Movistar: I Want My Money Back!!!

consumer-rights-SpainIf there’s one thing I hate it’s having to deal with mobile phone companies in Spain (although I have heard it’s not much better in other countries). Regardless of whether it’s Movistar, Orange, Vodafone or any of the smaller companies, if you can solve your problem with only a single phone call then you should consider yourself lucky. What follows is the tale of how I’m still chasing 6.82€ four months after I cancelled a contract…


During one of my regular “finance cleanses” I decided to cancel my “Contrato Internet Móvil” (dongle) with Movistar. Even though I was only paying 4.60€ each month I hadn’t used the service for a long time, so it made sense to cancel the contract.

The billing period covered usage from the 18th of one month to the 17th of the next, payable on the following 1st day of the month. My first mistake was to miss the cut-off period at Easter and call Movistar on the 20th of April. Thinking that I’d have to pay the full month, I was happy to hear that they would only charge me for 3 days (18-20 Apr) on the bill due on 1 June.


What Happened Next…

It all sounded so easy, until:

  • June arrived and so did a bill for the full 4.60€! I called Movistar and they apologised: yes they had taken note on 20 April about the cancellation but they’d “forgotten” to action it.
  • On 1 July another bill arrived, but this time for 2.22€.
  • On 13 July I received a credit note for 2.22€, but no bank transfer.
  • On 27 July I called Movistar again to ask why they hadn’t transferred the 2.22€ and why I hadn’t heard anything about the 4.60€ charged in June.
  • On 10 August a credit note for 4.60€ arrived, but still no bank transfer for neither 2.22€ nor 4.60€.

So, after a few calls Movistar still hasn’t paid up. I suppose their game is to not pay to see if I tire of reclaiming what’s mine. What’s really annoying is thinking how much these companies make from “mistakes” that they don’t repay in the hope that customers won’t bother contacting them when the amounts are relatively low.

UPDATE: I originally wrote this on Monday 25 Aug and, believe it or not, today 26 Aug I saw an email from my bank informing me that 6.82€ had been received!!