Internet Contracts in Spain: What to Check
Trying to choose the best internet service in Spain can be a nightmare. Comparing different offers, with or without TV, bundled with mobile lines… Add to this that each company has multiple tariffs, promos and small print and it fast becomes an impossible task. Take a look at our checklist to make sure you’re not caught out.
What’s the price?
By law all telecoms companies must show their prices with sales tax (IVA) included. Some do this clearly, whilst others show a price in a large font with the total price in smaller print below (or in a pale grey that goes can be hard to see). Always compare like with like, that means the full price including tax.
Promo prices are for a limited time – sometimes for 6 months or until the end of the calendar year. In the latter case, the nearer it gets to December the less interesting the promo for the consumer. Companies must show the full price after the promo period ends, but you may have to search for the info.
Is the monthly landline rental included?
Many internet contracts “forget” to mention that the landline rental charge, around 20€, has to be included. So if you find a really cheap tariff, double check whether that charge has to be added on.
There are a few tariffs available in Spain for mobile (sim-card) routers, in this case you won’t have to worry about paying for a landline.
Is installation really free?
A tricky question. Online promos normally come with free installation, but you may decide to call to ask questions and then contract the service over the phone – in this case you could be charged for installation.
Free installation is only for a standard home and includes a maximum number of metres of cabling. If your home has any special requirements, such as additional cabling, then this will be billed.
Freebies? Think twice!
Watch out if you’re offered a free tablet, smartphone or upgrade (eg TV package) with your new internet contract. Freebies often come with an increase in the minimum contract period (from 12 to 24 months).
The cooling-off period
As you probably know, the Distance Selling Regulations allow a 14-day cooling-off period when you can change your mind.
However when it comes to telecoms, that period ends immediately the day that installation takes place. So, if you contract the service on the first day of the month and installation is planned for the first week, you only have that week to change your mind. Once your internet has been installed, if you then decide you don’t want it you’ll be charged for the installation cost and possibly another charge for breaking the minimum contract period – a double whammy!
If you’re changing provider, once your existing provider finds out (from the new company) they may provide you with a counter offer. If you accept your current provider’s counter offer you must contact the other company during the 14 day period, preferably in writing or by online chat, to explain that you are cancelling your contract. Don’t let the new company leave any equipment or carry out a partial installation, if you decide not to go ahead you could be charged.
Guaranteed upload and download speeds
Take into account that advertised speeds are the maximum that can be achieved but are not guaranteed. Only in the small print will you be able to find the minimum guaranteed upload and download speeds, as long as these are reached then you have no grounds to cancel the contract.
Don’t trash your old router
If you’re changing provider, you may be tempted to simply throw away your used router, especially when it’s old. However, many people have been caught out and billed over 50€ for what is, essentially, a useless item.
Double-check your contract with your previous provider to see if you are required to return the router. Don’t opt for simply not paying the bill (or if it’s direct debited don’t return the charge) – telecoms companies will think nothing of putting your name on a debtor’s list. Pay first, liaise with the company later.