Go Back  British Expats > Living & Moving Abroad > Europe > Spain
Reload this Page >

thinking of moving to spain...

thinking of moving to spain...

Old Nov 15th 2011, 3:38 pm
  #46  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,572
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
I don't know what Emma thinks.. but before I moved here, I previously lived only in places where there was clear and effective recourse when you get shafted - and especially when the perpetrators are "reputable" firms. So, the "reputable" firms tend to have actually earned their good reputation, and can be trusted.

Here it's the other way 'round. The big "reputable" companies are often the biggest criminals. Unfortunately, you have no choice but to transact business with some of them - the utilities, for example - and you are forced to live with the consequences of that. The big automobile dealers are 5-star experts at moving cash from your pocket to theirs, and their "reputation" is worthless to them.

To be honest, I can (almost) live with it in tradeoff for the many nice benefits of living here. In my experience, the small local businesses tend be honest and fair.But I wish I had been advised that there is little or no recourse for getting gouged or swindled, that it happens often, and most often by the most "reputable" of the lot - the ones you're supposed to trust.

Welcome to Spain.
This is probably why we have had totally differing experiences. Living in a town of 3000, gaining local recommendations about local tradesmen running small independent businesses, they cannot afford to overcharge because the townspeople would stop using them. I guess that if any of them did do a bad job that the information would spread like wildfire so that ensures that standards are maintained.

Rosemary
Rosemary is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 4:22 pm
  #47  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by pablosho View Post
Hi amideislas,

I can only comment on my experiences in Spain but that's my point! I live in Jerez de la Frontera, Andalucia which has a population of 200,000 but I also work in villages within the province of Cadiz that have less than 1,500.

Are you 100% sure that what has happened to you, is happening all over Spain?
For certain utilities services you may be right.
OK.. well, you asked... (be careful what you ask for - I have extra time on my hands at the moment)


Originally Posted by pablosho View Post
Where do you actually live?
Mallorca

Originally Posted by pablosho View Post
Why don't you actually name & shame these so called '5 Star' garages?

Manacor Movil S.A. (Seat dealer and one of the largest repair centers in the area).

Problem:
cracked lens on left rear - otherwise working fine -result of a minor accident - other driver's fault - fully insured...

These are the ones who, after being asked to fix this broken tail light decided it would be appropriate not only to replace the lens, but also the entire tail light assembly, the main fusebox in the car, and the entire turn signal mechanism on the steering column. Lots of labour involved, too.

Total cost to fix a cracked lens: €665.70

AUTOMÓVILES PALMA S.A - Opel dealer and repair center, Palma de Mallorca

These are the bandits who I asked to replace my cam belt (a purely preventative measure) and they decided to replace the entire ignition system, a number of cables, hoses, housings, and several other engine parts entirely unrelated to the cam belt, without informing me. The entire job was supposed to cost around €300... but the final bill was nearly €1000, which I was only informed of at the time I went to pick up the car.

The ensuing argument was useless. They wouldn't budge and claimed all of it was necessary. I did go to consumo and file a denuncia, but as usual, nothing ever happened. Consumo came back and told me that all of it was correctly listed on the factura, and therefore justified, and I have no case.

This is also the car that I had filled with petrol only minutes before taking it to the garage. It was EMPTY when they returned it to me. Naturally, nobody knew anything about it, and said I must be mistaken...

Since then, when speaking with friends about it, they've all told me that it's completely normal (it's SPAIN, you idiot), and you should ALWAYS have a near-empty tank when you take a car to garage for repairs, or ask them to sign a paper stating the amount of fuel in the car before you leave it. Otherwise, they will siphon it off, because you really can't prove anything...

Originally Posted by pablosho View Post
Why don't you use a local garage?
In the first case, it was because the other driver's insurance company would only pay this specific garage for the repairs (the crack in the lens was caused in a minor accident - the other driver's fault). However, in the end they refused to pay for anything more than the lens, because they claimed the other repairs were for defects that were pre-existing. Yet, only the lens was broken (this was obviously minor). there was never any problem with the lamp assembly, the fusebox, or the turn signal mechanism. All perfectly functional, and they never asked my permission to replace these parts.

So I got stuck with lion's share of the bill - well over €500.


In the latter case of the cam belt - I chose the Opel dealer only because I assumed the Opel dealership would have the best expertise for such delicate surgery. I didn't want any problems.
I was wrong. My bad.

