Phone or Internet Service Interrupted? Know Your Rights!
All telecoms operators from time to time cause an interruption in the service provided. This can be frustrating if it’s a few minutes, but when it lasts several hours then it’s time to look at what compensation you can expect.
Last year Jazztel provided all their clients with a 5€ rebate on their bill due to a technical glitch that left most clients without mobile service for a day. Although 5€ doesn’t sound like a lot, it was around 50% of their average client’s monthly bill. Jazztel dealt with a bad situation quickly and positively, leading to favourable mentions in the Spanish press, but don’t expect other companies to be this generous.
What Legal Compensation is Applied?
Spanish legislation states that landline and mobile providers must compensate clients with the higher of either of the following amounts:
- The average of the amount charged over the last three months for those services that were interrupted prorated by the number of hours the service was not available; or
- The result of multiplying by five the fixed monthly cost paid for the services that were interrupted, again prorated by the length of the interruption.
If the result of this calculation is at least one euro, the rebate must be automatically applied on the next bill and clients will not need to request it.
What About Internet-only Services (Including Cable)?
If you have an Internet service contracted, you only have a right to compensation when the service is down more than six hours and only between the hours of 8 am to 10 pm. The compensation will be calculated on the total cost you pay for the service monthly, prorated for the length of the interruption in service, and included on your next bill.
What Happens with Combined Contracts?
Many households have an internet service combined with other services (mobile, landline, TV). In these cases the company must state how they have calculated the compensation based on what percentage of the monthly tariff is for each service.
What About Making a Claim?
In all cases when you suffer a break in service, remember to write down the approximate time that it started and ended in order to see if you’re entitled to any compensation and the approximate amount.
Even if you do receive compensation the amount is generally very low. It’s not a bad idea to make a formal complaint to the company’s Customer Service Department when you‘ve been a considerable time without mobile or internet connection.
Related Post: Problems With Your Phone Company in Spain?