Now I understand why Telefonica doesn’t give a damn.

Just about every dealing I have had with Telefonica has ended in extreme annoyance, large bills, or infuriating delays. I know I claimed in the expat manifesto that it is no good complaining about life in your adoptive country, but Telefonica has pushed more than the occasional expat and just about every telecommunicating Spaniard to the limit of their patience at one time or another.

And today it became crystal clear that this may never change. Why bother with the angry little consumer who should have had his ADSL line installed last week when you are busy buying your way into China? Why worry about honouring that 2 week domestic line installation promise when you are the largest corporation in Spain and the fourth largest telecommunications company in the world (source: wikipedia)? It’s all about infrastructure. If you own the wires – and they do in most of Spain and much of South America – then you call the shots. As Borat would say, ‘Nice!’

13 thoughts on “Now I understand why Telefonica doesn’t give a damn.

  1. Marina

    If you speak Spanish you can have a look at this link as well:

    Basically they been fined because their telephone boxes (the only ones available throughout Spain) don’t give change back when you introduce a coin with more value than the value of the phone call.

    It is a pity that the fine it’s only 48.000 Euros as that is nuts for a company like telefónica and it is really unbelievable that this fine has taken soooo long to arrive.

  2. Ben Post author

    Stuart – interesting blog post, shocking story!

    VS – but you need Telefonica internet line to get the VOIP! Although we use Jazztel for all our internet and phone line services, thus bypassing Telefonica completely, which gives me total satisfaction 🙂

  3. greytop

    Not only do you need a Telefonica line to get ADSL, you need connecting to the right exchange. Here we have two possibilities, one with ADSL, the other without. It took a friend nearly a year to get them to change him from one to the other. And there is no cable operator active around here so it’s Telefonica or nothing. Their list of excuses is the most imaginative part of the service!
    I found them quick to put my line in and also to move it to a new apartment, so I guess at a local level they can be efficient. Could it be the fault of the remote customer service factory?

  4. Marina

    It could be, but it is their responsability to provide a good customer service, so if the one you have doesn’t work improve it. But as Ben said in telefonica they don’t care they have other things in mind.

  5. ValenciaSon

    I didn’t realize Telefonica is such an absolute monopoly in Spain. I thought there were other carriers like in the US. So are you saying Jazztel is another carrier for telephony and Internet in Spain?

  6. Edith

    All this makes me wonder: how can you make a living working at home – like Ben does – if it takes so long to get ADSL?

  7. Madrid Teacher

    You will be glad to know when I lived in Valencia I ripped telefonica off for 500 euros. But they will probably be able to claim it back against their tax returns anyway!!

  8. Stuart

    They probably owed you that much anyway in terms of compensation for poor service and extortionate prices – infact for every €1 of your 500 they’ve probably ripped you off for €2.

  9. Stuart

    Oh, and as for my story, a not very polite complaint was made to Telefonica Peru who first said we were imagining it, then told us to check the speed of the internet each hour or so for a week and call them back with an average!! (Yes, I’m going to stay at home for a week and do THEIR job for them)

    We took one reading, and called them back a week later to give them the average 😉 … they had no knowledge of our first complaint what-so-ever.
    Not really much to be done now… perhaps I could build my own telephone line 1000s of miles to a neighbouring country… oh wait… Telefonica have monopolies there too.

  10. Ben Post author

    VS – Yes, jazztel offer telephony and internet now.

    Edith – once you finally get in installed it is great – in the case of Jazztel anyway!

    Madrid teacher – glad to hear it! How did you manage to get the 500 €?

    And Stuart – I can’t believe it can be worse than here, but evidently in Peru it really is!

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