Originally Posted by pablosho View Post
I would hardly call Telefonica reputable and Endessa have a bad name as well but to be honest before I moved here about 9 years ago, I remember BT & British Gas having the same troubles. Okay, you have an ombudsman but Spain has come a long way in the last 20 years. It has a lot of faults but chill out, take it for what it is or just don't live here if every Fulano, Zutano y Mengano keep shafting you!
Yes, correct. They are not "reputable", but they are among the largest and most visible (Telefonica is the world's largest phone company by subscribers), even if they are not reputable. If you look at their websites, they sure look reputable, though.

In my case, I have no choice. Telefonica is the ONLY provider available to me, and Endesa is one of only a handful of providers in the area. Iberdrola is another, and I am considering switching, but I understand Iberdrola is equally as brain-dead as Endesa, and also due to the nightmares and high cost of switching, I have avoided it up to now. Besides, Endesa has a local office. Iberdrola only has a small office 40 miles away.

But OK, back to the point...

I used to live in Germany (I am not German) and if you have ANY problem with Deutsche Telekom, they are there to fix it within 24 hours. Of course, you rarely have any technical problems with your phone or internet in the first place, so it's a rather moot point.

Telephone and other companies cannot advertise "€14.95 per month, all-included" and later charge double due to some obscure fine print. They would be murdered in court for this.

The company EON (electricity supplier) is the same. No nonsense, no over-charging. It is always exactly as the meter reads with no incomprehensible over-charges or outrageously exaggerated "estimated" billing for €100's over your actual meter reading. Even if you feel the need to dispute anything, you will reach someone immediately, 24 hours per day, and they will be helpful. Emails will be answered within the day. All in English if you prefer.

The difference is that under German law, Trading companies are REQUIRED to rapidly respond to customers with disputes, and must correct and refund or credit any erroneous billing within days, not years. (but companies may of course dispute the customer's claims if they are obviously without merit)

But they cannot simply ignore customers. And if the telephone service or electricity ever goes out, they are required to compensate the customer for it.

If the company doesn't conform to these strict requirements, they are subject to serious fines and compensation to the customer. The equivalent of the OFT in Germany is very powerful - as a trading company, you simply don't f** with them, or they will hurt you.

But OK, that's just what I was previously used to. Admittedly it could be argued that such strictness in the law could cause one to acquire a false sense of security when dealing with companies outside the jurisdiction - but then again, you assume it's the EU, right? There are rules.. right?

Well, wrong.

Naturally, I don't expect such service in Spain, but I also don't expect to be completely ignored after being indisputably and constantly overcharged €100, €200, €300 or more for erroneous electricity bills, or if my telephone and internet don't work for 2 weeks simply because it is raining, and Telefonica don't feel like sending someone out to look at it.

Even worse, if they decide to simply ignore me, there is no recourse for me. I just have to live with it. I still have to pay, even if I don't receive the services, or are overcharged for them.

So, Is it the same all over Spain? well, it is Spanish law that governs it,

...or not?
amideislas is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 5:49 pm
  #48  
Forum Regular
 
Joined: Aug 2004
Posts: 212
avocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud ofavocados has much to be proud of
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by The Oddities View Post
This is probably why we have had totally differing experiences. Living in a town of 3000, gaining local recommendations about local tradesmen running small independent businesses, they cannot afford to overcharge because the townspeople would stop using them. I guess that if any of them did do a bad job that the information would spread like wildfire so that ensures that standards are maintained.

Rosemary
Not entirely the case........

the locals are usually the dumbest of them all. Goes back to my argument tha the Spanish never question anything.

A typical example is my inlaws....my OH, his 2 brothers and father.....4 men all cut from the same cloth.

Now lets introduce the mechanic, to where they all take their 4 cars.

After my intervention the results were not good.......not only was my OH being overcharged, but work was been done that wasn't required. I put a stop to all that!!

One of his brothers was also being overcharged, the other brother and father were not. they were just being screwed for extra work.

The 2 that were overcharged were deemed to be rich because they're both Funcionarios and therefore they could afford to pay more.

The father was done for about 1000 euros at one point, for a job that would have been covered by warranty........but refused to listen to me (I'm not a mechanic and I'm a foreigner!!!).

