The first thing that you should do when you have a complaint is to contact the complaints department or the customer services department for your operator, within a month from when the problem begins or from the date that you receive the bill if the claim is about the bill.
Customers can make their complaints to the operators by telephone, by internet, by post or directly at the commercial offices of the company. In all contracts you should find the customer services telephone number or the way to contact the company if you should have a compliant. When the customer complains about the service or the bill that they have received, the operator is obliged to provide a reference number which will verify the date of the complaint or the date of the request for the cancellation of the contract.
When the complaint is made by telephone, the customer has the right to request a document which accredits the complaint and the reason for the complaint. If within a month the customer has not received an answer from the operator, or has not received a satisfactory answer, then he can continue through the following channels:
- Consumer’s Arbitration Council.
This is for the individual customer. It is fast, easy, free and voluntary for those who have their own regulating norms. You can go to the arbitration council whether you know that the operator has previously been subject to the Arbitration Council or not, although if they have not been previously then they will not be subject now.
To find out if your operator is subject to the Arbitration Council, you can look o the web page of the National Consumers Institute ( Instituto Nacional de Consumo.).
- The Customer Services Office for Telecommunications of the Ministry of Industry, Tourism and Commerce.
The customers can present their complaints to this Office if the operator is not subject to the Arbitration Council or if they wish to go directly here without going to the Arbitration Council first. The customers who are companies usually go directly here.
The procedure for presenting these complaints is as follows:
To the Customer Services for Telecommunications.
To present a complaint to this office you have to have previously made a complaint to your operator, as mentioned above. The time period for making complaints via this office is that of three months as from the reply that you received from the operator or the end of the first month if you received no reply.
If this is an individual customer (as opposed to a company) who has been to the Arbitration Council within the period of three months and the operator refuses to be subject to them, then with this refusal the period of three months begins again for the complaint to this office.
The Office will process and settle the complaints regarding specific consumer rights for telecommunications for fixed line telephones, mobiles and internet access.
The kind of complaints that will be handled include:
- Dissatisfaction with the bills received
- Failure or lateness in giving the contract or cancelling the contract with your operator.
- Refusal to transfer the number
- Unrequested preselection
- Unrequested change of operator
- Failure to comply with offers by the operator
- Breakdowns or interruptions in the service.
Once the opportune steps have been taken, the Customer Services for Telecommunications office will give its verdict. When this is favourable to the customer it can include that your rights which were violated are restored or it can lead to the return of money that was incorrectly charged.
The office has a period of six months to resolve the problems, counting from the date that the complaint was first presented to them. The decision will complete the administrative process but you can file an action against them (recurso contencioso-administrativo).
The claims can be presented in writing or by their web page. The complaints in writing should be sent to the Customers Services office or you can go in person to C/ Capitán Haya, nº 41 28071 (Madrid), or as per the article 38 of the Law 30/1992 of the Legal Regulations of Public Administrations and the Common Administrative Procedure, where it states in point four: “the applications, letters and communications from citizens to Public Administrations can be presented:
- At the registry of any administrative organisation belonging to the General Administration of the State (for example Government Delegations and sub-delegations) at any Autonomous Community Administration, or at any Local Administrative offices which have signed the opportune agreement.
- At the post office.
- Those citizens who have an electronic signature can also present and consult their complaints on the internet at the web site of the Customer Services for Telecommunications at the section for presentation and complaints ”Presentación Telemática de Reclamaciones’.
The written complaint has to include:
- Full name of the interested party or the person representing them.
- Address for notifications.
- The request that is being made along with reasons and explaining the course of action taken which should be supported with documentation relevant to the matter. This could be the invoices or the letters previously sent and received. Also any communications from previous complaints to the operator, reference numbers which the operator is obliged to give.
- Time and place where the letter is signed, signature of the person concerned or their representative.
- Organisation where the complaint is being addressed. This should be the Secretary of State for Telecommunications and Information.
How to de-register with the telephone companies?
Write a letter using the folloeing model:
To the Head of Customer Services:
On the <Date> I contacted the customer services department by calling the number <contact numberr> and requested the de-registration for the services contracted with you, these consist of (contracted services, for example land line, broad-band etc.).
After checking my personal data and the telephone number that I had, the operator gave me my de-registration reference number which was <code number>.
In spite of this request for the de-registration, last <date> I received an invoice from you for these services and checked the line to find that it was still active.
Therefore, I kindly request that you use the date of my telephone request to effectuate the de-registration and that the contract is cancelled as soon as possible with effect in a maximum period of two working days as from the said request as established in the Royal Decree 899/2009, of 22nd of May.
(If the company has failed to comply with the contract, explain the reason and eliminate from the paragraph “… with effect in the maximum period of two days as established in current legislation”).
I also request the cancellation of the wrongly sent invoice and any other invoice or charge for any amount which there could be after the two days in which the de-registration should have come into effect.
If within one month as from the presentation of this letter, my requests are not addressed, I will proceed with filing the appropriate complaint to the Office of Fair Trading (Junta Arbitral de Consumo) or the Secretary of State for Telecommunications (Secretaría de Estado de Telecomunicaciones) and the Citizens advice Bureau (Sociedad de la Información or SETSI).
I remain at your disposal for any further clarifications required.