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“Paul did an excellent piece of work in translating my business’s website into German. The service was good value, had a speedy turnaround and at all times Paul’s translation was thoughtful and intelligent, suggesting improvements not only to the German version but also to the original English. Many thanks! I would definitely recommend Paul / A1 Language Services for any translation work.”
Catherine Potter, Joint Proprietor, Bambú Holiday Resort, Benamocarra (Málaga), December 2009

(Day)light robbery! PDF
Tuesday, 13 July 2010 00:00
 

Everyone I know has a beef with Sevillana Endesa, the electricity company that took over our supply nearly 12 months ago.  Complaints range from overcharging, to no bills charged for months, from no paper bills sent through the post, to as many as five bills coming all at once (yes, five!), from large direct debits taken from bank accounts without warning, to electricity supplies cut off without notice.

Last week I went to the Sevillana offices in Ronda to enquire and to complain, but there were so many people waiting to vent their anger at the perceived injustices and there was only one member of staff on hand to deal with customers and to answer the phone, that I gave up queuing and went for a coffee.  Other friends and acquaintances have reported huge queues also on other days. So, what is going on?  These problems are clearly not limited to a couple of villages in the Serranía de Ronda, but much more widespread.  So much for deregulation!  Why didn’t Spain learn from the disastrous deregulations of the Thatcher government in the UK 15 years or so ago?

Where I live they’re so up in arms, that the mayor invited a representative of the consumer organisation FACUA (Federación de Asociaciones de Consumidores y Usuarios en Acción)  to come and explain our rights as consumers, how we should complain and to urge us all to do so without delay.

So this very morning, before a roomful of some 50 people, five of whom were foreigners, José Luis Sánchez García, Communications Director of the Málaga branch of the national consumer organisation, explained the process of complaining and urged us all to do so individually and in writing.

All you have to do is get a complaint form, una hoja de reclamación, from a local office of Sevillana, complete it with your personal details, brief details of the complaint, sign and date it and return one of the three self-carbonating copies.  The other two you retain, one for yourself, and one for the arbitration service later, should you not be satisfied and need to take things further.

Sevillana are obliged by law to respond within 10 working days; if they don’t, they are fined, so they always do respond within the time limit, apparently.  If their response is unsatisfactory you can go to arbitration.

Sr Sánchez went on to talk about the benefits of membership of FACUA.  “Don’t give up in the face of abuse and fraud! That’s our slogan.  FACUA Málaga has been going for over 25 years and has resolved thousands of complaints on behalf of consumers.”  An independent organisation, FACUA is self-funding and operates in a similar way to the UK consumer association Which?

For further information about FACUA in Málaga province, go to www.malaga.facua.org

For a once only joining fee of 35€ and 38€ per year you can become a member of FACUA and enjoy a full range of benefits, including legal support when making claims or complaints, a bi-monthly magazine, free training courses on consumer issues, analytical data about products and their value for money and information leaflets on a wide range of topics.

© Paul Whitelock

 

 

Paul Whitelock

Paul is a Joint Honours graduate in Spanish and German, a qualified teacher (PGCE) and has a Member of the Institute of Linguists (MIL) qualification.

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