Nil Bastardi Carborundum – Telefónica, What A Terrible Service…or TWATS for short.

Posted: February 22, 2010 in Life, Spain, Tenerife
Tags: , , , , , ,

We’ve been driven to contract with Telefónica for our ADSL, not because we want to, but because Spain’s non-customer focussed monopolies system has forced us to.

And before a Telefónica engineer has managed to step foot inside our house, we’ve fallen victim to their legendary customer service…or lack of.

It started brightly enough, a pleasant phone call and a promise to call back to arrange when the technician would turn up to sort us out.

It was even more promising when within a week, and despite havoc being caused by the storm (and the fact it was carnaval), we received a phone call to arrange for the engineer to come this morning.

And then the reality of dealing with Telefónica kicked in.

At about 10.45 today the phone rang and I answered it expecting to speak to the engineer.

“I’m calling to arrange for an engineer to visit,” a rather prissy voice informed me. “For tomorrow morning, agreed.”

(I couldn’t think how to say ‘whoa, hold on a wee minute there’) “…but he’s supposed to be arriving this morning.”

“No, the address was incomplete, so now he’s coming tomorrow.”
She repeated the address which omitted the little fact that our house is inside the golf course – a pretty easy landmark to find, even for navigationally challenged Telefónica engineers.

“Wrong, the address was not incomplete; I told your colleague where the house was in some detail. So why is he not here today?”

“Well he’s coming tomorrow, agreed?” She ignored the fact that somebody had clearly not passed on all the information.

“But I might not be able to be here tomorrow – I have to work you know.”

“Well he’s coming tomorrow, agreed? And I have to go now,”
she hung up the phone.

No bending over backwards there to please a new customer you notice.

If it wasn’t so damned important I’d have rang her back and told her to forget it, but that’s where they’ve got you by the short and curlies.

So now instead of going to Gran Canaria to interview an up and coming indie rock group, we’ll be confined to quarters waiting for a mythical Telefónica engineer who may or may not turn up.

Please tell me it gets better.

  1. Dennis Markham says:

    I read with interest your article, I am one of many consumers who have had to endure the incompetent way Telefonica run their business, and until the comms market is completely opened up in Spain they will never change.
    I moved house in August 2008 and had been contracted to Telefonica for 4 years with the ADSL service. So when I moved I informed Telefonica and they agreed to transfer my line & number to my new address, this was to be completed in 3 weeks.
    So after 5 seperate requests for an engineer to do my installation (during which time I was continuing to pay them) I eventually grew tired and cancelled my direct debit at the bank.
    Telefonica continued to send my facturas to my old address even though they knew I had moved, this went on for another 4 months before they did a baja on my line. BUt they insisted that I owed them 4 months of payments (about €220), I of course refused to pay and thought that was the end of it. I received no further correspondence from them and last month was made aware that they had placed my name on a list of debtors, I have no put this in the hands of my abogado.

    • dragojac says:

      It’s quite disturbing the number of times that you hear stories like this. It really is quite criminal and the worst thing is that the customer is almost helpless.

      It is a disgraceful way to conduct business.

  2. Pamela says:

    Look on the bright side Jack, you already rank #4 on Google for the phrase, “Nil Bastardi Carborundum”. 🙂

    Yes we know about them keeping customers hostage by requiring a baja, don’t we?

    No, in all my years of dealing with them, there is only one thing I can assure you: they are consistently crap.

    Did you know that way back when I first came to the island they had a rule (written or unwritten) to out and out refuse lines to foreigners?

    See, it’s got better already!

    And they don’t want us to forget it!

    • dragojac says:

      #4 on Google – Well that’s a result!

      I forgot to add to the post that I suggested to the girl on the phone that the engineer could give me a call when he arrived…but apparently that wasn’t possible.

      Clearly it is too much to expect Spain’s telephone company to actually be able to use telephones for practical purposes.

      Ah Mi Madre.

  3. Pamela says:

    Oh heck, no they couldn’t use the phone – after all, they know what the quality of service is like! 🙂

    • dragojac says:

      A man in a van turned up today at around 4pm (I suppose it’s quite close to the second arranged time of 9.30am yesterday). He did phone first to say that not only could he not find the house…he couldn’t find the golf course!!!!

      I ask you, what hope is there?

  4. colleen keyes says:

    I LOVE IT!!!!!!!!! TWATS is the perfect acronym for such a bunch of incompetents! But as for telling you it gets better………….? No can do. After suffering with said TWATS for 14 years, we have finally thrown in the towel and moved to Vodafone……..just this week…………………………..
    there´s a limit to the abuse you can take from one company and I guess we just reached saturation point. The only upside is that they KNOW they are useless!! Good luck with them!

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