 17 Sep 2020 14:58 #118546

David Goody wrote: Perhaps they are waiting until after the October closing date then processing all the refunds at once? Anyone know?


Hi David

The acknowledgement I received said exactly that, i.e. payment will be made towards the end of the year.

Quote
"La phase de collecte des formulaires a lieu jusqu’au 31 octobre et les remboursements seront effectués en fin d’année."
Unquote

Pete Clark
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Pete Clark
Nooit Gedacht

VNF - LIBERTE Refund 17 Sep 2020 14:52 #118545

Has anyone received their refund? Whilst I can now see the argument for not claiming, I did in fact apply for the refund on 17 July, and VNF sent an acknowledgement email on 27 July but nothing heard since! Perhaps they are waiting until after the October closing date then processing all the refunds at once? Anyone know?

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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 17 Sep 2020 13:42 #118544

Thanks for this link. I have just used to apply for a refund as I never received an email offering one. As a Treasurer for a shared barge syndicate I am unable to waive a possible refund.

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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 23 Jul 2020 01:35 #117518

  • Marty Latham
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An interesting read on the VNF budget, open in Chrome for automatic translation

www.senat.fr/rap/l19-140-311-2/l19-140-311-28.html
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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 22 Jul 2020 23:17 #117515

It's a moot question. Someone told me (too late!) that b.o.a.t spells 'bring over another thousand.'. Buying, insuring, mooring and maintaining a barge costs a substantial amount. Of course those of us who do so are fortunate in being able to finance it. But those of us who have reached a certtain age also realise that a year when the investment is not utilised is actually a financial loss.

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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 22 Jul 2020 11:20 #117487

> For a few leisure boaters to waive their rebate will be but a droplet in the canal system for the French state.

I think there's flaw in that argument. Granted what you say, but the VNF have to request their subsidy each year and I'm sure they want to keep their demand as low as is reasonable, particularly now. The act of not taking up refunds en masse would significantly reduce the subsidy requested by VNF for next year. Agreed it's still a droplet for the French Government but they hold the purse strings of the VNF and, with the massive extra demands on government resources at present, perhaps the arrival of a smaller demand may be sufficient for continued state subsidy. No doubt the government will be looking at all ways to recover financially and pulling the plug on VNF subsidy may be one way to save a few francs! I think we should all be aware of the difficult position VNF is in. They maintain canals for the benefit of boaters who are overwhelmingly not French. Why should the cash-strapped French government continue to subsidise "foreign" visitors who can afford to take holidays boating in France? VNF still needs funds to keep waterways open for drainage, supply of drinking water, farmers, etc but recreational boaters' navigational requirements are perhaps a lower priority. Imagine the increase in license fee if the boating element of the VNF's budget had to be funded entirely by boaters.

I didn't purchase a vignette this year, but I applaud those who decline their refunds - as long as it doesn't cost more in administration to NOT make the refund.

Peter

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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 22 Jul 2020 08:38 #117482

  • Marty Latham
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Shaun, the letter attached with the email says users who purchased the Liberte between 1st January and 31st May are eligible.
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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 22 Jul 2020 08:05 #117480

Looking at the refund form, it says at the bottom "Je certifie sur l’honneur, l’exactitude des renseignements communiqués ci-dessus et demande le
remboursement de 20 % de ma vignette LIBERTE acquise au prix normal." (my bold highlight). Does this mean that if one received the 'early bird' discount then you may not apply for this refund?

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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 09 Jul 2020 04:15 #117184

... and Stuart.
Ian

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Ian & Lisette McCauley
Register: Catharina Elisabeth
Blog: Eurmacs
Website: WaterwaysTourist
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

VNF - LIBERTE Refund 09 Jul 2020 04:14 #117183

We're 100% in agreement with Marty and Sharon, for exactly the same reasons.
Ian & Lisette
Catharina Elisabeth

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Ian & Lisette McCauley
Register: Catharina Elisabeth
Blog: Eurmacs
Website: WaterwaysTourist
"There are only 10 types of people in the world: those who understand binary, and those who don't."

VNF - LIBERTE Refund 09 Jul 2020 01:37 #117182

  • Marty Latham
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Taken in isolation the 20% refund may be immaterial as a sum. The VNF is still retaining 80% of my payment that I can not take advantage of in 2020. In correspondence last month I ask the VNF of the possibility of transferring this fee to 2021 and was advised that this was not possible and an announcement outlining a reduction in fees would be made following the Directors meeting 1st July. Which has always been their intention. Had we been able to get on the canals this year my view may be different. There are numerous other expenses associated with travelling to France that are lost, cost of a French visa, flights to Sydney for visa appointment and overnight hotel accommodation, cost of police check. Personally I'm happy to take a small amount back.

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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 08 Jul 2020 22:47 #117181

I confess to having been taken by surprise by Stuart and Sharon's generous gesture, and ambivalent as to my response. Until I saw their posts, my intention had been naturally to apply for the rebate. As VNF point out in their circular, the decision to offer a rebate has been approved by the Administrative Council i.e. in effect by the French state, i.e. it forms part of the national budget. For a few leisure boaters to waive their rebate will be but a droplet in the canal system for the French state. The commercial boating enterprises most certainly won't be declining their rebate. But then of course they have definitely been hard hit evonomically by the pandrmic, whereas most leisure boaters such as we have not.

An interesting question - need to sleep on that one.

Pete Clark

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Nooit Gedacht

VNF - LIBERTE Refund 08 Jul 2020 21:38 #117180

That's great Stuart. We aren't going to ask for our $131 back either. It doesn't make a material difference for us and I think VNF needs all the help they can get. Hoping that other people who are fortunate enough not to be in need of the refund will let it be.
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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 08 Jul 2020 17:41 #117179

I have decided not to apply for a refund , I think VNF will need all the money they can get. COVID-19 wasn’t their fault.
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VNF - LIBERTE Refund 08 Jul 2020 06:38 #117164

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I received an email from the VNF this morning offering a 20% refund on my seasonal cruising permit.
The link to the explanation and form is: www.vnf.fr/vnf/services/peage-plaisance-tarifs/
As we wont be getting to France this year 20% is better than nothing.
Cheers
Marty
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