The mechanic was a friend of the family..ahole more like!!
avocados is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 5:52 pm
  #49  
BE Enthusiast
 
busters mum's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Javea
Posts: 501
busters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

So what has any of that got to do with someone moving over here with 2 kids ?
busters mum is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 6:28 pm
  #50  
Banned
 
Joined: Feb 2011
Location: Mallorca
Posts: 19,367
amideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond reputeamideislas has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by busters mum View Post
So what has any of that got to do with someone moving over here with 2 kids ?
The argument started when I mentioned that anyone considering moving here should dispense with the naive notion that things are equally fair in Spain. They are not. What's advertised or guaranteed to cost €100 can often end up costing you €1000. The law does not give you much opportunity to set it right.

So, if you're planning to move here, in addition to all of the normal things you should consider, such as schools, employment, benefits, rent, etc., one should also take into account that which might never otherwise enter your mind:

YOU WILL PAY MORE THAN YOU EXPECT BECAUSE THE LAW ALLOWS YOU TO BE DEFRAUDED without recourse ... and particularly if you are a naive foreigner - and especially if you are not fluent in the local language.

And despite how vigorously those with their head in the sand might dispute this claim, it remains an inconvenient and unspeakable truth about living in Spain.

But you'll get used to it over time. The Spanish got used to it long before Franco. You will too.

Last edited by amideislas; Nov 15th 2011 at 6:35 pm.
amideislas is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 7:03 pm
  #51  
BE Enthusiast
 
busters mum's Avatar
 
Joined: May 2007
Location: Javea
Posts: 501
busters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond reputebusters mum has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Wow ! am i glad i live in mainland Spain (and have done for the past 5 years) rather than on one of the islands !!!!
busters mum is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 7:12 pm
  #52  
HBG
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Alicante province
Posts: 5,753
HBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

I think the lady from Mallorca has raised some points that some of us other, usually over-enthusiastic Spain admirers, don't want to hear, or be reminded of.

I've lived in Spain for many years and love the place, and intend to stay, but when I'm pushed into a corner and have to tell some truths I would normally not mention, I can say that I've been ripped off by Telefonica, Iberdrola, the water company, more than one bank, garages and car dealers, and tradesmen I've lost count of.

If you live in a reasonably sized town where there are other expats, there will be a two-tier price system, not always obvious; it's human nature and Spanish people are no different to other people in the world.

But the world looks a lot better behind rose-tinted specs and I don't blame people for not taking them off too often.

And, let's be honest, one way or another you have to pay for that lovely sunshine, and I'd rather be ripped off occasionally in the sun than shiver in the rain in the UK.

Thank God that Cman is not around at the moment, he'd be dong somersaults.
HBG is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 9:43 pm
  #53  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,572
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

I do find it strange that people have all of these problems and continue to live here, If I had had a quarter of the problems some people say they have then I would have gone back years ago. I am often told on this site that I have rose tinted specs or I live in cloud cuckoo land looking at some of the twaddle written on here I wonder just who it is that lives in cuckoo land.

Graham
Rosemary is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 10:04 pm
  #54  
HBG
Lost in BE Cyberspace
 
Joined: May 2009
Location: Alicante province
Posts: 5,753
HBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond reputeHBG has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

I think the OPs question was answered by Missile in the fourth reply. The thread then developed into a discussion on the problems of moving to Spain generally, got a bit argumentative, but along the way a lot of information was imparted to help newcomers coming this way.

I can only see that as being helpful. I know of enough disasters where expats have made the wrong choice through getting the wrong information, however well intended.
HBG is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 11:11 pm
  #55  
Forum Regular
 
JuanSolo's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Madrid
Posts: 74
JuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud of
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by The Oddities View Post
I do find it strange that people have all of these problems and continue to live here, If I had had a quarter of the problems some people say they have then I would have gone back years ago. I am often told on this site that I have rose tinted specs or I live in cloud cuckoo land looking at some of the twaddle written on here I wonder just who it is that lives in cuckoo land.

Graham
Believe me when I say I'm doing my best to get out of here. Unfortunately it's getting long because UK labor market is worsening. Before summer I received calls from headhunters but lastly my phone is silent.

As soon as I grab a job in UK, I'll run there. I'm really worried about what's going to happen after the polls on Sunday. And it seems that it's going to catch me here.
JuanSolo is offline  
Old Nov 15th 2011, 11:37 pm
  #56  
BE Enthusiast
 
Relampago's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2007
Posts: 773
Relampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond reputeRelampago has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by amideislas View Post
Spain is not quite civilised yet. So keep that in mind for your planning of move.
what do you mean with this?
Relampago is offline  
Old Nov 16th 2011, 12:02 am
  #57  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,572
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by JuanSolo View Post
Believe me when I say I'm doing my best to get out of here. Unfortunately it's getting long because UK labor market is worsening. Before summer I received calls from headhunters but lastly my phone is silent.

As soon as I grab a job in UK, I'll run there. I'm really worried about what's going to happen after the polls on Sunday. And it seems that it's going to catch me here.
My OH was referring to the Brits who have moved to Spain and seem to only be able to say negative things about living here. If their experiences of a place are that bad why do they continue to live here.

I know that you have been looking for work in the UK for some time now and hope that you find what you want soon.

Rosemary
Rosemary is offline  
Old Nov 16th 2011, 8:08 am
  #58  
Forum Regular
 
Unmutual's Avatar
 
Joined: Feb 2009
Location: Granada
Posts: 68
Unmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really niceUnmutual is just really nice
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by The Oddities View Post
My OH was referring to the Brits who have moved to Spain and seem to only be able to say negative things about living here. If their experiences of a place are that bad why do they continue to live here.
That's what baffles me as well Rosemary!

I can only put it down to too many people with too much time on their hands, and in some cases due to recession, exchange rates etc, with not enough disposable income to do what they really want to do.

And someone or something always has to be blamed.....so Spain is the fall guy for it.
Unmutual is offline  
Old Nov 16th 2011, 8:12 am
  #59  
Forum Regular
 
JuanSolo's Avatar
 
Joined: Sep 2011
Location: Madrid
Posts: 74
JuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud ofJuanSolo has much to be proud of
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by The Oddities View Post
My OH was referring to the Brits who have moved to Spain and seem to only be able to say negative things about living here. If their experiences of a place are that bad why do they continue to live here.

I know that you have been looking for work in the UK for some time now and hope that you find what you want soon.

Rosemary
Thank you for your nice words, Rosemary. I mentioned my current situation because perhaps some fellow Brits find also difficult to return in the present circumstances, bad for everyone. Just in case, I didn't mean to be rude to Graham.

Spain is a great country with lots of nice people, but there's also many things that need improvement. How sensitive are you to that areas determine whether you are able to be a happy inhabitant.

I think everyone's perception is valuable over all if you are intending to move here. Fortunately this is a broad community so any bias can be softened.
JuanSolo is offline  
Old Nov 16th 2011, 8:30 am
  #60  
MODERATOR
 
Rosemary's Avatar
 
Joined: Mar 2007
Location: Costa Valencia
Posts: 14,572
Rosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond reputeRosemary has a reputation beyond repute
Default Re: thinking of moving to spain...

Originally Posted by JuanSolo View Post
Thank you for your nice words, Rosemary. I mentioned my current situation because perhaps some fellow Brits find also difficult to return in the present circumstances, bad for everyone. Just in case, I didn't mean to be rude to Graham.

Spain is a great country with lots of nice people, but there's also many things that need improvement. How sensitive are you to that areas determine whether you are able to be a happy inhabitant.

I think everyone's perception is valuable over all if you are intending to move here. Fortunately this is a broad community so any bias can be softened.
You were not rude to Graham at all, in fact I do not think that you are ever rude to anyone.

Yes it is a broad community with people having different experiences, however, unfortunately those of us who have settled in happily in our chosen location tend to be told that we are blind to the negatives and therefore our opinions are not of any value and they say that we view the place with rose tinted glasses. I would love any of these people to walk in our shoes for a month and then perhaps they would understand that our life is absolutely terrible (due to OH´s health) and has been for the past 2 years. Nevertheless we do not blame this on Spain or the Spanish people (Spanish surgeons, doctors etc) but look at the broader picture and value what we have, our pleasant experiences and the people that we live amongst. We have not allowed our difficulties to make us bitter and twisted so perhaps we are not "normal" Brits. Maybe we have had so much influence from our Spanish friends and neighbours that we have lost the ability to whinge about things, I do not know but I do know that it is their positive thinking and kind thoughts that have supported me throughout our ordeals.

Rosemary
Rosemary is offline  

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information -

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.